Fall is a wonderful time of year as families venture out to pumpkin patches in the area, ready to get their hands dirty looking for the perfect pumpkin. Fields are filled with pumpkins, either naturally grown or brought in from other farms, and there’s often loads of other activities to take part in too, like hay rides, train rides and petting zoos.
But don’t forget, picking your own pumpkins can be a messy job, particularly if it’s been raining recently, so make sure you bring a change of clothes for the car ride home!
So where are the best pumpkin farms to take your family this fall? Here’s a selection of the best in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Just 25 minutes south of Arlington, Mainstay Farm is having their annual ‘Family Pumpkin Days’ every Saturday during October, and on November 1. Not only can you purchase pumpkins and other produce at the Pumpkin Tent, but you can also ride on the Yee-Ha Express Train, flying fox, pedal carts, jumping pillow, superchute slide, play in the three-story treehouse and take part in the duck races.
There’s also plenty of delicious food and drink to purchase, and for those who have something against pumpkins, you can watch as the owners attach leftover pumpkins to a high speed zip-line and launch them into a barrier 40-feet away. They also use a sky boom to launch pumpkins into the air without a parachute. You can imagine the results!
WHERE: 1004 W. Bethesda Road, Cleburne, TX 76031
WHEN: Saturdays – October 4, 11, 18 and 25, and November 1
Big Orange Pumpkin Farm
Take a road trip north of Arlington and head for the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm where a great day awaits you and your family. You can pick pumpkins in the field, go on a train ride, navigate the kid’s hay bale maze, relax in the picnic area with snacks and drinks available for purchase, ride on a tractor-pulled hayride and meet some furry friends in the petting zoo.
WHERE: 5518 County Road #126, Celina, TX 75009
OPEN: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Tucker Hill Pumpkinville
Just an hour in the car from Arlington, Tucker Hill Pumpkinville has a patch with pumpkins already gathered from the field, a hay bale maze just for children, pie pumpkins, tractor-pulled hay rides (Friday to Sunday only), pumpkin painting and refreshments available for purchase. Entry and all activities are free, and all money raised from pumpkin sales will go to the McKinney Christian Academy, so not only will you have a great day, but you’ll also be supporting a wonderful cause.
While going on a weekday would still be great fun, it’s on the weekends when Tucker Hill Pumpkinville comes alive. In addition to the activities already mentioned, there’s pumpkin decorating and professional carving, balloon artists and stilt walkers, a DJ with games and music, food trucks and a bake sale. The pumpkin patch has been beautifully created around vintage farm equipment, and all model home visitors can register to win a $500 shopping spree at Allen Premium Outlets.
WHERE: 7270 W. University Drive, McKinney, TX 75071
OPEN: (October 17-31) Mon-Thur 10am-2pm, Fri-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm, Sun 1pm-5pm
Lone Star Family Farm
The Lone Star Family Farm in Stephenville has everything you need to make a great day of picking your own pumpkins in the field. After you’ve selected your own pumpkin, there’s a corn maze AND hay bale maze to suit big and small kids alike (including mom and dad), pie pumpkins, tractor-pulled hayrides and farm animals, but please, don’t bring your own pets. There are also refreshments for sale.
WHERE: 4199 Highway 67, Stephenville, TX 76401
WHEN: September 27 – November 9, Fri 1.30pm-10pm, Sat 10.30am-10pm, Sun 1.30pm-7pm. Special group visits, such as birthday parties and school tours, can be scheduled from Mon-Thur by appointment.
Country Critters Farm
A little closer to home is the Country Critters Farm, where there are pumpkins for sale in the shop or farmstand, or you can pick your own in the pumpkin patch already gathered from the field. Make a day of the train rides, pie pumpkins, tractor-pulled hayrides, bounce house, bouncy castle, pony rides, petting zoo and farm animals. There’s even a storyteller where kids get a cookie and apple juice, while the parents get a delicious slice of homemade pumpkin bread.
With your admission ($10 per person), each family gets a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, while each child gets a pie-sized pumpkin they can decorate with markers. So why not bring a picnic basket to enjoy lunch in the designated picnic area, with drinks available to purchase from the refreshment stand.
WHERE: 3709 County Road 617, Alvarado, TX 76009
WHEN: September 27 – November 9, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm. Open on weekdays by reservation for groups such as birthday parties and school tours.
Apple orchards to visit in the Arlington area
It’s fall in North Texas and you know what that means? It’s apple-picking time, and there are plenty of options available to get your apple fix close to home. And while apples may be your focus, there are so many other fruits and vegetables available at this time of year too, such as tomatoes, corn and raspberries.
Getting out and picking your own apples and other fruits and vegetables not only helps keep local producers in business, but you will also enjoy the benefits of a healthier diet while saving money at the same time. Win-win-win!!!
So where can you go and pick apples in your local area? Here’s a couple in the Arlington area we think you should check out:
Henrietta Creek Orchard
Just north of Arlington is the Henrietta Creek Orchard, a pick-your-own apple and peach orchard that is just the place for a great family outing. While peaches are not available at this time of year, there are six different varieties of apples to pick from over 500 hybrid-dwarf apple trees. You can call ahead to set up a walking tour where you and your kids will learn about sustainable gardening and farming, and includes a visit to the ‘pizza garden’ featuring tomatoes, peppers, garlic and other herbs, the pond, chickens and apple-washing machine. As a bonus at this time of year, they also have a pumpkin patch, so you can get your apple and pumpkin fix at the same time!
WHERE: 14255 Old Denton Road, Roanoke, TX 76262 (opp. Alliance Airport, south of the Texas Motor Speedway – use the second entrance)
WHEN: Call ahead to confirm opening times
Creek Water Ranch
Creek Water Ranch is about 50 minutes west of Arlington and produces apples, apricots, pears, peaches and plums, although peaches, plums and apricots aren’t available at this time of year. This pick-your-own farm is 100% organic, resisting the urge to use pesticides of any sort. Please note they only accept cash purchases.
WHERE: 1840 S Bosley Road, Santo, TX 76472
WHEN: Open 7 days per week, but call ahead to alert them of your arrival