When it comes to classic fall activities, it’s hard to top a visit to the pumpkin patch — but it’s easy to see why. It’s always fun to choose your future Jack-o’-lantern from an endless field of pumpkin prospects, and adorable, gourd-filled photos are a given.
And if you go to the right pumpkin festivals, a whole lot more autumnal antics await. Hayrides, corn mazes, gourd-themed games, and all sorts of tasty harvest-time treats are staples at Halloween pumpkin patch events across the country. You might even get to see a parade or participate in a pumpkin pie-eating contest, depending on where you go.
And your RV is the perfect way to travel to pumpkin paradise… or to simply kick back and enjoy these cool fall days at home, the comfy, cozy, campfire-friendly way.
In this post, we’ll list some of the best pumpkin patches and not-to-be-missed fall events in the country, as well as providing tips and tricks for fall travel and ideas for what to do with your pumpkin once Halloween is over. So if you’re ready to learn where to go to find good gourds, keep reading.
Why You Should Get Your Gourd at a Local Pumpkin Patch
“Sure, it sounds cool to go to a pumpkin patch,” you might be thinking, “but I can just as easily grab my gourds from Walmart or Trader Joe’s. Why should I travel just to go pumpkin picking?”
It’s certainly true that major retailers keep their eye on the seasons, and as soon as September ends, pumpkins are available just about everywhere. But even if you can easily snatch a squash on your next trip to the supermarket, there are a few compelling reasons to visit a dedicated pumpkin patch instead.
It’s way more fun than the grocery store.
As mentioned above, some pumpkin festivals and fall events offer a plethora of things to do outside of simply choosing your pumpkin. You could wander around a corn maze, ride tall on a horse-drawn carriage, or try your hand — er, face? — at bobbing for apples.
And even if it’s just a plain old pumpkin patch, meandering through a gourd-strewn field is a whole lot more romantic than digging through the bargain bin of pumpkins at Walmart. It’s a way better photo opp, too, especially if you bring your kids. (That includes the four-legged kind!)
You’ll likely have a better selection.
Finding the perfect pumpkin is serious business, whether you’re planning on turning into a decoration or a dessert. And since pumpkin patches are literally only dealing in pumpkins and gourds, they usually have a whole lot more to offer than even the best-stocked grocery store.
So if you want to make sure you find your soulmate squash, it’s best to buy from a dedicated pumpkin farm. (Fortunately, it shouldn’t be very difficult to do so; pumpkin stands pop up all over the place come this time of year!)
You’ll be supporting local businesses — or, better yet, churches and charities.
When you buy from a local pick-a-pumpkin field or garden, your money is supporting local individuals and your greater community — as opposed to being fed into some big box store’s already-bulging pockets. In fact, in many cases, pumpkin patches are held as church or charity fundraisers, so you can feel even better about the gold you spend on your gourds!
The Best Pumpkin Patches in the USA
Alright — convinced that the best answer to the “where to buy pumpkins” question is “at a cool pumpkin patch” yet?
Here are some of the best fall events and super-fun festivals that also happen to have pumpkins for sale.
1. Burt’s Pumpkin Farm – Dawsonville, Georgia
For more than 40 years, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm has been serving northern Georgians a heaping helping of fall delights, including hundreds of pickable pumpkins as well as hayrides and a country store full to the brim with fall decor. Be sure to leave Fido at home, however; due to health codes, they have a strict no-pets policy.
2. Cool Patch Pumpkins – Dixon, California
Hayrides, pedal cars, and a sprawling field of you-pick pumpkins (both edible and non-) await you at Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, California… but the real star of the show at this pumpkin patch has nothing to do with gourds.
That’s because Cool Patch Pumpkins is home to one of the most epic corn mazes in the country. In fact, in past years, it’s even been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records!
3. Craven Farm – Snohomish, Washington
With more than 30 varieties of pumpkins to choose from across its 20 acres of fields, Craven Farm is sure to please even the pickiest pumpkin picker. And even after you find a gorgeous gourd or three, the fun’s just beginning.
Duck races, hay rides, and multiple corn mazes await, including one spooky “night owl” maze to be completed under the blanket of fall stars. (Don’t forget your flashlight!)
There’s also mini golf, face painting, and a harvest market, where you can stock up on all the other fruits of the season, from kale to honey to freshly-pressed apple cider.
4. Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival – Half Moon Bay, California
The self-proclaimed “world pumpkin capital” California town of Half Moon Bay goes all out when it comes to celebrating everyone’s favorite gourd. The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival takes place over a single mid-October weekend, and features arts and crafts, live music, costume and pie-eating contests, and more.
If you can’t quite make the festival itself (which this year occurs on October 13-14), no worries — there are a plethora of pumpkin-picking options in town. Head to the Andreotti Family Farm for hand-chosen gourds galore, or navigate the “pumpkin river” at Arata’s.
5. Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch – Middletown, Maryland
Considering it boasts a 15-acre corn maze and over 3,000 square feet of fall-themed shopping, the name is no surprise. Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch also offers pony rides, face painting, concession stands, and a craft attic featuring works from more than 45 local artists.
7. McCall’s Pumpkin Patch – Moriarty, New Mexico
Just an hour outside of Santa Fe, McCall’s Pumpkin Patch is a one-stop shop for fall fun. You can take an ambling hayride, race away the afternoon on pedal carts, launch the pumpkin cannon, and even mine for gemstones.
Make sure you come hungry — or give yourself time to work up an appetite with all those activities. From the area’s famous Frito pies to green chile cheeseburgers, there are way to many delicious food options to choose from… not to mention apple cider slushies.
8. Papa’s Pumpkin Patch – Bismarck, North Dakota
Since starting as a “happy accident” in 1983, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch has been dishing out autumnal mirth in Bismarck, North Dakota for more than three decades. Along with his grand field of pumpkins, Papa also offers a whole host of free, family-friendly activities, like bale mazes, swings, a tire-climbing pile, and more. For a small fee, you can take a horse-drawn hayride (or give the kids a spin on the pony himself). A visit to the gift store is essential, not only for fun fall-themed decor, but also for some of Papa’s famous housemade granola.
Corn Mazes, Hayrides, and More
Here are even more fun pumpkin patches worth your travel time!
9. Pumpkin Hollow – Piggott, Arkansas
Hay stacks, pony rides, and a ridiculously fun (and, yes, just plain old ridiculous) event known as the pig scramble set Piggott, Arkansas’s Pumpkin Hollow apart from your run-of-the-mill pumpkin patch. You can also spend hours meandering in its corn maze or cooing at and feeding its herd of adorable baby goats.
Hungry? You don’t have to wait until that perfectly-picked pumpkin of yours becomes a pie for tasty fall treats. The Pumpkin Hollow menu is populated by such delicacies as grilled bologna and chili cheese nachos — all of which you must absolutely wash down with one of its signature apple cider slushies.
10. Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm – Lockport, Illinois
At Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, pumpkins are just the beginning. This sprawling property also serves as the annual host of a famous 15-acre corn maze, as well as a petting zoo, a baby chick nursery, and a zipline.
Along with exploring the maze and romping around its more than 30 on-site attractions, you’ll also get the opportunity to sample a wide menu of delicious, farm-fresh foods like fresh-popped kettle corn and just-baked apple cider donuts. Oh, and you’ll get to choose your own pumpkin from its ample fields, of course. They’ve got thousands of gourds to choose from!
11. Sweet Pickin’s Pumpkin Patch – Kalispell, Montana
A self-described “whimsical autumn dream-land,” Sweet Pickin’s Pumpkin Patch brings all kinds of fall-themed delights to northern Montana, including a vast you-pick pumpkin field, a pedal cart race track, tractor tours, and delicious treats like kettle corn and hand-dipped candy apples. (Psst: That kettle corn is so famous, it actually has its own page on the company’s website — and you can nab a small bag for just $3!)
12. The Fall Fest at Fifer’s – Camden, Delaware
A beloved Delaware farm offering fresh produce and a CSA, Fifer Orchards throws a great big hullabaloo to celebrate harvest season, known as Fall Fest Saturdays. It may only be open one day a week, but it more than makes up for that with its abundance of fun, family-friendly activities, from rubber ducky races and tire tumblers to a challenging corn maze. You can even paint your pumpkins on-site with provided supplies; they also give away free jack-be-little pumpkins that fit in the palm of your hand. For small additional fees, enjoy face painting, farm tours, bounce houses, or a ride on the tractor train.
