Outdoor Jaunts

11 places to get your fill of harvest fun

Updated October 2009

More harvest events here!

We city dwellers may have strayed far from our agrarian roots, but every year when the leaves start to turn we find ourselves wanting to make a farm pilgrimage with the kids to mark the harvest. And during October, farmers all over the region oblige the public by carving intricate mazes into their cornfields and offering hay rides out to the pumpkin fields.

Farm experiences vary widely. Purists can pick their gourds at a farm that offers little more than hot cider as a side activity, while families looking for a more carnival atmosphere can visit farms tricked out like amusement parks. The Snohomish Valley's Festival of Pumpkins is a collaboration between several neighboring farms (Stocker Farms, Craven Farm, The Farm, Bob's Corn -- see below) to offer events on the weekend that include bluegrass music and demonstrations of crafts and old-timey farming skills. The advantage of attending, of course, is that you'll be able to visit more than one farm in a day without driving long distances between locations. The event is a big draw, however, so you might have to contend with crowds. For a calendar of festival events and a farm map, visit the Festival of Pumpkins Web site.

Wear sturdy shoes and old clothes and tuck a garbage bag or two in your pockets in case you need to carry your pumpkins out of the field. Bring snacks, water and an all-terrain stroller if you navigate the maze with small children, and leave pets at home. The crowd-averse can avoid the weekend hubbub by visiting one of the many pumpkin patches that are open during the week. Remember to call ahead before going; hours and other details may change.

Snohomish County

  • Stocker Farms -- 10622 Airport Way, Snohomish. 360-568-7391. At the Farm Market, pick a chemical-free pumpkin from the pumpkin patch or choose from sorted pumpkins on the lawn. Weekends, the Pumpkin Festival Field includes pumpkin launching, snacks and hot cider, casting pond, crafts, face painting and other activities. The 10-acre corn maze has a Wild West theme, and becomes the "Field of Screams" on Friday and Saturday nights at dusk (and Halloween night). 
  • Craven Farm -- 13817 Short School Rd., Snohomish. 360-568-2601. The small-kid-friendly farm offers a snack bar on the weekends, farm animals to look at, nursery rhyme scenes made out of pumpkins and a number of different varieties of pumpkins to pick. The Children's Story Time tour includes the story of the farm, baby animal encounter and trip to the pumpkin field.
  • The Farm -- 7301 Rivershore Dr., Snohomish. 425-334-4124. The Farm's famed Washington State Corn Maze is a 12-acre map of the state that shows actual roads, places and towns. Visitors can learn Washington State geography and history as they navigate the maze. Other activities at this very popular farm include wagon rides, a large petting zoo and smaller hay maze in the barn. And, of course, pumpkin-picking.
  • Bob's Corn -- 10917 Elliott Rd., Snohomish. 360-668-3043.
    Pick a pumpkin from the large U-pick field, enter the 10-acre corn maze and buy harvest-themed farm goods such as corn stalks and gourds.
  • Biringer Farm -- 4625 40th Pl. N.E., Everett. 425-259-0255. Everyone's favorite strawberry farm also puts on a good show in October. Traverse the corn maze -- with an educational component -- or mosey into Pumpkin Country for rides (Boo Barn, Deadwood Ranch), food and pumpkin-picking. Kids who wear a costume (without mask) will get a treat. During the last three Friday and Saturday nights of the month (Oct. 14-29), the corn maze will be open from 7-11 p.m. for nighttime wandering.
  • Carleton Farm -- 830 Sunnyside Blvd., Everett. 425-334-2297. Carleton's corn maze is only three acres, which might make it more tempting to families with smaller kids. The corn maze features pictures for young kids to find and clues for older visitors that will help them solve a final puzzle. Choose a pumpkin from a huge selection, visit the chickens and goats, shoot the pumpkin cannon, take a tractor ride to the field and -- weekends only -- buy snacks such as corn on the cob.
  • Foster's Produce and Corn Maze -- 5818 SR 530 N.E., Arlington. 360-435-5095. The fourth-generation, family-owned farm features a themed corn maze, plus pumpkin patch, pumpkin sling shot, story times on weekends,  treats for sale, Old West Town with farm animals and something called a "Goat Walk," and the Kidz Corral, where kids can go through a hay maze and visit farm animals.
  • Fairbanks "Hands On" Pumpkin and Animal Farm -- 15308 52nd Ave. W., Edmonds. 425-743-3694.
    This farm is rustic, with rough paths and barnyard smells, but the kids can get their fill of baby animals to watch and pet, including chicks, ducklings, piglets and calves. The experience is geared toward smaller kids, with a vegetable garden and Hidden Bear Trail to explore, a Tiny Tots corn maze and lawn strewn with tot-sized pumpkins to take home.

King County

  • Remlinger Farms -- 32610 N.E. 32nd St., Carnation. 425-333-4135. Remlinger buzzes with activity during the fall: Hop the hayride out to the U-pick pumpkin fields, join a fall harvest tour, watch a pumpkin-carving demonstration, shop in the farm market or go on the 25-plus rides and attractions (many of them for tots) in the Country Fair.
  • Jubilee Farm -- 229 W. Snoqualmie River Road N.E., Carnation. 425-222-4558. Organic Jubilee Farm (check the farm's Web site for a description of its growing practices) offers free harvest activities October. Take a hayride out to the fields, buy lunch in the concessions area (fee), visit the petting farm or kids' hay maze in the barn loft, take a ride in the draft horse-drawn wagon or ride a pony  (fee).
  • South 47 Farm -- 15410 N.E. 124th St., Redmond. 425-869-9777. The farm offers a cool, themed corn maze to traverse, U-pick produce, and farm animals to view. 
This article originally appeared in the October, 2006 issue of ParentMap.

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