It’s that time of year when the world goes pumpkin crazy. Starbucks starts it off with the pumpkin spice latte. Then my Pinterest feed starts filling up with all recipes pumpkin. And then, of course, you need to make the trek out to the pumpkin patch to pick your perfect pumpkin for Halloween carving but where do you go? Pittsburgh has quite a few pumpkin patches that are perfect for getting you ready for fall.
Now, BK (before kids) we just grabbed a pumpkin at the grocery store with the rest of the weekly groceries. But AK (after kids) we were now expected to have the experience of going to the pumpkin patch and picking out your very own pumpkin to bring home and carve up. Our city kids could visit a farm, see animals and tractors and, of course, pumpkins.
Over the years, we’ve visited a few of the local pumpkin farms and I thought it might be helpful to share a little of our experiences- what we liked and didn’t like- for those of you who might be curious about such things.
*Disclaimer: Be prepared for some throwback images starting back in 2007. Most of these are snapshots but some of them I did try to do a little more with 🙂
Our first attempt at the pumpkin patch experience was when the monkeys were 2 and almost 1. We decided to try out Trax farms down in Finleyville. Honestly, I have no idea how we got there but we did make it and it was fun but thinking back on the experience, all I remembered was hanging around the parking lot. Having 2 under 2, I must admit that those first 3 years went by in a bit of sleepy fog. So I went to back to the website and did some investigating to try to refresh my memory. There I found that yep, you have to pay for just about everything, including the hayride to the pumpkin patch. I was surprised and disappointed at how expensive it was and still is and back then, it felt very crowded. That’s probably why we’ve never gone back. It could also be that we have no idea how to get back there but as you can see, the monkeys still had fun!
So big lesson learned from our first pumpkin patch experience- we are not into craziness. We like simple. Give us a quiet hayride to some pumpkins in a field and we’re good. We don’t need train rides, climbing walls or bounce houses or pony rides or face painting.
The following year (not giving up on this pumpkin patch experience) we went to Shenot Farms and I’m hesitant to share because this is our quiet little place. We love this little farm. It’s simple, beautiful at sunset and doesn’t cost the equivalent of a trip to an amusement park. Actually, all you have to pay for is your pumpkin. They have a hayride to the field (and you get to snack on an apple during the ride). There’s a cute little corn maze, sometimes you can sample their apple cider and then of course, pick your pumpkins. Back down by the market, there’s a simple slide for kids to ride down into piles of hay. No tickets. No children demanding one more ride on this or that.
The little girl may be zoned out but she’s still prepared with her apple and her fancy purse.
Well, once we found Shenot, we stuck with that one. It was just what we liked and so we didn’t see the need to change. Then last year, some friends suggested we visit Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm. It’s really close by. A lot of our neighbors have been so we decided to give it a try. Once again, have I mentioned how much I don’t like craziness. Unfortunately, this place was also pretty crazy. Lots and lots of people. Actually, the boy and I didn’t even get to stay for much of it (and I was secretly happy). It’s a pretty farm but there’s just too much. Again it’s like visiting a small amusement park but without the really good rides. Sadly, even though I took my camera, I didn’t even snap one picture.
I also know that Soergel’s also have fall festival activities. That’s another very pretty farm with lots of cute activities. We pass it every week on our way home from church and there’s a reason why we haven’t gone there for pumpkins. It’s always so crowded. Actually, when the kids were little, I would take them to Soergel’s during the week so they could play and see the animals and the pumpkins but without the huge crowds. *In case you missed the theme that we don’t like crowded places* 🙂
So there you have a little of our pumpkin patch experience.
And just a few more recent pumpkin patch photos from Shenot Farms 🙂