The pumpkin patch at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA
Underwood Farms

Fall Family Fun at Orchards and Farms Across the United States

For many families, including mine, hauling the kids out to a farm in the autumn so that they can get specks of itchy hay under their shirts, pick vegetables and fruits they won’t eat, and have "where are we?!?!" meltdowns in corn mazes—well, it’s a beloved tradition.

Heading out to an orchard, corn maze, or farm on an autumn Saturday afternoon is as all-American as the apple pie you can bake with what you bring home.

So if you're looking for a gourd time, try our picks for the best fall farm experiences across the USA. We promise you'll find abundant photo ops and wholesome activities that will entrance even the most cynical 11-year-olds (and probably blow the minds of younger kids).

(Pictured above: The pumpkin patch at Underwood Family Farms in California)

A climbing obstacle at Griffin Farms in Blocton, AL
Griffin Farms

Alabama


Every October, Griffin Farms, a former dairy in Blocton, turns itself into a carnival on steroids, with pumpkin picking (one per person with the entry fee) serving as a mere opening salvo. This is the only farm on our list with its own zipline.

Activities:
• animal barn & bison encounter
• climbable structures (hay bale, tire mountains, rock climbing walls)
• corn maze
• hayrides
• playgrounds with slides and swings of all sorts
• u-pick pumpkins
• zipline

Dates: weekends in October

Website: GriffinFarmAL.com

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A tractor ride at Underwood Farms in California
Underwood Farms

California


Underwood Family Farms
in Moorpark, near Simi Valley, practices what it calls sustainable agriculture, and it opens its fields for cavorting and self-picking each fall.

Activities:
animal viewing
climbable hay pyramid

• corn trail ride-through
• wagon rides

• roaming entertainers (weekends only)
• u-pick pumpkins and vegetables (everything from cucumber and fennel to turnips and okra)

Dates: October

Website: UnderwoodFamilyFarms.com

In business since 1932, Arata's Pumpkin Farm on the San Francisco Peninsula promises to satisfy "all your pumpkin needs." Well, all right then! In the fall, the farm will also scare the stuffing out of your kids with its haunted barn.

Activities:
• hay maze
• hayrides
• haunted barn
• petting zoo
• pony ride
• tiny train ride

Dates: September and October

Website: AratasFarm.com

A close up from the haunted house at Fritzler Farms in Colorado
Fritzler Farm

Colorado


Fritzler Farm Park
 is the one your teen will like as much as you and your toddler do. That’s because Fritzler’s offers acres of "haunted house" style fun in the evenings (pictured above), plus a beer garden (over 21 only for that), glow-in-the-dark paintball, and more.

Activities:
• climbable hay mountain and giant slides
• corn maze
• evening campfires
• go-carts and train rides
• haunted acres
• paintball
• pumpkin cannon
• u-pick pumpkins
• yard games

Dates: Mid-September–Halloween

Website: FritzlerFarmPark.com

Connecticut


Flamig Farm
in West Simsbury has been in the same family for over 100 years and offers overnight stays as well as day visits. One recent addition is the "Haunted Petting Zoo," which does not mean that the animals will be dead—you’ll pet them by candlelight, surrounded by jack-o'-lanterns.

Activities:
• Haunted Petting Zoo
• pony rides
• hayrides
• Reiki sessions for your pets

Dates: October

Website: FlamigFarm.com

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In the pumpkin patch at Ramseys Farm in Delaware
Ramsey Farm

Delaware


Painted pumpkins last longer than carved ones, say the folks at Ramsey’s Farm outside of Wilmington. That's one of the reasons they set up a painting station at their farm every weekend in fall. They’re also very maze-happy here—there are three to try each year.

Activities:
• bonfires
• corn trivia maze, hay maze, and sorghum maze
• hayrides
• pumpkin painting
• farm animals

Dates: Weekends from the last one in September through Halloween

Website: RamseysFarm.com

A young boy poses for a photo at Jaemor Farms in Georgia
Jaemor Farms

Georgia


Yahoo Farm
 in Jasper, north of Atlanta, adds to the u-pick-it landscape by allowing visitors to hunt for fossils on its grounds. Even funkier, the corn maze turns "cosmic" (read: extra spooky) every Saturday night, and on each Sunday morning, the "Pumpkin Bunny" leads children on a hunt.

Activities:
• bonfires
• a corn cannon that fires cobs
• corn mazes
• pumpkin picking

Dates: October (with more activities on the weekends)

Website: YahooFarm.com

Jaemor Farms, north of Athens, has two levels of mazes: a mini-maze for those who only want a small taste of that lost-in-the-stalks experience and another that spreads over 7 acres and includes a scavenger hunt. Plus, the place has duck races!

