Guys, you know what time it is. Well, it's getting there, anyway.

What some people would call the best time of year - SPOOKY SEASON.  Now I know for me, I prefer the weather of fall to all the other seasons.  I like it a little chilly, but not so cold that I want to hide under a number of lined parkas.  Just enough for a light jacket or maybe the tip of your nose to get a bit cold.  So I thought, well, let's round up a list of where you can go with the family to experience some good old fashioned Pumpkiny Goodness this fall!

I didn't go looking too far to the other side of Kansas City or St Louis, or too far south in the state either. I figured I'd mention a few that are close driving distance to us here in West Central Missouri, or at the very longest, a day trip. And keep in mind, some of these aren't open yet - late September/October seems to be the sweet spot for opening. I just thought I'd give you a heads up so you can plan a weekend in advance. Just click the links and get the details if you want hours, times, admission, etc etc.

1. Big Bear Pumpkin Patch.

This is only their second year open, and they're psyched in a big way to come back. They're over on Eckles Road (think Dresden), and they do have an admission cost that's cash only, but it's not super pricey.

We will still have the corn maze, hay ride, zip line, bounce house, large slide that goes into corn pit x 2, sound garden, rubber duck race, lawn games, and more!

They do accept field trips and special groups, but you gotta let em know ASAP if you want to book one.  They work full time and gotta get PTO to schedule time off, you see.  You get that. They're also pet friendly, so as long as you keep him on a leash, your dog can join in the fun, too!

2. Pixie Pumpkin Patch.

This one's up in Knob Noster.  They have events throughout the year too, like an Easter Egg Hunt and a special events for Whiteman Air Force Base.  But it sounds like fun!  Pumpkins, hayrides, animals, food, bounce pad, playgrounds....and a PUMPKIN CANNON.  I'm dying to know what that is.


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3. The Pumpkin Patch at Buckeye Acres.

This one is just a few miles north of Warrensburg. They're also open all year, because they sell produce and farm fresh foods, stuff like that. But obviously the pumpkin patch part is pretty seasonal. But they also take field trips and groups and birthday parties and all that good stuff, too. So maybe you can pop by, take a look around at stuff and walk away with some fresh veggies.

4. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park.

Now this is one example of what I meant by taking a day trip. This one is in Springfield, so it's a couple hours drive away. BUT. They're open pretty much all year, and it's free.

The 207-acre farm park is designed to provide educational, as well as various recreational resources for the community and celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the area. The park includes an animal barn, visitor center and gift shop, farm-themed playground, demonstration crops and gardens, 20-acre native prairie, pasture land, a trailhead and one-mile paved trail along Wilson's Creek Greenway, and Wilson's Creek.

This one might be great if you've got little ones who like to play farmer?  I think most kids had a phase like that, and some of em made it a life!

5. Carolyn's Pumpkin Patch.

This one is in Liberty, so it's about an hour and a half drive. Day trip. This one though, has gotten a lot of love online over the years. They've been open since the early nineties and they've been voted the best in the state by Reader's Digest. They're a working farm, so they're only open about seven weeks a year, but they start up in mid-September. They've got TWENTY ACRES of entertainment (apart from the other sixty that's, you know, a farm) so this one might be pretty fun to check out, too! You can even pick your own pumpkins.

Now sadly, I have to get to the one can't go to. And that's Prarie's End Pumpkin Patch. It's pretty sad, because that place was awesome. I remember going out there with my cousin and her kids and the girls and just having a blast on the slide and on the hayride and just... all of it. But they didn't take the decision lightly, and if it's for the best, then I wish them the best, too. They announced this a little while back and haven't made a decision about selling it, so we'll have to see what happens in future.

Anyway, now you've got the info, so you can make some plans later this month or next month for your good times in Spooky Season. Happy Pumpkining!

Patchingly yours,

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