Michigan Bucket List: Pumpkin Patches
Fall in Michigan means apple orchards, trees turning vibrant colors and pumpkins – lots of pumpkins. Perhaps no fall crop is put to a more visible use than these orange orbs which seem synonymous with the harvest season and Halloween. Whether they’re carved into cool designs or scary faces as jack-o-lanterns or used for front porch or tabletop decorations, pumpkins are everywhere you look as the calendar inches toward Oct. 31.
With all this decorating going on, it’s a good thing pumpkins are so plentiful in Michigan. The Great Lakes state is among the top six states for pumpkin production in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About 5,000 acres of pumpkins are grown across the state each year. Most are planted in late May or early June and harvested in September. Most of Michigan’s pumpkins are sold fresh at grocery stores and farm markets. But there are plenty left for one of fall’s family-friendly adventures: a trip to a U-pick pumpkin patch.
Here is a sampling of pumpkin patches located across Michigan. Before you go, make sure to check their website or social media page to verify hours and amenities.
Blake Farms, Armada: There are three locations to search for the perfect carving or baking pumpkins. Stay for more Halloween fun, which includes haunted hayride, 3-story haunted barn, Spookyland and zombie paintball.
Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch, Belding: Free weekend hayrides and pick-your-own-pumpkin options. This farm stand has a large variety of pumpkins and other decorative squashes, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Bethke Farms, Grand Haven: A corn maze and hayrides await at this popular West Michigan spot. The farm offers a big selection of not only pumpkins, but gourds, corn decorations and fall mums.
Harvest Moon Acres Corn Maze & Fun Park, Gobles. The pumpkin patch is only one of the attractions here. This adventure spot features farm animals, a 5-acre corn maze and even a pumpkin slingshot.
Bird’s Big Pumpkins, Romulus: A big variety of pumpkins await, but also lots of fall decorations to choose from, including gourds and corn stalks.
Kackleberry Farm, Monroe: This place has a pumpkin patch and a whole lot more. Farm animals are on hand. So are apple-shooting cannons, a 7-acre corn maze, and a giant “Corn Poppers” trampoline. In the evening, bring your blanket and find a seat around the bonfire.
Peacock Road Family Farm, Laingsburg: Wagon rides to the pumpkin patch are just the start at this adventure spot. There’s a Barnyard Fun Park, pig races, lots of animals to visit and a train ride.
Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm, Saginaw: With more than 80 different types of pumpkins, this place is sure to have something for the pumpkin perfectionist. They have tiny pumpkins, as well as giants that weigh in at more than 50 pounds. They have fresh donuts on site, and games like the Pumpkin Chucker.
The Wild Pumpkin, Beaverton: Pick pumpkins out in the field and then stay for more fun on this farm. There’s an animal petting area, wagon rides, a corn maze and more.
Nugent Orchards, Benzonia: An expanded pumpkin patch and corn maze will greet visitors at this farm. The maze has wide pathways that can accommodate wagons and strollers.
Pond Hill Farm, Harbor Springs: This destination farm in Northern Michigan has Fall Fest weekends that include pumpkin picking, as well as pumpkin bowling and pumpkin smashing. A bounce house, hayrides and lawn games are also on tap.
Hayes Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, Rock: This Upper Peninsula spot has a big list of fall activities, including duck racing, a straw tunnel, a pumpkin tree house and pedal racers.
Photo credit: BCBSM