Area farms provide everything from hay rides to petting zoos

Pumpkin hunters

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Got a hankering for tasting some apple cider, wandering through a corn maze, and picking the perfect pumpkin?If so, then area pumpkin patches fit the bill. Open now through Halloween, most offer a lot more than the standard gourd. Many include hay rides, apple cider, corn mazes, petting zoos, local produce, food for purchase 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 and grown-ups have opportunities to feed baby goats, ride on a “train” pulled by a tractor, wander through a corn maze and, of course, pick out pumpkins.

Last year, approximately 5,000 people visited the pumpkin patch.

“It was my best year ever,” he said. “It was phenomenal. My favorite part is that this is a family farm. It’s so nice to see parents enjoy it, and we are committed to making sure people have fun, that’s why we have no fee to get in.”

The corn maze has grown to 5 acres, and this year baby calves will be a part of the petting zoo.

Joe’s Place Farms in east Vancouver will start its 31st year of hosting the well-known pumpkin patch. There, people can find anything from a 3-pound pumpkin to a 150-pound pumpkin.

In addition to colorful gourds, 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.