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Though there isn’t quite a chill in the air just yet, the leaves are hinting at the start of change and technically, fall is here. So you know what that means. It’s pumpkin patch time!
Once again, FresYes has rounded up a list of five awesome local pumpkin patches for you to enjoy this October. Read on for details.
1. Pumpkin King
Located on the northwest corner of Blackstone and Shaw in Fresno, Pumpkin King is a pop-up patch smack dab in the middle of Fresno offering a wide variety of pumpkins, squash, corn, and corn husks for sale, plus pony rides, shaved ice, fall photos, bounce houses, and a hay bale maze. Parking is ample and admission is free. Pumpkins range in price from $3-$25. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Owner of Dale Bros. Coffee Melanie Unguez says, “We like taking [our son] to Pumpkin King on Shaw and Blackstone because they offer photo shoots. For something like $40, they have an area where they will take pictures of your kiddo and then give you a disc of all the pics.”
What makes Pumpkin King even more special is the patch’s long-standing commitment to helping fill the need for blood donations for local hospitals. Each year, Pumpkin King hosts the Great Pumpkin Blood Drive and offers free pumpkins to donors. This year, you can donate blood on any Sunday between the hours of 10 a.m. at 6 p.m. at Pumpkin King and as a thank you, receive a t-shirt, pumpkin, slice of pizza, soda, and free admission to the bounce house!
2. Planet Pumpkin
Many are familiar with the large pop-up pumpkin patch that is located at Nees and First in Fresno. This year, the patch will be known as Planet Pumpkin, and will offer rides, shaved ice, food, face painting, photo booths and, of course, lots and lots of pumpkins. Planet Pumpkin will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Halloween.
3. Hillcrest Farms
Located in Reedley, Hillcrest Farms offers a wooded wonderland of family fun with pumpkins, steam trains, hay rides, concessions, nature trails, and play areas. Of all the patches, this is the one I hear touted most often as a favorite.
“They have everything for kids of all ages! Train rides, hayrides, a corn maze, eats and drinks, and of course some amazing pumpkins from all of the pumpkin families!” says Visalia resident Shari Charron.
Hillcrest has an entry fee of $10 per car except on the weekend of Oct. 28-29, when the fee will be $5. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Their treehouse party area is available with advance reservation.
4. Simonian Farms
Located in eastern Fresno, Simonian Farms offers old-fashioned fun with their year-round ice cream and retro soda shop, shooting gallery, and gold-panning area.
During the month of October, Simonian offers a pumpkin patch complete with Halloween costume accessories gift shop, a haunted house, and hay bale maze. Entrance is free, and while you’re there, you can also stock up on locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as artisan-made jams, jellies, wines, and candies. My family went to this patch last year, and had a really nice time. Simonian Farms is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
5. Hunter Farms
Gaining steam and quickly becoming a highly-praised favorite among Fresnans is Atwater’s Hunter Farms. Hunter Farms began operating its pumpkin patch in the fall of 2013, and each year since its attractions have increased and their popularity has grown.
Hunter offers pumpkins, both a corn and hay maze, fall photos, a petting zoo, a hay pyramid for climbing, a trike track, a tractor train ride that takes passengers through historical scenes, simulated gold mining, and a “barnyard bounce” (giant, outdoor bouncing surface).
Open daily from 10 a.m. until dusk, Hunter Farms is sure to delight guests both young and old. And, with reasonable pricing, including an unlimited attraction wristband for $10, families will likely return year after year.