Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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Pumpkin patches have become so much more than just a place to select a pumpkin for your front step. Most pumpkin patches now have rides, games, and seasonal treats to enjoy while visiting.
It’s likely that there’s some form of pumpkin patch or festival near you already — or there will be soon — but they are certainly worth going out of your way for when it’s this time of year.
Let’s take a trip around the U.S. to find the 10 best pumpkin patches to visit during the fall season.
A pumpkin patch — at its most basic form — is a farm that sells pumpkins. At the very least, you and your family can hand-pick a pumpkin for festive decoration, baking, or whatever other use you may have for it.
However, many pumpkin patches have much more than just an area to pick pumpkins. Carnival games, kids rides, and even animal petting and pony rides can be found at many pumpkin patches and pumpkin festivals today.
Many are only open during the fall, with some opening as early as September. But October is the month for pumpkin-patch craziness, as you’ll discover as you continue to read.Hot Tip:
As the season progresses, pumpkin patches get more crowded. Try visiting the bigger pumpkin patches shortly after they open and in the morning to avoid the crowds.
There are lots of reasons that people visit pumpkin patches each year.
Family traditions are likely a large reason why so many Americans visit a pumpkin patch each fall. Young and new parents look forward to sharing the tradition with their children, and the practice has become so embedded in American culture that it’s common to visit a pumpkin patch on a school field trip in many areas.
As the seasons change from summer to fall, many feel like it’s a rite of passage to visit a pumpkin patch to officially welcome autumn and the cooler, cozier weather that comes with it.
Plenty of patches can be found in many areas, and it can be fun to check out a different one each weekend of the season. And for those who love to document their lives on social media, fall is a gorgeous time of year for a photo shoot — and a pumpkin patch is the perfect setting.
You could even throw a party at a pumpkin patch. Some make themselves available for birthdays, baby showers, corporate events, and more.
The most obvious reason, however, is simply to choose a pumpkin (probably for carving) and to enjoy the fall-centric treats on offer at many.Hot Tip:
Not sure what to wear to a pumpkin patch? Warm flannel, cozy sweaters, and comfortable boots are both fashionable and appropriate attire for visiting a pumpkin patch. But keep in mind that you may be on a working farm and should consider proper footwear to avoid an accident.
Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch in Wheatland, California, opened for the 2023 season on September 9 and will remain open through November 5. Wheatland is located in the Sacramento Valley, about 35 miles from the city of Sacramento.
Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch is actually part of the greater Bishop Farm, which also grows almonds and wheat.
Admission to Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch is free, but tickets are required to participate in the attractions. You can get lost in the corn maze, take it easy on the carousel, or pick sunflowers to take home. There’s also a train, zipline, petting zoo, and other attractions.
Mrs. B’s Bakery serves fresh-made pies, cakes, and other baked goods. You can try unique desserts like lemon-walnut pie, choco-pumpkin cake, and harvest scones.
Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch is also available for school field trips, birthday parties, and corporate events.
Carolyn’s Pumpkin Patch near Kansas City, Missouri, is open 5 days a week — Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays — beginning September 16 through October 30.
This pumpkin patch sells a season pass as well as daily passes. Season ticket holders get 1 train ride and 1 carousel ride per visit for less than $30. Children younger than 2 years old are free.
The pumpkin patch boasts pumpkins of all sizes, shapes, and colors. For those who prefer not to go into the field, there’s a selection of pre-picked pumpkins available to choose from.
Carolyn’s boasts attractions including a half-mile train, a carousel, a petting farm, and even pig races. The “kid zone” is a wide-open space where kids can run around until they’re tired out, and there are several slide options of varying sizes. There’s even a device known as “The Pumpkinator” — it’s basically a cannon from which pumpkins are launched every half hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Food options are plentiful. Pumpkin donuts are made fresh on the farm, and you can also enjoy kettle corn, hot chocolate, coffee, and wine.
The Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farm is scheduled to run from October 6 to 8. Tickets can only be purchased online for a specific date.
The pumpkin festival will include children’s activities such as the pumpkin patch, hayrides, and a mini-maze for children 10 years old and younger. There will also be inflatable bounce structures, slides, obstacle courses, face painting, and balloon characters.
Local craft and artisan booths can be found in addition to food trucks and vendors selling beer and hard cider. Live entertainment will be featured each day.
Tickets for visitors 3 years old and older range from $10 to $16 per person. Admission is free for children 2 years old and younger.
The Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival is a 2-day event held in Elk Grove, California, just outside of Sacramento. Admission is free for the annual event being held this year on October 7 and 8.
The Giant Pumpkin and Produce Weigh-Off attracts pumpkin growers from all over the state who hope to win a cash prize. Entertainment at the festival includes musical performances across 3 stages, arts and crafts, inflatables, and a pumpkin patch.
The most impressive item on the schedule at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival has to be the Pumpkin Regatta. This race uses hollowed-out pumpkin canoes as boats and similar events can be found at festivals throughout the country. Participants must be 18 years old or older to join, and the entry fee is just $5.
