In search of fall fun

Area pumpkin patches provide everything from hay rides to petting zoos

Joe’s Place Farms has a variety of pumpkins and other decorative gourds for purchase. Buy this photo

It’s that time of year again. Now that fall has officially made its entrance, pumpkins have come right along with it.

Area pumpkin patches are open now through Halloween, and most offer a lot more than just a place to pick out a gourd or two.

Many include hay rides, apple cider, corn mazes, petting zoos, local produce and crafts.

Jeff Walton, owner of Walton Farms, is looking forward to his sixth year of hosting a pumpkin patch.

At the Fern Prairie site, children have opportunities to feed baby goats, ride on a “train” pulled by a tractor and, of course, pick out pumpkins.

New this year will be a the “kiddie corn maze” and revamped train with adult-sized cars and two cabooses.

“We’re trying to get the family more involved in it,” Walton said. “Also, we have had the best crop of pumpkins I’ve ever seen.”

Joe Beaudoin, owner of Joe’s Place Farms in east Vancouver, is looking forward to his 30th year of hosting the well-known pumpkin patch.

“I enjoy seeing people having fun and the smiling faces,” he said. “If you’re looking for anything from a 3-pound pumpkin to a 150-pound pumpkin, this is the place.”

In addition to pumpkins, offerings at Joe’s include hay rides, face painting, a “fort maze,” where children can play, a corn stalk teepee, a 14-foot witch, a store, and food for purchase.

The Post-Record has compiled a list of area pumpkin patches and related events. These include:

• Walton Farms: 1617 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas. Hours are Monday through Friday, 2 to 6 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31. There is no admission fee. For details, visit www.waltonfarms.com or call 834-2810.

• Joe’s Place Farms: 701 N.E. 112th Ave., Vancouver. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday though Oct. 31. There is no admission fee, but the fort maze is $1 per person. For details, call 892-3974.

• Bi-Zi Farm: 9504 N.E. 119th St. Vancouver. Hours are 2 and 6 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 31. It includes a pumpkin patch, corn maze, pumpkins, hayrides, petting zoo and a straw maze.

• Annual Pumpkin Patch at Skamania County Fairgrounds: 720 S.W. Rock Creek Dr., Stevenson: It will run from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 and includes a trolley ride, hay bale maze, boo bingo, pumpkin bowling, crafts and picking a pumpkin to take home. Admission is $5. For more information, call 509-427-3980.

• Spooky Harvest at the Farm: 27312 N.E. Hathaway Road, Camas. It will run from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. The event includes hayrides, horse rides, a “spooky forest,” pumpkin carving contests, bobbing for apples, crafts and more. Attendees may also pick out one pumpkin per family. Admission is $1 per person. For more information, call 360-907-2331.