Pictured above: Pumpkins on display at Topaz Farm
The days are notably shorter, there’s a detectable chill in the air, and the kids are—finally!—back at school, which can only mean one thing: the time is nigh for one of the hallmark activities of the fall season: pumpkin patch visits. A sweet family tradition, a fun day trip, or an excuse to shake off your family for a hot second in the corn maze? You decide. Even if gazing at fields of orange spheres is not your speed, many pumpkin patches are now offering supplementary activities for the non-squash enthusiast, including produce markets, petting animals, wine tasting, games, and more.
Below, 11 Portland-area pumpkin patches to check out this season.
In (or very close to) Portland
Bella’s patch offers activities for all age ranges. Younger kids will love the classic corn maze, pumpkin patch, cow train, and duck races; grown-ups can go full Moira Rose and try the wine and cider tastings with choices like rhubarb or blackberry wines, and dragon fruit or apple starfruit hard ciders. The bravest of all age groups can also check out their haunted corn maze that runs all October. And this year, the farm has embedded a message in its maze that we, at least, can get behind. . .
Price: $10-12, with tokens for purchase for different attractions.
After 20 years in the business with 25 different kinds of pumpkins (who knew there were that many?), Plumper Pumpkin Patch knows how to October. Kids can find mazes, playgrounds, an obstacle course, and a hobbit house (a forest inspired playground for the smallest among us). For the more adventurous, try out the hydraulic pumpkin or apple cannon to lob the fruit at unsuspecting targets and cars at 400 feet away! Finally, make sure to give some love to the chicks, lambs, and other animals on the premises.
Free admission, but with payments needed for certain activities.
This patch claims to be Portland’s “original” pumpkin patch and still retains some of its original structures for guests to enjoy, such as the bright red barn built in 1929. To get to the pumpkin patch, guests can take the free hayride; more diminutive guests can hitch a ride on the cow train. Along with pumpkins, guests can grab some goodies from the gift shop and wash it down with the Pumpkin Patch’s own cider and beer.
Price: Free admission, corn maze $5-10
Fan favorite Topaz Farm offers free hayrides and pumpkin picking, as well as the opportunity to visit their miniature goats and donkeys, and Rita the dwarf cow. Their maze this year expands over seven acres and features art from local artists, including Bred Boi, Jason Walton, and Stephanie Choi. Bring a picnic and eat under their 500-year-old oak tree.
South of Portland
Lee Farms traces its roots in Tualatin back to 1869, and originally opened its farm to the public in the 1960’s for u-pick strawberry fields. In October, the strawberries are gone, but you can pick their pumpkins, walking through their hay and corn mazes, or play on any of their slides or other rides. You can also get fresh donuts and caramel apples.
Since 1998, Liepold Farms has been hosting their annual fall festival. You can test your luck in the six-acre corn maze, scavenger hunt, and the apple-pult (catapult for apples), while the non-competitive can pick their pumpkins, take a hayride, or enjoy home-made caramel apples or caramel corn apple cider.
Flower Farmer is known for its fields of flowers that are cut, dried, and sold in beautiful arrangements. For the fall season, guests can climb aboard the Phoenix & Holly, their miniature railroad, to get a view of their pumpkin patch and make a stop by their animals. The Phoenix & Holly gets a facelift in October and the lead engine is dressed up to look like a large jack-o-lantern.
West of Portland
Price: $13-21 with add-ons available
This farm sprawls over 500 acres in the Willamette Valley outside of St. Paul, just 40 minutes drive from downtown Portland, and offers many of the usual pumpkin patch activities, such as a corn maze and giant slide, but also offer some more innovative activities, including their “Farm Ninja Course” (obstacle course) and “Pigtucky Derby Pig Races”— a Kentucky Derby style race with pigs instead of horses that runs four times a day.
Price: free admission, activities $5-6
The Hoffmans started farming potatoes 35 years ago, and now have three generations working together. Along with the year-round farm store and bakery, visitors can find seasonal activities such as their u-pick pumpkin patch, 10-acre corn maze, and newly added “Scholls Valley Railroad” that zips guests around a mile track.
Price: $24 (buy ahead)
Although Roloff Farms is best known as the backdrop of one of TLC’s most popular shows, “Little People, Big World,” its other attractions merit a mention. There’s a scenic trail through the farm with play areas and other activities along the way, a wagon tour ride, a country store that sells treats and souvenirs, and more. Fans of the show even have the chance of meeting the famous family, if they are out working that day.
East of Portland
Although it’s one of the newest pumpkin patches on the block, Packer Orchards brings its own traditions to the Hood River area with homemade jams, salsas, pie fillings, and more. For activities, guests can find a super-tall hay tower, bouncy corral, and pumpkin bowling. Oh, and the ginormous slide, pictured above.