Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
Courtesy of Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival
With 5,500 acres of California farmland dedicated to pumpkins and more than 90 percent of them headed for Halloween festivities, it’s no wonder there are so many places to pick a jack-o’-lantern for your front porch. Here are some favorites:
Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm and Christmas Trees Featuring a trackless train and the ever-popular Pumpkin Playland, this local patch started in the early 1980s as a you-pick vegetable farm. Now, Clayton Valley Farm is better known for growing more than a dozen pumpkin varieties. October 1–31, 9 a.m.–8 p.m., free entrance (food and activity prices vary), 1060 Pine La., Clayton, (925) 672-5198, www.cvpumpkinfarm.com.
Joan’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch Before picking out your pumpkin, be sure to stop and feed the farm’s animals and visit the antique farm equipment museum. October 1–31, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., free, 4351 Mines Rd., Livermore, (925) 455-6623, www.joansfarm.com.
G&M Farms Kids will love taking a red wagon out into the patch to pick their pumpkin, then playing in the farm’s six-acre corn maze. October 1–31, weekdays 2–6 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.–6 p.m., 487 East Airway Blvd., Livermore, (925) 447-3276, www.gmfarms.com.
Smith Family Farm This Brentwood favorite boasts a massive pumpkin patch as well as hay rides, a barnyard where kids can pet animals, and a replica of a Miwok village. October 1–31, 4430 Sellers Rd., Brentwood, free, (925) 625-5966.
Glass Pumpkin Garden Probably the most unusual pumpkin patch in the Bay Area, Cohn-Stone Studios’ annual Glass Pumpkin Garden showcases the studio’s glass-blown pumpkins and squash in its garden showroom. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free (prices of pumpkins and other art vary), 560 South 31st St., Richmond, (510) 234-9690, www.cohnstonestudios.com.
Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival The annual Art and Pumpkin Festival features the pumpkin weigh-off world champion, which will be on display at the event (last year’s winner weighed 1,223 pounds). The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off is October 8; the festival is October 13–14, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., free entrance (prices vary for food, drink, art, and events), Main Street, Half Moon Bay, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com.