Halloween at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland, CA
Kids Will Love Bishop's Pumpkin Farm Near Sacramento
Visiting a pumpkin farm is a great Halloween tradition. Every year, we take our kids to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland, CA (near Sacramento), and we spend the whole day picking out pumpkins, riding the train, going on the slides, watching the pig races, visiting the petting zoo and trying to navigate our way through the corn maze. It's a great place for a family outing.
Photo by Lisa Howard
What to Do at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm
Open Sept 21 - Oct 31, 2013
Bishop's Pumpkin Farm isn't just a place to pick out pumpkins to carve into jack-o-lanterns for your porch. It's also a great place to let the kids run around a beautiful outdoor setting with plenty of things to do. The minute we hit the entrance, my kids are ready to start running, climbing and playing. They wear themselves out while I relax and take photos of them having fun.
This can be a very cheap outing for a family, if you do it right. Admission to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm is free, and so are many of the activities such as the hay rides. You can also get free parking if you go during the week. If you don't mind spending a little money, you can enjoy some of the other activities that charge a small fee (such as the train and corn maze) . On weekends, the cost of enjoying the farm will go up, as you have to pay $10 per car for parking.
Here are some thing you can do at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm:
- Pick pumpkins! You can either select one of the pre-picked pumpkins near the front of the farm or go into the fields and select your own. We like to do both. We take the hay ride into the field and each pick a pumpkin and then pick up some smaller gourds and pumpkins near the front. You'll find the best selection if you come early in the year.
- Take a free hay ride on a wagon pulled by a vintage 1940s or 1950s John Deere tractor. The tractors are a bumpy and slow, but that's part of the fun! It's well worth it to get a ride into the field to pick a perfect Halloween pumpkin.
- Ride the BPF Railroad. My kids LOVE the train! (And so do I.) The miniature scale railroad has eight open-air cars and a diesel locomotive, and it's a great way to see the farm. For a small fee, (currently $2.80 plus tax) you can ride through the pumpkin fields and orchards and past vintage farm equipment. If you can afford it, I think this is one of the highlights of the farm.
- Eat!.A few years ago, Bishop's added Pigadeli Square, an old-town square offering a variety of food items so you don't need to miss a meal if you decide to stay longer at the pumpkin patch than you'd planned. You'll find a good selection of kid-friendly food, from pizza and hot dogs to Tri-tip sandwiches and burgers. The food is good, but nothing special until you get to the French fries. Definitely try the garlic fries! They're delicious. And if you have any room left after you finish your meal, check out Mrs. B's Country Bakery. Their pies, cakes, cookies and muffins are made with ingredients fresh from the farm, and might make you swear off store-bought goodies forever.
(Photo by Lisa Howard)
More Things to Do at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm - Petting zoo, corn maze and more
- Visit the animals in the petting zoo. The Weeland petting zoo includes goats, sheep and other farm animals that children (and adults, too!) can pet. I still smile when I see the shelters they've built for the animals in this area. All of the structures look like little storefronts and have clever names on them such as Goatchalk's and Goat-el 6. Admission to the area is free, and you can wander around in here as long as you like. You'll need to buy food if you want to feed the animals, but if you're going to do that, try to arrive early in the day before all the animals are already full.
- Defeat the corn maze.The corn maze is another activity that I think is worth the extra charge. There's a $4.75 fee to enter the three-acre corn maze, and each year there's a new theme. If you can answer the questions placed throughout the maze, you'll get clues that will help you find our way out. But if you can't answer the questions, then you'll have to wander around until you can find your way out.
- Play and climb on a variety of outdoor structures. Bishop's farm has a wide selection of climbing structures for kids to enjoy, including huge tractor tires, a wooden fort, several slides, and even a real train car. Most of them are free, although there is an extra charge for Coyote Mountain, which includes two big (30-foot and 50-foot) slides and an area to pan for marbles at the bottom.
I'm not a fan of Coyote Mountain. The big blue slide LOOKS cool because it's tall and has a lot of twists and turns, but the slide itself is barely a slide. Most of the kids have to push themselves at least part of the way down because it's just not steep enough or slick enough to keep you moving, even with gravity on its side. The kids don't seem to mind, but since there's an extra charge to go down, this one isn't my favorite. Better slides (which are free!) are the green ones just across from Coyote Mountain and the yellow twist slide that comes out of Farmer Bill's Barn.
Photo by Lisa Howard
Pumpkins! - Go early in the season to get the best selection
Of course, one of the best things about visiting a pumpkin patch is picking out a pumpkin! You'll find plenty of pumpkins near the front entrance, but it's more fun to ride the tractor into the field and pick your own. Be sure to go in early October for the best selection.
Photo by Lisa Howard
More Photos from the Farm - Photos by Lisa HowardClick thumbnail to view full-size
Directions to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm
What Others Are Saying About Bishop's Pumpkin Farm - Reviews from Yelp
I'm not the only one who loves going here to pick out pumpkins. Here is what Yelpers have to say about Bishop's Pumpkin Farm.
"This is by FAR the best Pumpkin Farm I have EVER been to in my life."
"We love the petting zoo, the train ride, the cool slides and things for the kids to climb on....oh yeah, and their incredible pumpkin selection!"
" We drove 1.5 hrs and thought it was totally worth it."
"Every fall we take our kids here to get pumpkins since they have the best prices around."
(Photo by Lisa Howard)
Bishop's Pumpkin Farm Video
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