When it comes to family-friendly fall activities, it doesn’t get any better than a trip to the pumpkin patch. From Florida to Maine to Washington state, you can find a pumpkin patch in almost every town when autumn rolls around – even if it’s just a temporary set up in a nearby parking lot. Regardless of where it’s at or how big it is, visiting the local pumpkin patch can be a great way to celebrate the season, especially once the weather starts to chill and the leaves start to change. But it can also be a massive headache if you arrive unprepared.
Keep these tips in mind if you want to make the most of your pumpkin patch experience:
RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS
Some pumpkin patches take place on actual farms, while others are set up in church parking lots and other community spaces. Some pumpkin patches charge a fee for admission, and some charge per pumpkin or activity. And while some do offer activities like hayrides, corn mazes, and petting zoos, others keep the focus squarely on the pumpkins.
Don’t risk setting false expectations with your family or finding yourselves disappointed. Instead, check the website or call ahead to learn about your local pumpkin patch before you commit.
KNOW WHAT YOU’LL BUY BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
A trip to the pumpkin patch can feel like a trip to Disney World on your wallet if you aren’t too careful. Between buying pumpkins to take home and carve, snacks and concessions, corn maze admission, face painting for the kids, and everything else going on at the pumpkin patch, it can get expensive pretty quickly.
To keep your budget under control, determine how much you want to spend and plan your trip to fit within it. You may need to limit the number of activities each kid can participate in, or pack a picnic lunch to avoid expensive food. Whatever you choose to do, set those expectations with everyone before you arrive to avoid potential meltdowns.
AVOID THE CROWDS
Pumpkin patches fill up quickly as Halloween grows closer, but you’ll likely have a better experience – not to mention, your choice of the best pumpkins – if you go earlier in the season. Don’t plan to visit your local pumpkin patch at noon on a Saturday. Instead, see if your family can stop by after school one day or arrive first-thing on a weekend morning to take advantage of low crowds and short lines.
PLAN FOR PHOTOS
The pumpkin patch is the perfect spot to capture some great family portraits and candid shots to celebrate the fall season. Dress the family accordingly and bring your camera for a fun photoshoot among the pumpkins and the hay. If photos are your priority, you’ll definitely want to plan to avoid the crowds – otherwise, you’ll run the risk of having strangers in your shots.
It isn’t hard to enjoy a trip to the pumpkin patch, but if you want to make the most out of your experience, keep these tips in mind as you plan!