Field Trips

Fall School Classroom Field Trips for 2019

A Day of Learning and Fun on the Farm

By reservation only: Reserve Online. Part of our mission at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard is to provide education through entertainment. The land that is now Vala’s Pumpkin Patch has been a working farm for over 100 years. When school children visit Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, we want them to have fun running through the pumpkin fields and visiting our petting corral, but our greatest hope is that they will leave with a greater understanding of agriculture and an appreciation for Nebraska farms.

How It Works

  • A classroom field trip is for children ages 3 to 13 (preschool through 6th grade) enrolled in a public school, private school, preschool, or child day care. At least 10 children, ages 3 and up, and one teacher are required for the school group field trip rate. Teachers must accompany the class.
  • Rates for classroom field trips are available Monday through Friday from 9am to 3:30pm only, when schools are in session.
  • Every field trip option includes a small pumpkin for each child.
  • Only teachers and paid staff members are free. We recommend bringing and wearing your school ID badges while at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.
  • Parent/Adult chaperones or volunteers may pay separately for themselves and any siblings on the day of the field trip at the Admissions Barn. This adult admission price will include a train ride and a coupon for $2.50 off a pumpkin.
  • Siblings of your student may attend the field trip if they have your permission. If they are age 3 and over they may pay separately with the parent at the Admissions Barn if you prefer not to include them in your count. Ages 2 and under are free. This admission price will include a train ride and a coupon for $2.50 off a pumpkin.
  • Same day re-admission policy: Any child, teacher or adult/parent attending during the day may turn in their “admission stickers” for a free same-day wristband to return in the evening (stickers must be exchanged, no exceptions). Note that the train ride must be taken during the day because your school group admission sticker is also your train ticket.
  • A child’s season pass may not be used for a classroom field trip, Monday through Friday, 9am to 3:30pm. This is because the cost of the field trip is for lessons and takeaways like pumpkins and apples. A parent accompanying their child on a field trip may choose to use the season pass for their own General Admission by presenting the pass to an admissions cashier. If a parent wishes to ride the train with their child, a train ticket will need to be purchased separately at the admissions window or at the train depot. 

Use our School Field Trips On-line Reservation Form

Teachers: Read about the 3 types of Field Trips below and decide which one fits your objectives. Select the date and time you wish to book. Some time slots may be sold out. See options by selecting a specific date and viewing the availability. Before checking out you will be asked to estimate the number of children, staff, and parents/adults attending. We understand that this is just an estimate and that parents may pay separately from the school.

You may wish to order school lunches on-line, also. The cost is $4.95 per lunch. You may also order these at a later date or call the reservation office to add this to your reservation. Please order at least 48 hours in advance.

There is a lot to learn at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch (allow 2 to 3 hours)!

Teachers may lead their students:

  • On a hayrack ride to the pumpkin field (30-40 minutes)
  • To the Egg Scramble play area (big yellow barn)
  • To the Big Slide Ride
  • To see the Barnyard Animal Band Show
  • To see the Applewood Play Area near the Apple Barn
  • To play at the Prairie Hill Town
  • On the Pumpkin Creek Train Ride
  • On the Barnyard Adventure Ride
  • To see the Pigtucky Derby Pig Races (always a favorite!)
  • To see the Pumpkin Eating Dragon Show
  • Through the Storybook Barn and Garden
  • Into the Petting Corral and Bunnyville
  • To play in the Corn Wagon Play area
  • To see the educational displays about Honey Bees, Farm Life, Cow Facts, Chickens and Railroads
  • To play on the Jumping Pillows

 

Pumpkin Harvest Fun
(Fun for all, ages 3 to 13)

Offered Friday, September 13th through Thursday, October 31st, Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

This is a teacher-guided experience on the farm with no sit-down lesson. Children take a hayrack ride to the pumpkin fields, pick a pumpkin, and visit all the other activities on the farm. Watch for the “Apple Signs” that signal a teaching opportunity for an on-the-farm lesson. The Apple Education Barn is open for all school groups, with educational displays. Each child will take home a small pumpkin.

September Special Rate
Book your classroom for a September date and receive a special rate of $6.99 per child.

$7.99 per child.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a small pumpkin, all attractions and live shows.

$12.95 per parent or adult volunteer.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a coupon for $2.50 off a pumpkin, all attractions and live shows.

$7.99 for each sibling.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a small pumpkin, all attractions and live shows (babies & 2-year-olds are free).

FREE for Teachers and Paid School Staff.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, all attractions and live shows. 

