For many families, October means it is time to take a day out of the city to visit a pumpkin patch. You get the chance to pick up nicer orange gourds than you’d find at the supermarket, but the main reason to go is to spend a fall day in a lovely corner of the countryside. The weather may be misty and damp, or sunny and crisp, but the scenery will be gorgeous either way. And almost all pumpkin patches offer more than just pumpkins. Mud, for starters.
Some pumpkin patches are slow-paced, with plenty of time and space to gaze at the scenery. Others have fairground atmosphere complete with rides, raucous activities and entry fees. What makes sense for your family is up to you.
– Don't bring pets.
– As October continues on, some places do run out of pumpkins, so call ahead.
– Cash is usually the easiest and most reliable way to pay for things.
– Dress for mud.
– Many of the farms have beautiful displays of pumpkins that make perfect backdrops for portraits of your family or kids. Take your pictures BEFORE you go out in the field.
Pumpkin patches with corn mazes
Craven Farm has two, a 15-acre one built on an “Alice in Pumpkinland” theme, and a two smaller ones geared for younger folks: “Kids Interactive Adventure Maze” and “Farmer Mark’s Enchanted Journey.”. The big maze is open 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. daily Sept. 21 through Halloween, plus there are “Flashlight Nights” Fridays and Saturdays in October. Also at Craven Farm: miniature golf, human foosball (you need 12 humans), and rubber duck races.13817 Shorts School Road, Snohomish
The Farm at Swan's Trail has a 12-acre corn maze inspired by the geography of Washington State, with corn-y renditions of 400 towns and landmarks, each labeled with educational facts. Open noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends Sept. 28 through Oct. 31. Also at The Farm at Swan's Trail: petting farm, corn box, live duck and pig races, a hay maze in the barn, and u-pick apples.7301 Rivershore Road, Snohomish
Bob's Corn and Pumpkin Farm boasts a 10-acre corn maze, plus two kids’ corn mazes. The main maze is open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day from Sept. 7 until Halloween, and until 10 p.m on Friday and Saturday nights starting Sept. 28. You can rent a fire-pit inside the maze, if you like. Also at Bob's: hayrides, trike track, playground, apple cannon and cow-train rides.10917 Elliott Rd, Snohomish
Thomas Family Farm has a 10-acre corn maze. Also available on the weekend: a giant slide, gem sluicing activity, a ride in a monster truck named "White Lightning," a paintball shooting gallery, and other activities. Open weekends in October 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also do a night time corn maze treasure hunt, and older kids might enjoy other pursuits such as Zombie Paintball. Look here to find which nights the farm is open.9010 Marsh Rd, Snohomish
Foster's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze has a 10-acre corn maze, this year with a "Wizard of Oz" theme. Weekend visitors can also try a pumpkin slingshot or an apple cannon and or take cow-barrel train rides. Open throughout October. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.5818 WA-530, Arlington
Stocker Farms: This year, a portion of the ticket price for Stocker Farms’ seven-acre corn maze goes to fund Ronald McDonald House charities. There is also a jumping pillow, corn box, farmer foosball, and other sources of hilarity. On the first two weekends, you can also hand-pick sunflowers. (Or just take pictures with sunflowers.) For teens with an appetite for fright, there's an after-dark feature called "Stalker Farms," which creates the feel of a horror movie. The corn maze and family adventure farm are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 21 and 22 and Sept. 28 to Oct. 31. The maze also has some night time hours.8705 Marsh Rd, Snohomish
Carpinito Brothers: Along with a state-of-the-art corn maze, this pumpkin patch has a farm fun yard where kids can see animals (including piglets), feed goats, jump in a corn bin, navigate a hay maze or race rubber ducks. Open Sept. 27 to Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.27508 West Valley Highway N, Kent
Spooner Farms: The theme for this year's five-acre corn maze is "Welcome to the Jungle." Weekend only activities include: pony rides, pedal carts, face painting and Pumpkin Pete's Playtown. There’s also a pumpkin slingshot, which is open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. The pumpkin patch is open Sept. 28 through Oct. 31. Maze hours 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Weekend-only kids activities are open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.9710 State Route 162 E, Puyallup
Thomasson Family Farm has a five-acre corn maze (This year’s theme: “The Great Pacific Northwest”). There’s also a Kids Korral full of activities including rubber duck races, a bubble table, and a box full of nine tons of corn. On weekends from noon to 5:30 p.m. there's also laser tag available. Open Oct 1 to 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., open 9:30 a.m. until noon on Halloween.38223 236th Ave SE, Enumclaw
Schilter Family Farm: The theme for five-acre corn maze is "The House that Love Built." Tickets raise money for Ronald McDonald houses. Other activities include a hay maze, hay rides, animals, a giant sand table and a giant jumping pillow. Sept. 28 through Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closes at 4 p.m. on Halloween.)141 Nisqually Cutoff Road SE, Olympia