13. The Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival – Meridian, Idaho
Aside from a patch featuring more than 40 distinct varieties of pumpkins to choose from, this Idaho institution is best known for its corn maze — one of the first in the state, and often the most creative, with fun new designs being rolled out annually. (This year’s features a play on the state’s most famous crop: Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head!)
The Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival also offers a wide range of attractions and special events, including some after-dark spookery at the on-site Field of Screams. And let’s not forget about food! Fresh fudge, hand-dipped corn dogs, and caramel apple pie fries await, so be sure to bring your appetite.
14. The Gaver Farm Fall Fun Festival – Mount Airy, Maryland
A working farm year-round, each fall, the Gaver family transforms their fields into an autumnal wonderland, filled with pickable pumpkins, jumping pillows, duck races, giant slides, and a sprawling corn maze. As if that weren’t enough, there’s even more going on at the Gaver Farm Fall Fun Festival. You’ll also be able to feed and pet farm animals and take a free hayride during your visit — and since apples are available for picking as well as pumpkins, you’ll be all set for whatever type of pie you prefer this Thanksgiving!
15. The Great Pumpkin Farm – Clarence, New York
The Great Pumpkin Farm really is a pumpkin lover’s paradise. Meander through the Pumpkin Palace to try the freshly-baked pies — but only after you’ve gorged on delicious, smoky dishes at the Oinktoberfest BBQ Cook Off. No more room? No problem! Buy a whole pie to take home and stash in your freezer for later.
You can also spectate or participate in the Pumpkin Weigh Off, Pumpkin Drop, Pumpkin Olympics, and, of course, the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition. There are carnival rides, contests, and a lengthy, diverse schedule of live entertainment… and, of course, zillions of perfect pumpkins to choose from.
16. The Pickin’ Patch – Dunnellon, Florida
It might not feel very fall-like in Florida, but that doesn’t mean the state can’t put on one heck of a pumpkin fest. Along with an abundance of pick-your-own pumpkins of every shape, size, and variety, The Pickin’ Patch also hosts another kind of pickin’: bluegrass! Saturday and Sunday afternoons, allow yourself to be serenaded while you meander around the fields, or sit back and watch the kids enjoy the hay-constructed mini-maze and fort. There are also hayrides and a larger corn maze, and you get to cut your pumpkin right off the vine.
17. Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch – Dallas, Texas
18. Vala’s Pumpkin Patch – Gretna, Nebraska
Candy apples, old-fashioned hayrides, and more than a dozen kid-friendly, fall-themed playground activities make Vala’s Pumpkin Patch… well, way more than a pumpkin patch. In fact, the property is home to more than 50 distinct attractions, and that’s before counting live shows and events ranging from pumpkin-cannon blasts to pig racing.
All that festive fun is sure to work up an appetite, which is a good thing — you won’t want to miss out on sampling any of the eats at Vala’s. Hand-dipped corn dogs, salty-sweet kettle corn, and still-warm-from-the-oven cookies are just the start of its edible offerings.
Where’s the Best Pumpkin Patch Near Me?
Even if none of the pumpkin patches above are in the cards for your October travels this year, take heart. Fun fall festivals and events are going on all across the country!
To find out where the nearest pumpkin patch is to your home, or a destination you do have on your itinerary, simply run a Google search for “pumpkin farms near me” or “closest pumpkin patch” including your zip code or town name. You should find results populated with a multitude of pumpkin patch locations, ranging from small fields at local businesses to full-on fall festival events as outlined above. You could also try searching for “corn maze near me” or “fall harvest festival” to find even more local autumnal activities.
We’ve also written extensively about great fall destinations, including harvest festivals and other big, celebratory events. Check out the following RVshare blog posts for more details:
- 5 Must-See RV Destinations that are Perfect for Fall
- Our Favorite Places to Travel This Fall for Every Occasion
- Your Guide to Upcoming Fall Fairs and Festivals: How to Get there and Where to Camp
- The 12 Best Cities to Check out Oktoberfest Celebrations in your RV
- Best October Road Trips
- 7 Fall Festivals to Check out in your RV
- How to Pack for Fall Travel
From Pie-Making to Painting: Fun Pumpkin Ideas
So. You’ve visited an amazing pumpkin patch, and you even found your perfect pumpkin.