Activities:
• apple cannons
• corn mazes
• duck races
• farm Skee-Ball
• hayrides
• petting zoo
• pumpkin train
• tricycle race track
• u-pick flowers

Dates: Mid-September through the first weekend of November

Website: JaemorFarms.com

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The Corn Maze at New Sweden Farms in Idaho
New Sweden Farm

Idaho


In Idaho Falls, New Sweden Farms has so much seasonal fun it sells season passes as well as day passes.

Activities:
• bounce houses
• corn maze (pictured above)
• corn stalk "beach” and teepees
• giant slide
• pony rides
• s’mores pit
• sweet shop
• u-pick pumpkins

Dates: Mon–Sat September until late October

Website: NewSwedenFarms.com

Indiana


Tuttle Orchards
, open for more than century, is unusually accessible for a farm, and it's smart about welcoming visitors with mobility needs.

Activities:
• animal and beehive viewing
• corn maze
• tractor-themed playground
• u-pick pumpkins and apples

Dates: September and October

Website: IndianapolisOrchard.com


A young boy finds his pumpkin at Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch in Illinois
Ryan Dickey/Flickr

Illinois


A Midwest tradition since 1948, Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard, midway between Chicago and Rockford, is constantly innovating. In 2020, the business added a carousel and a weekend magic show to its already impressive offerings. Where else can you celebrate autumn by watching giraffes?

Activities:
• animal area with a pigs, giraffes, and "feathered friends"
• carousel
• climbable tire mountain
• haunted house
• kiddie playground
• Pumpkin Express train
• pedal karts
• pig races
• pumpkin cannon
• Western town
• "Singing Chickens"
• straw maze
• u-pick pumpkins (pictured above)

Dates: Last weekend of August through Halloween

Website: GoebbertsPumpkinPatch.com

Elsewhere in the state, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch in Champaign (south of Chicago and west of Indianapolis) is a toddler's paradise, with a petting zoo and a play area created just for them. Older kids are also well taken care of.

Activities:
• corn and rope mazes
• miniature golf
• petting zoo
• apple cannon
• toddler playground
• tractor tour
• u-pick apples and pumpkins

Dates: September through mid-December

Website: CurtisOrchard.com

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Piglet racing at Klausmayer Dairy Farms and Pumpkin Patch
Jessica Klausmeyer

Kansas


The milking demonstrations are a big deal at Klausmayer Dairy Farms & Pumpkin Patch, though they're perhaps not as visceral an activity as the evening paintball games, which involve shooting at targets and “zombies.”

Activities:
• "Barn of Fear" and bouncy barn
• corn, sorghum, and hay mazes
• dairy tours
• petting zoo
• pig races (pictured above)
• hayrides
• paintball target and zombie shooting
• playgrounds: one for little kids, one for “farming ninjas”

Dates: Mid-September through November 1

Website: KlausmeyerDairyFarms.com

Kentucky


Food trucks, music, and other surprises greet visitors on the weekends at Gallrein Farms (just outside of Louisville), along with the usual fall fun.

Activities:
• mini train
• corn maze
• haunted house
• hayrides
• jump pillows
• obstacle course
• pedal tractors
• petting zoo
• train rides  

Dates: Mid-September through the end of October

Website: GallreinFarms.com

A seasonal display at Smolak Farms in Massachusetts
Smolak Farms

Massachusetts


Digging for potatoes is doable on some days of the week, but you can pick apples daily at friendly, proudly old-fashioned Smolak Farms, north of Boston.

Activities:
• arts and crafts
• story hours for kids
• educational farm tours (with cider donuts)
• petting zoo
• u-pick apples and potatoes

Dates: Late September through October

Website: SmolakFarms.com

Maryland


A family operation since 1950, Butler’s Orchard, 30 miles north of Washington, D.C., is a fully GMO-free farm with a lot to see and do in autumn.

Activities:
• corn stalk walk
• corn maze
• giant slides
• hayrides
• playground
• farm animals

Dates: Late September through November 1

Website: ButlersOrchard.com

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The view from Gould Hill Farm in New Hampshire.
Josh Graciano/Flickr

Michigan


In the Witkop family since 1892, Jacob’s Farm, right outside of Traverse City, hosts one of the largest corn mazes in the country (10 acres). Its design is changed yearly; in 2020, the family themed it to a shipwreck history of the nearby Great Lakes.

