Destination ChesCo: Colonial Gardens – More Than a Garden Center

The Haunted Hayride drove through a display of ghosts, skeletons, and graveyards (Image via Rachel Stevenson).

I love Fall, primarily for its cool crisp air, fire-tinted trees, and spiced pumpkin lattes. I’m like a little kid excited to get lost in corn mazes, carve pumpkins, and stuff scarecrows.

Last weekend, eager to venture outside on the 75-degree Indian summer afternoon, I hopped into the car and headed west on Route 724, only four miles outside of downtown Phoenixville.

Five minutes later, I arrived at the Colonial Gardens, all decked out for Halloween. I had shopped in their garden center earlier this Spring to decorate my back deck with magnolias, black-eyed Susans, and organic herbs, but I had never visited during the Fall.

The Haunted House open at night time for Colonial Gardens guests during the Halloween season (Image via Rachel Stevenson)
The Haunted House open at night time for Colonial Gardens guests during the Halloween season (Image via Rachel Stevenson)

To my delight, the list of Fall activities was endless: haunted hayrides, daytime hayrides for younger kids (and chickens like me), a haunted house, a fun house, haunted and non-haunted mazes, and Pumpkinland. The party rental rooms were even decked out in Halloween-themed decor.

I purchased a $5 ticket for the afternoon hayride, then walked around the property taking pictures while I awaited my adventure.

Harvested pumpkins scattered the garden grounds, stacks of colorful planter pots were tucked away in a nearby greenhouse, and fall flowers bloomed along the walkway that led to the hayride starting point.

A red tractor toting a dozen kids and parents pulled up to the ride platform and unloaded riders, then packed in new ones. I followed my fellow riders up the steps and sat on a bench nearest the driver. Moments later the tractor engine started and we were off.

We rode through the back woods where property owners and staff had strategically lined the tree-covered path with wooden cutout cartoon characters, ghosts, scarecrows, crosses, and gravestones.

Colonial Gardens
Ghosts hung from windows of a dilapidated building on the Haunted Hayride. (Image via Rachel Stevenson)

We rode past a dilapidated building, which resembled an old haunted house. Ghost-like characters stood in the doors, spiders and bats hung from outside walls, and shadowed cutouts loomed overhead from the second floor windows.

Kids on the ride giggled at the Minions and Toy Story characters displayed along the trail, then hid behind their parents as they passed the alien-like ghosts hanging above in the trees.

After our fifteen-minute journey came to an end, a staff member placed a plank between the platform and carriage, then escorted us safely to the steps. New riders took their seats and the next journey began.

While the Halloween activities have ended, the Colonial Gardens hosts events all year long. This month they will host a ladies night on Thursday, November 17th and in December they will host their month-long Christmas at the Colonial.

The garden center and gift shop also open all year long.

Visit the event calendar to learn more about upcoming activities at the Colonial Gardens.