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A pile of orange pumpkins in a pumpkin patch in San Francisco. Shutterstock

The Bay Area’s best pumpkin patches, mapped

Get your gourds before they're gone

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While most leaves don't change color in the Bay Area—well, there are a few spots—one sign that autumn has come is the arrival of pumpkins patches. Local, non-Whole-Foods options for picking out a seasonal gourd run aplenty, from urban patches in SF’s Sunset District to a sprawling organic East Bay farm.

Nearly each patch comes with a selection of entertainment options, from haunted houses and face painting to mazes and country music.

But before you check out our map of the 11 best places to pick a pumpkin around San Francisco and the Bay Area, here are a few things you need to look for while perusing the vegetables cum October home accents.

According to Martha Stewart, you should always check the coloring of the pumpkin (“make sure it’s a good color, and what you want is a deeper orange”); look for holes, wounds or scabs on the pumpkin (“check for soft spots, feel around the pumpkin with your hands and press across the skin of the pumpkin with your fingers”); and—why not?—go for an odd-looking one (“so-called warty pumpkins have been really popular during Halloween because they make great faces for goblins or witches”).

Excellent intel. And be warned—going against Martha Stewart’s expertise would make for a truly scary Halloween.

Did we miss a good patch? Let us know and we'll add it.

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1. The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch

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4235 Spring Hill Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 762-3446
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There are plenty of pumpkin farms near Petaluma, but this one, located on a cheese farm, offers the most tantalizing treats to accompany the pumpkins. Visitors can milk a cow, dig for potatoes, and taste homemade ice cream and cheese after picking the perfect pumpkin. A must for any child with exceptional gastronomic tastes!

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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2. Nicasio Valley Farms

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5300 Nicasio Valley Rd
Nicasio, CA 94946

Pumpkins are accompanied by barbecue, country music, pony rides, and mechanical bulls at this Marin patch. Children are very welcome, but dogs are not allowed.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weekends); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weekdays)

3. The Godmothers' Pumpkin Patch

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1 St Vincents Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 785-3264
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Our final patch pick sends all of its proceeds to the Timothy Murphy School at St. Vincent's for orphaned boys. The farm where the patch sits is used as a learning farm for the students throughout the year.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch

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4414 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

This East Bat patch carries over 15 varieties of pumpkins; from tiny Muskins up to Atlantic Giants, orange, red, white, bumpy, ribbed, green, and multi-colored. Phew! They even have two haunted houses experiences—a scary one (for big kids and adults) and a not-so-scary version (for little kids).

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5. Speer Family Farms Pumpkin Patch

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2171 Monarch St
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 703-3064
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Family owned and operated pumpkin patch uses local farmers only. This Alameda farm (formerly in Emeryville) also has a massive ship slide, petting zoo, bouncy houses, mazes and more for maximum enjoyment.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

6. Clancy's Christmas Trees

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1620 7th Ave, San Francisco
CA 94122, United States
(415) 753-2689
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Noted as San Francisco’s first pumpkin patch in 1979, they’re still the top spot for Halloween squashes. They also feature hayrides around the patch. Best of all, there’s free parking, making it a festive and convenient experience.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

7. Perry Family Pumpkin Patch

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34600 Ardenwood Blvd
Fremont, CA 94555

This East Bay pumpkin patch is part of J.E. Perry Farm, an organic produce grower. The pumpkin patch includes the chance to see a real, working organic farm that harvests many different crops.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weekends); 9 a.m. to noon (weekdays)

8. Lemos Farm

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12320 San Mateo Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-2342
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Large pumpkin patches with hundreds of pumpkins, large and small, from which to choose. During the holiday, the farm also turns their Choo-Choo Train into a spooky (but not too spooky!) Ghost Train. Also of note, this farm has two pumpkin patches—one for little kids, the other for “kids of all ages,” where they promise to “scare the yell out of you.”

9. Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch

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Cabrillo Hwy S
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-4567
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Located just off of Highway One in Half Moon Bay, Farmer John's Pumpkin Farm boasts a wide variety of pumpkins, including the Atlantic Giant. Best of all, your canine family members are all welcome.

