October blew in fall’s cooler weather, setting a gourd-eous scene for harvesting all of the fall-themed fun found at pumpkin patches cropping up throughout Central Texas. Carve out some time to pose the kids in a patch, pick out some pumpkins and capture fall memories with the family at one of these 12 nearby pumpkin patches –– all within an hour and a half of downtown Austin.
Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival
We rang in the first weekend of October at the Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival. Just 30 minutes from home, this family-friendly pumpkin patch unfolds on five oak-studded acres at the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead and drips with fun in the form of more than 50 fall-themed activities and attractions ranging from barrel train and pony rides to a monster maze and face painting. We spent the better part of the brisk, blue-skied Sunday picking out our pumpkins, posing for pictures in the patch (there’s a plethora of cute photo props and ops), witnessing the release of hundreds of butterflies from The Monarch Sanctuary Project and dabbling in some of the fall-themed fun on offer.
Thirsty? While I sipped an autumn sangria from Solara Estate Vineyards & Winery and my husband ordered an Oktoberfest from Fitzhugh Brewing, our kids bellied up to the self-serve barrels and poured themselves repeat jugs of Pecos Pete’s refreshing iced teas (jars come with free refills).
Hungry? Refuel at the handful of food trucks offering everything from Hungry J’s Pizza and K.O. BBQ to Wetzel’s Pretzels and Connor’s Creamery. Now through Oct. 31, the Dripping Springs Pumpkin patch is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except Tuesdays when they get pumpkin deliveries). There’s free entry on select Mondays, and admission is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. More at https://drippingspringspumpkinfestival.com/.
Sweet Berry Farm
We love visiting Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, just a little over an hour from Austin, when the annual Harvest of Fall Fun transforms these 60 beautiful acres into a pumpkin playground. One of the biggest perks of this pumpkin patch is that admission and parking are free, so you only pay for the activities that you want to do –– a huge savings for families with multiple kiddos with various interests. Pick your own colorful zinnias from the flower field ($6.50), take a ride on the Sweet Berry Express Barrel Train ($3.75), hop on the Berry Bounce ($3.75), run through the Texas Maze ($8), enjoy a tractor-pulled hayride ($4), ride a pony ($7, Fri.-Sun. only), and pick out the perfect pumpkins and gourds to take back home (individually priced). You’ll find a plethora of pumpkin patch photo ops, a Pumpkin Grill serving up grilled corn, hot dogs and more, and farm-crafted treats to sweeten the visit. Harvest hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays (closed Wednesdays) and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit https://sweetberryfarm.com/ before you go –– there’s an online crowd calendar so you can plan your trip during non-peak times.
Barton Hill Farms
Old-fashioned fun on the farm can be found just 30 miles from downtown Austin at this family-owned and operated 118-acre farm located on the banks of the Colorado River in Bastrop. Barton Hill Farms’ annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch brims with more than 30 fall-themed activities to entertain the whole crew, including a five-acre corn maze (this year’s maze is a tribute to Matthew McConaughey’s ‘93 Dazed and Confused), u-pick pumpkin patch and flowers, hayrides, live music and more on weekends now through Nov. 6. No need to pack a picnic (coolers aren’t allowed) –– instead, refuel on chicken tender baskets, freshly made pizza, kettle corn, barbecue, sweets, frozen lemonade, frozen sangria, cold beer and more. Admission is $21.95 for ages 3 and older and must be purchased online and redeemed up to one hour after stated admission time. Purchasing pumpkins, u-pick flowers, apple cannons and face painting requires additional fees. More at www.bartonhillfarms.com.
Crowe’s Nest Farm
You’ll find more fall fun on the farm than you can handle at Crowe’s Nest Farm, a 100-acre nonprofit working farm just east of Austin in Manor. Head to this pumpkin patch farm every weekend in October (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for Family Fall Fest, where you can pose with pumpkins, visit farm animals ranging from bison to llamas, participate in educational raptor shows and cow milking demonstrations, enjoy horse rides, hayrides and barrel train rides, listen to live music and more. Admission is $15 for adults (12-60 years), $12 for kids (3-12) and seniors, $5 for 2-year-olds, free for children under 2, and $50 for a family pack of four tickets. Plus, admission helps support the nonprofit farm’s animals and educational mission. More at www.crowesnestfarm.org.
Texas Pumpkin Fest
The Texas Pumpkin Fest has been producing pumpkin patches for more than 30 years, and this year is shaping up to be the best one yet. This year’s Texas-sized fest takes place in a new Leander location (8760 FM 2243), featuring a total of 750,000 pounds of pumpkins and gourds perfect for posing with and purchasing. In addition to a plethora of pumpkins, you’ll also find plenty of family-friendly fun. Get spooked in the tent of terror with animatronics, monsters and zombies, race down the 65-foot super slide, take a ride kiddie trains, get dizzy in the giant pumpkin spinner, fly high in the sky on the Ferris wheel and much more, including face painting and magic shows. Admission to the Texas Pumpkin Fest, open daily except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 8- 30, is $5 Tuesday through Thursdays and $10 Fridays through Sundays. More at www.texaspumpkinfest.com.
