Papa`s Polar Patch | VideoAlex Hagan | 12/29/2012
ATVs were revving their engines at Papa`s Polar Patch this weekend as people of all ages headed out to the snow-covered playground. This was the fifth time the area known as Papa`s Pumpkin Patch has been transformed into a winter wonderland. This morning, excited families were eager to spend some time outdoors.
"It`s good to see a lot of the faces that come out here and just enjoy the snow," said Dallas Horner from Bismarck.
"We weren`t able to get out here for the pumpkin patch this year, and so we typically always put this in our Christmas agenda to spend at least an afternoon out here every year," said Roxane Romanick from Bismarck.
With last yearís lack of snow, owner Dave Pearce wasn`t able to open up. Itís been a different story this year with more than 20 inches of snow already. Pearce even added a few sled rides for kids.
"The hay rides turn to sleigh rides, and then these motorized sleds that we pull with the four wheelers and they`re just good old fashioned car hoods turned upside down and packed with a little old straw and padding. They fly across the snow pretty nice."
The patch included snow slides, bale mazes and two zip lines for people of all ages.
If it does get a little cold out, the red barn has been turned into a warming house where employees are busy inside, making hot chocolate.
"It`s fun to play out in the cold but you got to have a warm place to get out of the cold," said Pearce.
The patch opened to families the day after Christmas. Employees say they expect a great turnout this weekend with students still on break.
"When the kids are off school they need a place to play and want a place to play. We`d rather have them get outside and play outside as opposed to just looking at the video games, so this is a great alternative," said Pearce.
As long as the temperatures stay above zero, residents continue to pour into the patch playground.
"I think we could have been on the slides for a good hour, but the day is great," said Pearce.
Families won`t have many more chances to play in the snow. The sun will soon set on Papa`s Polar Patch when they close for the season on New Yearís Eve.
Admission is three dollars per person. Infants and toddlers two years old and younger are free.