Maze points to space this Halloween

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FIND GOLD: A wooden tower flows water for gem mining. PHOTO BY JAMES STRIPLIN

Much like the pumpkins grown there, Dell’Osso Family Farm is bound to amplify in size every year.

But an operation this big buried its seed long ago and its roots begin way back during the 1920s. Currently, this farm is operated by four generations, and is ready to pass on to the fifth.

It all began with an asparagus farm that later transformed into the theme park and pumpkin patch.

“We’re famous for getting bigger and better,” said Yvonne Sampson, marketing director of Dell’Osso Family Farm. “I would say the last four years we’ve had the greatest growth.”

This year, Dell’Osso has added “The Wild West Show,” “The Mystery Tour Ride,” and “Walk the Plank,” but the most notable change to come to Dell’Osso is the new corn maze design.

This pattern is in the shape of the Kepler spacecraft, and was formed to honor the Kepler Mission that successfully found Earth-sized planets that support liquid water.

Dell’Osso is one of seven farms nationwide chosen by NASA to take part in this program that entertains and educates the public.

PLAYING THE PART: An actor plays crazy for the Mystery Tour Ride. PHOTO BY JAMES STRIPLIN

Which is why visitors will find a space-related question inside the corn maze at every checkpoint.

Aside from exploring the great beyond, Dell’Osso Family Farm also prides itself for having freshly baked sweets every morning, merchandising only locally produced products, supplying 75 to 80 percent of the pumpkins on the West Coast and providing a variety of safe amusement rides.

“We really want people to come here and have a good time,” said Sampson.

There are hopes, said Sampson, to expand operations at the Lathrop location to seven months a year.

HAUNTED HOUSE

With many changes happening to this pumpkin patch, it is without surprise the Haunted House would get a face lift.

No longer will customers walk into the jaws of a demonic pumpkin, but will now enter the gates of a haunted castle.

Previous fans will be enlightened to find this spook house is as scary as ever.

So scary that those who are faint of heart will probably run out the wrong exit.

For those willing to test their nerves, this little walk through haunted house cost $7 at the ticket booth.

PUMPKIN BLASTERS

The most destructive attraction at the Dell’Osso farm is the kid-friendly and warlord favorite Pumpkin Blaster.

It is capable of launching pumpkins at 100 miles per hour with pressurized air.

Cannoneers can take aim at large wooden targets and multiple bells to get the feeling of achievement while manning a heavy duty squash bazooka.

It’s a great way to relieve stress for only $5 a bucket.

COUNTRY STORE

The country store is a popular spot for guest who are hungry or have a sweet tooth.

It is the spot to buy freshly made pumpkin pie or a nice jar of honey.

This year Dell’Osso opened up the “Samplers Corner” for those prowling around for something sweet.

It allows customers to try out the dessert before buying the product.