Woo Hoo! It looks as though fall has finally arrived! And although it might be a bit premature for the hot chocolate and mittens, we’ve definitely got non-tropical weather in store for the weekend. You could even say it’s perfect pumpkin patch weather.
Here’s the Junior’s “Super-List” to make the hunt for the perfect patch and the perfect Jack-O’ Lantern a wee bit easier.
Catch up with the Great Pumpkin at Mainstay Farm, in Cleburne. Besides the obligatory pumpkin patch and a wooden corn maze, there is also a hayride that goes over hill and dale, a huge three-story tree house, a 100-foot long super chute slide, and get this… a jumping pillow! I don’t know about you, but a jumping pillow sounds waaaay more fun than a plain old bounce house. Family Pumpkin Days are on Saturdays through Nov. 1.
One of my favorite seasonal jaunts is to Yesterland Farm in Canton. Originally a Christmas tree farm, the owners expanded it to include a pumpkin patch. But hold on, the autumnal wonderland doesn’t end there. The place is packed to the gills with fall fun. There are rides for the kids, a three-acre corn maze, pig races, and miles and miles of pumpkins. Also, if you get a chance, try out the pumpkin launcher. It’s sort of a large sling-shot contraption where visitors catapult pumpkins into a nearby pond.
It’s pumpkin patch time at Country Critters Farm in Alvarado too. The wee ones can partake in pony rides, bounce houses, hay rides, duck races, and my favorite, story time. Kids can listen to a seasonal story while enjoying a cookie and apple juice. (Parents get to try out the homemade pumpkin bread). Admission is $10 per person which includes all of the activities and each family receives a jack-o-lantern size pumpkin. The farm is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.
Speaking of farms, I’d be remiss not mentioning one of my favorites. The Gentle Zoo in Forney doubles as a pumpkin patch AND a petting zoo. You can ride the Halloween tractor, run through the maze, play some games, and make some very cute four-legged friends to boot. It’s true–they really do love being petted. After you got your cuteness quota taken care of, head over to the giant tent to pick out your perfect pumpkin. It’s only $5 to play all day and pumpkins range in price from $1 to $40.
If you’re wanting a little bit of everything, check out the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch at the Double Oaks Ranch. The patch has hundreds of pumpkins ranging in size from the very small to the largest you’ll ever see. Besides a bumper crop of pumpkins, there are also plenty of activities like mazes, bounce houses and hayrides that will keep the kiddos entertained, and best of all, they’re all free of charge.
If it’s the perfect photo op you’re looking for, there’s no better place to snap the bitties in their Halloween costumes than the Dallas Arboretum. During their annual Autumn at the Arboretum event the garden brings in thousands of colorful florals and 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squashes to create its famous Pumpkin Village. The fall decor makes a great backdrop for your little ghouls and goblins. If you’re wanting a less autumnal setting there are plenty of non-halloweeny water features and gardens to choose from. Here’s a hint, take your pixies or fairies to the Palmer Fern Dell. They’ll look like they’re in Tinkerbell’s garden among the mist and ferns.
These are just a few of the “great” pumpkin patches in our area waiting to be explored. A great website to help you locate the perfect patch for you and your little pumpkin is pumpkinpatchesandmore.org
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 9-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].