CEDAR PARK, TX — The coronavirus has altered virtually every aspect of life in 2020, changes that have touched even our most cherished fall activities such as the simple yet sublime act of visiting a pumpkin patch to secure the gourd of our autumnal dreams.
The scourge of respiratory illness has prompted pumpkin patch opeators in and near Austin to adjust their hours of operation while methodically tailoring activities in adherence to health experts’ guidelines of physical distancing, the wearing of protective face coverings, the tactics of good hygiene via use of antibacterial gel and other protocols.
But all is not lost, and fall has not fallen off completely! Residents are still able to visit area pumpkin patches, provided all the necessary precautions are taken. So from our Patch to yours, we’ve compiled a list of area pumpkin patches to get in some of that seasonal, wholesome fun.
Related story: Fall Is Here, With Plenty Of Events In The Austin Area
If you go, Patch advises people double-check the hours and rules for each pumpkin patch, including whether reservations are required in advance.
Also: Don’t forget to take your masks! The singular excitement of traveling to a pumpkin patch amid the crisp air of fall would be ruined upon arrival only to find one has forgotten one’s mask — thus inhibiting entry or forcing one to drive all the way home to secure the face coverings. So put your mask(s) in the purse or glove compartment — heck, stuff your jeans pocket with masks ahead of travel if needed — to ensure you’ll have them once you arrive. Ensure the stuffed pants are the ones you’ll be wearing at the pumpkin patch, but this likely goes without saying.
Below is a list of some of our favorite pumpkin patches in and near Austin:
Anderson Terrace Pumpkin Patch
On the outskirts of Cedar Park at 11505 Anderson Mill Rd., residents can pose with pumpkins for free through Oct. 31. The pumpkin patch is open daily until then from 10 a.m. to 7 pm., with pumpkin prices starting as low as $2. Corn stalks and hay bales also are available for purchase. Also featured is a pumpkin-painting station with a $10 admission fee.
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm
In the county seat of Georgetown, Texas, the Fall Festival with Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is scheduled through Nov. 8. The site features not one, but two pumpkin patches — one allowing visitors to pick their own to take home and the other configured as a photo-staging area abounding with a variety of gourds reflective of the fall season. Visitors can partake in more than 30 activities at the farm: Pony rides, a petting zoo, a hay maze, face painting, jump pads, treasure mountain, pumpkin sling shots, pipe races, and more. This year, there will be two added features sure to thrill visitors: A corn maze and pig races. You read that right: Pig races. Live music fills the air each afternoon, and food trucks abound (including beer and wine for parents needing to take the edge off as the kids go prancing about with wild abandon).
Admission is $12 per person, with those under the age of 2 free.
Leander United Methodist Church
Sadly, no pumpkins will be sold. But there is a pumpkin patch for those wishing to pose for seasonal photos. The church is located at 107 S. West Dr. The patch will open from Oct. 11-31.
Sweet Berry Farm
The Marble Falls, Texas, farm is open through Nov. 8 except for Wednesdays, when it is closed. One can visit the site for free, but admission fees apply for its array of activities or to buy a pumpkin. Among the activities are a hay ride, a corn maze, train ride, horse rides, sand art, stuff a scarecrow, face painting and more. Ice cream and fresh produce also are available for purchase.
Crowe’s Nest Farm
Through Dec. 12, this Manor, Texas, farm will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No reservations are needed to partake in fun activities ranging from cow-milking demonstrations to hayrides. The farm is closed on Sundays and Mondays save for the annual Fall Family Fun Days on Saturdays and Sundays through October. Learn more via Facebook.
Mama Mary’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch
Opened on Saturday, this Creedmore, Texas, farm-turned-pumpkin-patch is open through Nov. 1. There is an actual Mama Mary who lives on this farm with her family in running the Tristan Hay Service. This year, the matriarch is opening up the family farm for families to enjoy. Visitors can pick their pumpkins, pet animals, play on the farm, and more. Activities include photo ops; hay rides; barrel train rides; a tractor tires playground; farm animals; a kiddie hay maze; pumpkin painting (a free activity with pumpkin purchase); outdoor bowling; a craft and food market with alternating vendors. Moreover, a “trunk-or-treat” is scheduled on Oct. 21 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Barton Hill Farms
Every weekend from Oct. 3 to Nov. 15, this Bastrop, Texas, farm will offer a bevy of fun family activities. Those planning to go need to purchase admission tickets online only while specifying the day they plan to attend. Abundant cottonwood trees make a dramatic backdrop for seasonal photos here. Families can pick their favorite pumpkin and have a dizzying, yet fun, experience at the 3.5-acre corn maze. Harried parents can chill out on swings under shady trees along the calming waters of the Colorado River. Especially harried parents can avail themselves of a new adddition: The Apfelwein & Biergarten offers a variety of craft beers and ciders on tap.
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm
In bucolic Elgin, Texas, a pumpkin festival will take place on the second and third weekends from Oct. 3 through Nov. 1, with an admission of a mere $7 for all ages. Corn mazes, duck races, photo ops, animals, train ride, hayride playscape and picnic area are among the many fun features. Vendors will be on hand selling food for a good cause. Visit Facebook for more details.
Also in Elgin, Evergreen Farms will open for its Pumpkin Hunt, which includes a free wagon ride into fields where miniature pumpkins have been hidden. Like an Easter egg hunt, but with mini-pumpkins. Organizers note that one admission gets visitors two of these mini-pumpkins. Tickets priced at $3 enable visitors to partake in myriad activities, including a rain ride, fishing pond, bounce track, kids’ zip line, pumpkin launcher, mazes, and more. Tickets are $3 for each activity offered, officials noted.
The Jersey Barnyard
Throughout October, visitor to this LaGrange, Texas, farm will be in awe of a variety of flora and fauna. We’re talking jack o’lanterns, specialty pumpkins, squash, gourds, decorative corn, corn stalks, ceramic pumpkins, fall decor, mums, fall bedding plants and more. Pumpkin painting is free with a purchase of a pumpkin. Plus, visitors can go on a farm tour and enjoy Grade A raw Jersey milk from grass-fed cows. Also available: Organic chicken; pastured chicken eggs; and pastured pork. A feast!
Robinson Family Farm
This Temple, Texas, farm is open each Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s a pumpkin patch to be sure, but also hayrides, corn and hay mazes, a kiddie train and more games & activities.
Editor’s note: Pumpkin patch operators, let us know if you would like to be included in this list. Comment on the thread below, or email [email protected]
This article originally appeared on the Cedar Park-Leander Patch