The Standard’s Halloween Guide to Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses and Other Fun Fall Activities

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The trees are losing their leaves, the days are getting shorter, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is just around the corner. At this time of year, it’s only natural for you to feel the urge to soak up all things pumpkin flavor and grab a meaty orange gourd yourself. You may even feel called to look for apples or walk through a corn maze with your family, friends or someone special.

Sure, you can buy a pumpkin at Trader Joe’s or Safeway, but if you want the full fall experience (haunted houses, petting zoos, wagon rides, etc.), you might want to venture beyond that. city ​​limits.

Read on to learn about seven of the best local pumpkin patches and some gruesome adult adventures to explore in San Francisco and beyond.

Pumpkins are seen during the 46th Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, California on October 16, 2016. | Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

City Slicker Pickup

Clancy’s
2101 Slot Blvd. and 1620 7th Avenue, San Francisco
Sept. 28-Oct. 31, 9-9pm | Free
clancystrees.com

A third-generation San Francisco company that got its start selling fresh Christmas trees, Clancy’s became the city’s first and only pumpkin patch in 1979. You can only expect the essential here: pumpkins, squash, corn stalks and other spooky produce of the season. . Still, with its vast selection, ghoulish decorations, and convenient location, it might just be the easiest way to get your pumpkin fix.

Authentic farmhouse feel

Peter pumpkin patch
4235 Spring Hill Road, Petaluma
Weekdays 12pm-5pm, weekends 9am-6pm | Free
springhillcheese.com

When you go to Peter Pumpkin Patch, you’re transported to a real farm, where you can stroll along pumpkin vines to cut your own squash, watch a cow being milked, and climb onto the hay cart for a ride. free to “Western Town”. .” Come hungry, as the farm has a barbecue for sale as well as its own homemade pumpkin ice cream and cream cheese. Primarily a dairy farm, Peter Pumpkin Patch is home to a herd of 400 Jersey cows whose milk ends up in Petaluma Creamery cheese.

Friendly and family

Farm of the Lemos
12320 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay
Until November 20, hours vary | $15-$30
lemosfarm.com

A long time favorite among the family, Lemos Farm really has it all: pony rides, train rides, petting zoo, haunted house, hay rides, play town and more, so much so that it is presents itself as a “family amusement park”. “A popular place that can get very crowded, be sure to plan ahead and buy your tickets in advance. Reservations are recommended.

Pet a reptile or two

Webb Ranch
2718 Alpine Road, Portola Valley
Sept. 23-Oct. 31, 10am-6pm | $8-$32
webbranchinc.com

While many pumpkins feature adorable and fuzzy farm animals, Webb Ranch ups the ante with an array of scaly, but not scary reptiles. They also have an extensive traditional petting zoo, which includes alpacas, goats, ducks, pigs, rabbits, and sheep. Don’t miss the curly-haired ducks! Reservations are required on weekends.

Being chased by a minotaur

Arata Pumpkin Farm
185 Verde Road, Half Moon Bay
Until October 31, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. | Attractions: $5 to $45
aratapumpkinfarm.com

The scenic setting of Arata Farm along Half Moon Bay doesn’t prepare you for the fear and chaos within, namely the minotaur waiting for you in the middle of the corn maze. This and the spooky haunted barn make Arata the best place to get scared. Don’t worry, though, this minotaur will give you a special gift if you end up finding it in the middle of the maze. There are plenty of non-scary options here too, including a petting zoo, train, pony rides, and hay wagon. You could spend all day at Arata’s.

Shoot a Pumpkin Cannon

G&S Farms
1151 Chestnut Street, Brentwood
Open from October 1 to 31 | Free
gsfarms.net

Need to let out a little aggression? Watching a gourd splash against the wall might be just the thing for you. G&S allows visitors access to their pumpkin cannons alongside more traditional activities like pumpkin picking right on the vine and an expansive corn maze. It is a third generation farm and the first farm to plant sweet corn in Brentwood. It is still known for its production of sweet corn, in particular a variety called Brentwood Diamonds.

Amazing Corn Maze

Coolpatch Pumpkins
6150 Dixon Avenue West, Dixon
coolpatchpumpkins.com
Open from September 24 to October 31 | Attractions: $5 – $20

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If you get lost, this is the place. Guinness World Record Holder for Largest Corn Maze, Coolpatch Pumpkins creates a unique new corn maze every year that is sure to keep you guessing. And it’s not just corn, you can do other activities like hay rides and pumpkin picking while you wait for your friends to find their way out of the maze. On weekends, hot and cold dishes are also available for purchase.

A pumpkin is pictured prior to the 45th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weighing on Monday, October 8, 2018 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. | Aric Crabb/Digital First Media/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Macabre activities for adults

For those without little munchkins—and for parents who want to leave the kids behind—there are plenty of Halloween-themed activities that don’t involve pumpkin picking. Here are two options that are sure to scare you away.

Alcatraz Night Tour
Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing, San Francisco
Tuesday-Saturday, various times | $31 – $52.70
Alcatraz Night Tour

Maybe you’ve visited San Francisco’s most famous prison before, but seeing it at night is a completely different experience. You can almost feel the ghosts swirling around “The Rock” as you take the ferry to the island in the dark, especially in what used to be the medical ward, where the hospital instruments are backlit with a strange effect.

chaos mansion
2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco
Five nights only: Oct. 21-22, 27-29 | $20-$30
haas-lilienthalhouse.org

Add a historic side dish to Halloween fun, while supporting a worthy cause, at Mayhem Mansion. This haunted house tour takes place in the historic Haas-Lillienthal mansion, where a guide will fill you in on the house’s historic past, alongside plenty of ghosts, of course. You can calm your nerves in the manse’s “spookeasy” ballroom, where alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are served alongside cauldrons of candy.

Terror Vault at the SF Mint
88 5th Street, San Francisco
Various dates and times | $55 to $75
intothedarksf.com

A fully theatrical and immersive haunted house, the San Francisco Mint Building’s “Terror Vault” allows you be part of the horror. The empty vaults, narrow staircases and historical past of this place make for a truly terrifying experience. If you need to relax, head to Fang Bang, a vampire-themed New Wave/Goth bar that serves Halloween-themed cocktails during shows with no cover charge.

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