Pumpkin Patches in Central Oregon
Plan a Pumpkin Patch Outing in Central Oregon
As the leaves start to turn red and orange, the air in Central Oregon is crisp and cool. Just perfect for growing pumpkins!
When the calendar turns from summer into autumn, you'll want to plan a trip to one of the several pumpkin patches in Central Oregon. East of the Cascade Mountains, the region is drier and sunnier than in the northwestern part of the state. Most likely, you can leave your mud boots at home and simply enjoy a family outing at the pumpkin patch.
There are several pumpkin farms in Deschutes County - within 20-30 miles of Bend, Oregon. Not only can you pick out a prize-winning gourd, but seasonal treats are often offered at the farms, as well. What better time of year than fall to enjoy caramel apples, hot apple cider, scones, popcorn and homemade jellies? A bit farther north, but still east of the Cascades, is another pumpkin patch gem near the Columbia River, in Hood River County.
Visiting the pumpkin patch is an annual family tradition for us. The kids love going on hay rides, running through intricate corn mazes, and launching rotten pumpkins with a cool, specially-designed cannon! There's also face painting and petting zoos. Of course, the point of our annual outing is to pick out pumpkins to carve into Jack-o-Lanterns, and to use to make our own home-baked pumpkin bread and pies.
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DD Ranch Information
Hours: 9-5 daily through October 31 for the pumpkin patch (hay rides only on the weekend)
Location: 3836 N.E. Smith Rock Way, Terrebonne
Cost: Free to enter the pumpkin patch; hay rides are $2.50; to enter the play area with hay maze, zip line, slides, obstacle course is $3.50
DD Ranch in Terrebonne, Oregon
My children have all been to DD Ranch on pumpkin patch field trips. Just north of Redmond, Oregon in the town of Terrebone is this working cattle ranch that includes a fully-stocked pumpkin patch. It's a family-owned ranch, passed down from generation to generation.
Of the pumpkin patches in Central Oregon, this one is the most affordable! But there's no discount on fun at DD Ranch. The fall season kicks off with an annual fun run and race, on Saturday, September 25, 2010. A barbecue follows the run with live music - all to benefit the Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon.
On the weekends, kids love to pick out the perfect pumpkin and then enjoy riding a huge zip line, bounce around in the playhouse and get up close with farm animals at the petting zoo.
After Halloween, DD Ranch takes a few weeks to transition into "Christmas mode." Starting the first weekend in December, head back out to the ranch to pick out a fresh cut tree, hand-made wreath and other gifts. Children can visit Santa Claus on the weekends, as well as the petting zoo.
Information for the Central Oregon Pumpkin Co.
- The corn maze opens on Saturday, September 25, 2010, and runs until October 31. Admission is $7.50 for those 12 and over, and $5.50 for kids ages 6-11. Under 5 is free.
- The Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. corn maze, covered wagon rides, pumpkin cannon and pony rides are available only on Saturdays and Sundays.
- The pumpkin patch is open daily, M-F from 12-6, and weekends from 10-6.
- Other free activities: hay rides, hay fort and petting zoo
- Nominal costs for pumpkin cannon, pony rides and zoo train
- Birthday parties are welcome! Reserve a 2-hour picnic table by calling 541-404-1414.The cost is only $25!
- Contact the Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. for preschool and grade school field trips (cost $5 per child)
- Location: 1250 N.E. Wilcox Ave., Terrebonne, OR
The Central Oregon Pumpkin Co.
Not to play favorites, but our annual pumpkin patch trip is always to the Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. With dramatic Smith Rock in the background and a simply a-mazing corn maze covering 8 acres of land, its worth the price of admission to take the family here!
When you enter the corn maze (they call it the Corn Maize), you'll watch an introductory safety video and be given a map. Its not easy to find your way out, but every time we've gone, there have been plenty of other families wandering through the maze, too. Each year, the theme changes: 2009's theme was Jungle Safari, in 2008, it was a castle, the year prior, we wandered through a Pirate Ship maze. We can't wait to see what's in store for 2010!
We've been enjoying this pumpkin patch since moving to Bend in 2006. My kids have literally grown up enjoying the zoo train, a hay fort, pony rides and face painting. We always bring extra cash for lemonade or hot apple cider.
Perhaps not surprisingly, my teenage son's new favorite thing at the Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. is the pumpkin cannon! For a small fee, you can shoot rotten gourds across the fields. It must be a guy thing....
Introduction to Pirate-Themed Corn Maize at Central Oregon Pumpkin Co.
Information about Rasmussen Farms
Address: 3020 Thomsen Road, Hood River, Oregon
Hours: 9-6, 7 days a week from April 1-December 23
Contact: (541) 386-4622, or (800) 548-2243
Rasmussen Farms, Hood River, Oregon
A little over 2 hours north of Bend, Oregon and about an hour's drive east of Portland is Rasmussen Farms. Near the Columbia River in Hood River County, Rasmussen Farms operates year-round as a farm-direct produce company.
In September and October each year, families come from all over Oregon to enjoy the free Pumpkin Funland and Corn Maze. Events open on Saturday, September 25, 2010 and run until November 11. This year's theme is "Mysteries," and you'll just have to head to Hood River to find out what the mystery is....
Rasmussen Farms' Pumpkin Funland includes pumpkin bowling, picnicking, the "Halloween Hut," and the corn maze. Of course, you can pick your own pumpkins, as well as a large selection of fall vegetables and fruits.
Did I already mention that its FREE?
The pumpkin patch and other activities at Rasmussen Farms has been rated as one of the 11 best places in the United States for Halloween by nickjr.com. Sunset Magazine also recommends Pumpkin Funland as a "must see."
But don't trust me - plan your own trip to the pumpkin patch at Rasmussen Farms!
Halloween Family Fun
No matter your age (or the ages of your kids) Halloween is a fun family time. From carving pumpkins, to selecting costumes, Halloween is becoming nearly as big a holiday as Christmas!
Why not start your own fall traditions by planning a visit to a local pumpkin patch? Buying a pumpkin at the grocery store is so..... boring! Get out and enjoy the fresh air. Browse local farm offerings and maybe even get your face painted.
Its time to start planning your trip to one of the several pumpkin patches in Central Oregon, or in your hometown. Get in the spirit of the season!
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© 2010 Stephanie Hicks
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