Celebrating fall at small, all-inclusive Fox Hollow Family Farm
Ashley Breckel Andersen
There is no shortage of pumpkin patches and farms around Seattle — big ones, small ones, ones with animals, ones with pumpkin cannons and pony rides. We’ve done the massive ones in Snohomish on the weekends, and the ones that only have pumpkins and no other activities, but our family’s personal favorite is Fox Hollow Farm in Issaquah.
It’s a bit of a trek to get out there from our home base in North Seattle, but on a sunny fall day, it is so worth it. The backdrop of Tiger Mountain is stunning, there is a creek running through the back of the property where you can often spot salmon passing through, and the colors on the trees are breathtaking.
Fox Hollow is what I like to describe as a boutique pumpkin patch. It’s quite a bit smaller than anything you’ll find in Snohomish or Carnation, but it has features and amenities that you don’t usually find at the bigger farms. It is always beautifully decorated with plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops like mountains of pumpkins, hay bales and even an old wagon, and there are crackling fire pits surrounded by wooden couches and chairs, where you can make s’mores and have cider or fresh picked and roasted corn on the cob with plenty of butter.
One of the other features our family loves about it is that once you pay your ticket fee, you are done — you don’t have to pay more for any of the activities inside the farm. This is something we haven’t found to be true at some other farms around the area.
We’ve attended the Fall Festival at Fox Hollow three years in a row and personally, we prefer to go on a weekday to avoid the busy crowds and make it more affordable for our family. During the weekends the cost is $50 for a car with up to 7 people in it, but on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the cost is $10 per person. We usually aim to get to the farm by the time it opens at 10 a.m., before things get too crazy.
We usually don’t have any trouble finding parking in the lot next to the farm when we arrive early, and are able to proceed straight into the barn to check in — we like to purchase our tickets online ahead of time, because we have heard that it sometimes sells out — but if you haven’t gotten tickets yet, you can do that inside the barn as well. You can also get a hot coffee and a pastry.
Once we’ve checked in, the first thing we do is get our cup of food for the animals — $5 for carrots, peas, spinach and corn. This is by far my daughter’s (and my, to be honest) favorite part of going to Fox Hollow — you can feed any and all of the animals, inside their little pens. You don’t even have to stick it through the fence unless you feel more comfortable that way. It’s such a fun hands-on experience and the animals have always been so gentle — they are definitely used to having little hands in their space.
We didn’t feed the giant turkey, but the bunnies are always a big hit, as are the llamas, pigs and the chickens that roam through the grounds. We also love the baby goats but they can be a bit intimidating because they are full of personality and spunk. They’ve tried to nibble on my coat and boots numerous times, and are not shy about trying to get to your cup of treats.
Once the animals have all been fed, it’s time for the next favorite activity at Fox Hollow: the corn bin. This one is a pretty good sized and it’s usually a free-for-all of total madness, but the kids love it. We also always make sure to hit up the battery-powered mini ATVs. There are enough of them that the lines have never been too long, and the kids love going around and around the big loop with us jogging alongside to make sure no one drives off the road or careens into another unaware 4-year-old driver.
We usually end the adventure by bouncing and climbing to the kids’ heart’s content on the giant inflatables or playing in the farm village playhouses with the awesome slides, before we have a snack and head home. This year, the farm added hayrides and pumpkin bowling, but we didn’t have enough time and will definitely have to go back to check it out.
To our kids, this farm is the Disneyland of farms — the hands-on experiences with feeding and petting the animals, the chickens wandering in the apple orchards, the litter of kittens wrestling and playing outside the barn, the s'mores by the fire. It all adds up to a wagonful of family fun and guaranteed naps on the drive home.
12123 Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, Issaquah