Fall is in the air – mornings are getting chillier and it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier. It’s time for pumpkin patches and all the fun that comes with! We have curated a short list of our favorites all over the Bay Area.
On this side of the Bay:
1620 7th Ave., San Francisco . 415-753-2689 . Open daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Oct. 1-31
Fall officially comes to SF when Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch opens in the Inner Sunset. Many natives to the city will tell you this is the best patch around – and I have to agree. And no wonder: it’s been a staple since 1979 (and it also transforms into a Christmas tree lot in December). You’ll find all the varieties of pumpkins, from cinderella to gourds. They even offer tractor-pulled hay rides around the patch!
Major Bonus: Free parking!!! There is small fee for hay rides.
850 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay . 650-726-4980 . Opens mid-September – October, daily 9 am -5 pm
For a simpler experience, check out Farmer John’s in Half Moon Bay. Free of rides and extra kitsch, their appeal lies in the abundance of natural beauty and astounding variety of pumpkins. You’ll find more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash, including their specialty, the Atlantic Giant, which varies between 250 and 500 pounds! Inspired to grow your own? Farmer John’s sells pumpkin seeds for the backyard warriors to plant in their own gardens. Shutterbugs won’t be able to resist the photo ops that Farmer John’s provides, including a giant pumpkin display, authentic Native American Teepee, vintage tractor, and rolling fields of pumpkins.
12320 San Mateo Rd. (Hwy 92), Half Moon Bay . 650-726-2342 . Open daily Oct. 1-31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m
Unlike Farmer John’s, this has it ALL! Lemos farm offers fun for families with kids of all ages. For the under 5 crowd, there’s a fantastic selection of pumpkins along with pony rides, bounce houses and a haunted train ride. The haunted house has two versions of the Scare Zone: look for the “Halloween Fun” version for the younger kids. Older kids or grown-ups, be warned the other Scare Zone includes live actors who are hired to “scare the yell out of you” so its really not good for little ones or people who scare easily.
Cost: Prices vary by attraction. $20/all day unlimited activities for kids 14 mos. and up; $10/adults; prices for single ticket rides for individual attractions.
2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley . (650) 854-3134 . Open daily 10am-6pm
A quick drive down 280 brings you to the home of this creation at Webb Ranch. The family-owned and operated farm has a pumpkin patch featuring more than 20 varieties of organic pumpkins. On site hay rides, pony rides, a train ride and the infamous Pumpkin Slingshot make this a destination that is all about the pumpkins and more.
If you don’t mind crossing a bridge:
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont . 510-791-0340 . October 1-31,., noon-7 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 9 a.m.-7 p.m
This spot offers the family a chance to see the whole process of growing veggies and pumpkins. Located on the grounds of the East Bay Park’s Ardenwood estate, Perry’s is a real working organic farm. Kids can learn about the pumpkin growing process and burn off some steam with a kid’s maze (which parents can see over the top of) and tire patch, character cut-out photo ops, a hay pyramid and hayrides. It’s easy to make a day of it, by exploring the rest of the Ardenwood estate while you’re there.
Cost: No fee. $1 admission on Sat. & Sun. Children under 2 are free. Admission to Ardenwood Farms: Tues., Wed. & Sat.–$3/adults (18+ years), $3/seniors (62+ year), $2/children (4-17 years), under 4 years – free; Thurs., Fri. and Sun.–$6/adults (18+ years), $5/seniors (62+ year), $4/children (4-17 years), under 4 years – free.
5300 Nicasio Valley Rd., Nicasio (West Marin) . 415-662-9100 . Open every day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct. 1-31
Just 35 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, Nicasio is the perfect place for all-day family fun. They offer a variety of attractions for all ages (weekends only) including face painting, hay rides, mazes, bounce houses, pony rides and a petting zoo! On weekends you can also catch live music performances, award-winning BBQ, and gourmet ice cream. And if that’s not enough incentive to visit, Sunday October 15 is MALT Day (Marin Ag. Land Trust) and will feature crafts. Note: hayrides for more than 4 are available on weekdays.
6475 Bodega Ave., Petaluma . 707-664-0452 . Fri, 1-9:30 pm, Saturdays 10 am- 9:30 pm, Sundays 10 am – 6 pm
During the month of October, this organic dairy farm is turned into McClelland’s Organic Pumpkin patch. Pick pumpkins straight off the vine and sign up to launch one or two from their Pumpkin Blaster. Other fun activities include tire swings, “sand” boxes full of corn kernels and oats, pedal tractor race track, and a hay maze. And while this fun is happening, the dairy operations continue too. So visitors get to watch cows being milked in the parlor and can also sign up for a farm tour to get an inside look into the dairy. Don’t forget to pick up some free-range eggs and butter at the farm store on your way home so you can make a killer pumpkin pie!
Cost: Admission to pumpkin patch and some activities are free. Farm tours are $20/adult (13 and up); $10/child; children 4 and under are free. All-day wristbands for the hayride, bounce house and haunted trail cost $6/adult (13 and up) and $10/child.
2153 Ferry Point, Alameda . 510-705-2352 . October 1-31, 10 a.m. -10 p.m. daily
The Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch has a rock climbing wall, extreme air jumpers, a 40-foot ship slide, and a 200-foot zip line for the thrill seekers, as well as a petting zoo and bouncy houses for the little ones. Most important, they have a ton of local, valley-grown pumpkins too!