FAMILY-FRIENDLY PUMPKIN PATCH GUIDE
See where you can pick the perfect pumpkins in our Pumpkin Patch Guide below, and learn from a local expert how to best preserve your pumpkins throughout the season. Plus, learn about local fall festivals and events on our Events Calendar.
Charlottesville Area Pumpkin Patches
Many would say it’s not fall until you pick the perfect pumpkin. Luckily, this area of Virginia has plenty of local pumpkin patches to choose from, many of which host special events and festivals during the harvest season.
Pumpkins & A Corn Maze in the Shenandoah Valley
Back Home on the Farm, Harrisonburg
Celebrate the fall harvest with a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and even attend an old-fashioned country tea. There are also climbing walls and obstacle courses for the kids to enjoy.
Nelson County Maze with Animals, Food & Fun
Blue Ridge Mountain Maze, Lovingston
This top-ranked corn maze is back in the mountains of central Virginia this year! The Blue Ridge Mountain Maze is hosting their Virginia Corn Maze Fall Festival Fridays–Sundays until November 5. The festival features a huge pumpkin patch, farm animals, an obstacle course and of course, a giant Virginia corn maze.
Charlottesville’s Ultimate Apple & Pumpkin Experience
Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville
Pick out your pumpkin and pick your own apples at Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville’s staple fall destination. Top off the day with a hayride around the orchard—all in all, a perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Virginia countryside. If you see a line for the delicious apple cider donuts – don’t be deterred and jump on in. These annual treats are not to be missed. Country store, photo props, wine tastings and more. RESERVATIONS.
Pumpkins with a Mountain View & Country Store
Chiles Peach Orchard, Crozet
Head west of Charlottesville to Crozet to pick your pumpkins at Chiles Peach Orchard’s scenic patch that happens to be at the base of the beautiful mountains. The orchard also has pick-your-own apples and a plethora of fall treats to enjoy. RESERVATIONS.
Classic Farm with Pumpkins & Fresh Ice Cream
Critzer Family Farm, Afton
This farm is a friendly, down-home setting, making it the perfect place for families to pick pumpkins and stock up on fresh vegetables from their farmer stand. They also just so happen to make fresh-churned ice cream with their farm-grown fruit. Enjoy fresh cider, pumpkins and mums this time of year.
Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!
Fruit Hill Orchard, Palmyra
Fruit Hill Orchard features two pumpkin patches, ensuring visitors will find the perfect one for them. The orchard also offers pick-your-open apples, and bonus–visitors can paint their own pumpkins or run their Apple Dash Obstacle Course!
Apples, Pumpkins & Festival Fun
Graves Mountain Farm, Syria
The Apple Harvest Festival at Graves Mountain Farm will take place the first three weekends in October this fall. Visitors can enjoy love music, hay rides, animals, fresh fall foods and of course, pumpkins and gourds.
The Largest Corn Maze in the USA
Liberty Mills Farm, Somerset
Located just 30 minutes northeast of Charlottesville is this 33 acre fall corn maze–now the largest corn maze in the country! Liberty Mills Farm also features a farm market, an antique tractor collection, wagon rides and pick-your-own pumpkins.
Hayrides, Pumpkins & Farm Animals in the Valley
Mulberry Hills Farm, Mount Crawford
Located just up I-81 from Staunton, this family run farm offers pick-your-own pumpkins, gourds, mums, straw bales and corn shocks. Visit their farm animals and take a free hayride on the weekends. Plus, enjoy plenty of cute picture boards for creating fall family memories. mulberryhillsfarm.com
Sunflowers & Pumpkins at A Family Farm
Sarah’s Pumpkin Patch, Madison
This working family farm is home to 4 acres of pick-you-own pumpkin patch. While you’re there, enjoy a hayride and pick your own sunflowers. Sarah’s is open weekends in October, and Wednesday and Friday afternoons. https://www.sarahspumpkins.com/
An October of Pumpkins
Seamans’ Orchard, Tyro
Nestled at the foot of the mountains, this fourth generation farm opens their pumpkin patch for the entire month of October for all to enjoy.
Adventure-Filled Farm Fun
Round Hill Farm, Culpepper
Celebrate fall September 30–October 30 with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a zip line, a super slide, farm animals and much more at Round Hill Farm. This farm is a great place for tweens and teens.
Best Ways to Preserve Pumpkins
Virginia Cooperative Extension horticulture expert Ashley Edwards shared how to best preserve pumpkins throughout the entire season.
“Pumpkins are very sensitive to temps below 45 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Edwards, who shared her expertise on the best ways to extend the gourd life and keep them vibrant. “If your pumpkins are outdoors, take them inside if a hard frost is expected, as this will decrease their shelf life.”
“When picking out the best pumpkins, one of the most important things you can do is to select pumpkins with healthy stems that don’t have bruises, nicks, or early signs of rot,” Edwards said. “Whole, uncarved pumpkins can last from 1 to 6 months, depending on the variety, and if they are not exposed to harsh elements.Displaying them in ways that allow for good air circulation can also help.”
“To prevent waste this fall, consider composting your pumpkins,” she said. “This year’s pumpkins can be incorporated into a compost pile or garden that can be used to help grow next year’s pumpkins.”
“Pumpkin seeds can also be saved to use in your garden for next year. However, since the pumpkin might have been cross-pollinated, the resulting pumpkins from those saved seeds could be a variety of colors, shapes, or sizes,” Edwards said. “It can be fun to see what you get the next year. Only save seeds from healthy pumpkins.”
Edwards is part of a team at Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension who is working on a grant-funded project that is comparing pumpkin varieties and exploring options for extending shelf life postharvest.
YOU MIGHT LIKE
CharlottesvilleFamily.com, a collection of local resources including a popular calendar of events, family services guides and features on education, health and family day trips for parents and teachers in Charlottesville, as well as Virginia Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant Virginia weddings.