Fall in Michiana means chilly temps and sunny skies, which is perfect weather for a pumpkin picking adventure. There are plenty of pumpkin patches to chooses from in the area, many of which offer a lot more in the way of fun fall activities than just picking pumpkins. Here are a few of your choices. Happy picking!
Plan to carve up your pumpkins to make some scary Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween? Don’t let all those insides go to waste — here are a few pumpkin recipes from Flavor readers to put them to good use.
1600 West Market St., Nappanee, 574-773-4188
Looking for a full experience to go along with your pumpkin? During the Amish Acres Fall Harvest Days, which last until Oct. 26, you can take a wagon ride back to the pumpkin patch and maybe even enjoy some toasted marshmallows. The pumpkin patch is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Hayride tickets are $4 for children and $6 for adults. Each children’s ticket includes a pumpkin.
19498 C.R. 38, Goshen, 574-533-6311
This farm market offers plenty of fresh produce throughout the year, but from now until Oct. 26, you can take a hayride back to the pumpkin patch and choose your own Halloween pumpkin. The rides run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5:30 on Sundays.The farm’s annual harvest festival will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5.
15463 C.R. 46, Goshen, 574-831-3090
Have an active bunch of youngsters? Knollbrook has a scavenger hunt corn maze, animal petting corral and pumpkin sling-shot for little ones who still have plenty of energy after picking their pumpkins. The farm is open to the public on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The season ends on Nov. 3, and admission costs $6.
The Amazing Maze
5398 North 500 East, Kendallville, 260-347-4317
Need a little spook to go along with your pumpkin picking? The Haunted Maze opens at dark, but you can pick out a gourd before the sun goes down. The site is open from 6 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Admission costs $8 and includes all attractions. The season runs until Nov. 2.
1680 Lincolnway West, Ligonier, 260-894-4498
Ever wondered what Abraham Lincoln would look like as a pumpkin? Wonder no more. This attraction at Fashion Farm includes not only a traditional hayride, corn maze and pumpkin patch, but also a museum of pumpkin-carved characters. Parts of Fashion Farm are open year-round, but Pumpkin Fantasyland runs from Oct. 1 to 31. Admission to Fantasyland costs $2 (children under two are free) and the attraction is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
13504 Douglas Road, Mishawaka, 574-259-8960
Leininger Farms offers plenty of different varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds to fit any decorating or cooking needs. The pumpkin patch also has a giant walk-in pumpkin for photo ops (that one’s not edible, though.) The pumpkin patch is open from 9:00 a.m. to dark Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The season will end on Nov. 2.
57754 Crumstown Highway, South Bend, 574-287-1935
You can pick up a pumpkin from Matthys Farm Market any day of the week, but to pick your own, you’ll have to stop by between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday or between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday during the month of October. Tickets cost $5 for each participating kid and include a hayride, a small pumpkin and entrance to the petting zoo.
61391 Mayflower Road, South Bend, 574-289-0164
Thistleberry Farm has enough activities to keep every kid entertained. In addition to the pumpkin patch and hayride, Thistleberry offers a corn cannon, pedal car races, a “cow train” pulled by a tractor and pony rides. The fall season runs through Nov. 2, and the pumpkin patch is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thurday, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. A more detailed schedule of operation is available on Thistleberry Farm’s website.
26390 Stanton Rd, Walkerton, 574-656-3927
You can pick your own pumpkin at Stanton Road, but the pumpkin patch also offers bulk discounts and deliveries for anyone who orders 25 or more pumpkins. The patch is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. The pumpkin patch closes for the season Oct. 31.
18430 U.S. 12 East, Edwardsburg, MI, 574-370-3403
There are plenty of pumpkin- and fall-themed games, activities and exhibits for kids the explore at Amazing Acres. The 90-acre farm features a 16-foot Spider Web (hopefully not a real one), pumpkin checkers and a zip-line. Bonfires are available for those who call 24 hours ahead. The season runs until Nov. 2, and the farm is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
13825 Dragoon Trl., Mishawaka, 574-259-4912
Shopping for more than just pumpkins? Hilltop Farms also offers a variety of gourds, mums and other products that will give your home that Autumn feel. The farm is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The season will close on Halloween Day.
315 County Road 17, Elkhart, 574-293-9699
The Pumpkin Patch Express is a one-way ticket to the perfect Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin this October. Tickets are $5 per person and include a pumpkin. Linton’s is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch Express and pumpkin bowling will go to ADEC, a non-profit organization that helps people with cognitive and developmental disabilities integrate into the community.
5220 Middlebury St., Elkhart, 574-293-3276
Bullard’s Farm Market has eight acres worth of pumpkins to sell (although they do not offer a pick-you-own pumpkin patch.) The farm has grown pumpkins for over 25 years and also offers mums and other fall products. Bullard’s is open from 9 a.m. to 6 pm. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Did we miss your favorite? Share it in the comments and we’ll add it to the map.