Fall is officially here, and while you have been preparing your fall wardrobe since the day after Labor Day, it is now more seasonably appropriate to begin decorating your home. If completing Pinterest-worthy decoration projects that all seem to incorporate leaves hand-dipped in glitter (who has time for that?!) isn’t your idea of a fall fun, there are easier ways to prepare your house for the season. Simple pumpkin and gouge arrangements on the front porch are the perfect way to transition your house for fall. While picking up a pumpkin at the nearest Tom Thumb may be the easiest way to complete the arrangement, visiting a pumpkin patch with the family to pick out your own pumpkin is a great way to soak in the cooler air and let the kids expel some energy. There are numerous local pumpkin patches and most locations have attractions other than the pumpkins.
If you are looking for the whole farm experience, then pull on your cowboy boots and head to Preston Trail Farms in Gunter. This hands-on experience was opened in 1997 and features a small petting farm, pumpkin farm, hayrides and a café. While the farm is open year round, visitors can pick pumpkins straight from the vine from mid-September through November. The petting farm features goats, cows and longhorn cattle, and with the price of admission, children are given one cup of feed and can get an up close look at some of their favorite farm animals.
If you are seeking a little fun while picking out pumpkins, the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch offers two mazes – one for smaller kids and one for the kids at heart – to enjoy while pumpkin hunting. This patch features a variety of pumpkins for roasting and eating, as well as a wide selection of gourds that are great for carving.
If you want to experience all that fall has to offer in one day, then you need to go to Mainstay Farm in Burleson. If you have a family of adventurers, this is just the place for you. For the adrenaline junkies, there is a zip line that will take you swinging across the farm, a pedal cart track that allows you to race your friends and family, and a 100 foot super-slide that you race down in five seconds while sitting on a burlap sack. While you can stock up on pumpkins, Mainstay Farm is your go-to for all fall decorations from hay bales, to corn stalks to all types of gourds. And if by November you don’t want to ever see another pumpkin, head back to the farm to participate in the great pumpkin smash where pumpkins are hurled at high speeds into a wall.
While you can’t leave with any of the pumpkins in the exhibit, the Dallas Arboretum’s Pumpkin Village will get you in the mood for fall – and for the more ambitious -be an inspiration for next year’s decorations. The Arboretum’s one-acre Pumpkin Village in the Pecan Grove features more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, squashes, bales of hay, and corn stalks. This year’s theme weaves together fall plants and vegetables to create scenes such as Cinderella’s “Pumpkin” Carriage. And the good news is if you are feeling inspired, there is a pumpkin patch that has pumpkins available to purchase outside the exhibit. In addition to walking tours through the village, there are numerous book readings, tours, and live music to experience at the Arboretum. It’s also never too early to start thinking about Christmas cards. Autumn at the Arboretum is the perfect time to get the family together to take a photo among the 150,000 fall blooms.
While you may live in the city, the DFW area is full of fun fall opportunities that make you forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life and encourage you to spend time in the great outdoors. From working farms to churches, there is no shortage of places to pick out pumpkins this fall. Put on your boots and grab a vest, and enjoy the cooler weather while getting lost in a corn maze!