Enjoy Local Pumpkin Patch Hosted by Equestrian Training Academy

Story and Photo by Ale Espinosa

Painted Oaks Academy is hosting their annual pumpkin patch during the month of October at their 20-acre ranch. The event consists of numerous activities for the whole family to partake in.

Dave and Lisa Ottersen, originally from Wisconsin, noticed that Florida did not have the usual October festivities that they were accustomed to, so they created their own once they moved down here.

Dave Ottersen explained all the festivities that create this family favorite spot. This year they have expanded to a mini-corn maze along with their usual hayride, horse rides, and petting zoo. Live music and food are always available for the crowd. “It’s family-orientated, it’s kinda for the smaller crowd….You’ll find basic outdoor fun stuff here”, Ottersen stated.

Along with their fun family activities, Painted Oaks also is an equestrian training academy. Lisa Ottersen is a teacher for just that. Her husband Dave Ottersen explained that their horses are like athletes. They are properly trained to be around small children and to adjust to the child.

Another fact brought up was that the proceeds from the pumpkin patch go to the academy and their animals. Caring for the animals adds up, so the money made goes to their care and vet bills. “You can have a lot of money or you can have animals,” Ottersen said.

Dave Ottersen also elaborated on his love for what he does. He said that nothing puts a bigger smile on his face than seeing families from previous years come up to him and say hi. He stated, “It’s okay to shut off your cellphone and enjoy time with your family. Sometimes you can record the moment or you can live the moment.”

People from as far as the UK, as Otterson pointed out, come to visit the ranch to kick off the fall season. Painted Oaks Academy attracts all kinds of groups to their festive fields all month long.

Admission and parking is free for this event, but pumpkins and attractions do have a fee once in the event. The pumpkin patch will be taking place the entire month of October daily from 10 a.m to 6 p.m on weekdays and 10 a.m to 7 p.m on weekends. Those interested can find Painted Oaks Academy at 15100 Lake Pickett Road Orlando, Florida 32820.

For more details, go to http://www.paintedoaksacademy.com/.