Originally published October 2015 on 49Miles.com.
Fall is the season of choice for one reason, and one reason only: PUMPKINS. (Obviously.) Just take look at what you and your friends are consuming during this festive season on Instagram: pumpkin pies, PSLs, pumpkin pastries, pumpkin curries, pumpkin cocktails… the list goes on and on. Lucky you, the Bay Area knows how to do pumpkins right.
To celebrate our undying love for this magical squash and the harvest season, we’ve compiled a list of the Bay Area’s 7 best pumpkin patches. Whether you plan to visit Half Moon Bay’s Art & Pumpkin Festival (this weekend, October 17–18) to pick up some (gigantic) pumpkins or not, we’ve got you covered with the best of the best around the Bay.
Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch – Located at 1620 7th Avenue on the corner of Lawton Street, Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch is a Bay Area staple, delivering pumpkins to San Franciscans of all ages since 1979! Get lost in Clancy’s large pumpkin patch, full of novelty pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, maize (Indian corn), scarecrows and more! Dog friendly.
Speer Family Farms – Another Bay Area staple is Speer Family Farms’ pumpkin patch, bringing joy to Bay Area children since 1981. This year, Speer’s pumpkin patch has moved to Alameda, located at 2153 Ferry Point. This pumpkin patch features locally grown valley pumpkins, a giant 4-story sinking Titanic slide, petting zoo and jump house! It’s the perfect place to bring the entire family.
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins – ABC Tree Farms dominates Northern and Southern California when it comes to pumpkin patches! Visit the San Leandro location at 15555 East 14th Street.
Webb Ranch – Webb Ranch has been nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley since 1922. Besides pumpkins, this farm has a haunted house, hay rides, petting zoo and pony rides—just to name a few. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at Webb Ranch, so you’ll have to leave Fido at home.
The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch – We’re not certain, but based on the name we have a hunch The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch may have inspired Charles Schulz’s It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Head north toward Sonoma County to 4235 Spring Hill Road in Petaluma, CA. Here, you’ll find an amazing pumpkin patch offering not only pumpkins, but fresh cheese tastings, homemade ice cream, potato digging, a baby animal petting zoo, hay maze, hay rides, and, you can even milk a cow! Fun for all ages and FREE ADMISSION/PARKING! If you plan to make a weekend day trip out of it, The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch offers live music on Saturday and Sunday.
Half Moon Bay:
Arata’s Pumpkin Farm – Thinking about going out of city limits, or visiting the Half Moon Bay Arts & Pumpkin Festival? Arata’s is the place to go! Pumpkins have been a way of life at the Arata’s Farm since 1932 (fun fact: Arata’s is the longest operating pumpkin farm in the San Mateo County). Get lost in their six acre corn field and pumpkin river. Yes. A river… made of… pumpkins. Beat that, Starbucks! Check out the infamous maze while selecting your prized pumpkin. For the more adventurous, don’t skip out on the Haunted Barn. Dogs must stay on leash!
Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm – Located just off Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, the family owned and operated pumpkin farm offers a fun, family-oriented, relaxing country setting to browse the thousands of pumpkins! K-9 friendly.
Thinking about skipping on the pumpkin patches this year? (Boo!) You can still join in on the fun: Whole Foods, Safeway, BiRite and Rainbow Grocery all have gorgeous pumpkins and gourds available throughout the fall season!
Pumpkins purchased for Halloween can actually last through Thanksgiving. (If they aren’t carved, that is. Please do not try to keep a carved pumpkin around for months, unless you want us to be like.) It’s really a win-win situation for anyone wanting to decorate their home for the fall. If you opt to carve your pumpkins, be sure to save and dry the seeds to make batches of roasted deliciousness! Here are some other ideas on how to reuse the seeds:
- Sprinkle them on a salad or soup.
- Confine them in candy.
- Make a batch of granola or trail mix.
- Bedazzle a wheel of cheese.
- Decorate the top of a pumpkin pie.
Mmm, mmm, mmm! Be sure to hashtag #49MilesOfHalloween when sharing your masterpieces and cuisine creations on social media!