It's easy to grab a pumpkin or two while shopping for groceries, to choose convenience rather than travel to a farm for fall gourds. But there's something magical about pumpkin patches, something nostalgic and traditional that can only be experienced by dropping to your knees to examine the orange beauties before plucking your favorite from the fields.
It's about more than just finding the perfect pumpkin and calling it a day. There's adventure, mystery and surprises to be had, along with a sense of pride that comes with going to the pumpkin patch, regardless of whether you have kids. Plus there's the sense of giving back to the community – directly – by supporting local farmers.
Many local pumpkin patches offer this and more. From corn mazes, to haunted houses and tractor rides, the Sacramento area is ripe with pumpkin patch mayhem. The following is a guide to local farms that offer such fall festivities, so plan your pumpkin pickings accordingly; it will be Halloween sooner than you think.
Gum Ranch Pumpkin Patch
Where: 5415 Kenneth Avenue, Fair Oaks
When: Every day, 9 a.m. till dusk
More Info: (916) 765-7932
Where: 4681 Fair Oaks Blvd., between Arden and Eastern
When: Every day, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More Info: (916) 483-1830
Where: 3845 El Centro Road, Sacramento
When: Every day, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More Info: (916) 925-2496
Where: 7736 Old Auburn Road, Citrus Heights
When: Every day, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More Info: (916) 726-1137
Where: 6585 Milk Farm Road, Dixon (look for their hay bale tractors on I-80 and the landmark "Milk Farm" sign in Dixon.
When: Every day, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
More Info: (530) 304-0163
Where: "Grandpa's Barn" location, at 37945 County Road 31, Davis (corner of Road 31 and 98)
When: Call for hours
More Info: email@example.com, (530) 750-0451
Where: 6224 Silveyville Road, Dixon
When: Every day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More Info: (707) 678-1823, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: 3010 Burrows Avenue, West Sacramento
When: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to dusk, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
More Info: email@example.com, (916) 849-9450
Where: 1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
When: Open weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
More Info: 530-633-2568
Where: 11011 Cecatra Drive, Wilton
When: Open weekdays 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Halloween open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org, (916) 687-4547
Where: 5100 Foothills Blvd., Roseville
When: Daily noon to 8 p.m.
More Info: 916-316-7455
What's your favorite place to get pumpkins each fall? Tell us in the comments section below.