About a 50-minute drive from Oakland, Smith Family Farm in Brentwood not only has a massive pumpkin patch, but it also offers a plethora of fall activities— including a wide variety of farm animals, an observation beehive, a corn maze, an herb garden, labyrinth, live music, and lots more. The property is also massive, especially compared to some of the more no-frills pumpkin patches that I’ve been to earlier this season. Smith Family Farm felt much more like a county fair to me than it did a traditional pumpkin patch.
The farm charges a $13.50 admission fee per person upfront (CASH ONLY!) that includes one pumpkin per ticket. We visited on a Sunday afternoon (which is their busiest day) and it was very crowded. If possible, I’d recommend visiting the farm on a weekday to avoid large crowds. In addition to the Pumpkin Harvest, Smith Family Farm also offers U-Pick pomegranates so it’s a nice spot to be able to plan out a full day of activities.
Take the Autumn Trail and exit to the pumpkin patch
When we entered the farm, we didn’t want to head straight to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins yet so we opted to go through the Autumn Trail (corn maze) first. The Autumn Trail is a self-guided trail through the corn maze that has a few surprises along the way.
We had a fun time reading the signage for animals to look out for and spotting them along the way. While these animals aren’t real, it was still a fun sport to spot them hidden in different spots throughout the corn maze.
After a few twists and turns, we followed the signage to exit to the pumpkin patch so we could start picking our three pumpkins. I wanted to get my $12 per ticket worth of pumpkins so I instructed the family to pick the three largest pumpkins they could find.
Most of the pumpkins are lined and stacked along the pathways, but there were still some that were on the vines. I ventured out into the vines to pick my pumpkin because I wanted a fresh one. They don’t have shears so thankfully someone with a pocket knife helped me cut my choice pumpkin loose. After that debacle, we ended up picking our other two pumpkins from the ones that were already cut. I was so thankful we brought our own wagon so we didn’t have to carry the pumpkins throughout the property and to the car. Lots of other families did the same and I saw some attempting to stack pumpkins in their strollers.
Other fall activities at Smith Family Farm
After we finished picking our pumpkins, we explored the rest of the property and were almost overwhelmed with the options. We visited the farm animals (including a chicken hatchery), ran on top of hay bales, explored the herb garden and labyrinth, took a look at the carved pumpkin displays, and observed the bees at the bee observation center. Even after all that, we didn’t end up exploring everything that the farm had to offer.
One of my favorite features was headed to the garden station where they were handing out free fall plants including cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. We were given one plant per person and opted for two cauliflower and one broccoli plant — both my daughter’s favorite vegetables when roasted. I’m hoping that we will be able to successfully grow them this season.
My daughter’s favorite activities were either finding all the cardboard signs she could stick her face into or the multiple hay bale mazes. She had a blast jumping from one hay bale to the next and I was grateful for any activity to get her to wipe out that relentless amount of energy.
While we didn’t spend much time in the concert area, the farm also has a lineup of live music on the weekends. The area looked like a nice spot to sit down and take a break from running and lugging a wagon around the entire property.
All in all, we spent about an hour and a half exploring all of the activities. We could have spent more time on the property, but our visit to Smith Family Farm was actually our second pumpkin patch visit on that day. We had visited G&S Farms earlier in the day— another great pumpkin patch that is calmer and only a five-minute drive from Smith Family Farms— and were already wiped out from a full day out.
Smith Family Farm also offers U-Pick pomegranates
Smith Family Farm is also offering U-Pick pomegranates so even though I was exhausted after the pumpkin patch, I ran over to the U-Pick entrance to pick a few pomegranates to bring home. Pomegranate U-Pick is open Saturdays and Sundays only from 9 am – 4 pm and is $1.50 per pound.
The U-Pick entrance is near the parking lot and is separate from the pumpkin patch. I declined a bucket because I only wanted to pick a handful of fruits— and then walked over to the nearest trees and picked two pomegranates while the family loaded up the car. There was also one or two persimmons trees that were fair game for picking, but the persimmons were small and not quite ripe yet.
Parent Tips for visiting Smith Family Farm
- Bring a wagon to carry your pumpkins and pull your children if they don’t want to walk. They don’t have wagons to borrow.
- Wear closed-toed shoes and bring sunglasses (especially if it’s a windy day). There is so much dust everywhere even in the parking lot. Even a little bit of wind will get dust everywhere. Our sunglasses helped us from getting dust in our eyes. We also washed our clothes and took showers when we got back because we were so dirty.
- Bring a hat and sunscreen for the whole family. Although it is getting cooler, the sun is still pretty strong and it can be warmer in Brentwood.
- BRING CASH. They don’t have an ATM on the property and I saw so many people forget to bring cash to pay the admission fee. They take checks, too, but I don’t know many people who carry checks with them.
- Bring snacks. There are some on-site vendors for food. We saw a truck for corn dogs and another vendor that I think sold burgers, but it’s nice to have some other options on hand if kids get hungry.
- While most pumpkins are already cut, if you really want to trudge through the vines and hunt for any pumpkins left that can be cut, bring your own shears.
Plan your visit to Smith Family Farm
- Price: $13.50 admission fee paid upfront (includes one pumpkin per ticket). Kids under 2 are free.
- Days: Open daily through October 31st. I’d recommend checking their website or calling before you go. We attempted to go earlier in the month and when we drove up found that the pumpkin patch was closed that day due to extremely high winds.
- Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
- Parking: Free. There are parking attendants to help with parking because it can get pretty busy.
- Restrooms: There were portable toilets available, but we didn’t end up using them so I can’t attest to how clean or dirty they were.
- Food: Food trucks on the property on weekends only. Outside food and drinks are allowed. There are some snacks and cold drinks available in the Country Store.
- Pets: Not allowed (except for service animals).
- COVID Policy: Masks are required when indoors (such as the County Store or in the barns).
- Reservations: Not required.
- Location: 4350 Sellers Ave., Brentwood
- Phone: 925.625.5996
Bottom line for Smith Family Farm
Smith Family Farm is a pumpkin patch that really offers a full harvest county fair-like experience. We were impressed with the massive grounds and plethora of fall activities in addition to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. I’m generally a no-frills pumpkin patch purist, but the Smith Family Farm will be on our family’s go-to list for next year because of how great it is for families and how wiped my daughter was after our visit.