The great pumpkin patch playtime is here, with everything from petting zoos to haunted houses for family frolicking this fall.
Pumpkin patches are also, of course, a place to pluck a pumpkin for this year's Jack o' lantern. You'll find orange pumpkins, grey pumpkins, white pumpkins, grooved pumpkins, freckled pumpkins — even pumpkins with warts.
Here's a list of local pumpkin patch attractions sure to make you and yours get into the spirit of Halloween. Know of another? Add it in the comments.
Local Pumpkin Patches
Clayton Family Pumpkin Farm — This fun farm features Plumpkin Playland, Clayton Little Carver's Barnyard, train rides, farm animal feedings, professional photo sessions by Sara Goetz, delectable goodies by Rachel Dunn, and and visits from Rollin A. Plumpkin himself.
Location: 1060 Pine Lane, Clayton
Hours: Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday until October 31.
Cost: Unlimited admission is $6 per child, free for adults with the purchase of a child admission, and free for infants (12 months and under).
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins (ABC Farms) — With locations all over the Bay Area, ABC Pumpkins offer a wide variety of inflatable amusements including bounce houses, giant slides and obstacle courses for children ages 2 to 12. The patch also has a field of different types of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, plus pumpkin accessories, snacks and beverages.
Location: 1096 Oak Grove Rd., at the Monument Boulevard intersection.
Hours: The pumpkin patch is open Sunday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Cost: Kids can play on the inflatables for $12 an hour, $8 for half an hour or $20 all day.
Shadelands Ranch Pumpkin Patch — Featuring a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, a quick lesson about pumpkins from a pumpkin guide, a small pumpkin to take home, photo stations to take your adorable Halloween pictures and snacks like popcorn. Vistors also have free access to Shadelands Ranch and use of its picnic tables and parking. Friday is movie night.
Location: 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Unknown. (Do you know? Share the price in the comments.)
Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch — This pumpkin patch has over 15 types of pumpkins to choose from, plus a spooky haunted house and a Halloween store.
Location: 4414 Piedmont Avenue, in North Oakland.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: $5 for children under 12, which includes a free pumpkin and trup to the Haunted House. Visit the Facebook page for customer specials and updates. Their Yelp page also has a deal: $50 for $75 to spend at the pumpkin patch.
Where to Buy a Pumpkin
Concord Produce on Monument also has a large selection of pumpkins for $2.99, and Orchard Nursery has autumnal-themed decor as well as pumpkins just ripe for Halloween.
The — to cook and eat as well as carve.
Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Check out these links for some inspiration:
- Better Homes and Gardens has some fresh new ideas including using found objects at home.
- Got stencils? On Martha Stewart's website, there are free printables to help you get started on your carving adventure.
- Tired of carving? Try washi tape or other ways to decorate your pumpkin without having sore hands and wrists after.
What's your favorite place to pick out a pumpkin? Share it below in the comments.