Helicopter rides, water slide now offered at Hill Ridge Farms
Posted June 13, 2016
Updated June 14, 2016
Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville has long been a favorite pumpkin patch destination in the fall, but it's spring and summer activities have really skyrocketed in recent years with the addition of a splash pad and, now, a water slide and helicopter rides. (And we're not talking about any kind of kiddie helicopter here).
In fact, Jennifer Dunn, the farm's events manager, tells me, that business is really doing well.
"We are definitely growing our summer business," she said. "It’s more than doubled just since last summer."
I wrote recently about the farm's special Wednesday deal. With each paid children's admission, an adult can enter for free every Wednesday. Dads also will get free admission this Saturday and Sunday - June 18 and June 19 - for Father's Day.
But, there's more. First, the farm has added a large inflatable water slide with two landings. It was designed just for Hill Ridge. It stands about 25-feet tall and is perfect for young children - about ages 2 to 6 or 7.
"It's not too big, but it's just exciting enough," Dunn tells me.
Both the water slide and splash pad are open through August and are included in general admission.
Hill Ridge also has added more umbrellas and shelters to make it more comfortable to visit in the summer months. That includes a huge shelter over the farm's popular jumping pillow, which got so hot when the sun was high in the sky in past years.
And, finally, there are those helicopter rides, which happen every Saturday. Total Flight Solutions, which is based out of the Franklin County Airport, run the rides. They last about five minutes, not counting the loading and unloading, and are $35 per person. Kids under the age of 2 are free. No reservation is needed. Three, plus the pilot, can ride together. Dunn tells me that parents who hold their child's birthday party at Hill Ridge often take their child up in the helicopter for a special birthday treat.
The helicopter takes off and lands in the middle of the farm's kiddie train tracks. And, even if you aren't taking it for a ride, it's a lot of fun to watch.
"The kids have a great viewing area and they love it," Dunn said. "The kids love seeing those helicopters take off and land all day Saturday."
Admission to Hill Ridge is $8 for kids ages 2 to 12 and $6 for adults. Kids under 2 are free. There are additional charges for gem panning, train rides, hay rides and those helicopter rides. Season passes are $50 per pass and include unlimited visits through Dec. 31. Some bonuses for season pass holders: They are entered to win a 2017 season pass and there are weekly prizes for pass holders as well.
Dunn said the farm has been really popular with the 8 and under crowd and their parents, who don't have to worry too much about maneuvering around older kids.
"Here, it’s almost 100 percent little ones," she said.
Hill Ridge, which is open daily, is at 703 Tarboro Rd., Youngsville.