Pick Your Perfect Patch
By Kendra Kaiserman
What do pie, bread and a Disney princess have in common? Each uses a pumpkin to spice it up. This fruit is harvested in October, is nutritious and versatile and features flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins.
There are nearly 150 pumpkin patches in Central and Southern California alone. We’ve chosen seven nearby that you can visit this fall. Find your perfect patch on the following pages.
Some fun facts about pumpkins:
• Pumpkins originated in South America, but now grow on six continents.
• U.S. growers produce 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin per year.
• The world’s heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lbs., 8 oz. in 2010.
• The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,030 lbs.
• A popular pumpkin tradition is to carve it into a jack-o’-lantern, a task that originated in Ireland hundreds of years ago.
• There are 30 varieties of pumpkins. The one you carve at home is probably a Connecticut Field Pumpkin.
640 E. Nees Ave., Fresno • (559) 321-4369
Open in October seven days a week • 9:30 am-10:30 pm
Find them on Facebook
Bring the whole family to Planet Pumpkin and pick out exotic pumpkins, including Warded Goblins, Cinderella Pumpkins and Porcelain Dolls (for breast cancer awareness month). There will be fair rides and fair food, Lolo Shave Ice, karaoke and DJ on Friday and Saturday nights for the children. Tables are available to reserve in advance for birthday parties.
Hillcrest Pumpkin Patch
6943 S. Reed Ave., Reedley • (559) 638-2762
Open all weekends in October from 10 am-5 pm
Visit Hillcrest any weekend in October and pick all types of harvest products, including pumpkins, of course. This patch offers steam train rides, hay rides, a nature trail, play house area, hot food, drinks and snow cones. Teachers can even bring their students here for a field trip during the week.
Changala Pumpkin Patch
Located near the corner of W. Olive St. and Elderwood St., Porterville
(559) 359-1241 • Open daily, October 6-31
Monday-Saturday, 9 am-8 pm • Sunday, 10 am-7 pm
Since its inception in 1992, Changala Pumpkin Patch has grown so much that it had to relocate to a bigger space. It is known to be child-friendly by day and scary by night. The haunted cornfield is the only one within a 50-mile radius, so if you are looking for a thrilling and frightening adventure, this is the place. Or if you are looking for something not so frightening, the patch offers a hayride around the pumpkin patch, carnival rides and a baby animal area where children can visit and feed the animals.
The Pumpkin Grove
14265 E. Goodfellow Ave., Sanger • (559) 356-3962
October 22, 23, 29 & 30 • Open from 11 am–5 pm
The Pumpkin Grove offers many different activities, including a trip through the Fun-Filled Forest or corn maze, picking pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, playing in the corn kernel pit, going on a hay ride, listening to a story at story time, coloring in a coloring book or taking home a special book called Potluck Picnic at Pumpkin Grove. There’s also live music, photo booths, carnival-type vendors and shaded picnic and play areas.
Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
26773 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia • (888) 528-1724
Opening day on October 1 • Pumpkin patch open seven days a week
Corn maze open Wednesday-Sunday • www.vosslerfarms.com
Celebrate Vossler’s 17th year of “getting lost” in its 10-acre corn maze. Along with the maze, there’s a pumpkin patch and train and hay rides. Vossler offers special discounts for teachers, schools, youth groups, churches and clubs. Birthday party packages are also available.
Nay's Western Town & Pumpkin Patch
Located at Farmers Lumber Company
2213 Whitley Ave., Corcoran • (559) 992-4173
Find them on Facebook
Stroll down Nay’s Western Town with its very own Watering Hole Saloon, Grand Hotel, Smith Trust & Bank, Nay Town Jail and General Store. Grab a prop and take some pictures with friends and family. Hop on Mator ‘49 Hayride for a drive around through the Pumpkin Patch, Farmers Graveyard and much more.
Pumpkin King Pumpkin Patch
100 W. Shaw Ave., Fresno • (559) 240-5516
Open daily in October • 9 am–9 pm
Join a Fresno tradition that is more than 25 years old, any day of the week during the month of October. Bring the whole family, where kids can enjoy bounce houses and an inflatable slide, pony rides and a straw bale maze. Bring home squash, corn and of course, pumpkins, or plan a group event, such as a birthday party, tailgate, company picnic and more.