(Photo by Marius Ciocirlan)

10 Gourd-tastic Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area


It's decorative gourd season again, mofos—everyone is drooling pumpkin spice, and there are 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 at Clancy's Pumpkin Patch, a cultural touchstone since 1979 now in a new location near the SF Zoo. Expect all varieties of pumpkins and gourds, as well as tractor-pulled hay rides around the patch. (Plus, free parking.) // 9am to 9pm daily, 2101 Sloat Blvd. (Lake Merced), clancytrees.com

​Smith Family Farms

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 ride, a corn maze, and cute farm animal encounters. You can even sample the farm's award-winning cheeses and devour some homemade pumpkin ice cream. // 9am to 5pm weekends, noon to 5pm weekdays; 4350 Sellers Ave. (Brentwood), smithfamilyfarm.com

G&M Farms

If a good old fashioned corn maze 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, farm animals, and a Cow Train are available for the babes. // 3pm to 6pm (Mon-Fri), 10am to 6pm (Sat-Sun); Haunted Corn Maze October 19th and 26th only, see website for hours; 487 East Airway Blvd. (Livermore), gmfarms.com

​Webb Ranch

If you're not too keen on pumpkin carving, perhaps try a pony ride or say cheese in the photo booth. That's right: You can catapult any fall-born frustrations toward the sky, just a short drive up the 280 at Webb Ranch. The family-owned and operated farm has a pumpkin patch with more than 20 organically grown varieties. Ranch-goers can also expect pony and hayrides through much of the acreage. // 10am to 6pm daily, 2718 Alpine Rd. (Portola Valley), webbranchinc.com

​Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch

This Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch, located at Speer Farms, is an adventurous mecca with a giant ship slide, bouncy houses, petting zoo, pumpkin shooter, and more. Bag your own local, valley-grown pumpkins before calling it a day. Other organic produce offerings are well worth a taste. // 10am-10pm daily, 2171 Monarch St. (Alameda), speerfamilyfarms.com

Arata's Pumpkin Farm

This 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; In the evenings, they also have a Haunted Barn. 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. For kids, Arata's offers hay rides, pony rides, train rides, and a petting zoo. // 9am to 6:30pm (Sun-Thurs), 9am to 10:30pm (Fri-Sat), 185 Verde Rd. (Half Moon Bay), aratapumpkinfarm.com

Lemos Farm

From an activities standpoint, Lemos Farm is the Bay Area's equivalent of a fall-themed Disneyland. Aside from the bevy of mother effin' gourds to choose from, older kids at heart can enjoy a spooky trek through the haunted house, while the young ones can make a beeline to the well-stocked petting zoo or take a pony or train ride. And yes: Lemos Farms does regularly host goat yoga sessions. // 9am to 5pm daily, 12320 San Mateo Rd. (Half Moon Bay), lemosfarm.com

Peter Pumpkin Patch

A trip north of the Golden Gate Bridge will treat you to a bevy of roadside farm stands, enthusiastically slinging their squash for coins—but none of them can hold a candle to Petaluma's own Peter Pumpkin Patch, at the working dairy farm, Petaluma Creamery. Pumpkin lovers can also embrace their inner farmhand whilst on the grounds, milking cows, digging for potatoes, and indulging in homemade ice creams and cheeses after plucking their ideal pumpkin. Suffice to say it'd be wise to leave the white jeans and cream-colored Yeezys at home. // 9am to 4pm daily, 4235 Spring Hill Rd. (Petaluma), springhillcheese.com/pumpkin-patch

​Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch

The Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch is the perfect go-to for those of us who want a festive AF gourd but don't have the time to wander around acres of farmland to find it. To boot, they also sell more than 15 pumpkin varieties, ranging in all manner of sizes and colors, so you'll surely find a squash to your liking. Consider stocking up on their multicolored mini pumpkins to bring those pumpkin patch vibes indoors. They also have a halloween costume and decorations shop and a small haunted house. // 9am to 8pm daily, 4414 Piedmont Ave. (Oakland), pumpkinpatch.info

​Farmer John's Pumpkin Patch

Yes, Farmer John is a real carbon-based human being, one who just so happens to grow some of the plumpest pumpkins in the Peninsula. He, too, sells a wide variety of said thick vegetables, from Cinderellas to luminas (white pumpkins), including the world-famous (and world's largest) Atlantic pumpkins. But with some examples of the latter varietal on his farm weighing in at 500 pounds, you'd be hard pressed to fit one in the family hatchback. // 9am-5pm daily, 850 Cabrillo Hwy N (Half Moon Bay), farmerjohnspumpkins.com

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