Terrific East Bay Pumpkin Patches (2011)

East Bay pumpkin patches range wildly in size and price. Luckily, there is a pumpkin patch (or pile) to fit every attention span and budget. If you care more about the perfect pumpkin picture or getting lost in a hay maze, there’s a patch for that.

On the cheap:

There is a very large heap of selection outside Monterey Market that will sustain the weight of children (more than one!) at least up to four years old. The annual mountain of pumpkins is already up and has been tested by Whitney’s kids. For a budget pumpkin photo, head on over, or challenge your child to climb up, and snap away. Buying a pumpkin is recommended but optional.

For those looking for a more patch-like experience:

During October, the Piedmont Ave Pumpkin Patch is converted from a flower shop into a Halloween fun zone with knick knacks and a tiny patch behind the shop. It will please most parents and toddlers. It will likely please your preschooler unless they’re looking for a bouncy house.

If you want to spend the whole day in hay:

A drive out to the (925) and you can enjoy the Clayton Valley Farm near Walnut Creek. Train rides, hay maze, activity zone for kids, and a few farm goodies as well.  Super fun. Open Oct 1 – 31, 2010 from 9am – 8pm. Professional photos available on October 8, 15, 16 & 22. Photo packages include the session fee and 25 Holiday Cards and begin at $75. Reservations required.

Smith Family Farm has the whole farm experience… including pumpkins! Your full experience is $9 a person (and includes the pumpkin – yay!) Read all the details.

Down in Fremont, Ardenwood Farms is worth the trip (patch part of the JE Perry organic farm). Ride on a tractor and climb the haystack mountains. And more pumpkins! Open Oct 1 -31 Mon-Sat 9am-7pm Sun 9am-5pm. $3 for people over age one..

Closer to home is the carnival-inspired Speer Family Farm patch adjacent to Bay Street. A la carte and combo price plans can get you into a petting zoo, a jumpy house, an inflatable slide, and a hay maze. Fairly expensive but you don’t need to drive far and you can squeeze in some errands. Open Oct 1 – 31, 2010 from 10am – 8pm. Print this flyer to save 10%.