Guest post by Anna Silver, pumpkin patch insider.
The candy displays have been set up for weeks now, and every day that passes is one fewer to figure out what my little guy should be for Halloween. There’s a lot to do before October 31st rolls around, but one seasonal activity families should bump to the top of their list is a visit to the Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms. After all, no one wants to be seen without a jack-o-lantern on the big day.
A Festive Feeling at the Pumpkin Patch
Just off highway 99 in Richmond, the Pumpkin Patch offers much more than just pumpkins. Tractor rides, a corn maze, and live music are among the official attractions on offer, but this all ages event provides a host of sights and experiences that most city dwellers don’t come across every day. From the moment you enter the farm property, pumpkin patch patrons are greeted by smiling faces and warm welcomes; the festive feeling is certainly contagious.
The Pumpkin Patch experience starts with a stroll past some of the farm dwellers — goats standing atop a mini mountain of hay, and young calves who seem quite curious about the passersby. After purchasing your tickets for entry ($11 per person, which includes a pumpkin and carrying bag, children three and under are free) a costumed farm hand, who acts as both the official greeter and the unofficial tractor traffic controller, ushers you on towards the grandstand. There, guests are welcome to park their posteriors on hay bale seating and take in the musical and comedic stylings of the house — or rather, barn — band. The talented and spirited group covers a variety of musical genres, tweaking the words to some familiar tunes and selecting other songs that suit the season (and spice mix) just as they are, like Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”.
Your Jack-o-Lantern Awaits
The musical talent spreads past the main stage and onto the tractors, which are your chariots to the land of the pumpkins. The banjoed and fiddled guides on the brief but scenic ride to the fields lead passengers in a classic sing-a-long. Princess Pumpkin makes an appearance at the conclusion of the tractor ride and then the muddy fun really begins. And it is muddy, so heed the warnings and make sure that you and your little pumpkin pickers are wearing rainboots (and bring a pair of clean shoes to change into afterward).
The Pumpkin Patch offers two gigantic fields to survey, so there is most definitely a pumpkin to suit even the most discerning jack-o-lantern aficionado. But before you select your prize gourd, test your orienteering skills and try your hand at navigating the corn maze, keeping a close watch on your toddlers lest they lose your scent and take up with a tribe of ne’er do well scarecrows. Once you’ve made it through the other side and taken the return trip on the tractor express with your pumpkin, reward your efforts with one of the fresh, complimentary spartan apples on offer. And if nature’s bounty doesn’t fill you up, treat yourself to mini donuts and hot dogs from the concession stand.
The Pumpkin Patch is a fabulous and festive way to celebrate autumn and escape city slicker life, if only for an afternoon. You’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face, a country lilt in your ear, and an orange hard-shelled squash just waiting to be hollowed out and turned into a spook-tacular jack-o-lantern. For details, including hours of operation and directions, visit the Pumpkin Patch online.
Anna Silver is the mom of a 18 month old boy named Levon and has been living in and loving Vancouver since 2000. One of Anna’s favourite things about being a mom is being able to share with her son all of fun and action Vancouver has to offer. Having “hiked” local trails since he was six weeks old, Levon is well on his way to sharing Anna’s zest for life and sense of adventure.
Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms
12900 Steveston Highway, Richmond
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.