’Tis the season for pumpkins and scarecrows. As the leaves change color and you can taste a little spice in the air, you’ll want to get in the fall spirit. And where better to do that than a pumpkin patch? But pumpkin patches are so much more now than just a field of pumpkins. At these most searched pumpkin patches on Yahoo, the kids (and you) will love everything there is to do: corn mazes, hayrides, haunted houses, and, of course, pumpkin picking.
10. Craven Farm (Snohomish, Washington): A Fall Frozen Funland
Craven Farm (Photo: Courtesy of Craven Farm/Facebook)
Starting this weekend through Halloween, Craven Farm, just north of Seattle, turns into a fall wonderland. Although entrance to the farm is free, if you plan to partake in the 15-acre corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, or giant harvest market — which is, yes, mostly full of pumpkins, but includes squash and apples too — then you’ll want to bring some money. This year, the barn has also been turned into a “Frozen” landscape, where your kids can meet Elsa and Anna. Let the young’uns pick their pumpkins from the patch, while you sip on a pumpkin latte. And, if you’re extra adventurous, the corn maze is open late on certain Fridays in October (check the website), but you probably don’t want to bring the kids to that!
9. Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch (Lawrence, Kansas): Your Pick of the Pumpkins
Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch (Photo: Lauren Cunningham/Flickr)
Schaake’s started in 1974 as a 4-H project for four kids. Now the working farm is run by the kids of those kids. But from the last weekend of September through Halloween, the farm opens its doors to pumpkin pickers. The primary draw is the endless variety of pumpkins that visitors can pick straight from the vine. Take the hayride out to the fields, and make your selection. While you’re here, though, the kids will want to try the hay bale maze and look at all the animals. And you’ll want some kettle corn and cider slush.
8. Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm (Crest Hill, Illinois): Fun Down on the Farm
Corn maze at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm (Photo: Courtesy of Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm/Facebook)
In the western suburbs of Chicago, Siegel’s is a Halloween extravaganza. Tickets are $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends — with frequent coupons to be found online. The higher prices on weekends correlate to more activities being open. (Check the website to see which activities will be open before you go. Some have additional fees.) Yes, you can pick a pumpkin at Siegel’s, but that’s not really why you go. You go for the hay-bale ride, obstacle course, corn maze, and zombie paintball — and that’s only a fraction of the fun at the farm. Or you go for the delicious apple cider doughnuts, made hot on the weekends.
7. Cool Patch Pumpkins (Dixon, California): The Largest Corn Maze in the World
Corn maze at Cool Patch Pumpkins (Photo: Courtesy of Cool Patch Pumpkins/Facebook)
In 2007, the Cooley Brothers’ corn maze was certified as the largest in the world by Guinness World Records. This year, it’s nearly 60 acres — 20 acres more than it was in 2007. When Cool Patch opens in late September, the stalks can get bent and worn down by all the visitors, so the sooner you go, the better. Don’t just get lost in the maze, though: Take the kids to the kids zone; enter the scarecrow contest; and, of course, pick a pumpkin!
6. Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm (Half Moon Bay, California): Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin
Great finds at Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm (Photo: Courtesy of Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm)
Yes, there is a real Farmer John. He and his wife run the farm, which is open to visitors from Sept. 15 to Nov. 1 this year. As a working farm, the main focus is on the huge variety of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and flowers. See what you can find hidden under the leaves! This year, there will also be a hay pyramid and a collection of scarecrows, but the key attractions are the pumpkins. Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, even puts on an annual Art and Pumpkin Festival — this year on Oct. 18 and 19. After enjoying the festival’s pumpkin carving, pumpkin ale, and pumpkin parade, head to Farmer John’s to pick your perfect pumpkin.
5. Pumpkin Hollow (Piggott, Arkansas): Something for Any Age
Peace, Love and Pumpkins at Pumpkin Hollowss Corn Maze (Photo: Courtesy of Pumpkin Hollow/Facebook)
On the Missouri-Alabama border, Pumpkin Hollow was home to Alabama’s first corn maze. Today, it’s so much more. Along with a large pumpkin patch, the farm has kid-friendly attractions such as hay stacks, slides, the kids’ barn, a pig scramble (nothing like watching your children run around a pen trying to catch small pigs), and pony rides. For the slightly older farmgoers, the Hollow is famous for its Horror in the Hollow nights. On select nights, you can visit the Forest of Fright and Bubba’s Butcher Barn. But, this isn’t for the meek of heart. The Hollow advertises that: “Yes, our haunts are VERY scary.”
4. Anderson Farms (Erie, Colorado): A Day Outing
Cupcake the Kid at the Anderson Farms petting Zoo (Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Farms/Facebook)
Anderson Farms, just north of Denver, isn’t the kind of place you make a quick visit to. Plan to make a day of it and get your money’s worth. You have to pay to enter the farm — $10 Monday to Thursday and $12 on weekends — but the entry includes a number of activities: the corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin launching, pedal-powered go-karts, a barrel train, and petting zoo. If you want to splurge, visit the haunted Terror in the Corn or go on a Zombie Paintball Hunt.
3. Cox Farm (Centreville, Virginia): Fall Festival or Fields of Fear?
Piglets at Cox Farm (Photo: Courtesy of Cox Farm/Facebook)
Cox Farm isn’t just a pumpkin patch. It’s a whole fall festival — one of the largest seasonal events in the Washington, D.C., area. With 90 acres, there are all the Halloween classics: corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides. One of the most popular attractions, though, is the wacky giant slide. Tickets are $9 on weekdays, $14 on regular weekends, and $17 on prime weekends. At night, the festival turns into a Field of Fear. From 7:30 to 11 p.m., you can wander around the Firegrounds, take a haunted hay ride, or try to make your way through the Cornightmare. Fields of Fear tickets are $13 or $19, depending on which option you purchase.
2. Uesugi Farms (San Martin, California): Breathtaking Bounty
A pumpkin mountain at Uesugi Farms (Photo: Courtesy of Uesugi Farms/Facebook)
Nestled in the green hills south of San Francisco, Uesugi is visually stunning. The massive farm has so many pumpkins that it piles hundreds of extras into a giant pumpkin pyramid, which kids love to see. Once inside, the kids will want to try everything: the train, hayride, carousel, pumpkin blasters, pony rides, and petting zoo. The most popular of the attractions is Pumpkin Pete’s Enchanted Hay Ride, which winds you through the gorgeous fields. Entrance to the patch is free, but the rides all cost $2 to $7. Most weekends, there are also bands and entertainers performing. If you go on the weekends, though, expect to pay $3 for parking. And no outside food or drink is allowed inside the farm.
1. Vala’s Pumpkin Patch (Gretna, Nebraska): Enough for a Whole Season
Farmer Jack (Vala’s mascot) is a competitor in the Mascot Olympics (Photo: Courtesy of Vala’s Pumpkin Patch/Facebook)
There’s so much to do at Vala’s that it sells season passes, so you can come back again and again. Otherwise, individual tickets are $10 to $15, depending on discounts and when you go. The spot is a local Omaha favorite for families and field trips. The little kids like the hayride, Storybook Barn, petting zoo, Pedal Trikes, and Barnyard Adventure Ride. The older kids can enjoy the Pumpkinapolis 500 Extreme Track, Pumpkin Cannon, and Haunted Farmhouse. You’ll love the Family Pedal Karts and kettle corn. And that’s not even everything it has! Plan to be there all day — or even multiple days.
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