Now you have yet another (wonderful) problem to deal with: What, exactly, should you do with it?
The good news is, these gourds are as versatile as they are festive. You can turn your pumpkin into all kinds of delicious treats, or doctor it up to make amazing and unique fall decorations.
Here are just a few ideas for what to do with your carefully-chosen pumpkins.
Carve ’em up.
Perhaps the most obvious suggestion, but not one to be overlooked: pumpkin carving is a time-honored Halloween tradition, and there’s nothing like a spooky Jack-o’-lantern to draw trick-or-treaters to your door.
Don’t want to deal with sharp objects — or the mess of gutting your gourd? Try painting a face onto your pumpkin instead. It’s just as much fun, and as an added bonus, your decoration won’t rot as quickly! That means you can keep it on your dining room table all the way through Thanksgiving, if you want to.
Save the seeds.
You can roast them up into delicious, healthy snacks, or plant them in your garden to create your very own pumpkin patch for next year!
Bake up delicious pumpkin pies — and all manner of other goodies.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means you’ve got the perfect opportunity to use up all that delicious, pumpkin-y goodness you scoop out of your gourd before carving it up. And as it turns out, the classic turkey day dessert is just the beginning. Pumpkins can also be turned into muffins, bread, risotto, soup stock, and pickles. One clever food blogger even broke out the dehydrator to make the skin into crunchy chips!
And trust us, if you’ve never graced your table with a pie made of freshly-made pumpkin puree as opposed to the canned stuff, you and your family are seriously missing out. If you’re going to turn your pumpkin into a Jack-o’-lantern, you have to scoop it out anyway. Why not use up every part of your pumpkin? (Psst: it also freezes well, so you can have tasty autumnal treats after winter has fully descended… or even as it melts into spring!)
Just be sure you get the right kind of pumpkin for the job, if you plan to eat it. Different varieties have different textures and levels of sweetness, which lend themselves best to different applications. In fact, some gourds and pumpkins are actually entirely inedible!
If you’re looking to diversify your fall decorations, you’re in luck: A pumpkin can be repurposed into way more than a toothy, goofy face. For instance, a little bit of white spray paint can turn a stack of gourds into Frosty the Snowman, perfect for the post-Halloween holiday season. (Great idea, Jamie Scott!)
Looking for something a little more natural? Try crafting your pumpkin into a bird feeder to share the wealth of these harvest feast days with the other critters that call your area home.
Pumpkin-ify your skincare regimen!
That pumpkin is packed full of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E. And although drowning it in sugar for that delicious pie might offset some of the benefits, smearing it on your face is totally diet-friendly — and is supposed to be very effective at fighting wrinkles!
Just adding some simple milk and honey to your homemade pumpkin puree will create a quick, easy, and decadent face mask, according to this recipe from Beautylish. Bonus: if it accidentally gets in your mouth, no problem!
Pick Your Own Pumpkins This Fall — And So Much More
Although summer might be the first season you think of when you think about RVing, there’s a whole lot to be said for fall travel. From pumpkin-picking to leaf-peeping (and a whole lot more in between), RVing is the perfect way to get outside and enjoy the cooler autumn weather.
For example, your RV allows you to travel to visit far-off family for holiday meals in comfort and style… or gives you a chance to escape the chill by traveling south to a warmer-weather destination. You can also get a gander at the changing leaves that blanket our country in Technicolor wonder this time of year. (There’s no better place to watch them fall than through your RV’s great, big windshield, with your favorite warm beverage firmly in hand!)
Fall is also a great time to take advantage of lower shoulder season pricing at many warm-weather destinations, like the coastlines in Florida and North Carolina. And, as evidenced by this blog post, fall is chock-full of fun events worth traveling to, including harvest festivals as well as themed events for Halloween and other end-of-year holidays.
So if you’re looking for an excuse to take a vacation between the big breaks (i.e., summer and winter), head to the RVshare homepage and see what vehicle are available in your area. Whether you prefer to drive a motorhome or tow a travel trailer, and whether you’re bringing a big, happy family or just heading off on a romantic couples’ vacation, there’s bound to be a perfect vehicle for rent in your area.
After all, those pumpkins aren’t going to pick themselves… and they’re not going to be around forever, either. You’d best get out there and get ’em while you can!
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