Going to the pumpkin patch is one of the all-time best fall traditions. Like all day trips with young kids a little planning can go a long way. Over the last few years, I have learned some tips that can help make your experience even more enjoyable.
This is true in two ways.
First, go early in the season. Our patch always opens for the last couple weekends in September as well as October. When you go early it is much less crowded then if you go closer to Halloween.
Some patches even offer a discount on tickets in September which is an added bonus. By going when the farm is less busy you will avoid lines and crowds. This allows you to experience more of the activities rather than waiting your turn to experience them.
Secondly, go early in the morning. The animals are more likely to be out and active. There are shorter lines for everything. In my experience you can get more done that first hour after opening then you can in several hours latter in the day.
Don’t Save the Hayride for Last
I know lots of people plan the hayride for the end of their day so they can haul their pumpkins out to their car and head home, but this is the best plan.
Fall days can still get pretty warm. The earlier you go in the morning the cooler the weather will be. It’s not super fun to ride in a packed trailer full of sweaty people to a field with no shade and a beaming hot sun.
With so much fun and activities going on it is easy for young children to get over stimulated and worn out. The hayride and picking out a pumpkin is the highlight of a trip to the pumpkin patch. By planning it earlier in the day you are more likely to have an enjoyable experience with your children feeling fresh and full of energy.
Bring Plenty of Water and Sunscreen
The easiest way to ruin any outdoor outing is by forgetting to pack enough water and sunscreen. Make sure you take and carry plenty of water to ensure everyone stays hydrated.
Also, cover everyone in sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours. While you do want to bring home many great memories you don’t want to bring home a sunburned kiddo.
Pack a Lunch
Many pumpkin patches will allow you to bring outside food in. While most also offer many food choices for purchase bringing a lunch from home might be the best option.
The foods offered for purchase are usually greasy heavier types of foods like hot dogs, burgers, and nachos. These kinds of foods mixed with the heat and lots of activity can leave you feeling crummy. Plus four dollar hot dogs and three dollar sodas add up quick.
Try packing sandwiches and fruit in a cooler instead. Then take your hayride out to the pumpkin patch right before lunch.
When you go out to the car to drop off the pumpkins you can quickly eat lunch and head back inside the farm for more fun. This works well because then you don’t have to carry around your cooler the whole time and it will give you a nice break midday.
Establish Fun Traditions
Traditions bring unity and add a sense of excitement to otherwise plain days. Try adding a couple of traditions that make going to the pumpkin patch just a little extra special for your children.
One thing we do is give our kids new Halloween shirts to wear. Even though this is something little and simple they get super excited about it.
Another tradition you can establish is to buy a special treat for everyone . We always buy a half dozen apple donuts for a snack in the morning .
Then the last thing we always do before leaving the pumpkin patch is to buy some pumpkin pie to share. It is a fun way to end the trip and is one last thing we can look forward to after a super fun day.
I hope that as you follow these tips your family can have an enjoyable fun filled day at the pumpkin patch.