Willacy Co. Ranch Owners Put Together Autumn Adventure

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SANTA MONICA – A place in Willacy County is helping families celebrate the fall season with hayrides, browse a pumpkin patch and meet special guests.

It's the second year that Brian Schalk and his family have offered their Autumn Adventure.

“Through several years, we’ve offered tours of our animals to the general public. And we decided we wanted to do something in the fall also,” Grace Heritage Ranch owner Schalk said. “And we’re here in Willacy County by a little town called Santa Monica.”

It’s a little hidden away. You go north of Harlingen, just past Sebastian, turn right on Highway 1018 then about two miles north of Santa Monica.

“At first, yeah, I thought he was crazy but it’s a lot of fun. I love it,” Mary Schalk said. She’s the other half of the duo. Last year’s theme was “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

“And this year it’s the 75th anniversary of Curious George, so we are able to team up with those people,” Schalk said.

There were different activities for visitors to do such as pumpkin bowling, hayrides and apple slingshots.

The ranch is open to the public on weekends, and during the week it’s for school tours. There is a fee to go in.

“School groups are really picking up. They’re starting to find out who we are,” Brian Schalk said.

The Schalk’s brought the ranch seven years ago but decided they could do more with it.

“We enjoy having people come out here and enjoy giving them a getaway to come out of the city and come out to the country in beautiful Willacy County,” he said.

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