Activities:
• corn maze
• u-pick apples

Dates: August 17 through November 1

WebsiteJacobsFarmTC.com

New Hampshire


The gorgeous views (pictured above) and the heirloom apple varietals make the self-pick experience at Gould Hill Farm extremely satisfying. It’s one of the quietest spots on this list, but that serenity is soothing.

Activity
• u-pick apples

Dates: September through mid-October

Website: GouldHillFarm.com

A girl with a decorated hay bale at Heaven Hill Farm
Heaven Hill Farm

New Jersey


If your kids like to climb, run, explore, and pet animals, they will be in, well, heaven at Heaven Hill Farms in Vernon Township. This place throws everything it has at autumn, and most families come away exhausted but happy.

Activities:
• barnyard sports
 "Boo Barn"
• corn and hay mazes
• duck races
• hay crawl with "Vortex Tunnel"
• obstacle course
• pedal cars
• tractor hayride
• farm animals

Dates: Weekends only in September; Weds–Sun in October

Website: HeavenHillFarm.com

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A farmer on a tractor greets visitors at Indian Ladder Farms in New York.
Indian Ladder Farm

New York


Founded outside of Albany in 1916 by Peter Gansevoort Ten Eyck, inventor of one of the first hay baling machines, Indian Ladder Farms (pictured above) won the first permanent agricultural conservation easement granted by New York State, meaning that its land will be farmland in perpetuity, no matter who owns it. The family takes the designation seriously, writing on their website, "Having a place where people can observe and participate in the process of growing food is worth doing."

Activities:
• cidery and brewery with tasting room and restaurant
• farm tours
• nature trails
• u-pick apples and pumpkins

Dates: September and October

Website: IndianLadderFarms.com

Another long-running family farm (six generations!) Wilklow Orchards is set in one of the most scenic parts of the Hudson Valley, making it an idyllic place to go apple picking, especially on the days when bands play at the "farm bar."

Activities:
• animal viewing
• hayrides and hay slides
• play area
• u-pick apples and pumpkins

Dates: September and October

Website: WilklowOrchards.com

A welcoming scarecrow at the Lucky Ladd Farms in Tennessee
Lucky Ladd Farms

North Carolina


You’ll have a whopping 21 varieties of apples to pick at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard near Hendersonville, along with pumpkins, and (some weeks) sunflowers and zinnias.

Activities:
• corn maze
• apple cannon
• jump pad
• wagon rides
• u-pick apples, pumpkins, sunflowers, and zinnias

Dates: September and October

Website: SteppApples.com

Oklahoma


Things get hairy in the fall at the Orr Family Farm near Oklahoma Cityzombies invade nearly every hour on the hour. OK, they’re local kids with lots of makeup on, but they make for challenging paintball targets, and they're just the first of many thrills at this farm-cum-amusement park. It also has a campground for those who’d like to stay overnight.

Activities
• apple cannon
• barn animals
• barrel train
• corn crib and corn maze
• climbable hay mountain
• hayrides
• human-sized foosball and hamster wheels
• playground
• puppet shows
• u-pick apples and pumpkins

Dates: Daily in October, plus a few dates in early November

WebsiteOrrFamilyFarm.com

Tennessee


Calling itself an "Ag-venture family fun park," Lucky Ladd Farms outside of Nashville, pictured above, has the state’s largest petting zoo plus 60 acres of rides and activities.

Activities:
• cedar glade nature trails (with viewable sinkholes and rare plants)
• corn and ropes mazes
• electronic bull riding
• petting zoo
• pony rides
• swings, slides, and climbing obstacles
• tractor displays
• tricycle race track for all ages
• wagon rides

Dates: Thurs–Sun mid-September through November 1

Website: LuckyLaddFarms.com
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The sunflower fields at Topaz Farms
Topaz Farms, Sauvie Island, Oregon, Sunflowers

Oregon


Formerly known as Krugers Farm (it's under new management), Topaz Farm is set on scenic Sauvie Island near Portland.

Activities:
• corn maze
• hayrides
• sunflower fields (pictured above—for photo ops, not picking)
• u-pick pumpkins

Dates: October

Website: TopazFarm.com

Washington


As much carnival as farm, Remlinger Farms has whirling, racing rides (think mini roller coasters, giant swings, and more) along with more docile self-pick opportunities.

Activities:
• thrill rides
• corn maze
• hayrides
• petting zoo
• pony rides
• u-pick pumpkins

Dates: Weds–Sun in October

Website: RemlingerFarms.com

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