The chance to do everything from wandering around a 50-acre corn maze to using bazooka-like devices to blast targets with mini-pumpkins is drawing big crowds to Dell’Osso Farms.
The demand was so strong on the opening Saturday that online sales were cutoff in the afternoon and walk-up ticket purchasing was stopped in the early evening.
“Our weekday attendance is up as that helps more people to enjoy their visit,” noted Susan Dell’Osso.
The Dell’Osso Pumpkin Maze — that can be seen from Interstate 5 as you approach the Manthey Road exit in Lathrop — is in its 24th season. The Pumpkin maze is open daily through Halloween
In order to maintain social distancing protocols due to the pandemic, attendance has been capped. That has led to the Pumpkin Maze shifting the bulk of ticket sales to online.
Dell’Osso noted 75 percent of all tickets sold for a given day will be online with 25 percent set aside for possible walk-up sales. Those walk-up sales may not happen on specific days if crowd adjustments are needed to assure social distancing.
“Well over 90 percent of the people are complying with the face mask requirement,” Dell’Osso said. “And when staff reminds people to wear masks they do so.”
Face masks are required, period. The only exceptions carved out are for those under 2 years of age and those with specific breathing issues as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Among the safety measures are:
*Attractions will involve primarily basic 6-foot social distancing as well as sanitizing blaster between groups of users. The train has plexiglass shields installed between seats. The haunted house — heavily laden with special effects — is devoid of actors with groupings of people entering every 30 seconds instead of continuously.
* The corn maze was planted earlier this summer with 12-foot wide paths instead of the usual 6-foot wide paths.
*The 50 acre site works in favor of being able to handle crowds during the pandemic.
*The entire site is sprayed overnight with disinfectant.
While almost all attractions are operating, there are some such as the hay rides and zip lines where social distancing can’t be assured or else there is requirement of staff to be in close contact with guests such as when they are locked into a zip harness that ae not being offered that year.
That has prompted the decision to reduce the $20 admission fee to $17 per person. Children 2 and under are free. Admission covers most attractions.
At the same time in a bid to get Northern San Joaquin Valley residents to visit Dell’Osso Farms away from the much busier days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday when Bay Area attendance balloons, the admission is being further reduced to $15 for Monday through Thursday.
To encourage more people to plan their visits farther in advance, Dell’Osso said ticket purchase prices will be refunded if by chance the health department closes Dell’Osso Farms due to COVID-19 progress slipping or it is closed for a day due to weather.
Hours have also been altered due to the pandemic. The hours Monday through Friday are noon to 8 p.m. with the last entry at 7 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the last entry at 7 p.m.
For more information go to pumpkinmaze.com