The morning air is crisp and chilled. Leaves are morphing from their original green to shades of auburn and citrusy yellows. Reser Stadium once again hosts face-painted — and hopefully masked — football fans on Saturdays. Vaccinated students flood campus buildings and sidewalks with books and pumpkin spice lattes in hand. The evidence of fall is all around us in Oregon, so for children, families and, let’s be honest — Instagram influencers, this can only mean one thing.
It’s pumpkin patch time.
Oregon pumpkin patches are everywhere this time of year, so how do we know which one to choose? Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular pumpkin patches in both the Corvallis and Portland areas that may help you decide.
The Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island
This pumpkin patch brings a slice of rural living to the big city of Portland. For over fifty years, the family farm has served families from far and wide and prides themselves on being Good Agricultural Practices certified, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture certified for their organic strawberries.
The farm hosts a plethora of activities for families of all ages, including you-pick pumpkins, hayrides, corn maze, gift shops, a cafe, and the ultra-popular Animal Barn. There is even a beer garden for pumpkin lovers aged 21 and older.
Despite its carnival-like atmosphere, this pumpkin patch does not charge an admissions fee. Additionally, the patch is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Farm Fresh Market is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for heightened convenience.
However, without traffic, the Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island is around an hour and forty-five-minute drive from Corvallis. Furthermore, the suggested route would take you onto the I-405 near Portland, which can get significantly backed up with traffic. If you do decide to make the trip, avoid late afternoon travel and check ahead for accidents or other traffic instigators.
While there is no admissions fee, it is unlikely you will leave the farm without having spent a pretty penny. Activities such as the Maize charge $12 for adults 13 and older and $5 for children between 12 and six. The Cow Train ride is $3 per person, and then there is food, beer, pumpkins, and merchandise. However, the patch does offer online coupons for certain items, which can help bring down the overall cost.
Made famous by The Learning Channel’s hit show, “Little People, Big World”, Roloff Farms now attracts thousands of pumpkin-goers every October. During your visit, you will most likely come across at least one familiar face, and you may even get to sign a waiver to agree to be filmed for the show. Last year, main character Amy Roloff even allowed families to take their photos with her while outside the gift shop.
Nestled on 100 acres of beautiful Oregon farmland in Helvetia, Roloff Farms offers endless entertainment and scenery for children and adults alike. The Scenic Trail Walkguides tourists through intricate parts of the property with various activities along the route, including air cannons, a wagon ride, face painting, and more. At the end of the trail walk, families will have the opportunity to snag merchandise and Roloff Farms’ famous salsas at the Country Store.
However, if your main goal of the day is to select a pumpkin, be aware that pumpkin purchasing is completely separate from the trail walk. Additionally, the pumpkins are not handpicked by you from the patch but selected farmer’s market style underneath a tent.
Guests also must make reservations and purchase tickets in advance, which are a hefty $24 per person for everyone ages three and older, not including the price of the pumpkins. Even though tickets are limited, certain areas of the farm can still feel a bit crowded due to its popularity, and masks are recommended, not required, this year for its unvaccinated visitors.
The drive to Roloff Farms from Corvallis is similar to the trek to Sauvie Island — approximately an hour and 43 minutes without traffic for the fastest route. If you choose Roloff Farms for your pumpkin picking, make sure to plan to be away from home for most of the day. Additionally, pumpkin season tickets for Roloff Farms can only be purchased for Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. sharp, which may be limiting for some families.
Davis Family Farm
Located on Highway 20 in Corvallis, choosing Davis Family Farm is a no-brainer if you are looking for a pumpkin patch close to home. The farm is open every day from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., offering the typical pumpkin patch activities like hayrides and a corn maze (you can purchase a hayride activity bracelet for $5 per person, which includes all activities minus pumpkin picking). Additional produce like gourds and apples are also sold at the farm during pumpkin season, and you can indulge your sweet tooth with hot apple cider and fresh donuts.
While Davis Family Farm does have a Facebook page, they currently do not have a business website, which may make it more difficult to get a feel for the farm’s atmosphere.
Grandpa’s Fresh Market
Located a cool 28 minutes from Corvallis city limits on Highway 226 in Albany, Grandpa’s Fresh Market is a local source for affordable family fun. Families can pick their pumpkins straight from the patch, and then enjoy a hayride or sunflower maze for just $1 per person. While Grandpa’s may not have all the attractions of the bigger patches, you can still snag other fall produce, as well as homemade jams and syrups, salsas and pickled garlic during your visit. The farm also sells cornstalk bundles for $3 and straw bales for $3 or $5 depending on size. While many former customers have raved about Grandpa’s superb customer service and top-of-the-line produce, reviews describing “spendy” fruits and less-than sympathetic employees have surfaced. However, the farm maintains an impressive 4.7 stars on Google and 4.8 on Facebook, leaving little need for improvement. Not bad, Grandpa’s!