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Sometimes, the most memorable travel experiences are day trips that require little advance planning. Day trips with kids are especially wonderful because they provide an almost instant gratification that appeals to kids. One of my favorite day trips to take in the fall is a trip to the pumpkin patch. It is such a fun way to celebrate the cooler weather and the colorful harvest of the season. And kids love playing among all of the pumpkins. Here are some tips for your next trip to the pumpkin patch.
Which pumpkin patch to go to?
If you live in the United States, you probably have a pumpkin patch close to your home. Some of them are large with lots of activities, while others are small and focus only on pumpkins. The best pumpkin patches are out in the middle of nowhere. The further out in the country you have to drive, the better the patch typically is. These places have more space to spread out. They also are not as crowded. Plus, pumpkin patches that are out on a farm means that you will be getting pumpkins right at the source. You can’t get much fresher than that! I think you will find that it will be worth the extra drive.
Our last trip to the pumpkin patch was to Happy Day Farms in Terral, Oklahoma. It was about as out of the way as you could possibly get. It was a fun day and we came home with a carload of pumpkins!
Tip: For the best pumpkins and activities, go to a pumpkin patch out in the country.
Now, you don’t have to do a ton of planning for a day trip like this, although it is worth your time to prepare a little bit. To find a pumpkin patch near you, see this list of pumpkin patches and more. Once you decide which patch to visit, look at their website or Facebook page to get directions, hours of operation, admission prices, and a list of activities. That’s really all you need to know before you go.
Tip: Do a basic internet search on the pumpkin patch to find general information such as hours of operation and admission prices.
Remember that you are going to the country to spend the day on the farm. You will be walking through dirt and grass and are likely to encounter critters ranging from ants to cows. So, you need to dress yourself and your children appropriately! This is not the time to wear heels and a cute dress. Put on some jeans and sensible shoes. Dress your kids in clothes that they can get dirty because, honestly, at some point during the day, they will probably end up in the dirt. That’s part of the fun of the day. So, just prepare for it.
Tip: Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You’re going to the farm, not a fashion show.
Plan to arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to explore. When we went to Happy Day Farm, I wasn’t sure how long we would be there. I set aside the whole day for it, though. We ended up staying for a full three hours. My son and niece could have stayed a lot longer though. There were a few activities that they never made it to. You definitely get your money’s worth at Happy Day Farm.
A pumpkin patch is the type of place where you don’t want to feel rushed. So, give yourself plenty of time. You will have a much more relaxing time, and your kids will have more fun, if you are not watching the clock while you are there.
Tip: Arrive early and plan to spend the whole day, so you can enjoy all there is do without feeling rushed.
Every pumpkin patch operates a little differently. At Happy Day Farm, they charge an admission price of $8 per person. Most activities are included in this price. A few of the activities, however, require a ticket that can be purchased for an additional charge. Food and pumpkins are also for sale at an additional cost. Some places, on the other hand, either charge individually for each activity or include all activities in the admission price. Check on this prior to your arrival so you will be prepared. Generally speaking, pumpkin patches are pretty reasonable when it comes to the price for an entire day’s worth of fun.
Tip: Look at the pricing structure before arrival if possible. Also, check on whether it is a cash only operation.
Happy Day Farm, like most pumpkin patches, has a whole list of activities to enjoy. They have a special play area for children under the age of 7, which is great if you have little ones. This section includes a sand box, swing set, water play area, a trampoline, a little obstacle course, a sound garden with musical instruments, and a two-story tree house with a slide.
Happy Day Farm also features a pedal car track, two bounce/jump areas, a hay ride, a corn cannon, pumpkin painting, and a kiddie train. They also have chickens, ponies, goats, and a llama. Additionally, they have a large climbing structure made out of tires, and an archery area. I liked that they also had several photo backdrops set up for some great fall pictures. Their barn had a large wraparound porch with rocking chairs and games such as checkers, chess, tic-tac-toe, and corn hole.
Pumpkin patches usually have a wide variety of activities. These activities are usually geared to people of all ages, which is great for families. You can take multiple generations and everyone will enjoy themselves. Take your time and enjoy as many activities as you can. And take plenty of pictures to remember the day!
Tip: Look for a pumpkin patch with a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by everyone in your family.
Of course, one of the main reasons why you go to a pumpkin patch in the first place is to get pumpkins to decorate your house. We always have a large number of them around our house every year. My son loves pumpkins, but he always picks out the most unusual ones he can find. For us, the best pumpkin patches are those that feature a large variety of pumpkins and gourds.
All pumpkin patches have pumpkins for sale. Most have them in a central area for you to pick out your favorites to take home. But, at Happy Day Farm, they had pumpkins on display throughout the farm. They allowed you to buy any pumpkin you saw on display, regardless of where they were. This was great for us! We walked away with a wheel barrow full of pumpkins and gourds.
Tip: When picking out pumpkins to take home, ask an employee which ones are for sale. If you find one on display that you like, they may sell it to you even if it is being used for decoration.
The pumpkin patch is a great place to spend some quality time with your family. They usually offer tons of activities and the best selection of pumpkins. Go to a pumpkin patch out in the country on an actual farm. They will have the freshest pumpkins and more activities than those located in the middle of the city. Spending the day at the pumpkin patch is just good, old-fashion fun. Plan a day trip to one this fall to create some wonderful family memories that you will cherish for years to come. For other ideas on how to enjoy the fall with your family, see our favorite fall activities for families. For more day trip ideas, see our list of fun day trips you can take this weekend. Happy travels!