Pumpkins are practically synonymous with fall. While leaves are changing to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, pumpkins of all varieties—including Long Island Cheese, Cinderella, and Neon—are popping up in patches all around the South. Whether you like to carve them, toast the seeds, or bake them into a pie, we invite you to bundle up in your favorite scarf and go on an adventure to one of these stellar farms.
Here are five of the South’s best pumpkin patches.
Although this farm may be best known for being the first commercial apple orchard in Texas, it also hosts one of the top pumpkin patches in the state. Celebrating twenty years of farming, Baxter and Carol Adams open the Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in October. Admission includes old-fashioned family fun: unlimited hayrides, playing in the hay bale maze, a visit to the cider mill, painting a pumpkin, and a visit to the petting zoo. Little ones can take part in the Great Hill Country Symphony, where singing storytellers share instruments with the audience to help tell their stories. Bring your friendly pets and enjoy food, music, and a bountiful Texas harvest. Admission: $6 per person, children 2 and under free.
Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze at Peebles Farm
You may have seen an aerial view of the incredible corn maze at Peebles Farm. Stretching across 20 acres, this hand-cut maze is only one of the perks included with admission. Owners Dallas and Katherine Peebles have the largest pumpkin patch in Arkansas. Pick pumpkins in a 10-acre patch, or go old school with u-pick cotton, spread across four acres. Admission includes entry to the corn maze, access to the cotton and sunflower patches, a visit to the barnyard, rubber duck races, and fun on the playground. Bring a flashlight on Friday and Saturday nights for some haunted maze fun. Admission: $8 per person, children 2 and under free. Hayrides $3 per person.
Enjoy the fresh country air off Historic Route 66 at the Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch. This family-owned patch is open Thursday through Sunday until the end of October. Pick out a pumpkin, get lost in the corn maze, take a hayride, relax in the hammocks, or even buy s’mores from the concession stand and roast them at the fire pit. For an extra treat, tap into your inner cowgirl/cowboy with pony rides. While supplies last, get a free pumpkin with the price of admission. Admission: $8 per person, children 2 and under free. Pony rides $5 per person.
If you’ve been reading Southern Living since the early eighties, you may have seen Burt’s Farm on the cover. Johnny and Kathy Burt began growing and selling pumpkins more than forty years ago from a stand in their front yard. Now, Burt’s Farm hosts around 60 acres of the gorgeous, well-loved fruits. Just as important as the patch, however, is the hayride. Pulled by a large tractor around two miles of farmland, the hayride passes through a covered bridge with singing pumpkins, drives by thousands of giant zinnias, and offers a glimpse of the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast – Amicalola Falls. Admission: free. Hay rides $5 for adults, $4 for kids, and free for children under 1.
Lucky Ladd Farms
Tennessee’s largest petting farm has geared up for autumn. This 7-year-old farm owned by Jason and Amy Ladd is a 60-acre property just south of Nashville and has more than 10 varieties of locally grown pumpkins to choose from. In addition, families can visit more than 100 friendly farm animals, play on nearly 20 acres of amusements at the Ag-venture Fun Park, twist through the 2015 Flower Power Corn Maze, and take a 20-minute wagon ride through Cedar Glade Forest. Lucky Ladd Farms is open through November 1. Admission: $13 for adults, $11 for kids under 12. Children 2 and under free.