6 ‘Gourd-geous’ Pumpkin Patches You Can Visit In Iowa

Photo courtesy of The Pumpkin Ranch

As far as fall family outings go, hunting for the best pumpkins to decorate and carve is a must. Sure, you could buy a pumpkin at some big-box store, but that’s no fun. Iowa has dozens of pumpkin patches throughout the state, and those farmers deserve your support. 

For a guaranteed gourd time—yeah, we said it—head out to one of these eight locally-owned pumpkin patches. As you muse over what really makes a good pumpkin—the bigger the better or is it all about the shading?—make sure to enjoy all the fall activities these spots offer. 

The Pumpkin Ranch, Winterset

2425 Hiatt Apple Rd, Winterset, IA
Open Fri. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m., through Oct. 30
Admission: Fri. $9 per person, Sat. and Sun. $13 per person, but get $2 off when you buy tickets online

The Pumpkin Ranch has been welcoming visitors for more than a decade. You’ll find a wide range of fun activities often associated with pumpkin patches, like hayrides, a corn pool, and obstacle courses, but you can’t leave the ranch without heading into their Mega Corn Maze. Recognized by Time magazine in 2012 for being one of only five mazes in the US with a message, the 10-acre maze has several miles of paths and includes a treasure hunt and 12 checkpoints. 

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Flatrack Farms Pumpkin Patch, Garner

2040 280th St., Garner, IA
Open Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Sun. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 23
Admission: Free admission

If you live near the Clear Lake-Mason City area, head out to Flatrack Farms, a pick-your-own patch with dozens of varieties, including pumpkins to make your favorite pies and cakes. As a bonus, they also sell several colors of the most gorgeous mums to amp up your fall decorations. Whatever you do, don’t leave without giving the pumpkin slingshot a try. 

Grandpa’s Pumpkin Farm, Panama

116 St. F32, Panama, IA
Open Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Sun. noon to 5 p.m. through Oct. 31
Admission: Single day $12 per person

Photo courtesy of Grandpa’s Pumpkin Farm

Western Iowa residents need to head to Grandpa’s Pumpkin Farm to enjoy some good ol’ family fun. Grandpa’s has a modest five-acre corn maze. Yes, it’s smaller than some of the others, but the farm offers nighttime “Flashlight Maze” fun. If a spooky, night maze is not your thing, visit during the day and try your hand at some pumpkin bowling. 

Pioneer Trail Pumpkin Patch, Council Bluffs

21534 Chestnut Rd., Council Bluffs, IA
Open Wed. through Fri. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Oct. 31
Admission: Single day $7 per person

Nestled in the southwestern corner of Iowa, Pioneer Trail Pumpkin Patch offers some unique activities for little ones. After going for a tractor ride to pick out the perfect pumpkins, you can visit their Mini Gold Mine. Explore the cave for gold or try your luck sifting through the tanks. Don’t leave the farm without checking out the Dino Dig, where kids can find some fossils. 

Pinter’s Gardens & Pumpkins, Decorah

2475 State Hwy. 9, Decorah, IA
Open Sat. 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31
Admission: $15 per person; senior citizens $12; 3 and under free

Photo courtesy of Pinter’s

Admission to Pinter’s Gardens & Pumpkins gives you and your family access to many different activities; there is truly something for everyone. They have activities you will find at a lot of pumpkin patches, like a corn maze, wagon ride, and a corn box. But, you can also play tetherball, black light mini golf, and life-size chess. Once you put your partner in checkmate, head over to Pinter’s bakery to fill up on cupcakes, gourmet popcorn, and homemade fudge. 

Scarecrow Farm, Lawton

1592 Charles Ave., Lawton, IA
Open Fri. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission: Single admission $14.95 or save $4 by ordering online

Only a few miles from Sioux City, Scarecrow Farm offers more than 20 fun activities to those who visit their pumpkin patch. They also have a five-acre corn maze, hayrack rides into the field to find the perfect pumpkin, and giant tube slides. Scarecrow Farm’s pirate ship makes us say “ARRR!” Little ones can climb on nets, stairs, and explore the decks of the ship, which has realistic cannons and a captain’s wheel that turns. 


By Jessica Lee

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