Maybe you remember how the Peanut’s character, Linus, dragged his blanket to the Pumpkin Patch year after year, waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear—only to be disappointed. Well, if you’re looking for a great pumpkin—for carving, making pies, or just admiring—you stand a much better chance than Linus. At this time of year, people from all across the country flock to pumpkin patches to pick their own Great Pumpkin—usually after getting lost in a corn maze for hours, enjoying homemade apple cider and maybe even a good scare or two. Want to join the family fun? Read on: These are a few of the country’s best!
Burt’s Farm, Dawsonville, GA
Burt’s Farm has made a name for itself when it comes to great pumpkins. There, within a vast sea of orange, you can find the pumpkin of your dreams. Pumpkins range from small one-pounders all the way up to gargantuan 150-pounders that would make Linus jump for joy—or jump aboard a hayride pulled by a John Deere tractor out of sheer fright! If orange is not your thing, or you’re looking for something different, never fear. Burt’s Farm offers every type of pumpkin, winter squash and gourd imaginable—in every color imaginable. Just don’t forget to stop for their famous pumpkin pie or pumpkin roll before you leave. For more info, go to www.burtsfarm.com.
Smolak Farms, North Andover, MA
Got kids? They’re going to love it here—and you may have a hard time pulling them away (even with a John Deere). They’re guaranteed to have a good time, what with hay wagon rides, and the Smolak Farm animals—alpacas, golden pheasants, llamas, fallow deer, goats, chickens, and guinea hens that roam freely around the farm. Besides pumpkins, people come to pick fruit from the orchards and enjoy the goodies from the bakery. A particular favorite are the cider donuts—it’s said that people come from all over New England just to get them. For more info, go to www.smolakfarms.com.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch, Middletown, MD
A working farm owned by the Huffer family, Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch sits on 131 acres—and 15 of them are devoted to nothing but pumpkins. Talk about a good selection! And if you’re looking for a little adventure to go with your pumpkins, take a hayride over to the enormous twisting and turning corn maze and dare to enter. Your kids will enjoy special activities geared towards them, too, such as pony rides and a petting zoo with very friendly animals that like nothing more than interacting with your little munchkins. For more info, go to jumbos.org.
Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm, Portland, OR
Ever seen a pumpkin fly? You will if you go to Plumper—and try your hand at any of the numerous pumpkin flinging machines. You’ll find big cannons that can hurl a pumpkin up to 400 feet away, an awesome medieval trebuchet, something called the pumpkin popper, and great big pumpkin-ready slingshots. You can fling pumpkins along with the best pumpkin flingers in the county—and not have to worry about the cleanup afterwards. Are you up to the challenge? (Just remember to leave Linus at home.) For more info, go to plumperpumpkins.com.