Double R Farms has a five-acre corn maze, three pumpkin slingshots (one of which is kid-sized), farm animals, and, on weekends when the weather isn't too terrible, tractor-pulled hayrides. Open through October. Call (253) 227-5385 for hours.5820 44th St E, Puyallup
Picha Farms has a five-acre corn maze, a slingshot they claim is the best in the Puyallup valley, and hayrides. Open Sept. 28 to Oct. 31. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends.6502 52nd St E, Puyallup
Maris Farms has a four-acre corn maze plus a long list of other activities, including a jumping pillow, bouncy house, zip lines, an animal barn and human foosball. Open Sept. 28 through Oct. 31., 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Evening activities are 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.25001 Sumner-Buckley Hwy, Buckley
Mosby Farms has a corn maze throughout the week. This year’s design commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings. Open Sept. 28 through Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.12754 SE Green Valley Road, Auburn
Rutledge Corn Maze is big and changes every year. Daytime activities include zip-swings and a cow train. Open Sept. 21 through Oct. 31. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Corn maze stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.) A separate haunted maze is available some nights.302 93rd Ave SE, Olympia
Serres Farm: It takes most visitors between 10 and 15 minutes to navigate the corn maze at this small Redmond farm. Other weekend attractions: rubber duck races and hayrides. Open weekends Sept. 28 through October.20306 NE 50th St, Redmond
Pumpkins as projectiles
Jubilee Farm: If you relish the spectacle of watching a medieval siege weapon catapult pumpkins through the air, then come to Jubilee Farms to see their pumpkin trebuchet in action. Other attractions include: hay maze, horse-drawn hay wagon, animals. Saturdays and Sundays in October 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Trebuchet launch schedule is posted on the side of the barn.229 W Snoqualmie River Rd NE, Carnation
Carleton Farms has two pumpkin cannons, which send pumpkins sailing over the fields with a wallop of air. Also at Carleton Farms: a three-acre corn maze,, zip lines, kid's barn, and after dark zombie hunting adventures for teens. The cannons and zip lines are open weekends. The pumpkin patch, corn maze and kids' play area are open all week, Sept. 28 through Oct 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.630 Sunnyside Blvd SE, Lake Stevens
Oxbow Farm: This organic farm and education center has a Pumpkin Slingshot available for use during its Oxtober Fall Festival. Other activities: crafts, kids' farm tours, hayrides and scavenger hunt. Oxtober fall festival runs October weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The pumpkin patch is open Thursdays and Fridays as well.)10819 Carnation Duvall Rd NE, Carnation
Meet the animals
Fairbank Animal Farm: When you arrive at the farm they give you a cup of feed that you can throw to the chickens and ducks. They have a variety of other animals there – including baby animals. Also, there's a small corn maze and a hay tunnel. Open weekends in October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.15308 52nd Ave W, Edmonds
Fall City Farms: Scenery, farm animals, wagon rides and mini-donuts are the main side benefits to picking up your pumpkins at this farm, less than ten minutes from Snoqualmie Falls. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 through October. Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.3636 Neal Rd, Fall City
Pick fruit and vegetables (other than pumpkins)
Bailey Family Farm: Check ahead to find out what's ready for harvest at this farm which offers a U-Pick apples and a variety of U-pick vegetables. On October weekends there are wagon rides and a free play barn. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.12711 Springhetti Rd, Snohomish
Bellewood Acres offers the chance to pick a variety of apples from its immense orchard. On weekends in September and October, you can ride the "apple bin express," a tractor-propelled train, out to the trees. The farm's ripening calendar lists which varieties of apples are available. Check the website or call the farm (360) 318-7720 in advance to check what's available on the day you are coming.6140 State Route 539, Lynden
Rides, inflatables and more fun things
Remlinger Farms: The Family Fun Park has lots of rides, including a half-sided steam train, kid-sized roller coaster, Ferris wheel, miniature Model Ts, pedal cars and a carousel. They also have pony rides, a corn maze, and a petting farm. Check the website for hours.6104, 32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation
Fox Hollow Farm: The weekend admission ticket of $50 per car gives up to seven of the car's occupants access to: ATVs, petting areas, a hay maze, a corn bin, inflatables, and playhouses. You can also watch salmon make their way up the creek. Fall festival runs Wed.-Sun. Sept. 27 to Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Sat. Oct. 26 is the farm's Halloween Carnival, with all the activities open plus trick-or-treating from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.12123 Issaquah Hobart Rd SE, Issaquah
Simple farm fun
Two Brothers Pumpkins at Game Haven Farm: If you are looking for a pumpkin patch which is all about pumpkin cultivation, and not about the extras, this could be the place for you. They do have farm animals, though. Open Sept. 28 to Oct. 31. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (425) 333-4313 before you go.7110 310th Avenue NE, Carnation
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