While the days are still quite warm, typical of the season here in the South Bay, we are starting to see some signs of fall. The leaves are changing and nights are starting to cool. It's time to plan a trip to the pumpkin patch! The Bay Area has dozens of local farms, farm stands, and seasonal pumpkin patches where you can go to pick out your pumpkin. Kids will love picking their very own pumpkin out of the lot, if an urban patch, or the field, if on the farm where it was grown. Many of these pumpkin farms and pumpkin patches offer a seasonal fun and activities including corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoo, haunted house, seasonal foods, and Halloween activities for all ages.
Because each year's harvest is different, please call ahead to confirm hours and availability.
Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park
14485 Monterey Rd., San Martin - 408-778-7225
This local Coyote Valley farm offers a lot to do at their seasonal pumpkin patch beyond pumpkin picking. This local farm offers a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages. Entertainment includes train rides, hay rides, corn maze, petting zoo, butterfly garden, and pumpkin blasters. Get your photo taken with the Pumpkin Pyramid, an epic stack of 4,000 pumpkins. Hours: Open at 9 a.m. every day; closing times vary between 5-9 p.m. Open October 1-31. Admission is free and parking is free on weekdays. On weekends, there is a parking fee of $8/vehicle. Some activities have fees--park passes are available for discounted rides. Pumpkin and food sales are cash only.
Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch
Santa Teresa Blvd. at Bailey Ave., San Jose - 408-763-1093
Every fall, family-owned Spina Farms opens a pumpkin patch in San Jose, featuring more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and bountiful fall produce, all grown locally here in the Coyote Valley. The pumpkin patch includes a hay ride, a train ride, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Pack a lunch and enjoy it in the picnic area. The Pumpkin Patch is open beginning the last weekend in September through the month of October. Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm and Friday to Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. The petting zoo is open weekends only, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Arata Pumpkin Farm
185 Verde Rd., Half Moon Bay - 650-726-7548
As home to the world-famous Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, Half Moon Bay has lots of options for picking out your pumpkin. This local farm was founded in 1932 and is the oldest working farm in San Mateo County. The farm includes some other fun activities including the 2-acre Minotaur's Labyrinth Hay Maze, a train ride, and a petting zoo. Pack a lunch and enjoy it in the picnic area. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 6:30pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 10:30pm. Admission is free, but the corn maze and other activities have varied fees.
Farmer John's Pumpkin Patch
850 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay - 650-726-4980
This Half Moon Bay pumpkin farm is best known for their wide range of pumpkins on offer. The farm grows over 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash, including the massive Atlantic Giant, which can grow up to 500 pounds. Bring the whole family--this farm is one of the only local pumpkin patches that welcomes dogs. The pumpkin patch is open mid-September through Halloween. Hours: Seven days a week from 9am–5pm.
12320 San Mateo Rd. (Hwy 92), Half Moon Bay - 650-726-2342
This pumpkin farm is another great place for kids. The farm offers a variety of pumpkins and fun activities including a spooky Ghost Train, hay rides, pony rides, bounce house, a petting zoo, and the Scare Zone haunted house. The haunted house offers two levels of creepy fun: The Halloween Fun version for smaller kids, and the Scare Zone featuring actors working their hardest to scare all who enter. Admission is free but the activities have varied fees. Hours: November-August, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-5pm; September, Wednesdays through Sundays from 9am-5pm; October, everyday from 9am-5pm.
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont - (510) 793-6658
Perry Farms is located on the historic Ardenwood Estate in Fremont. This working organic farm grows all the pumpkins on site. The farm includes a kids-size corn-maze, character cutout photo ops, a hay pyramid and hay rides. Hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 7pm. The pumpkin patch is open every day in October. Admission is free Monday through Friday, $1.00 per person on Saturdays and Sundays. Children under two enter for free.
2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley - 650-854-3134
This family-owned farm has a pumpkin patch featuring organically grown pumpkins on-site. The pumpkin patch features a hay ride, pony ride, train ride, bouncy houses, and a haunted house. There are on-site vendors. The farm is open seven days a week. Hours: 9am to dusk. Admission is free but activities and food vendors have varied fees.
2600 San Felipe Rd., Hollister - 831-637-4704
While this is a bit of a drive past Silicon Valley, it will be worth it to experience their famous, 20-acre corn maze. The corn maze includes the "Kiddy Corral" just for young children and the "Maniac Maze," for those looking for a challenge. Beyond the corn maze, the farm includes a number of activities for kids including a Giant Jumping pillow, pedal karts, a pumpkin slingshot, a corn cannon, sumo wrestling, and mining for gemstones and fossils. The farm sells 21 varieties of pumpkins and squash as well as other fall produce. Open September 30 to October 31. Hours: 10am to 6pm plus (only on weekends) 6pm to midnight. Admission is free but the corn maze admission is $17/person, tickets are available on the website.
ABC Tree Farms & Pumpkin Patches
Various locations - 408-393-6303
This seasonal pumpkin patch chain operates 18 mostly urban pumpkin patches across the Bay Area selling pumpkins grown on farms in the Pacific Northwest. The pumpkin patch sites offer several inflatable amusement rides, photograph and game areas, and a variety of pumpkin varieties. Hours: varies by location. Check the website for detailed information about each patch. The pumpkin patch runs from late September through October 31st. Admission is free. Children ages 2-12 that wish to play on the inflatable amusements need to pay an admission fee.
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
If you really love pumpkin season, you won't want to miss this landmark local festival right over the hill in Half Moon Bay, on the Silicon Valley coast. The event features a parade, food and culinary experiences, entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and the world-famous giant pumpkin weigh-off. Find out more about this popular local event in this post: Guide to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival.