Sure, your family could pick up a pumpkin from your local grocery store. Or you could pack up the car and head out to one of the GTA’s many family-friendly farms that grow their own gourds.
Often these operations will let you pick the perfect jack-o’-lantern right off the vine while others will let you select a pumpkin at their cute on-location market. Many of these farms also take things up a notch by offering everything from bouncy castles to live entertainment right on site.
Here are 11 local farms where your family can buy a pumpkin while also spending a memorable fall day together.
Note: Since harvest timing and quantities are unpredictable, be sure to call ahead to see if the farm of your choice has a bountiful supply of pumpkins. Also confirm its operating hours since those might be modified depending on produce availability, weather and other factors.
Andrews Scenic Acres
9365 10 Side Rd, Milton
This well-known farm offers all kinds of fruits, berries and veggies to pick, including pumpkins. There are also tons of other activities on-site including wagon rides, a playground and only during the fall, something called “the haunted forest.” Entrance to the farm is a flat fee of $5 during the week, $10 on the weekend, with kids under three being free and discounts available for seniors and families with more than three kids. On Tuesday mornings, Andrews offers a special program for kids four and under. For $5, your little one can participate in a guided hour of fun that includes scavenger hunts, music, games and more.
Applewood Farm & Winery
12416 McCowan Rd, Whitchurch-Stouffville
Applewood invites you to, “come spend a while under our tree” and in its pumpkin patch, where you can pick out the perfect jack-o’-lantern. The farm also offers a number of kid-friendly activities including a corn maze, playground and tractors rides while for the adults, there is a full-fledged winery that sells award-winning wines, ciders and meads.
122 Ashworth Rd, Mount Albert
Home to 10 acres of barnyard playland, this farm is a great place to spend the day. The $12 cover fee will get your kids access to farm animals, train rides, and everything from zip lines to an animated singing chicken show. Oh, and there is also farm-fresh produce to buy. Pumpkin prices vary by size and for $4, you can take a wagon ride to the patch, the cost of which is deducted from any pumpkin purchase your family makes. Also available are a variety of squashes, perfect for fall decorating and eating.
9528 Regional Rd 25, Milton
While this farm might be best known for its apple picking and delicious baked goods, come mid-fall it also sells pumpkins. Also on site are hours of fun with an interactive nature trail, giant slides, farm animals and tons more. While certain parts of the farm, including its marketplace and kitchen café, are free to visit, the upper yard, which has all the stuff, does have a cover charge of $13 for kids four-13 and $15 for those over 13 (kids under four are free).
Downey’s Farm Market
13682 Heart Lake Road, Brampton
From September 21 until Halloween, Downey’s Farm hosts Pumpkinfest. Admission price varies by date, but it gets your family hours of entertainment including farm animals, wagon rides, an eight-acre corn maze and tons more. The weekend also features such live entertainment as a super-cute dog show. And since this is Pumpkinfest, your family can also pick their own pumpkin before dining at the farm’s on-site café/market.
Front Steps Farms
11490 Bathurst St, Maple
Looking for more a classic, working farm experience that’s free of bouncy castles, rides and other extras? Then check out Front Steps Farm. And unlike some other options on this list, this one doesn’t have an admittance fee, you just pay for your pumpkins. The farm is also well known for its other produce and its delicious pumpkin pies.
6202 Walkers Line, Burlington
Here’s another option if your family is after that authentic, local farm experience. This family-run operation sells a wide variety of produce, including pick-your-pumpkins, which are available in classic orange as well as “exotic” variations. Also available come October are squash, gourds, and fall raspberries.
Linton’s Farm Market
571 Raglan Rd E, Oshawa
Pumpkins —in “all colours, shapes and sizes” —can be picked straight from the field at this Durham region farm. To reach the pumpkin patch, your family can take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Fall at Linton’s also means corn and in addition to buying freshly picked cobs, your family can also explore the giant corn maze and play corn bowling. The farm is also home to a sprawling kids’ area that in October houses the pumpkin cannon.
Reesor’s Farm Market
10825 Ninth Line at Elgin Mills Rd, Markham
Pick your own pumpkin at this farm that offers hundreds of choices and a variety of price points (including the option to pay for a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins). The farm also charges a small admission fee (in 2018 it was $3 a person or $10 for a family of four) that gets you access to a corn maze and some great photo ops with a giant scarecrow. The on-site market also offers the option to purchase white pumpkins as well as mini ones and a wide variety of perfect-for-fall-decorating items including mums, gourds and straw bales.
Round the Bend Farm
16225 Jane St, Kettleby
From now until the end of October, your family can check out Round the Bend’s Farm Fall festival every Saturday as well as Thanksgiving Monday. After picking out that perfect pumpkin, your kids can pet and feed farm animals, burn off some energy playing on a straw pyramid and enjoy a wagon ride. There are also tons of other tasty and pretty produce available at the farm’s on-site market.
2287 Durham Regional Hwy 2, Bowmanville
This east-end farm has two parts. One part is its pick-your-own operations, which in the fall includes big, orange pumpkins and on the weekends, wagon and tractor rides. Then there’s the farm’s market portion, where you can purchase pre-picked produce and pose for seasonal photo photos. The market also hosts special events so be sure to check out its website to see what’s lined up.