Apple Lesson and Orchard Experience
(Fun for all, ages 3 to 13)

Offered Friday, September 13th through Friday, October 4th, Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 3:30 pm.

Your class will be taken into the Apple Education Barn and then into the apple orchard to learn from our Vala’s Staff Educators about how apples are grown. Children will learn how to pick an apple, the importance of honey bees, how apples grow in the orchard, and other agricultural information appropriate for the developmental level of the class. Only children and their teacher are allowed in the orchard during the apple picking lesson. Parents may tour the Apple Education Barn while they wait. Each child will pick and take home a small bag of apples and a small pumpkin. Allow 30 to 40 minutes for the lesson and orchard experience. You may reserve on-line by choosing a time for the apple education lesson.

Lesson times available: 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, and 1pm

September Special Rate
Book your classroom for a September date and receive a special rate of $7.99 per child.

$8.99 per child.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a small bag of apples, a small pumpkin, all attractions and live shows.

$12.95 per parent or adult volunteer.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a coupon for $2.50 off a pumpkin, all attractions and live shows.

$8.99 for each sibling.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a small bag of apples, a small pumpkin, all attractions and live shows (babies & 2-year-olds are free).

FREE for Teachers and Paid School Staff.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, all attractions and live shows.

It’s All About Pollination!
(For Preschoolers, ages 3 and up, through 6th Grade)

Offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays in October, this 30-minute educational lesson is taught by honeybee expert Wendy Fletcher, owner of It’s All About Bees. Lessons are designed differently for each grade level. Learn about pollination, the importance of bees on the farm, hive behavior, how bees make honey, how honey is collected, and more. See the bees at work in the observational glass bee hive. Students will take home an 8 oz. Honey Bear and small pumpkin. This is science full of fun! Before and/or after the lesson, visit the rest of Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, take a train ride, and pick a pumpkin from the field. 

Lesson times vary. Check for available time slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays in October.

$10.99 per student.
Includes Admission, Lesson, Train Ride, small pumpkin, Honey Bear, all attractions and live shows

$12.95 per parent or adult volunteer.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, a coupon for $2.50 off a pumpkin, all attractions and live shows.

$10.99 for siblings of students,
Includes Lesson, Train Ride, Pumpkin, Honey Bear, all attractions and live shows (babies and 2-year-olds are free).

FREE for Teachers and Paid Staff.
Includes Admission, Train Ride, all attractions and live shows.

FAQs
Classroom Check-In (If Paying Day of Event)

Upon arrival one teacher should check in at the Admissions Barn window (Lane 4 or 5), pay, and receive the stickers for admission. Please have the other teachers and volunteers unload the children and have them wait near the entrance, but out of the parking lot. A Vala’s staff member will be helping to direct the children to a safe area to wait. After checking in have everyone put on the Vala’s Pumpkin Patch sticker. Everyone must be wearing a sticker to pass through the admissions gate and to ride the train. Each child will receive a bag for their pumpkin.

Quick & Easy Advance Check-In

Bypass the event day check-in by picking up the admission stickers and pumpkin bags before you arrive for your scheduled field trip. Call or email at least 48 hours in advance to let us know you are coming to pick up your admission stickers and we will have everything ready for you. Bring your purchase order, cash, credit card, or school check. When you arrive on the day of your field trip, with your stickers on, unload, check in with a greeter at front entrance, and proceed as a group through the admission gates. The stickers serve as your admission ticket and train ticket. If you have some last minute add-ons or late arrivals, such as parents with siblings, they can pay on their own at the Admissions Barn, at the school group rate, and join the group at a designated time or place. If you need a refund for any child or adult who was not able to attend, simply return the unused stickers to the reservation office BEFORE you enter the farm and our staff will change the purchase order or send a refund to the school. All refunds must be processed on the day of your field trip. 

Amount of Time
School groups may stay until 3:30 pm if time permits. Some groups stay for lunch and other groups stay 2 to 3 hours. The Pigtucky Derby Pig races, with an educational lesson included, lasts 20 minutes and is scheduled every hour on the hour beginning at 11am. The hayride to the pumpkin field lasts about 30 minutes, and is a favorite activity of school children. The Pumpkin-Eating Dragon show begins on the half-hour, starting at 10:30 am. The train ride is about 8 minutes long.
Lunch
You may bring in your own lunches, reserve school group lunches when you make your reservation, or buy your lunches at any of the food locations at Vala’s. Our school group lunch is $4.95 per person for your choice of Valentino’s Cheese Pizza, a Hot Dog, or a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich. Each meal includes a drink (juice box or milk).

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