It's decorative gourd season again, mofos—everyone is drooling pumpkin spice, and there will soon be corpulent gourds literally everywhere.
Sure you could pick up a pack of pumpkins at Bi-Rite or at your neighborhood Whole Foods. But where's the festive fun in that? Whether you're looking to make pumpkin pie or to carve a haunting complexion into an orange fleshy canvas, there's a photogenic pumpkin patch near you.
Clancy's Pumpkin Patch
Get a taste of the country in the Inner Sunset at Clancy's Pumpkin Patch, a cultural touchstone for the neighborhood since 1979. Expect all varieties of pumpkins and gourds, as well as tractor-pulled hay rides around the patch. (Plus, free parking.) // 9am to 9pm daily, 1620 7th Ave. (Inner Sunset), clacytrees.com
Smith Family Farm's Pumpkin Patch
Arlum tomatoes, summer squashes, grandiose gourds, oh my! Take advantage of this year's bounty at Smith Family Farm's Pumpkin Patch, and take the kiddies for a hay rides or potato digging (for real). You can even sample the farm's award-winning cheeses and devour some homemade pumpkin ice cream. // 9am to 5pm daily, 4350 Sellers Ave. (Brentwood), smithfamilyfarm.com
Webb Ranch's Pumpkin Patch
If you're not too keen on pumpkin carving, perhaps take-up pumpkin slinging. That's right: You can catapult any fall-born frustrations toward the sky, just a short drive up 280 at Webb Ranch. The family-owned and operated farm has a pumpkin patch with more than 20 organically grow varieties. Ranchgoers can also expect pony and hayrides through much of the acreage. // 10am to 6pm daily, 2718 Alpine Rd. (Portola Valley), webbranchinc.com
G&M Farms' Pumpkin Patch
If a good old fashioned corn mazes is your thing, then get ready to get (somewhat) lost at G&M Farms nearly six-acre corn maze, carved with twists and turns, dead-ends and dizzying walkways. Once you find your way out, pick your own gourd right off the vine. Pony rides and a quaint petting zoo are available for the babes. // 2pm to 6pm (Mon-Fri), 10am to 6pm (Sat-Sun), 487 East Airway Blvd. (Livermore), gmfarms.com
Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch
This Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch is an adventurous mecca with rock climbing walls, air jumper platforms, and a 200-foot zip line that combs through much of the property, offering breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay. Bag your own local, valley-grown pumpkins before calling it a day. Other organic produce offerings are well worth a taste. // 10am-10pm daily, 2153 Ferry Point (Alameda), speerfamilyfarms.com
Arata's Pumpkin FarmThis isn't your typical run-of-the-mill, ma'-and-pa' pumpkin patch. Latticed with its own hay-walled labyrinth and circled by, yes, a gladiator ring, Arata's Pumpkin Fair is as enchanting as it is enigmatic—there's something different to explore around almost every corner. But don't get too disorientated. There are still hundreds, if not thousands, of ripe pumpkins ready for you to assess and later take home. // 9am to 7pm (Sun-Thurs), 9am to 10:30pm (Fri-Sat), 185 Verde Rd. (Half Moon Bay), aratapumpkinfarm.com