The Bay Area is not known for having amazing pumpkin patches. The different cities bleeding into each other leave very little space for farms to host a sizable pumpkin patch, often resulting in makeshift pumpkin patches popping up in empty parking lots. Not to knock the pop-ups (I loved them as a kid, especially the ones with giant inflatable slides), but something about being able to see concrete while at a pumpkin patch feels inauthentic.
In order to find a good pumpkin patch, you’ll probably need a car and some patience as you make your way out of the more densely populated parts of the Bay and into the outskirts. Even then, you might come across pumpkin patches not worth your time. If you decide to venture out into the unknown search, here are two suggestions as authentic as you’ll get when it comes to nearby pumpkin patches, both conveniently located 5 minutes from each other on Cabrillo Highway South in Half Moon Bay.
Arata’s Pumpkin Farm is a fairly popular spot for good reasons. Featuring a (surprisingly challenging) Minotaur’s Hay Maze, a tractor train through a small pumpkin patch, a huge selection of pumpkins to purchase, and a notably spooky haunted barn attraction, Arata’s is great to explore either during the day or at night. It’s as fun as pumpkin patches get, with a wide variety of interesting attractions to make the trip worthwhile and fun to do with friends, family, or a date. Bring some food with you, or purchase some here, and enjoy the many picnic tables along the edges of the pumpkin patch. Beware of the limited parking and increase in popularity as the days get closer to Halloween.
Bob’s Pumpkin Patch is just down the street from Arata’s, yet it holds its own. Bob’s ditches the spookiness you’ll find at Arata’s for a more rustic vibe. The pumpkins are still on the vine here, and wheel barrels are available with the opportunity to become the farmer and personally choose the perfect pumpkin to haul out of the patch. Complete with great photo ops and a tiny animal farm (as well as a giant haystack to climb– and jump off of if you’re brave enough), Bob’s stands out in its easy-going approach to the pumpkin patch craze. With lots of parking and a small stand to purchase other goodies from the farm, Bob’s Pumpkin Patch makes a fun stop for those who prefer a more tranquil pumpkin patch experience.