Over the past three months, Eric and Laressa McCarty have been working hard to start a business that would offer a variety of outdoor family activities.
From that work, Paradise Acres Family Farm Park was born.
The Boones Creek park, now set to open Friday at 5 p.m., will feature a one-acre pumpkin patch with 20 varieties of pumpkins, outdoor laser tag, 18-hole mini-golf and more.
“We were really pushing to open when the weather was still nice, so we knew it would be on a tight timeline,” Eric said. “Given this year, we wanted people to be able to enjoy the outdoor activities before the winter hits, so we’ve been pushing pretty hard to get it open as quickly as we can.”
Eric said the land was purchased in August from the family of James Barker, who’s been closely involved with the project.
“They’re great folks, and they’re very interested in helping out,” Eric said.
After the land was purchased, the McCarty family announced plans for Paradise Acres. The concept attracted attention from thousands on social media.
“We were really encouraged by how excited everybody in the community has been about it,” he said. “I think we’re probably going to have a good crowd this weekend.”
Eric said his family sensed the need for a business with activities for all ages.
“We like to find things all of us can enjoy together, so that’s one of the reasons we opted for the activities that we have. They’re things that anybody of any age can enjoy doing together,” he said.
Paradise Acres also features a barn side drive-in theater, which will screen “Call of the Wild” featuring Harrison Ford for opening weekend.
The park will offer a variety of ticket packages for families, school field trips, youth groups and corporate gatherings.
“We’ll shut down sometime in November, depending on the weather. We may open up during the winter if we have a really nice, warm weekend or something, but our plan is basically to shut down from mid-November to mid-March,” Eric said. “Of course, our busiest time will be during the summer when school is out.
“Next year, we’ll have a lot of other you-pick produce like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, flowers and that kind of thing,” he continued. “A lot of the activities we’ll be adding are farm-type activities. We have plans for a lot more.”
The park is at 4946 North Roan St. past Zak’s Furniture, which Eric said serves as the perfect location.
“It’s really the reason we picked this location. It’s right outside the Johnson City city limits. We’re close enough to get to from Johnson City, but it feels like you’re in the country,” he said. “It’s easy to get to off of Highway 36, and it’s 16 acres, so there’s plenty of room for activities.”
For more information about the park and tickets, visit www.paradiseacres.fun or follow the business on Facebook.