9 MINNESOTA PUMPKIN PATCHES FOR A FAMILY ADVENTURE
By Brian Fanelli
Maybe it is the smell of fresh-baked pumpkin pies wafting through the cool fall air, or some well-hidden secret in the heart of a corn maze. Maybe it’s the lush fall colors, or the unmistakable crunch crunch crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. There’s just something magical about exploring a pumpkin patch in the fall—and whatever that magic may be, pumpkin patches in Minnesota sure have a lot of it!
Minnesota farmers grow some of the best pumpkins in the country, from awe-inspiring giant pumpkins to artisanal heirlooms, gourds and everything in between. Whether you prefer pumpkin pies, corn mazes or hay rides, here’s one thing we can all agree on: Your family will love exploring these nine unique Minnesota pumpkin patches.
- BARTEN PUMPKIN FARM, NEW PRAGUE
Billing itself as “the most family-friendly free pumpkin patch in the Twin Cities,” Barten Pumpkins talks a big game. Wagons are available at no cost, making it easy to haul pumpkins or tired kids across the grounds. Wander among the vast field of pumpkins, photograph a few picturesque fall moments and enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the farm.
- COLLEGEVILLE ORCHARDS, ST. JOSEPH
Pick your pumpkins off a tractor at Collegeville Orchards, outside of St. Joseph / Judith Goering
Just south of the Lake Wobegon Trail—a 62-mile paved bike trail between St. Joseph and Osakis—you’d better believe the pumpkins at Collegeville Orchards(opens in new window) are above average. Bike there from St. Joseph for a short, 7-mile ride split between the Lake Wobegon Trail and a few rustic, country roads (the aptly named Old Collegeville and Fruit Farm roads). Pick from a wide variety of pumpkins: from mini to pie to all sizes of carving pumpkins. Kids will love the wagon rides, petting zoo (with goats, sheep and alpacas!) and pumpkin painting.
- DEHN'S PUMPKINS, DAYTON
Since opening in 2003, Dehn's Pumpkins(opens in new window) has attracted families who adhere to the belief that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Although Dehn's is a true family farm, it still manages to feature practically every fall activity you can imagine, from tried-and-true staples like pick-your-own-pumpkins, hay rides and a 5-acre corn maze to more off-the-beaten-patch activities like a gourd slinger, giant slide and Saturday wine tastings.
- FARMER JOHN'S PUMPKIN PATCH, AUSTIN
Spend quality time together as a family at Farmer John's Pumpkin Patch in Austin / Discover Austin, Minnesota
Farmer John’s(opens in new window) has a refreshingly simple philosophy: to provide informal, hands-on fun to families. It’s not the largest or most dazzling pumpkin patch in Minnesota, but that’s because the fun at Farmer John’s isn’t about gadgets or mazes—it’s about spending time together as a family. Pick your own pumpkins and raspberries, see the chickens, pet the farm cats, bring a picnic and establish your family’s next annual tradition. Schedule an evening group tour—complete with campfire, marshmallows and hot dogs—for a truly special memory.
- LUCELINE ORCHARD, WATERTOWN
Sprawling across 155 rolling acres of land—including 10 acres of pumpkins, an 80-acre wetland and nearly 10,000 apple trees—LuceLine Orchard(opens in new window) is practically a small town unto itself. Kids will love unique activities like Hay Mountain, the Children of the Corn Tent and the apple launcher. Meanwhile, kids-at-heart will love walking or running through the lush wetland trails or enjoying a beverage at The Dog House Pub. Leashed dogs are welcome, so bring Rover along to help sniff out the perfect pumpkin.
During the fall season, Nelson Farm(opens in new window) can guarantee two things will always drop from the sky: leaves and—thanks to the Pumpkin Chucker Flinger Thinger—pumpkins. A full-scale, working trebuchet, the Pumpkin Chucker’s 20-foot arm and 1,000-pound counterweight easily flings pumpkins through the air and into the Nelson Farm lake, drawing cheers and shrieks of glee from kids and adults alike. Other experiences at the massive Nelson Farm pumpkin patch include the daily Agricultural Olympics, kickball golf, mega corn maze, Pumpkin 500 tricycle race and scarecrow-making contests.
- PROBSTFIELD FARM, MOORHEAD
Named for its original 1868 homesteaders, Randolph and Catherine Probstfield, this farm is both a historical site honoring their legacies and a shining modern example of sustainable agriculture and community gardening. The farm runs pick-your-own heirloom squash and pumpkin classes throughout the fall, and on Saturday, Oct. 3 you can attend its annual Harvest Festival. Celebrate the fall harvest on Probstfield Farm(opens in new window) with pick-your-own pumpkins, wagon rides, farm activities, live music and even some Civil War reenactors.
- WALDOCH FARM, LINO LAKES
As you explore Waldoch Farm, don’t be alarmed if you hear a faint BOOM in the distance. That’s just the corn cannon. Found among the many wonders of Waldoch’s massive maze area, the corn cannon is just one of many fun activities, including pedal-powered go-karts (for kids and adults), Grandpa’s Grain Train, face painting, an obstacle course, playhouses, tug-o-war and, of course, the corn maze. If you manage to tear yourself away from the maze, Waldoch offers pick-your-own and pre-picked pumpkins, too.
Peaceful Pines(opens in new window) is a family focused pumpkin patch located just a few miles from downtown Pine City, offering pick-your-own pumpkins, complimentary bounce houses, a corn pit and even a kid-sized corn maze! Plan your trip during the Fall Fun Festival for special activities like free face painting, apple and honey tasting, and kid-friendly games.
- PROBSTFIELD FARM, MOORHEAD