A long-time tradition for Halloween is visiting pumpkin patches, going on hayrides, and picking out the best carving pumpkin for this year’s masterpiece. When you visit your local pumpkin patches and farmers markets not only are you creating tradition with your family, but you are also supporting your local farmers that are already hurting in this current economy. Local farmers work hard year-round so they can offer us the freshest produce you can buy! So, this year don’t settle for a pumpkin out of a big box at the store, get up and get out to one of your local pumpkin patches, take some pictures, have a picnic, and enjoy the local scenery and harvests. I have listed a few of my favorite local Sacramento-area pumpkin patches that your family might enjoy as well.
One of my favorite pumpkin patches has to be the Pumpkin Farm in Citrus Heights. This year marks their 36th Anniversary. I have been here several times on school field trips with my children, and then again as a family. They offer it all! A kid friendly haunted house, a tower slide, hay rides, corn maze, farm zoo, pony rides, train rides, jumping castle, and of course pumpkin pickin! They have a small snack bar that you can get hot cocoa and cider. You can also try a slice of their amazing pies, or an ear of corn roasted on the grill. There are picnic tables to have lunch at or to just sit and enjoy the farms’ surroundings while sipping on some cider.
Location: 7736 Old Auburn Rd. Citrus Heights, CA
When: Open October 1 – 31st (9a – 6p) rain or shine
Costs: Varies – See package deals & pricing
Another local favorite is Dave’s Pumpkin Patch in West Sacramento. We have only visited this pumpkin patch one time, but are sure to return. It was great family harvest time fun! This pumpkin patch offers a variety of activities for your family to enjoy. They feature traditional farm hayrides, full size corn maze, Jump house, Super Slide, and pig races just to name a few! The biggest reason that my kids love going to this pumpkin patch is the Punkin’ Chunkin’ event. Watch pumpkins fly over 500yds through the air with an explosive landing! Pumpkins will be flying every hour on the hour on weekends. Dave’s also has a fruit stand that sells local farm fresh produce. Currently they have a sale on white corn 10 ears for $1.
Location: 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento, CA
When: Opens Sept. 25th Sun-Thur (10a-Dusk) Fri-Sat (10a to 9p)
Attraction Prices: $10 unlimited all day and FREE Parking
If you’re looking to make a day of it, then take a short drive up highway 50 to Ables Apple Acres on Apple Hill in Placerville. This is one of the local all time favorites! You can get your apples for pies and your pumpkins for carving, all in one place! When we visit Apple Hill we like to pack a picnic lunch and have a whole day of harvest fun! Ables Apple Acres has cut outs for great picture ops for your family album and a nice pond to sit by and eat your picnic. If you want to have some of the best country cookin’ and BBQ, you may want to skip the picnic this time and opt for some fresh garlic fries paired with a burger or teriyaki chicken. They also offer some great classic and seasonal sandwiches, such as their Chicken Apple Walnut! One of my favorite things to do while here, is to walk through the craft fair and see all the great things people have made! Everything from jewelry to painted gourds. There are many more orchards and pumpkin patches to visit on Apple Hill for more info visit the Apple Hill Growers website at www.applehill.com.
Location: 2345 Carson Rd, Placerville, CA
When: Open Sept. 6th – Dec. 24th (9a-5p), Thanksgiving day (10a-12p), Christmas Eve (9a-3p)
Cost: Varies (reasonable prices)