A Local Spot to Simply Enjoy Fall on the Farm
The owners of JK's Pumpkin Patch have always loved pumpkin patches. In fact, that's how Josh and Amanda Kadavy first met—working at Grandpa John's Pumpkin Patch in Lincoln. By the time it closed down, the Kadavy's had gotten married and had their first son, and they decided it was time to start their own pumpkin patch and carry on their beloved tradition. In 2011, JK's opened its doors.
JK's Pumpkin Patch sits on a working farm about five minutes north of Lincoln, just off N. 14th and Bluff Road, a gravel road lined with farmhouses and corn fields. If you're picturing a sprawling fall carnival like Vala's or Roca Berry Farm, you're in for a surprise. The handful of attractions at JK's are scattered along a gentle hill that slopes up to the pumpkin patch in the rear. It's small and contained, but lots of open spaces keep it from feeling crowded. Parents who visit JK's have said they love that they can let their kids roam the whole place freely without losing sight of them.
That said, there are enough unique play areas to keep kids occupied and having fun for a few hours, and at a fraction of the price of most area pumpkin patches. Admission is $7 per person, which includes a pumpkin of any size. Among the attractions are a bouncy house and a big wooden pirate ship, but most everything else is inspired by real farm life. The live animals that hang out in the petting area include a llama, sheep and goats (with big personality!), a small cow and probably the softest miniature horse you will ever touch. Plump fluffy chickens roam freely among the trails, and a tractor with trailer stands by to drive folks out to the middle of the pumpkin patch. For the adventurous, JK's also boasts a three-acre corn maze.
The Kadavys' pumpkin patch has a dual purpose--to both entertain and educate. They intentionally cater to families with kids and school groups who want to come out and have a good time while learning hands-on about the farm operation. The Kadavys were both raised on Lincoln-area farms, where they were active in showing cattle and gained experience growing row crops. Like most farm kids, they learned early on about the fascinating but unpredictable task of producing food right from the ground. As more and more kids are growing up without realizing where their food really comes from, places like JK's provide a much-needed connection to the physical place where their food is grown, and to the people who grow it. Last year they were recognized for doing this by the Nebraska Tourism Commission, which honored them with the 2013 Outstanding Nature Tourism Entity award. They are the only area pumpkin patch to have received this award.
Overall, the atmosphere at JK's reflects the heart of the family behind it. The love the Kadavys have for their land and for their animals is obvious as you wander around JK's Pumpkin Patch, and they cultivate that love year-round. When they're not busy running the pumpkin patch, Josh and Amanda spend their time working with animals they've rescued, building their health and trust back up. They also enjoy working in the garden and building new things around the farmyard.
JK's is one more thing that helps make Lincoln a great place to live. In a city where farm country is just a few minutes' drive away, it's not hard for people to get out and enjoy the crisp fall air at a place where everything, down to the hand-crafted wooden signs, shows that the Kadavys love what they do--and that they love getting to share it with the rest of us!
From September 19 through November 1, JK's is open Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., or by appointment throughout the week for groups. They are also available for birthday parties and even offer campfire rental. Details here.