Hunt for perfect pumpkin

Lilly Ho

Hunt+for+perfect+pumpkin

There’s nothing that represents autumn more than a pumpkin patch. The problem is figuring out which festive fall destination to visit. The Marquee has sought out the perfect patches that will provide guests with their annual dose of seasonal fun.

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch is quite a sight. A giant house sits atop a hill overlooking several acres of pasture and pumpkin patch land. Hundreds of pumpkins ranging from the size of a child’s palm to a medium-sized dog line the fields to the east of the house.

The pumpkins here are more expensive than at most other patches, the highest prices reaching over $30. But all activities are free, including two hayrides and a train ride that travel around the entire property. Riders journey around a pond near the back of the property and get a closer look at some horses. There are also a variety of blow-up slides, playground equipment, and two hay mazes for children’s entertainment. Large wooden cutouts of famous characters, including Mario & Luigi, the Flintstones and Clifford, are scattered throughout the patch. Children and adults alike can also take a look at some fuzzy baby goats, two pink potbelly pigs and an old tortoise on the west side of the patch.

Near the house are eating areas. All types of food are sold. Cotton candy, kettle corn, breads, shaved ice, corn dogs, funnel cakes and sandwiches are just a few available. Several crafting items, such as painted plates and beaded jewelry, are sold underneath white tents. The workers are friendly and helpful, especially when asked to locate something in such a large area.

Pumpkin patch hours are everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Parking is $5, but with so much to see and do, it’s worth the cash. Located off of 1171 and Lusk, it’s close to home, too. Pumpkin patch goers are guaranteed a fun, exciting time.

 

Pumpkin Village

The Pumpkin Village, located directly to the east of The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, is a medium sized patch that focuses more on activities than pumpkin sales. Open from 9:00 a.m. until dark all October, the patch is part of a horse barn property that gives riding lessons. It’s only natural that part of their patch activities include a shetland pony ride. Four ponies stand in a circle attached to a hot walker. Pumpkin patch volunteers lead the ponies around the circle while children have fun riding them.

Next to the ponies is a petting zoo. Three baby goats, two black baby pot belly pigs and a brown miniature donkey scurry about, munching on hay. Five colorful bounce houses line the west side, along with a hay maze for little kids to enjoy. A hay ride pulled by a tractor runs a loop around the patch. Visitors should watch out for flying pumpkins, though. Near the back of the patch stand two famous cartoon characters: Charlie Brown and Lucy. Several feet away sit a giant slingshot and a box of tiny pumpkins. Visitors place a pumpkin in the sling and pull back to try to shoot the pumpkin inside one of the Peanuts characters’ open mouths.

The petting zoo, hay ride, hay maze and bounce houses are all free activities. Other activities, which include a mini ferris wheel ride, a carousel swing, pony rides and a barrel train cost three coupons. Coupons are sold near the entrance for $1 each.

Food and drinks are available at the food booth, which are also bought using coupons. Pumpkin patch visitors can munch on nachos, burgers, hot dogs, snow cones and tons of other tasty treats. Seating areas consist of a variety of picnic tables and bench swings.

Of course, pumpkins are also sold. The prices vary by size. The smallest are $2, and the prices go up from there to $20. All proceeds go to charity. This year’s charities are Denton County Youth Project, Christian Community Action, and Boy Scouts of America. Parking is $5, and the patch isn’t too crowded. The Pumpkin Village is most definitely a place for parents to bring their young children out for a fun fall day.

 

Rejoice Lutheran Church Pumpkin Patch

The Rejoice Lutheran Church Pumpkin Patch is a bit of a drive, but worth it in the end. Tucked away behind the church on Sandylake Road in Coppell, the patch is surrounded by huge oak trees that give the place a cozy, hideaway feel. The smaller pumpkins are stacked in piles for easy pickings. The bigger pumpkins lay scattered about amongst hay bales and smiling scarecrows dressed in plaid.

Not only are the stacks of hay and friendly crow-scarers used as festive decor, but pumpkin patch goers can buy them to decorate their own homes for the season. Hay bales are $10, while scarecrows are $40 each, but the pumpkin prices are exceptionally low compared to other patches. The littlest pumpkins start at 50¢ and go up to $20 for the largest. Wagons are conveniently available so pumpkins can be hauled to the trunks of cars.

The patch is mostly for families to come a buy fall decor and pumpkins. There are not any games or activities for children, but there are areas for families to bring a picnic before taking their pumpkins home.

Besides autumn items, food like kettle corn and candy is sold at a table along the side of the patch. Vendors also sell $1 raffle tickets for a handmade quilt. All proceeds made from pumpkin patch sales benefit four organizations. This year they go to the Coppell Community Gardens, Mosaic, Briarwood Retreat Center and The Family Place.

The patch is open Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., as well as all day Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:30 pm. Parking is free, and the volunteers are friendly and welcoming. Despite its small size, this patch has big charm.