You can always grab a gourd from the grocery store, but that spoils the adventure. The Bay Area is full of jack-o’-lanterns ripe for the carving, and the attractions are not just for kids. Fire a pumpkin cannon, get lost in a corn maze, or wander the orange acres of pumpkin paradise. 

speerSpeer Family Farms

Speer Family Farm’s Alameda Point

The Speer Family have provided holiday entertainment in the East Bay for decades. They recently moved from Emeryville to Alameda. The little ones can mess around in the bounce house and petting zoo. Meanwhile, kids at heart get their kicks on a rock climbing wall, 40-foot ship slide, and a 200-foot zip line.

Location: 2153 Ferry Point, Alameda

(Open daily from 10 am-10 pm)

IMG_6629Marcia Gagliardi via Flickr

Nicasio Valley Farms

One of Marin’s best-kept secrets is only 35 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy country music, award-winning BBQ, and Tara’s Organic Ice Cream. Hop on a pony (or maybe a mechanical bull), go down an inflatable slide, and climb a giant rock wall.

Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Rd, West Marin

(Open weekends from 10 am-6 pm)

david lytle clancy's Lytle via Flickr


For those who don’t want to leave the city, this traditional pumpkin patch in the Inner Sunset is a nice escape from the hustle bustle. Open since 1979 (San Francisco’s first pumpkin patch), they offer a ton of pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, and Indian corn.

Location: 1620 7th Ave, San Francisco

(Open daily from 9 am-9 pm)

gwen : via Flickr


The first thing you’ll notice upon arrival is the giant iron gorilla that guards the entrance. Arata pulls out all the stops including a corn labyrinth, minotaur sculpture, hay bale coliseum, bounce houses, and a Tahitian hut exhibit. Pumpkins start at $1.

Location: 185 Verde Rd, Half Moon Bay

(Open daily from 9 am-7 pm and weekends 9 am-10:30 pm)

pamela carls perry Carls via Flickr

Perry Family Farms

Situated in the East Bay Park’s Ardenwood Estate, this mom and pop farm is ideal for the whole family. Their hay bale maze is doable at any age, and they also feature a haystack mountain and hayride tour. Their silly cut-out stands and scarecrows make for the perfect photo opp.

Location: 34600 Ardenwood Blvd, Fremont

(Open Mon-Fri from noon-7 pm and weekends from 9 am-7 pm)

david werner lemos Werner via Flickr

Lemos Farm

This classic spot is perfect for kids with Halloween decor packed into every inch of the farm. Their haunted train ride and haunted house are big draws, and they also offer pony rides, hay rides, bounce houses, and a petting zoo.

Location: 12320 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay

(Open daily from 9 am-5 pm)

kathryn harper uesugi Harper via Flickr

Ueusugi Farms

This darling of the South Bay is worth the trip with unique features like a cow train, carousel, honeybee exhibit, and marigold fields. Their biggest attraction is a pumpkin blaster that fires at 90 mph. Weekends offer comedy acts, mariachi bands, and variety shows.

Location: 14485 Monterey Rd, San Martin

(Open daily at 9 am, Closing times vary between 5-9 pm)

Cool Patch Pumpkins

Cool Patch Pumpkins

Arguably the coolest maze in the world (they hold a world record), this year the maze will be the company logo with two options: intermediate and advanced.

Location: 6150 Dixon Ave West, Dixon

(Open daily from 9 am-8 pm)

marcus paz swank Paz via Flickr

Swank Farms

These guys are known for their 20-acre corn mazes, featuring “Terror In The Corn” which is a haunted maze after dark. The young ones can go pedal carting, gem mining, sumo wrestling, and pumpkin tossing.

Location: 4751 Pacheo Pass Highway, Hollister

(Open daily from 10 am-6 pm, Night attractions open late on weekends)

farmerjohnspumpkinsFarmer John's Pumpkins

Farmer John’s

Located just off the 1 in Half Moon Bay, this family-friendly atmosphere even welcomes dogs. No frills here—just 60 varieties of pumpkins including the Atlantic Giant, which can reach 500 pounds. They also feature an authentic teepee, vintage tractor, and a giant pumpkin display.

Location: 850 N. Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay

(Open daily from 9 am-5 pm)

quinn dombrowski Dombrowski via Flickr

Clayton Pumpkin Farm

Their festive Pumpkin Playland features a giant straw tunnel, and the Little Carver’s Barnyard includes duck races, horsey hop-along and ball toss games. They offer a tasty selection of food including barbecue, kettle corn, and other treats from the Pumpkin Pantry.

Location: 1060 Pine Ln, Clayton

(Open daily from 9 am-8 pm)

darla schoenrock mcclellands Schoenrock via Flickr


Who wouldn’t love to shoot targets with a pumpkin launcher? Here’s your chance! If smashing pumpkins doesn’t sound appealing, try the tire swings, pumpkin tetherball, or peddle tractor race track. They even host a haunted house.

Location: 6475 Bodega Ave, Petaluma

(Open weekends from 10 am-5 pm; haunt open from dusk until 9 pm)

colleen proppe spring hill Proppe via Flickr

Great Peter Pumpkin Patch

This Petaluma staple is a working dairy farm that offers cheese tasting, homemade ice cream, tractor rides, and a hay maze. The little ones can pet baby animals, milk a cow, and dig for potatoes. Weekends are especially festive with live music and barbecue.

Location: 4235 Spring Hill Rd, Petaluma

(Open daily 9 am-6 pm)

colleen proppe petaluma Proppe via Flickr

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch

Fun is waiting down on the farm. Climb a 500 bale haystack pyramid, jump in a sandbox of corn kernels, pet livestock to your heart’s content, and meander through one of their two corn mazes. Be warned: the big one can take an hour to find your way out!

Location: 450 Stony Point Rd, Petaluma

(Open Sun to Thurs from 10 am to 6 pm; Fri to Sat from 10 am to 10 pm)

Mark Heaps Bob'sMark Heaps via Flickr

Bob’s Pumpkin Patch

No gimmicks or sideshows–just a good old-fashioned pumpkin patch in a picturesque setting. The prices are very reasonable, and the variety of pumpkins is impressive.

Location: Cabrillo Hwy 1 South, Half Moon Bay

(Open daily from 9 am-5 pm)

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Happy hunting!

[Featured Image: Mark Heaps via Flickr]

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