And, yes, Farmer John is a real person who also opens his farm to under-served youngsters by having special days when children with disabilities can come to the farm and enjoy being outdoors on a real farm.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weekends); 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. (weekdays)

10. Arata's Pumpkin Farm

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185 Verde Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-7548
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In addition to bushels of pumpkins, you can lose yourself in this Half Moon Bay farm’s six-acre corn field and pumpkin river. For an extra challenge, brave the two-acre Minotaur's Labyrinth Hay Maze. Other highlights here include a playground, petting zoo, and picnic area.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday–Thursday); 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Friday–Saturday)

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11. Rodoni Farms

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4444 Coast Rd
Davenport, CA 95017
(831) 426-0666
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Aside from an orangey array of pumpkins, this Santa Cruz farm will also feature a corn maze and face painting.

Hours:9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1. The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch

4235 Spring Hill Rd, Petaluma, CA 94952

There are plenty of pumpkin farms near Petaluma, but this one, located on a cheese farm, offers the most tantalizing treats to accompany the pumpkins. Visitors can milk a cow, dig for potatoes, and taste homemade ice cream and cheese after picking the perfect pumpkin. A must for any child with exceptional gastronomic tastes!

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

4235 Spring Hill Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

2. Nicasio Valley Farms

5300 Nicasio Valley Rd, Nicasio, CA 94946

Pumpkins are accompanied by barbecue, country music, pony rides, and mechanical bulls at this Marin patch. Children are very welcome, but dogs are not allowed.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weekends); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weekdays)

5300 Nicasio Valley Rd
Nicasio, CA 94946

3. The Godmothers' Pumpkin Patch

1 St Vincents Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903

Our final patch pick sends all of its proceeds to the Timothy Murphy School at St. Vincent's for orphaned boys. The farm where the patch sits is used as a learning farm for the students throughout the year.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1 St Vincents Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903

4. Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch

4414 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

This East Bat patch carries over 15 varieties of pumpkins; from tiny Muskins up to Atlantic Giants, orange, red, white, bumpy, ribbed, green, and multi-colored. Phew! They even have two haunted houses experiences—a scary one (for big kids and adults) and a not-so-scary version (for little kids).

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

4414 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

5. Speer Family Farms Pumpkin Patch

2171 Monarch St, Alameda, CA 94501

Family owned and operated pumpkin patch uses local farmers only. This Alameda farm (formerly in Emeryville) also has a massive ship slide, petting zoo, bouncy houses, mazes and more for maximum enjoyment.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

2171 Monarch St
Alameda, CA 94501

6. Clancy's Christmas Trees

1620 7th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, United States

Noted as San Francisco’s first pumpkin patch in 1979, they’re still the top spot for Halloween squashes. They also feature hayrides around the patch. Best of all, there’s free parking, making it a festive and convenient experience.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

1620 7th Ave, San Francisco
CA 94122, United States

7. Perry Family Pumpkin Patch

34600 Ardenwood Blvd, Fremont, CA 94555

This East Bay pumpkin patch is part of J.E. Perry Farm, an organic produce grower. The pumpkin patch includes the chance to see a real, working organic farm that harvests many different crops.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weekends); 9 a.m. to noon (weekdays)

34600 Ardenwood Blvd
Fremont, CA 94555

8. Lemos Farm

12320 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Large pumpkin patches with hundreds of pumpkins, large and small, from which to choose. During the holiday, the farm also turns their Choo-Choo Train into a spooky (but not too spooky!) Ghost Train. Also of note, this farm has two pumpkin patches—one for little kids, the other for “kids of all ages,” where they promise to “scare the yell out of you.”

12320 San Mateo Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

9. Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch

Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Located just off of Highway One in Half Moon Bay, Farmer John's Pumpkin Farm boasts a wide variety of pumpkins, including the Atlantic Giant. Best of all, your canine family members are all welcome.

And, yes, Farmer John is a real person who also opens his farm to under-served youngsters by having special days when children with disabilities can come to the farm and enjoy being outdoors on a real farm.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weekends); 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. (weekdays)

Cabrillo Hwy S
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

10. Arata's Pumpkin Farm

185 Verde Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

In addition to bushels of pumpkins, you can lose yourself in this Half Moon Bay farm’s six-acre corn field and pumpkin river. For an extra challenge, brave the two-acre Minotaur's Labyrinth Hay Maze. Other highlights here include a playground, petting zoo, and picnic area.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday–Thursday); 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Friday–Saturday)

185 Verde Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

11. Rodoni Farms

4444 Coast Rd, Davenport, CA 95017

Aside from an orangey array of pumpkins, this Santa Cruz farm will also feature a corn maze and face painting.

Hours:9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4444 Coast Rd
Davenport, CA 95017