Guest article by Angela Bowers
It’s that time of year again—boots, pumpkin spice-everything, shivering 80-degree temperatures and leaves changing color. Well, I guess it’s just yellow leaves mixed with dead ones (we’re still in Texas, y’all).
But the best part of fall, in my opinion: pumpkin patches. Plenty of places in Austin offer these colorful collections of orange globes, so we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite spots.
#1 Sweet Berry Farm
Tucked away in Marble Falls, Sweet Berry Farm sells flowers, fruits and ice cream (among other things), but they specialize in fall festivities. Other than wandering through the pumpkin patch, you can hop on a hayride and travel through Scarecrow Island, which includes:
- Passing the local Pumpkin School
- Stopping by the church, then the jail
- A few scarecrow minions along the way
Patrons hop off the hayride to feed goats and get their faces painted. There’s also the Texas Maze, where people of all ages wander through the corn stalks looking for marked cities of Texas. Once they exit, they cross through a tunnel to paint pumpkins, jump on the Berry Bounce and taste delicious grilled corn and pumpkin ice cream.
Of course, you’re not required to participate in this particular order. You can choose your own adventure at Sweet Berry Farm.
1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls, TX — Website
#2 St. John’s United Methodist Church
Pumpkins galore fill the playground at St. John’s United Methodist Church. The church started with nearly 3,000 pumpkins this fall and sold many of them since their arrival. Volunteers keep this patch moving on a daily basis and welcome groups of children from schools around town for a pumpkin-themed story time in the patch, just in time for Halloween.
“It’s so sweet to see the preschoolers when they first arrive,” St. John’s youth pastor, April Long, shared. “Their eyes open wide as they take in all the pumpkins on the playground. For the kids, it’s like it snowed pumpkins overnight!” St. John’s pumpkin patch raises funds for three of the church’s programs including youth, senior ministries and their preschool.
2140 Allandale Road — Website
#3 Red Barn Garden Center
— RedBarnGardenCenter (@RedBarnGardenCt) October 9, 2015
Red Barn Garden Center also offers a variety of pumpkins for picking. They’re open seven days a week, so it’s convenient to stop by for family photos and shopping around. Festivities were plentiful during the Pumpkinfest on Oct. 17. Activities included a petting zoo, moonwalk inflatables, treats and everyone was invited to wear a costume.
12881 Pond Springs Road — Website
#4 Tarrytown United Methodist Church
There’s another sweet pumpkin patch in central Austin at Tarrytown United Methodist Church. Here, you’ll find a wide range of pumpkins and props to take fun fall photos. Church volunteers run the patch each shift and the proceeds go toward youth mission trips. This pumpkin patch is especially memorable because of the beautiful nature of the church’s architecture.
2601 Exposition Blvd. — Website
#5 St. Mark United Methodist Church
St. Mark United Methodist Church has a spacious lawn that magically transforms into a pumpkin patch each fall. Their St. Market Day Fall Festival occurred on Oct. 17 with BBQ, games for the family, a bounce house and live music. The fun continues throughout October with the pumpkin patch open daily.
St. Mark’s pumpkin patch goes by the honor system during week days, when volunteers aren’t able to man the station. The church simply leaves a note, explaining pumpkins are available for purchased (even when nobody is around), and where to leave money for the pumpkin. This trusting attitude contributes a welcoming and friendly vibe to the patch.
Worth noting, the church acquires pumpkins from a unique source: Navajo Indians in New Mexico. Pumpkins are a major crop for this group of Native Americans, and the money raised from pumpkin sales during the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons are a main source of support for the tribes. While a portion of the proceeds go back to the Navajo Indians, funds also go toward church programs and other community groups.
601 W Braker Lane — Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you been to a local pumpkin patch yet?
Angela Bowers is an event planner, native Texan and a lifelong Longhorn. She enjoys writing, listening to podcasts, playing with her dog and hiking in her spare time. Connect with Angela on Twitter.
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