Whether you prefer pumpkins for carving or for pie, you’ve got to stock up on at least a few to get into the spooky spirit. Here are five fully stocked pumpkin patches across the country — and all have a lot more going on than just gourds.
Pomona Fairplex’s Pumpkin Nights is not your average pumpkin patch. The event has pumpkins for purchase, but its main attraction is its eight interactive Pumpkin Lands, created from more than 3,000 carved, illuminated pumpkins (both real and foam). Dig for treasure at Pumpkin Pirate Cove, where pirates guard pumpkin loot, or find fire dancers, movie screenings, seasonal treats and more at Pumpkin Central. There’s even a “Harry Potter” land with an owl meet-and-greet.
Cost, info: Tickets $12-$20; family packs from $40. Pumpkin Nights, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; pumpkinnights.com/los-angeles. Open daily 5-10 p.m., Oct. 12- Nov. 4.
You’ll want to leave your pumpkin gathering for the end of your visit to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island, 30 minutes northwest of Portland. Go for a hay ride, navigate a hay maze, visit the animal barn and pick out a souvenir before fueling up with caramel apples at the café. Besides pumpkins, the patch also sells beets, winter squash, pears, Brussels sprouts and other fall produce.
Cost, info: Free admission. Pumpkin Patch, 16511 N.W. Gillihan Road, Portland; (503) 621-3874, thepumpkinpatch.com. Open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Petersen Family Farm in Riverton has pumpkins miniature and massive, smooth and warty and in many hues. Post-patch, choose a wagon ride, stroll through the greenhouse and have fun with apple slingshots. You can also use an old-fashioned popcorn crank, which separates corn kernels from the cob. Take the kernels with you to pop at home.
Cost, info: $5 admission. Petersen Family Farm, 11887 S. 4000 West, Riverton; (801) 999-8548,petersenfamilyfarm.com. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, Saturdays; 9 a.m.-9.p.m. Fridays through Oct. 31.
Make a day of Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch in Dayton, which has a 10-acre patch and plenty of activities to wear out the little ones: a corn pit (a giant sandbox filled with corn kernels instead of sand), a pumpkin-shaped bounce house, an inflatable slide and a corn maze, to name a few. Don’t miss the snack shack for hot mini doughnuts and cheese curds. Check the website for activity prices, which vary by day.
Cost, info: $7 admission on weekends; free during the week. Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch, 17270 125th Ave. N., Dayton; (763) 420-6859, dehnspumpkins.com. Open daily 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through Oct. 31.
Bush-N-Vine farm is the place to be on Saturdays in York. Take a hayride from the entrance to the pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin straight from the field. Farm fun includes apple cider, bounce houses, cornhole game and food trucks — plus live music and hot-air balloon rides on select days. Pack a lunch to eat at the picnic tables.
Cost, info: $5 admission. Bush-N-Vine, 1650 Filbert Highway, York; (803) 684-2732, bushnvinefarm.com. Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 31.