Gather the kids and a camera: the season of autumn-themed backdrops is here. Pumpkin patches open across the Valley on Saturday. From basic, get-your-pumpkin-and-get-out places to festivals with farm animals and fireworks, here’s your guide to a month full of fall fun.
Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party
Voted one of the top pumpkin patches in the Southwest by Sunset Magazine, the party includes hay rides, mini-golf, multiple mazes, a petting barn, carnival rides, pig races, frisbee dog performances and, of course, a pumpkin patch. There are also “lil’ farmers” play areas, a Schnepf Family Museum, Sweet Shop, Country Store and gift shops to explore, along with fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights. Food, pumpkins, train and pony rides are available at additional cost, and for $75, you can reserve a private bon fire for the night with marshmallows and roasting sticks and space for 30.
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October
Where: 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek
Cost: $15 per person at the gate, $12 per person when tickets are purchased in advance at Fry’s Food Stores; free for children younger than 2.
Information: (480) 987-3100 or www.schnepffarms.com
Mother Nature’s Farm Pumpkin Patch
Admission includes one Oz pumpkin per child, pumpkin decorating, a hayride, feeding the farm animals, a hay bale maze and air and straw bounces. Food is available for purchase, but families are welcome to bring their own picnics. If you’re just looking for fall decorations, you can visit the pumpkin patch and autumn market only, and skip the farm entry fee.
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Oct. 1-30, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Oct. 31 through Nov. 4
Where: Mother Nature’s Farm, 1663 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert
Cost: Admission is $7 per child age 1 and older, $3 per adult; prices for pumpkins vary
Information: (480) 892-5874 or www.mothernaturesfarm.com
Vertuccio Farms Fall Festival
Attractions include a pumpkin patch, 10-acre corn maze, a pizza garden with live farm animals and activities, such as pedal cars, a barrel train and a bounce house. Pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales are available for sale, as is fresh-popped kettle corn. You can also buy hot dogs, drinks and other concessions.
When: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 1 through Nov. 12
Where: 2011 S. Power Road, Mesa
Cost: Admission is $7 per person, free for kids 4 and younger with a paid adult admission. $15 per person for a season pass.
Information: (480) 650-6606 or www.vertucciofarms.com
Epiphany Pumpkin Patch
Prices start at 50 cents a pumpkin at this simple, church-run patch with more than 3,000 orange orbs. Proceeds will be donated to Ray of Light Christian Preschool; an additional donation will be made to Habitat for Humanity.
When: Noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 16-31
Where: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 800 W. Ray Road, Chandler
Cost: Free admission; bring cash to buy pumpkins
Information: (480) 963-6105 or www.epiphanychandler.org
FALL EVENTS FARTHER AFIELD ...
The Great Pumpkin Festival
Admission includes a hayride, children’s crafts, a petting zoo, hay-bale maze, carnival games, country-Western entertainment, and a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch for kids 12 and younger. Pony rides, food and drink are available for an additional fee.
DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to noon Thursday and Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-23. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Admission $18-$15 for adults, $10 for students with I.D., $8 for kids ages 3-12, and includes garden access. (480) 941-1225 or www.dbg.org
MacDonald’s Ranch Annual Pumpkin Festival
Take a horse- or mule-drawn hayride to the pumpkin patch, then stick around for pony rides, a petting zoo, a hay maze and games, including steer head roping, horse shoe pits and cowboy golf. A grill sells hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks and other refreshments.
DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Oct. 1-31; closes at 1 p.m. on Halloween. MacDonald’s Ranch, 26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Admission is $8 per person, free for infants 1 and younger. Pumpkin and food prices vary. (480) 585-0239 or www.macdonaldsranch.com
Pumpkin Days and Fall Maze
A pumpkin patch and 6-acre corn maze are among the attractions, which also include a petting zoo, train ride, hay pyramid and chicken feeding.
DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 1-31. Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale. Admission is $8 per person, free for children 1 and younger. Prices for pumpkins vary. (623) 386-1301 or www.tolmachoff-farms.com
• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or email@example.com