Though Halloween has become notorious to some for the hordes of children overdosing on sugar at school parties, at heart the holiday remains a day of both remembrance and festivities.
Many of us still have fond memories of carving our first jack-o-lanterns with our parents and teachers, and a few of us still carve out silly faces and designs in rotund orange gourds each October.
And for scores of little ones around the Bay Area, the first major step in creating Halloween magic is that all important trip to the pumpkin patch.
So to get you headed in the right direction this year, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite pumpkin patches close to home.
- Cheap Charlie's Pumpkins (Steve's Christmas Trees) in San Mateo
The only pumpkin patch registered in the city of San Mateo, Cheap Charlie's is a sight to see at 1801 S. Delaware St. at the corner of Delaware and Concar Drive. Kids are sure to have fun participating in the many activities offered at Cheap Charlie's.
- Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch in San Francisco
Tucked among the trees along the 7th Avenue thoroughfare sits this local's favorite pumpkin patch. Long and narrow, and complete with hidden ghosts and a hay maze, this patch has been operating for more than 60 years and converts to a Christmas tree lot come November. Though it requires a trip into the city, Clancy’s does offer a free parking lot.
- Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay
Home of the yearly Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-Off, Half Moon Bay has always been the prime pumpkin destination in the Bay Area. Lemos Farm is kid-friendly year round, and steps things up about five notches each Halloween, with a haunted house, hay rides, a ghost train, and, of course, a giant pumpkin patch. Just look for the ever-changing painted horse along Highway 92.
- Webb Ranch in Portola Valley
Looking for an organically grown pumpkin this year? This sprawling ranch is about a 40-minute drive down the Peninsula and offers a real farm experience for families. Pick from hundreds of estate-grown pre-cut pumpkins in a variety of colors. Webb Ranch offers city dwellers an autumnal escape to simpler life. Picnic areas are also available.
- Pick of the Patch Pumpkins in Redwood City and San Carlos
These huge lots are part of a family owned local chain. Give the kids an afternoon of not only picking out their new round, orange friends, but also playing in bounce houses, enjoying live entertainment and taking family photos.
- The Great Pumpkin Patch in San Francisco
Soon after getting off of Highway 280 and into San Francisco, visitors will encounter another longstanding pumpkin patch. Located right along 19th Avenue just past the Stonestown Galleria, this corner lot has plenty of pumpkins to choose from, as well as standard pumpkin patch entertainment like spooky cut-outs for photos ops, a haunted house and a miniature hay maze.
Related Topics: Halloween 2011