There are contests for visitors of all ages, starting with the Lil’ Pumpkin Cupcake Contest for kids under 12 years old. You can also dress a scarecrow to enter the Scarecrow Contest on the first day of the festival, and it will be on display all weekend.
Goebbert’s Farm in Pingree Grove, Illinois, is less than an hour’s drive away from Chicago, and you can easily make a day trip out of the journey because there’s so much to do at this farm.
Goebbert’s Farm is open through October 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
There is, of course, a pumpkin patch where you can pick out your own pumpkin. But there’s also the Pumpkin Express Train that takes you all around the farm, a carousel, and a jumping pillow (similar to a giant trampoline). The pumpkin-eating dinosaur will entertain little ones, and the corn box will be a fun time for visitors of all ages.
Adults can make their way to the Beer Bin or the haunted house, where visitors can expect a new scene each year. Food tents and a cafe serve tacos, sausages, burgers, and other quick eats.Hot Tip:
Learn more about the best things to do in Chicago with kids.
The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival will celebrate its 51st year this year. The festival will take place on October 14 and 15, and the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is happening on October 9. First place in the pumpkin weigh-off receives a prize of $9 per pound.
Visitors will be wowed by things like a live pumpkin carving from Farmer Mike, known as “The Picasso of Pumpkin Carvers.” There’s also a Pumpkin Run on the second day of the festival that takes place on the Coastal Trail overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Entertainment is in the form of music, pie-eating contests, and costume contests over the 2 days.
The art portion of the festival features over 250 artists and craftspeople from across the country. You can purchase an array of different art, sculptures, leather goods, and jewelry.
Food at The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival will include any and all pumpkin-inspired fare, such as pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin ale. There’s even a featured festival-label wine.Hot Tip:
The Milford Pumpkin Festival begins in the evening on October 6 and runs through October 8. The small-town New Hampshire festival kicks off with a lighting of the town hall pumpkin each year.
The festival has live music each evening across 2 stages. A haunted trail is available for those brave enough to face the supernatural, and there are beer, wine, and spirits tastings for those 21 and up.
For children, there’s pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, and face painting. Pumpkin carving takes place most of the day on Saturday, and there are also carnival games, food, and raffles with prizes.
Admission is free, but activities require an additional fee.
The Marana Pumpkin Patch in Arizona is open Thursday through Sunday from October 7 to 29. Ticket prices range between $19 and $21, depending on the day of your visit. Children under 2 years old are free.
Admission to Marana Pumpkin Patch includes a corn maze, train ride, super slide, visits with animals, and more.
Carnival-type rides include a cyclone swing, corn flyer, and super slide. Pig races can also be seen at this pumpkin patch.
Activities that incur an extra fee include ziplining, a pumpkin and apple cannon, and a rock wall. Pumpkins are not included in the price of admission.
By day, Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival is a fall-themed event perfect for visitors of all ages. And by night, it transforms into a glow party with parades and drone shows.
It’s possible to spend all day at Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival. The park’s attractions are all available with the price of admission — these include a 4-D movie theater, the Summit Skyride, and an indoor play area.
In the evening, the park’s Glow by Night event features giant jack-o-lanterns, a glowing pumpkin tree, and character visits. Activities even include glow-in-the-dark minigolf.
A glance at the sky will reveal a pumpkin drone show and the world’s largest pumpkin light show. An Enchanted Glow-A-Long Parade also takes place every evening.
Admission to Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival is the same as the regular park admission ticket — it starts at $34.95 plus tax for children and $39.95 plus tax for adults. You can also elect to buy tickets for only the light show for visitors 3 years old and older, starting at $5 per person.
The festival runs Friday through Sunday from September 16 to October 29.
The Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch opens this year on September 26 and will be open through October 31.
Activities included in the price of admission include unlimited wagon rides, a corn maze, and a pumpkin patch where you can choose your own pumpkin. Activities that require an additional fee include mini ATVs, face painting, a pumpkin cannon, and various arts and crafts.
The Tanaka Grill is the farm’s dining outlet and serves items such as kettle corn, grilled watermelon, hot dogs, and nachos. The grill will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. There’s also a produce market stand that will be open every day.
Admission prices vary depending on the day and time of your visit and cost between $20 and $22. Admission is free for children 2 years old and younger.
Pumpkin patches are a very popular and fun activity to enjoy in the fall. They’re only open for a short amount of time, though, so make sure to add at least one to your fall schedule before fall turns to winter!
There are over 4,500 pumpkin patches across the U.S.
In 2021, it was estimated that Illinois harvested twice as many pumpkin acres as any other state at 15,900 acres.
The price of a pumpkin will depend on where you buy it. However, pumpkins can cost upwards of $2 per pound in some places.
Pumpkin patches grow more crowded throughout the day and generally as it gets closer to Halloween. Therefore the best time to go to a pumpkin patch is earlier in the season and in the morning.
Pumpkin patches generally cost anywhere from $0 to $25 per person for admission. Inclusions with the price of a ticket vary by location, and children 2 or younger are usually free.
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