October gets started later this week, and you know what that means:
Pumpkin patches! Oh, squee!
Prowling for pumpkin patches is one of my very favorite things to do, and it's a big reason why fall is my favorite time of year. The babies in pea pod costumes, the tractor-pulled hayrides and the profuse amounts of candy don't exactly damper my enthusiasm.
I have one piece of advice when it comes to setting out for a local pumpkin patch: Don't be like me. Don't set out a half hour before sunset totally clueless as to the location of the nearest pumpkin patch and, in your total lack of consideration and kindness, drag along your entire family. In the end, you'll have to atone for your sins by baking batch after batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
Wait. Did I just frame the baking of batches and batches of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins as a negative scenario? What kind of world are we living in, I ask. What kind of world?
Even if five pounds of hot, spicy muffins cooling on your windowsill won't bother you any, you can still spare your family the misery of driving around aimlessly in the hinterlands. Simply consult the list of Tulsa-area pumpkin patches that appears below.
View Where to Find Pumpkin Patches in Tulsa Pumpkins in a larger map
Carmichael's Pumpkin Patch
When: Daily in October; Monday-Saturday, 9am-7pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm
Where: 171st and Mingo in Bixby
Web: Carmichael's Pumpkin Patch
A real Tulsa family favorite, Carmichael's offers everything from pumpkins to Halloween decorations. Look alos for the petting zoo, pony rides and hay rides, oh my.
When: Daily from Sept. 29-Oct. 31; Mon-Thurs. 10am-7pm; Fri-Sat. 9am-8pm; Sun. 11am-7pm.
Where: 9707 E. 81st Street
Web: Pumpkin Town
How do you like the sound of pony rides, daily hay rides and face painting? Not to mention the thousands of pumpkins, gourds and squashes, plus the plethora of Halloween décor available at the one, the only Pumpkin Town. Check the Web site for a listing of special events each weekend in October.
Pleasant Valley Farms
When: Everyday, 9am-dark, Oct. 1-31
Where: 22350 W. 71st Street
Pleasant Farms isn't just that place out west that sells Christmas trees. This fall, find tractor-pulled hay rides, a petting zoo and numerous varieties of pumpkin and winter squash at the farm southwest of that perennial, Oklahoma-centric attraction, DiscoveryLand.
Livesay Orchards Pumpkin Patch
When: Weekends in October; Saturdays, 10am-5pm; Sundays, 1-4pm
Where: 39232 E. 231 St. South in Porter
Web: Livesay Orchards Pumpkin Patch
Two words: Pumpkin bowling. Catch this and more, including an assortment of pumpkins and fall decorations at this pumpkin patch in Porter. The Livesay Pumpkin Playland features a kids' play area, a hay bale maze, a farm-related learning center and a mini pumpkin hunt. Admission is $3, which includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch. See? Porter isn't just for peaches.
Shay's Landscaping, Nursury & Pumpkin Patch
When: Mon.-Fri., 4-7pm; Sat., 9am-dark; Oct. 1-31
If you're the type who'd rather pick your pumpkin yourself rather than hoist one from a grocery store shelf, a trip to Bartlesville's Shay's pick-your-own Pumpkin Patch is in order. There's no shortage of fall activities to enjoy up US 75 – adult- and kid-sized mazes, tractor-pulled hayrides and pony rides are just a few of the diversions available at Shay's.
Shepherd's Pumpkin Festival
When: Oct. 8-Oct. 30, Thurs.-Sat.; 10am-6:30pm
Where: 16792 E. 450 Road in Claremore
Web: Shepherd's Pumpkin Festival
The pumpkin patch at Shepherd's offers a petting zoo, autumn-inspired games, story times, a maze made of hay and a hands-on learning center, all free of charge. Hayrides are $4, and scarecrow making is $2 if you bring your own clothes to stuff. Pumpkins, gourds and all manner of fall décor are available at prices ranging 50 cents-$12.25.
Several of these patches offer special deals for large groups looking for a tour. Be sure to call ahead so the folks in charge at the patches can accommodate you.
I'm sure I'm not the only who who'd love to learn more about the pumpkin patches hosted by Tulsa-area churches. If you belong to a church selling pumpkins this fall, leave pertinent info in the comments.
If you don't see your favorite local pumpkin patch on this list, let me know. I endeavored to make a complete list, but I'm human and plus, my life is subject to the schedule and demands of a 19-month-old Napoleon incarnate. Point at me and laugh.
After you expertly carve the perfect pumpkin you found in the perfect pumpkin patch, don't forget to make some of these:
Only, don't eat half the jar before snapping a photo. Don't mind me, the kid wearing the dunce hat, smiling because it's finally fall.
Happy pumpkin hunting, everyone!