It’s hard to feel despair about the end of summer when fall brings so many cool activities that can’t possibly be found in any other season. The orchard trees are ready to share their fruit, the hillsides are awash with yellow and gold, and the local farms are all set to welcome families for pumpkin picking, hayrides and other autumn fun. If you’ve never experienced a day at the pumpkin farm, we’ve picked (pun intended) a few of the best pumpkin patches in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region to help you find the perfect fit.
Author’s Note: While it may seem like such an outing is just for kids, you’re never too old to ride around in a truckload of hay with a thermos of cider. Where will you find the perfect jack ‘o’ lantern to grin away on your front porch this year (or build that delicious pie)? Let’s find out!
Diana’s Pumpkin Patch
Located along Hwy. 115 on the way to Royal Gorge, Diana’s Pumpkin farm boast far more than a field of orange globes anxiously awaiting a new home. It’s also home to an absolutely epic corn maze. The walls of this maze are super high and very dense, so you really can’t peek or cheat in any way as you traverse its twists and turns. The pumpkin patch crew makes a brand new maze each year, so even if you’ve been before, it’s always worth re-visiting. And about those pumpkins. There’s more than the traditional pumpkin. Diana’s also offers white, pink, knobby-skinned and other types for those who want to try something new (while they last ….). Add hay rides and corn slides and you’ve got yourself a day to remember. This patch runs Friday-Sunday through Oct. 31. Cost is $10 a person and includes a free pumpkin as long as they are available. More details at www.dianaspumpkinpatch.com.
Wishing Star Farm
If meeting cool farm animals is more your speed, there’s a little farm east of Colorado Springs you might want to get to know. Wishing Star Farms has all sorts of cool critters you can meet and pet, including chickens, ponies and a camel. Yup, you read that right, a gigantic camel. Watch a duck race, ride a pony ($) or just explore the pens to find the coolest barnyard animals in eastern Colorado. And of course, there are pumpkins, which you can score for $4 each. Choose your favorite, then enjoy an old-fashioned hay ride on the plains, “swim” in the corn bin or scale a gigantic hay pyramid. There’s even a brand-new pedal cart track ages 7-adult. It’s rural farming fun at its absolute best, and did we forget to mention the camel? Open Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 31. Cost is $10 a person, pumpkins and pony rides are $4. More details at www.wishingstarfarm.com.
Venetucci Pumpkin Farm
It’s been a tough few years for Venetucci, but they are still holding on tight to their cherished mission to give back to the community. While you won’t see any crops this year, their public pumpkin patch days and education programs are still performing on schedule. You’ll be able to hike, meet animals and learn all about farming. You can pick up pumpkins for $.50 per pound, or if your pre-k through first grade-aged kiddo is super lucky, they’ll get to go on a field trip and get one for free. Check out their website for an important letter about their farm and the water in the area. In addition to the standard fun, Ventucci Pumpkin Farm also hosts “The Great Pumpkin Races”. You and your family can partake in the 10K (6.2 miles), the 5K (3.1 miles) or the children’s races. The course weaves through the farm and along fountain creek and beyond (in the case of the 10K). Register by Oct. 5 to get a $5 savings. Patch is open Oct. 7, 14, and 15. Race is Oct. 7. Pumpkins cost $.50 per pound. Race is $35 for adults through Oct. 5, $5 for kids. More details at www.ppcf.org.
Green Thumbkin Pumpkin Patch
On the northeast side of town lies the Green Thumbkin Pumpkin Patch, which has tons of pumpkins and plenty of activities. Life-sized board games are a fan favorite, as is the enormous slide perched at the top of a hay pyramid. Kids can enjoy a bit of puppet theater or a dive in the corn box. Adults can tag along for the hay ride or kill time with corn hole. There’s an easy-to-navigate hay bale maze, balloon launchers, a trike track and even more. The patch offers a fairly affordable menu of burgers, dogs, brats and nachos, but they also welcome visitors to pack a picnic lunch. You’ll need to do one or the other, because you’ll likely find so much to do, you won’t want to leave right away. This patch runs Friday-Sunday throughout October. Cost is $10 a person and includes a free pumpkin as long as they are available. More details at www.greenthumbkinpumpkinpatch.com.
Check out any or all of these pumpkin patches this October and be sure to bring a camera to capture candid moments. It’s time to embrace the new season with a definitively fall day of hay rides, pumpkin picking and spending time with those you love.
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