First of all, let’s just talk about last year.
Our only “pumpkin patch” experience involved waiting way too long in line at a location that will remain nameless (because I honestly can’t remember which one it was). We waited so long in fact, that the price we would have to pay became too much to spend for the time we had left! My friends and I had to bribe our kids with ice cream to get them out of line and give up on pumpkins.
Then, despite the fact that he talked non stop about what he wanted to be for Halloween, it was too cold and/or rainy on trick-or-treat night and we were out of town for both weekends of Boo at the Zoo. So I just never told him when Halloween was and he managed to eventually forget about it. Major #momfail! Honestly, neither of our kids noticed or suffered any irreparable damage, as best I can tell, but I do still feel a little bit guilty that there will be no costume pictures from ages 1 and 4 of our kids’ lives.
But this year? I actually feel like we hit the lottery! First of all, October has been beautiful! And, secondly, we’ve already done 3 “pumpkin patch” experiences that will definitely stay on the rotation for next year! I did my own cost-benefit analysis 😉 and I feel like somehow I managed to make the right choices! So let me save you the effort and tell you why these 3 experiences are a great deal!
1. Jacquemin Farms
I chose Jacquemin Farms for 2 reasons: it’s open during the week and it’s very inexpensive! Where most of the pumpkin patches have “Fall Festival Weekends” – they’re just that, only open on the weekends! I totally understand why, but I was definitely in the market for some places to take my kids during the week when there would be smaller crowds!
Before 3:00 PM on the weekdays, kids ages 3-10 can play in the straw maze and corn box for $2 each (ages 2 and under are free)! During the weekends and after 3:00 PM on weekdays, the farm has bouncy houses (which my kids aren’t huge fans of anyway) and the cost is $6 per kid.
If you arrive early enough, there are pumpkin donuts for sale in the market! (Alas, we did not!) But we did enjoy apple cider slushies!
You can also go out into the field to pick your own pumpkin! When we visited, the pumpkin fields were very wet and muddy. They recommended that we not go out into the field (though we were welcome to if we chose to)! We picked out a couple of pumpkins to take home from inside the market.
Know Before You Go:
7437 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City, OH 43064, 614-873-5725
October Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 6:00 PM, Sunday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
2. DeMonye’s Haunted Greenhouse
For years, I could see this green house from 670 and could not figure out where it was or how to get to it! I didn’t know the name of it, so there was no way to find out! When researching about different pumpkin patch options, I was able to connect the dots! There are two reasons the experience at deMonye’s is great, in my opinion! The cost is $8, but only per child (adults are free!) and what you get for $8 is a LOT!
When the kids walk through the door, they get a goody bag with candy, pumpkin stickers and little Halloween trinkets. They each get to pick a pumpkin and can decorate it at one of the many tables they have within the greenhouse. There is unlimited popcorn and the kids each get a bottle of juice!
Also included in the cost is…
Basketball play area:
Bean bag toss:
Planting a flower to take home:
Dodge ball area:
Petting zoo (well, more of a looking zoo):
and the Haunted House:
The haunted house was a bit scary for my kids. They made it through about 3/4 of the way and then got freaked out in a room full of spiders and it was kind of downhill from there. The truth is, you could do everything else and not even know this “haunted” area was there! We almost didn’t do it because, at first, I didn’t realize where it was (the back corner)!
My kids had a blast here! I felt like it was well worth $16 for both of them because there were so many things to do and the price included food AND a pumpkin!
There are lots of Halloween decorations and other pumpkins and gourds for sale within the shop!
Know Before You Go:
2500 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219, 614-252-6046
October Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Saturday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
3. Freeman’s Farm
As I mentioned earlier, my experience with pumpkin patches is pretty limited, but our experience at Freeman’s Farm was darn near idyllic.
In my cost-benefit analysis, I noticed that most of the Fall Festival events were around $8 per person, not per child, and my kids are pretty young for some of the activities offered. The prices are not listed on the website for Freeman’s Farm, but I tracked them down in the comments of their Facebook page. I was serious about my research! 😉
Hay rides are $2 per person, the petting zoo is free (though you can buy feed for $.25 a handful) and the food prices are extremely reasonable!
The hayride through the farm was about 20-25 minutes long and the property was beautiful!
After the hayride, we were hungry, so we headed over to the campfire where you could buy and roast hotdogs ($2)!
And buy your chili in a bag ($2.50)!
I loved the communal campfire and roasting your own hot dogs! It felt like the real deal!
The kids enjoyed feeding the miniature horses, donkeys and goats. There was a large pig too, but he was taking a nap!
We also got kettle corn and met up with some scarecrows! You can stuff your own scarecrow for $20 – straw and all the necessary clothing were provided!
Pumpkins were $.39/lb and were sold in the yard outside the market. There were tons of options! At this point in our pumpkin patch journey, we already have 6 pumpkins, so I vetoed taking any more home, despite the begging by my children!
Know Before You Go:
6142 Lewis Center Rd., Galena, OH 43021, 740-548-7866
Farm Market is open Monday – Friday: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
The Market is open and Fall Festival Activities are Saturday : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Only cash is accepted at all of the activity stands, but you can use your credit card inside the market to purchase vouchers for food and hayrides.
*When I typed “Freeman’s Farm” into Google Maps, it landed us on a dead end cul-de-sac on the other side of the farm. However, when I manually typed in the (same) address, it got us there – I don’t know if it would happen to you, but I just thought I’d mention it in case! 😉
Need more ideas for fall? Check out 9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus! Happy Pumpkin Season!