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Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area

Photo via b3nscott on Flickr.com

This is our weekly guest-blog post from the moms behind Red Tricycle, a site that focuses on the "lighter side" of parenting. Every week, they'll be bringing us their picks of stuff to do around the Bay Area with kids. Read the full article here.

Halloween in the Bay Area is so much fun, we all wish it lasted longer than a day. One way to extend the spirit of the season (and build up anticipation to the 31st) is to dress the kids up in costume and visit a Bay Area pumpkin patch. Pumpkin patches are magical because they combine all the smells, tastes, sounds, and sites of the season in one place the entire family can enjoy. Here’s a selection of pumpkin patches from across the Bay Area, where you’re sure to meet the future Jack-o-Lantern of your nightmares!

The Arata Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay has been growing pumpkins since 1932, making it the oldest working pumpkin farm in San Mateo County. Toddlers can enjoy pony and train rides (for children 70lbs and under), while older kids can get thrills in the haunted barn before joining their siblings for a farm animal meet-‘n’-greet at the petting zoo. Read more...

G&M Farms in Livermore boasts good old-fashioned fun for the whole family – so much fun it’s been featured twice on the David Letterman show for its twisting and turning cornfield maze. In addition offering pumpkins of all sizes, G&M Farms has lots of fall goodies: fresh produce, a smaller straw bale maze ($10 for adults, $9 for children, kids 5 years and younger are free) for little ones, farm animals, and a famous cow train ($4 and only on weekends). Read more...

At Ardenwood Historic Farms in Fremont, 12 kinds of organically grown pumpkins and squash are grown on the 70 acres. There is a produce stand at entrance of park, and kids can climb the giant hay pyramid, amble through a mini-hay maze, and enjoy a tractor-pulled hay ride. Read more...

Also open for the season, the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma offers over 50 different varieties of pumpkins and squash for cooking and carving. Enjoy your lunch in a covered snack area before tackling the Amazing Corn Maze, which is 4 acres long with 10-foot-tall cornstalk walls. Read more...

San Franciscans, head on over to Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch, open yearly since 1979 and offering pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, along with gourds, corn stalks, and Indian corn. Halloween décor is in full swing, and you can even take a hay ride in the middle of San Francisco. Read more...

If you're looking for some pumpkin fun in Marin County, try Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch.  The only real pick-it-off-the-vine pumpkin patch in Marin County, Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers organic pumpkins, hay rides, farm animals, bounce house and slide, a farm stand, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company (Thursdays–Sundays), and Big Ned's BBQ on the weekends. Read more...

Let’s not forget Contra Costa County, where Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm in Clayton is your pumpkin, squash, and gourd wonderland. Kids will have a daylong blast in the Plumkin Playland, crawling through a tunnel of straw and hitching a ride on the trackless Pumpkin Farm Express. Read more...

Got a favorite patch where you like to wait for the Great Pumpkin? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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