October is here! It's a great month to check out your local events and festivities. A pumpkin patch is a great place to get into the fall mood. Who doesn't love the hunt for the perfect pumpkin for your porch? Read on to learn more about pumpkin patches and which ones are our Hampton Roads favorites!
Fall is in the air! Break out the cinnamon, nutmeg, cozy sweaters, and (I'm not saying pumpkin spice. I'm not going to do it.) Maple Pecan Lattes. Fall is a great time to grab the entire family and take a field trip to your local pumpkin patch! While this is somewhat of a local guide to Hampton Roads, many pumpkin patches offer similar attractions.
A pumpkin patch is an amazing spot for fall family activities! From horseback riding to crafting or playing-and-seek, there are so many things to do. Check our favorites here:
Pumpkin patches are usually locally-owned farms that transition from selling summer produce to fall produce, including pumpkin, squash, and other seasonal vegetables and plants. At some places, you can "pick in the field," walk the aisles and cut your own perfect pumpkin from the vine. Pumpkin patches aren't necessarily farms. Sometimes the pumpkins are shipped in from a non-local vendor. Either way, the kids will love exploring the piles or rows of pumpkins and finding the perfect one to carve or display.
Hayrides come in several forms: tractor-pulled, horse-drawn, and wagons. Most people prefer a horse or tractor pulled hayride to a wagon rides. Wagon rides usually don't have hay bales to sit on, but they can still be a lot of fun! Or pop your kid into the wagon they provide for pumpkin shopping!
Corn mazes are giant puzzles that you walkthrough! Farms take cornfields and cut paths into them, but with the challenge of loops or dead ends. Since the corn is usually taller than you are, it can be easy to get lost. If you're with a younger child, make sure to make it more about fun and less about fear. Sometimes losing your sense of direction is just part of the experience! Also, corn mazes can also be a fun way to exercise logic and critical thinking. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes, and maybe pack some water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
Some pumpkin farms are also petting zoos. Usually, they have goats, ponies, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and a variety of docile, domesticated animals that are safe around children. For the health of the animals, petting zoos will ask that you not feed them outside food. You can usually purchase some feed from vending machines or a kiosk, and the kids will love feeding the animals by hand!
The ponies are usually incredibly well-trained and docile. The handler is always in control, and the kid has a lot of fun! This is a good activity for older children, but as long as the child is able to sit up and hold their head up without support, then they should be safe and comfortable.
Many pumpkin patches also incorporate other fun activities for the whole family! Face painting, inflatables, carnival rides, food and novelty vendors, music, and games are all commonly found at fall festivals held by popular pumpkin patches and farms.
To find out about pumpkin patches near you, check the local newspaper or social media event pages. Many farmers also put up signs or spread out flyers. If you are looking for the best pumpkin patches in the Virginia Beach area, we got you covered!
Being a Virginia Beach native, I have to scoop on your local pumpkin patches! One of my favorite places is Hunt Club Farm. A 28-acre family-owned and operated farm, it's a part of the area's rich agricultural history. With the younger kids, we recommend visiting during the day (Haunted Hunt Club begins after 6:30 on Thursday-Sunday). The Harvest Fair is open every day from 10 am – 6 pm. The daytime Harvest Fair has fun activities including a pumpkin patch, farmer's market, petting farm, pony rides, and giant straw pile. Hayrides/farm tours run from 10am-2pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, extra activities include carnival rides, inflatable amusements, food and novelty vendors, a DJ, music, and games! We especially love the parakeets and the roaming peacock!
The Great Bridge Pumpkin Patch offers a "Pumpkin Patch Playland" that's fun for the whole family. The multiple inflatable bounce castles and slides are sure to be a hit, as well as the straw tunnel! You can also brave the inflatable obstacle course and rock climb in the Dragon’s Castle. Hayrides are offered around 12 acres through the woods and fields and by the pond. It runs from early September all the way through October 30th. Monday-Thursday hours are 9 am-8 pm, and Friday and Saturday hours are extended until 9 pm (7 pm Sundays). Check their website for further information.
Four Miles south of the Cullipher Farm Market is the "Patch" with a large play area, tours, and pick-it-yourself pumpkin fields, apple orchards, and vineyards. In the play area, little ones can learn how to operate things on the farm through exploration and play. They create three mazes each fall: Corn (the largest), cotton, and sunflower. Check out their website for more information on hours and location.
As much as we love a good visit to the pumpkin patch, there are so many fabulous family activities this time of year! For more ideas about Halloween or fall activities for your family, check out familyapp.com/halloween for snack recipes, costume ideas, movie and book recommendations, and so much more!