Hello Bend! Fall is in the air & pumpkins are everywhere! I experienced the coolest pumpkin patch I’ve ever been to last fall, just outside of Bend. In Texas & Florida the “pumpkin patches” were either in a school or church parking lot, in the sweltering heat. At Smith Rock Ranch, we had the pleasure of walking through hundreds of pumpkins to choose from & even got to pull them right from the vine! With Smith Rock as the backdrop, it couldn’t be more picturesque!
The mood is set the minute you walk up with live music & an outdoor Harvest Market loaded with winter squash, gourds & specialty pumpkins! Come hungry as there are plenty of food vendors serving everything from burgers to pumpkin muffins! We were even lucky enough to run into Mike from Monsters, Inc.!
There are tons of fun activities for the kids! The most popular, with the longest and slowest moving line was the pumpkin cannon. Be sure to head here first if your kids want to try this one out, as the line gets longer as the day goes on.
Other activities include the petting zoo, mini zoo train, pony rides, horse drawn carriage rides and mini golf. We spent the whole afternoon there and enjoyed every minute of it.
This was also our first ever adventure into a Corn Maize, and it was simply….A-Maize-ing! Each year they create a different maize, and last year the theme was Monsters, Inc!
The maize even includes a bridge/lookout point & a slide that’s a lot of fun for the kids. We spent a good 45 minutes in the maize while the kids wandered around in awe of this awesome activity. Don’t worry parents, they give you a map when you enter so you can find your way out whenever you are ready.
This year, the corn maize is a Batman theme, in honor of the Dark Knight’s 50th birthday. We can’t wait to check it out!
If you are planning a trip to the pumpkin patch at Smith Rock Ranch this month, here are a few tips we learned along the way last year. Lets start with the Pumpkin Patch…walking through the pumpkin patch and picking pumpkins was first on our agenda. Even though the kids wanted to jump into the activities the minute we arrived, it was nice to have our pumpkins back at the car and enjoy the rest of the day. Make sure you take a wheelbarrow out to the pumpkin patch (they are provided for you). If you decide to get your pumpkins first, try to pick up a wheelbarrow in the parking lot or near the entrance on your way in. Otherwise, you will be stuck waiting in line for one or running all the way back out to the parking lot to get one if they are busy. The pumpkin patch is super dusty so be sure to wear the right clothes and shoes, and be prepared to get dirty! I wore little slip-on tennis shoes and black leggings….which was a really bad choice!
Now that the pumpkin is out of the way, lets talk tickets & tokens. All activities take tokens and the corn maize takes separate tickets. DO NOT wait in the long line at the ticket booth near the entrance. Instead, there is a little store inside the barn that sells them. We walked right up to the counter with no wait, and outside there must’ve been 40 people in line! Be sure to bring a few quarters too as there are vending machines for food to feed the horses right outside the barn. You don’t get a lot for a quarter, so add a few to get a good amount in your bucket for a fun feeding experience for the kids!
The pumpkin patch, corn maize, and activities at Smith Rock Ranch are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the month of October. You can visit during the week (closed on Monday), but not all activities are running. Check their calendar for a full listing of activities, times, and the live music schedule.
What a fabulous fall activity for the family and only a short drive from Bend. We will definitely be back every single year! Hope to see you there picking your pumpkins & enjoying the fun activities.