America's Best Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Hayrides
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
No object is more synonymous with fall than a pumpkin. And while these days you can find pumpkin-inspired goods just about anywhere, it's best to go to the source.
Although your local pumpkin patch likely offers more than just the beloved squash plant, these five destinations are sure to help you take your passion for pumpkins to the next level.
Cool Patch Pumpkins
Where: Dixon, California
When: Opens Sept. 19
Thirty minutes southwest of Sacramento you'll find Cool Patch Pumpkins, home to the world's largest corn maze.
"It's great to still hold the record," said co-founder Matt Cooley. "So many records don't even make it into the official Guinness book, so we’re very proud to continue to have the designation and to open the book and find our maze information inside."
"Thousands have braved the maze over the past few years, so we continue to try and outdo ourselves each season to keep it challenging for our guests."
Last year's maze spanned a whopping 60 acres, but 2015's version promises to be even more challenging, with visitors having to navigate their way through the Sacramento Kings' logo.
On top of a diverse selection of pumpkins on display, Cool Patch's scarecrow design contest is back for 2015.
Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards
Where: Media, Pennsylvania
When: Sept. 12 through Nov. 8
With well over 100 tons of pumpkins on display, Linvilla Orchards' Pumpkinland is undoubtedly deserving of its nickname and place on this list.
Located just a half an hour outside of Philadelphia in Media, Pennsylvania, Pumpkinland offers a variety of different fall activities, including a trio of different hayrides, all of which are kid-friendly.
Visiting families can enjoy conventional activities like pony rides and facepainting. But there's arguably more fun to be had traversing both of Pumpkinland's corn mazes or participating in the apple sling, where visitors launch the favorite fall fruit at targets.
Where: Snohomish, Washington
When: Sept. 26 through Oct. 31
West Coast travelers looking for the complete pumpkin patch experience will want to program Washington's Craven Farm into their GPS.
Search for the perfect Halloween pumpkin inside the farm's 20-acre patch, explore the Alice in Pumpkin Land themed corn maze that spans another 15 acres, give your legs a rest on a hayride and relieve your frustrations at the apple slinger.
In addition to a 3D barn adventure aimed at young children, families can build their own decorative scarecrow for less than $24.
Since Craven Farm is in fact a farm, there are animals to check out as well.
The Great Pumpkin Farm
Where: Clarence, New York
When: Sept. 12 through Oct. 31
Open through Halloween, New York's Great Pumpkin Farm features special events every weekend over the course of the fall.
But regardless of when you arrive, you'll be able to take part in a plethora of fun activities, including pie eating contests, pumpkin decorating and mummy wrapping. If competition isn't your thing, get lost in the farm's hay maze or stop by the petting zoo.
On select days during October, visitors can also participate in three daily pumpkin puppet parades through the farm.
Shady Brook Farm
Who else loves this time of year?!! pic.twitter.com/6z5m3PK53y— Shady Brook Farm (@ShadyBrookFarm) September 18, 2015
Where: Morrisville, Pennsylvania
When: Sept. 26 through Oct. 31
Situated in between New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Shady Brook Farm has been around for more than a century.
Referring to itself as "America's Most Haunted Farm," Shady Brook boasts a family-friendly PumpkinFest celebration during the day on weekends that gives way to HorrorFest once the sun goes down. The latter consists of four attractions, including a haunted hayride and haunted barn.
During PumpkinFest guests will have access to wagon rides, a playground, a moonbounce, corn maze and more.
More by Patrick Clarke
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions