[Published in the October 2017 edition of the Deer Valley Times and the North Tatum Times}
Temperatures are slowly starting to drop, leaves are beginning to change up north and everywhere you look are pumpkin patches, fall festivals, haunted houses, and Halloween costumes and decorations. Autumn has officially arrived in Arizona and we want to share Ladybug’s favorite places to celebrate Pumpkin Patch Season this fall. Most of these locations are open on weekends throughout October, but be sure to check out our Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival List to get specific details on dates, hours and websites – for all of these venues and many more!
MacDonald’s Ranch in north Scottsdale is one of our family’s annual favorites. We make time every year to visit the ranch’s pumpkin patch, which is only accessible by horse drawn hayride. The first stop at the ranch is their old Western town, just inside the entrance, then on to the pony rides, games, hay bale maze and other fun activities. We always pick out a least a couple of pumpkins (they have a great range of sizes), so either save the hayride to the pumpkin patch for last, or bring a wagon to carry your load. Special note: wear sunscreen, a hat and very comfortable shoes – this is a working ranch and you’ll be walking through the desert to enjoy all that the ranch has to offer.
We love to visit Mortimer Farms in the cooler climes of Dewey, Arizona. This working farm has a fantastic Pumpkin Festival, and includes activities for older kids and grown-ups on Friday and Saturday evenings. Mortimer Farms not only has a real live corn maze, hay rides, and pumpkin patch, it also boasts a zipline, nightly barn dance, karaoke, pig races and an official “Pumpkin Chunkin’” competition! This Pumpkin Festival is worth the trip, and is a great way to cool off during our not quite cool yet Octobers in Phoenix.
The Pioneer Living History Museum on I-17, just south of Anthem, is a great place to enjoy some fall festivities, and learn a little about Arizona history. The Pioneer Harvest Fest has a pumpkin patch, hay rides, gold panning, a BB Gun Range, crafts, games, food, live entertainment and more. You can enjoy the festival and visit the Pioneer Living History Museum village to see buildings restored from historic sites around the state. Check out their website for a full list of activities and see what special events are happening each weekend.
Right in the heart of Glendale, Tomachoff Farms is a real working farm and home to one of our favorite pumpkin patches to visit every year. The farm has a huge pumpkin patch, a mini corn maze for the little ones, and a haunted corn maze for bigger kids. They also have a great petting zoo, train ride, hay pyramid, corn box, adult and child pedal cart track, giant jumping pillow and much more. Tomachoff Farms is a great place to take your kids and hosts many field trips from schools around the valley. Go enjoy some shady trees, fresh air and pumpkin farm fun in the West Valley!
It’s hard to believe that the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden in Carefree, Arizona has free admission. The garden features beautiful, whimsical pumpkin carvings from master sculptor Ray Villafane and the Villafane Studios team. It is open to the public and woven throughout the four acre Carefree Desert Gardens – right on Easy Street in Carefree, Arizona. The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden invites visitors to see mischievous pumpkin characters, Saguaro cacti and scarecrows, all artfully carved by Ray and his team. It will also feature several special events on different weekends, including instructional carving nights, costume contests, and weekly activities such as the “Adopt a Pumpkin” patch, pumpkin pie eating competition, corn maze, face painting, arts and crafts, a new harvest market, food and a local craft beer garden. We can wait to see those delightful pumpkins and carvings first hand.
These are just a handful of the many fun fall venues that you and your kids can enjoy in the Phoenix area. Be sure to check out our Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival list for many more venues around the Valley and in Arizona, and watch Ladybug’s Blog for more ideas.