Tis the season for apples, apple cider and pumpkins which of course means you need to plan your annual trip to the pumpkin patch!
I’ve been going to the pumpkin patch long before I had kids because I work in a school and it was an annual trip. I’ve taken just my individual class, the entire school, and now I’m just responsible for taking my own gouls to the patch.
Just about every farm, nursery and garden shop has some sort of Halloween-ish Themed pumpkin event and I’ve tried most in the DC/VA/MD area, so you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. It depends on your tolerance for crowds and if you are up for watching your kid go on rides, play games and argue about what treats they are going to get from the bazillion tables of candy, cakes, pies, donut’s and caramel covered apples. Note: caramel covered apples will mean hay from the hay ride will stick to every part of your child that came into contact with the caramel covered apple which = every part.
This is where a typical garden nursery turns into a fall extravaganza in somewhat of a contained space. They have food, they have games, you buy tickets, there’s a “haunted hay ride”, there are bouncy houses, there is lots of mud, there are pony rides, there are hay slides, there is a petting zoo, and then tables of food to buy right after the petting zoo that leave you scrambling for your hand sanitizer. Oh, and there are some pumpkins set out for when you leave to pick out. The pumpkins seem to be the afterthought at this pumpkin patch. The focus is getting your kids to run around, eat a lot of sugar, have you buy lots of Halloween-ish stuff that will be forgotten once you get home, and then leave for you to deal with the sugar meltdown that is inevitable.
We used to take Sweets to Burke Nursery and Garden Center and she always had a great time. The haunted hay ride was cheesy, but the kids love it.
2.The “Oh My God Where Are My Kids??” Pumpkin Patch.
This is the pumpkin patch that is not only on an actual, sprawling farm, but is chock full of activities designed for you to lose your child. From the corn maze to the tunnel slides, there are dozens of activities available that will distract your child the minute you turn your head, leaving you to frantically scan the crowd of approximately 1,000,000 other children that are wearing the same cute orange pumpkin shirt your child is wearing. They will have a hay ride that takes you to patch of field with pumpkins sort of strewn about in all of the same approximate size and shape for the young ones to choose. The bigger pumpkins will be waiting by the exit in a last ditch effort to get the parents to indulge their kids, who are screaming “I don’t want to leave! I want more cotton candy!” while you are trying to drag them out.
I have never taken Sweets to Cox Farm, but I used to organize our school trip there each year. If I could supervise and not lose over 100+ students, you should have an okay time of corralling your kids.
3. The “We Are Really Just a Farm” Pumpkin Patch.
THIS is my favorite. For the past 2 years we have gone to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD. The picture for this post was taken there this past weekend. The scenery is great for Fall Foliage pictures. You get a non-haunted, non-Halloween themed hayride out to an actual pumpkin patch where you pick your own. There are no corn mazes or hay slides or pony rides. They do have their market open with all their seasonal produce and they have their BBQ tent going. Apple picking is also available. There IS a petting zoo, which my daughter informed me we “forgot” to go to when we were leaving. Oops, oversight on my part. 😉 There are still loads of people but it’s not a sugar induced, frantic paced day of going from one activity to the next. Sweets loves it and that is what matters. I am sure she would also loooove the sugar induced, frantic paces pumpkin patch, which she gets to go to his Saturday. For a birthday party. Which I am NOT going to.* Well, planned, eh?
What kind of pumpkin patch will you be visiting this season?
Have a great crazy day?
*what was NOT well planned was having the early morning trip the day after a late night out with a few friends for “book club.” Have you ever been out to book club that didn’t end until 2am? Well, I can tell you that going to the pumpkin patch the next day is not good planning. Not good planning At. All.