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm
Good gourd, you’re sure to have a sweet time at the 2022 Georgetown Fall Festival at Sweet Eats Fruit Farm, where nearly five acres of safari-themed corn maze pairs with a sprawling two-acre Texas-sized pumpkin patch bursting with more than 40 varieties of pumpkins. Throughout October, the fall festival takes place Sundays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. When you’re not posing for photos in the pumpkin patch, enjoy pig races, a petting zoo, pony rides, wagon rides, apple cannons, food trucks, fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights, live music, and more than 30 fall-themed activities included with your general admission ticket (ranges from $19.95 to $24.95). More at www.sweeteats.com.
Located in Elgin, just 26 miles from Austin, Evergreen Farms’ Pumpkin Hunt is bursting with pumpkins, photo ops and plenty of family-friendly fun. A big perk of this pumpkin patch is that admission and parking are always free, so you only pay for the activities you choose to do. Ride into fall on a tractor-pulled wagon winding through the fields to “hunt” for mini pumpkins (one ticket gets you two mini pumpkins). Purchase $3 tickets in the gift shop to use toward the pumpkin hunt, pumpkin launcher, train ride, fishing pond, spinner, bounce track, kid zipline, mazes and more. Evergreen Farms’ Pumpkin Hunt opens Oct. 8 and runs through Oct. 30 on Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. More at www.evergreen-farms.com.
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, just 28 miles from Austin, opens the last two weekends in October (Oct. 22-23 and 29-30) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 12 to 5:30 p.m. Sundays. This season’s reduced dates, activities and admission ($8) still offers visitors the chance to pose with pumpkins (not available for purchase this year) and enjoy the crazy maze, rubber duck races, farm animals, train rides, hayrides and playscape. Picnics are welcome at this no-frills pumpkin patch –– so bring along lunch or pick up some of Elgin’s famous barbecue on your way. More at www.elginchristmastreefarm.com/fall-fun.
Robinson Family Farm
The Robinson Family Farm’s annual fall festival is one Central Texas pumpkin patch you’ll want to squash off your list. Located in Temple at a new location this year (2651 Bob White Rd.), this fall festival takes place weekends through Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission ($15.95 online and $19.95 at the gate) includes access to more than 20 activities and attractions. Pose for fall-themed photos in the pumpkin patch, sip something from Tangled Creek Wine and Biergarten, and entertain the whole crew with everything from axe throwing, pig races and live music to zip lines, archery, hayrides, barrel trains, bounce pads, farm animals and more. Come on Saturdays to see the chainsaw wood carver and on Sundays for pumpkin carving. More at www.therobinsonfamilyfarm.com.
Braune Farms Pumpkin Patch
Just 60 miles from downtown Austin, you can experience a real pumpkin patch at Braune Farms in Seguin. There’s no admission or parking fee at the 10th Annual Real Pumpkin Patch where you’ll take a hayride through the working farm and be walking in actual rows of pumpkins growing up from the dirt. If you do visit, purchase a pumpkin (priced according to size) and expect old-fashioned farm fun in the form of hayrides, a corn crib, tube slide, build-a-scarecrow, face painting and plenty of fall memories occurring over three weekends in October from noon to 4 p.m. (Oct. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23). More at www.braunefarmsfreshproduce.com.
Jenschke Orchards’ Pumpkin Patch
Looking for the best corn maze in Texas? You’ll find it about 70 miles from Austin on Jenschke Orchards in Fredericksburg. Open now through Oct. 30 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the farmtastic fun included with your admission ($12) ranges from a giant corn maze, Texas-sized jumpy pillow and pumpkin patch to a petting zoo, pony rides and barnyard basketball. Pose with and pick out your own pumpkins (75 cents per pound) and refuel at the new on-site restaurant, Leroy’s Tex Mex BBQ & Biergarten. More at www.bestfredericksburgpeaches.com/corn-maze.
The Jersey Barnyard Pumpkin Patch
Head a little over an hour from Austin to find old fashioned fun on the farm at The Jersey Barnyard in LaGrange. At this 100-year-old, four generation, family-owned Jersey dairy farm, you’ll have your pick of Jack-o-lanterns, specialty pumpkins, squash, gourds and more. Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. throughout October, you can also take a tour of the farm where you can feed goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits, milk a cow, bottle feed a Jersey calf, take a hayride to the dairy and more. More at https://www.texasjersey.com/.
If You Go
Crowe’s Nest Farm is 18 miles from downtown Austin.
Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival is 24 miles from downtown Austin.
Evergreen Farms is 25 miles from downtown Austin.
Texas Pumpkin Fest is 26 miles from downtown Austin.
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm is 27 miles from downtown Austin.
Barton Hill Farms is 30 miles from downtown Austin.
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm is 40 miles from downtown Austin.
Sweet Berry Farm is 52 miles from downtown Austin.
Braune Farms Pumpkin Patch is 60 miles from downtown Austin.
The Jersey Barnyard Pumpkin Patch is 65 miles from downtown Austin.
Jenschke Orchards’ Pumpkin Patch is 70 miles from downtown Austin.
The Robinson Family Farm is 75 miles from downtown Austin.