Kerber?s Dairy in NHT continues autumn tradition
For many people, the start of fall brings cooler temperatures, visits to pumpkin patches and the anticipation of Halloween.
In North Huntingdon Township, autumn often means a trip to Kerber's Dairy, with a hayride, cornstalk and pumpkin selection and, of course, a scoop of their famous ice cream.
The farm, located along Guffy Road, provides patrons a place to enjoy all the best of fall throughout October. School groups stop by, with students, teachers, staff, administration and families enjoying time together outside the classroom.
"When we have a school group, we usually get almost everyone from the building," said owner Tom Kerber Sr. "We can have close to 300 people there on those nights."
One of the mysteries is how those groups remain manageable for Kerber's staff, something Kerber said always seems to "just work itself out."
"We have those groups from 6 to 8 in the evening, and it seems like people come at different times and just even everything out," he said.
Kerber's Dairy Pumpkin Days are in full swing, with hayrides offered for the general public Saturdays and Sundays, with the last wagon loading at 3:30 p.m.
Visitors can opt for a package rate of $7.50 each, which includes the ride, a small pumpkin and a single-scoop of ice cream.
Once participants board the ride " either in the cart with padded-cushion seats or the more traditional hay bale filled option " they are treated to a trip through the farm, decked out with a variety of family-friendly festive decorations.
Kids clamor for the best view, peering over and between the railings to make sure they don't miss a minute of the action. Siblings and friends call to each other to make sure everyone sees Mount Haymore and Strawhendge.
Smaller groups sometimes are treated to a special stop in the pumpkin patch, where they have the opportunity to get off the ride and pick from a different selection of pumpkins while enjoying a number of hand-crafted decorations.
First-grader Alyssa Altfather, who recently visited with her schoolmates from Sheridan Terrace Elementary in Norwin School District, said she thinks her trip this year was the fifth time she's been on the Kerber's hayride.
"We usually see deer every time," she said as she pointed out several doe, a buck and a fawn along the ride.
Once they return from the ride, visitors can enjoy a number of festival features, including pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, the rainbow playground, tube slides and farm pets. Available for purchase are fall decorations, including cornstalks, bales of hay, gourds and Indian corn.
After her ride, Alyssa said she was ready to pick a pumpkin to take home.
"We take the smaller ones," she said. "We wait until the day before Halloween, then we carve them up. We do shapes and make them look scary."
For most people, a trip to Kerber's would not be complete without ice cream. For the fall, special offerings include pumpkin pie cheesecake, deep dish apple pie, apple cinnamon, plantation peach cobbler and butterscotch almond. Though not all flavors are available at once, many choices always are available.
Alyssa knew immediately which flavor she would get " as long as it was being offered that day.
"I'll have to see if they have blue moon; it has marshmallows in it," she said. "It's my favorite."
Kerber's will host its pumpkin festival weekends through Oct. 30. For more information, visit www.kerbers.com or call 724-863-6930.