After 25 years of teaching our popular school tours program, we have thoughtfully developed these policies to ensure the best possible educational experience. Thank you for your cooperation.
Payment in full is expected for all participants upon arrival. Absent students and chaperones will not be counted in your payment, and we ask that you make us aware of any absences at the start of your program.
Please note you do not need to notify us if there are additional students or adults coming as long as your group size stays within our hayride capacity (45 total people). If more participants arrive than expected and we cannot accommodate them safely, they will not be able to ride the hay wagon.
Our school tour program is geared towards groups of 15 or more total participants. If your group has less than 15 total participants, we recommend coming for a self-guided visit of our yard. In addition to our Corn Maze and Farm Hike, our public Hayride is available every day (weather-permitting). Our general public reservations will open early September.
We allow a maximum of 1 adult to 5 children for our Educator Guided Harvest Program (classroom teachers and teacher aides not counted in this ratio). With over two decades of experience in leading farm tours, we feel this is the best ratio to maximize the educational experience for the students. Extra chaperones may not walk alongside the hay wagon or walk out to the fields. After the field program, additional parents may join the class in the Harvest Yard for the self-guided tour.
Chaperones should be reminded that we cannot accommodate younger siblings on our tours, so other childcare arrangements should be made.
There is no limit to the number of chaperones that can participate in our Self-Guided Pumpkin Experience, as long as your group can safely fit in our hayride (45 or less participants).
If a school is looking to cancel or reschedule, we ask they contact us at least 3 days before their scheduled visit. When a school cancels its reservation, it is difficult for a school on our waiting list to have enough time to schedule the field trip, so letting us know as early as possible is appreciated.
All classes are at our Pumpkinseed Hill Farm at 120 Beardsley Road in Shelton (not at our Christmas tree Homestead farm location). Teachers are encouraged to print the school fall tour driving directions and give them to the bus driver on the day of the trip. Upon arrival, your group will be greeted by our farm educator at the school tour entrance gate.
Please be sure to allow enough travel time to reach the farm for your scheduled appointment. Groups arriving late may miss the hay wagon tour. We suggest planning to arrive 10 minutes early so we can take care of the bookkeeping details and so your class can get the full benefit of their reserved time on the farm.
Payment is required per school (not per class) on the first date the school visits the farm at the beginning of the tour. Payment by check is appreciated, but credit cards can be accepted. If you are paying by cash, please collect all the cash in one envelope and sort the bills so the registrar can quickly process your payment. .
Programs are held outside. Students and teachers should wear clothing and footgear appropriate for an active outdoor walk on farm paths. Warm coats and hats are encouraged. Boots are also suggested, especially for the morning tours when the fields can be wet with heavy dew. It is common for the farm to be much windier and sometimes colder than other places in the area, so be prepared. Please share our How to Prepare for your Visit handout with your students and chaperones for more information on how to dress.
Teachers should not cancel due to rain. In rainy weather, the program can be held inside one of our barns. Our hay wagons are covered, so we can still offer wagon rides on drizzly days. On days of severe weather, school programs may be canceled by the farm at no cost to the school. When possible, we will try to reschedule, however spots are limited.
We are no longer requiring name tags as your group ‘tickets’ to enter the farm. However, teacher-made name tags are welcome for labeling pumpkins.
Food and Beverage:
Please leave coffee cups and food on the bus. Federal standards for good agricultural practices require us to keep food and drinks out of the crop fields.
Snacks are allowed on designated grassy areas, outside the Pumpkin Yard. We encourage groups who will be eating a snack or lunch on the farm to bring blankets or tarps for students to sit on.
We have a Carry In/Carry Out policy: schools must carry back all their refuse as we do not have sufficient trash capacity on the farm.
Teachers and chaperones will be asked to refrain from taking photographs and videotaping during the education program. Please wait to organize any class and individual student photos until after we have returned to the barnyard at the conclusion of the program. There the teacher can arrange the perfect group shot amongst many of our beautiful backdrops. The reason for this is that these photos take too much time to set up and we want to ensure that we can provide you with the full education program without having to cut it short due to time constraints.
If you are looking to contact us, emails are best: education [at] jonesfamilyfarms .com