Guess what? It’s almost pumpkin pickin’ time! It’ll feel like fall soon enough and many a Halloween costume has already been carefully selected. Between now and then, whether you just enjoy fall for the cooler temperatures or you can’t wait to trick-or-treat, a trip to Tate Farms Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins is just what you need. For many families, like my own, it’s become a fall tradition.
The end goal of a visit to Tate Farms is heading home with a hand-picked pumpkin. With over 70 acres and 92 varieties of pumpkins, your family will find the perfect one (or more!). But while you’re at it, there’s so much to do.
Kids will enjoy:
- Hay rides to the pumpkin field
- The barnyard playground
- Animals to pet, including rabbits, pigs, a cow and brand NEW miniature goats
- Hay bale maze
- Playing in the corn cribs & cotton jump
For kids, it’s a great place for them to run and play while getting a little peek at life on a farm, albeit a really fun farm that lets you jump into the corn cribs! For my oldest son’s first visit, we took a weekday afternoon off (it can get crowded on Saturdays) and had so much fun watching him run from activity to activity. And he was extremely proud of the pumpkin he picked himself and talked about it for months after. Now that we have another little one, we can’t wait to get out there and pick our pumpkins!
The whole family will enjoy a visit the Country Store and the Barn Café. Bring your camera to take advantage of the awesome photography displays. And there are some new sites you will see at the farm this year. I recently spoke to Stewart McGill, operations manager, and he told me about the 14,000 square feet of new facility space for this year.
The farm is really growing! Tate Farms has been busy, and in addition to the new space, the Country Store and corn crib shed have been re-built and there is a new bakery in the Country Café. Mr. McGill told me it’s about “bringing back the feel of old time agriculture and making everything more customer-friendly.” The bakery will have pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread and rolls and there will be hand-dipped ice cream too. There is also a new covered picnic area.
Mr. McGill also told me about something else that is new this year and I can’t wait to see it. My son will love it. It’s the Pumpkin Cannon! That’s right, Tate Farms is going to be chunkin’ pumpkins every 15 minutes during the afternoons that the farm is open to the public. This pumpkin cannon can shoot a pumpkin up to half a mile!
Also new this year, on Saturday, October 6, you are invited to go “Pickin’ for a Cure.” This will be a day to raise awareness of breast cancer and will benefit the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. There are two types of PINK pumpkins growing in the pumpkin patch and the staff will all be in pink for the day.
“Our focus is on the community, and we want people to be happy,” McGill said. Tate Farms is very excited about its new spaces, all of their recent growth and the future.
It should be a great season to find the perfect pumpkin, and a little extra, at Tate Farms Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins.
A Few Tips
- Don’t be in any rush. Plan for your visit to last a couple of hours if you have kids or go ahead and make a day of it. I have friends that make it a big family fun day with cousins and grandparents.
- Bring your camera! Great backdrops to stage a family photo.
- My kids do a lot of running, so depending on your kid, expect them to get dirty. It is a farm after all.
- Closer to Halloween, Saturdays can get crowded. That is part of the experience for some, but for others a weekday visit may be more your speed.
- Plan to spend some additional money on your pumpkin(s) and those other can’t-leave-withouts (like the pumpkin pie).
Plan Your Visit
Address: 8414a Moores Mill Road, Meridianville
Visit their website here.
Monday – Friday: 2 – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm
Open September 24 – October 31
Cost: $10 per person general admission (ages 2 and up)
$20 for a Season Pass Pumpkins cost extra (as well as gourds, mums, straw bales, etc.)
Note: There may be other charges for activities such as face-painting.