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When the leaves start to turn and the air turns crisp, we all know what season it is.
Pumpkin season. (Or spooky season, depending on your preference.)
It’s definitely the time of year to put on your best flannels, your coziest scarves, your muckiest boots and head out to your favorite pumpkin patch.
There’s something about traipsing out into a muddy field and selecting the perfect pumpkin that just screams “FALL” to me. I remember my mom used to take us out to Remlinger Farms every fall to pick our pumpkins and take our photos, long before Instagram. (And yes, I asked MamaCakes for photos of said pumpkin patch visits, so if she finds some, I’ll update this post with them. Just so y’all can see my epic thick curtain of 80s bangs and my brother’s cute red hair.)
I’ve been to many many pumpkin patches in my life and I’ve been caught with muddy pants (literally) multiple times. Let me spare you the same cleanup I’ve been through, and provide you the top 5 things I recommend you tote with you when you head out to hunt for your great pumpkin!
Five things you should take on your trip to the pumpkin patch
Not every pumpkin patch has a credit card system, especially the smaller ones. Even if they do take cards, cash is a better way for you to pay as the credit card fees can really add up.
Make sure to hit an ATM before you hit the fields.
2. A change of clothes
On the trip pictured above, I got caught in a rainstorm that was not in the forecast. We were out picking apples after choosing our pumpkins and ended up soaked to the skin (through four layers, as you can see). I had to sit in my wet clothes the whole drive home, which made the ride really uncomfortable.
Take a plastic bag just in case you do have wet clothes. I keep a roll of garbage sacks in my trunk because we go on a lot of adventures where we get wet or dirty, and it saves me from having to scrub my upholstery!
3. A box or tote
If you take kids, they may want to hold their pumpkin the entire way home, which is understandable. I used to name my pumpkins and make up stories about them and cry when we carved them.
If you don’t have kids who want to cradle their pumpkins on the car ride, you’ll want to corral them somehow to prevent them from knocking around and possibly bruising or breaking on the way home. I have a collapsible tote like this one that I keep in the car for multiple bags of groceries, or keeping things like pumpkins from sliding around in my trunk.
A tote or a box would also help if you’re not able to snag a wheelbarrow from the farm to carry your finds back to the car. Sometimes you can wander pretty far out in the fields, and your arms can only hold so many pumpkins at once!
4. A portable battery for your phone
You’d be surprised how many times I found myself out in a field without my camera or with a dead cell phone battery. (I do go to a lot of farms. It’s one of my favorite things.)
Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, take a portable battery or charger for your phone. I prefer smaller portable batteries like this one when I am out on the farm because they fit easily into a pocket without too much bulk. They carry multiple charges for your phone, and even with older phones with short battery life, can keep you charged all day long.
No missed photo opportunities, no getting lost on the way to or from the farm because your GPS is on your phone.
5. Water and snacks
Some farms have food available for sale, like the tiny farm in Fall City, WA that has the best tiny donuts and you can sit and watch them being made … and some are just a muddy field with a guy weighing pumpkins and collecting money.
Staying hydrated is important for any day in life, but keeping your squad from getting hangry in the middle of nowhere and then throwing a tantrum in the field because they are too hungry and don’t care about pumpkins anymore is essential.
Seriously, we were about 2 miles and a train ride from the car on that rainy apple/pumpkin picking trip and the hangry attitude hit one of our group. He laid down in a puddle in the middle of the apple orchard and said it was the worst day ever.
I do have photos of that, because I remembered my battery! (I was sworn to never show those photos to anyone, so you’ll just have to imagine a fully grown man throwing a fit in a puddle.)
BONUS: Don’t forget to have fun
This isn’t just an Instagram trip, it’s a fun memory you can make with your friends/family/SO. It’s a story you can tell during the summertime when it’s so hot and you can’t wait until the next pumpkin patch trip.
For me, it’s a tradition I’ve only broken a handful of times. Fall = pumpkins and apples and horror movies and spooky things for me, and I hope you have fun on your trip to the pumpkin patch!
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