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Pumpkin patches open across Sonoma County

Sonoma County has really carved out a niche for Halloween fun.|

Whether you’re lost in a labyrinthine corn maze or experiencing some serious agoraphobia atop a towering hay pyramid – few activities say “autumn” quite like a trip to a pumpkin patch.

Of course, these perennial gourd fests exist because of Halloween, which demands the necessary pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns that decorate a host of haunted homes on All Hallows’ Eve each year. Which means Sonoma families only have about a month to enjoy them – and pick out a decent orange squash while the pickin’s good.

Sonoma County boasts a half dozen pumpkin patches and fall harvest markets within a 30-minute drive of Sonoma. Here are some worth a sojourn.

Larson Family Winery’s Pumpkin Patch, 23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma

The Larson Pumpkin Patch Experience is back with gorgeous gourds filling the winery’s back pasture beginning Oct. 1. Limited seating for brunch (10:30 a.m.), lunch (12:30 p.m.) and happy hour (3 p.m.) picnics in the patch are available on weekends through the Oct. 24. $60 adults for brunch and lunch, $50 for adults at happy hour. $35 children at brunch and lunch and $25 at happy hour. 707-938-3031 or info@larsonfamilywinery.com.

Flatbed Farm: 13450 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen

Sonoma’s Flatbed Farm’s pumpkin patch returns this year with more decorative items on offer for setting a harvest table and other decorating. Pumpkins include carvers and other varieties, as well as edible winter squash.

Flatbed will be hosting pumpkin succulent centerpiece workshops on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24 from 11 a.m. to noon, as well as a few other fun events and marketplace vendors.

Flatbed is open this month on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit flatbedfarm.com.

Stanley Lane Pumpkin Patch: Highway 29 and Stanley Lane, Napa

The family-owned and operated patch near where Highway 12 meets Highway 29 in Napa offers a variety of pumpkins, a hay fort and more. The patch is open from Oct. 1 through Halloween, daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 224-2575 or email slpumpkinpatch@gmail.com.

Pronzini Pumpkin Patch: 3795 Adobe Road, Petaluma

A fun and festive spot to take the family for pumpkin-picking and frolicking in the massive corn pit, the Pronzini Pumpkin Patch also offers a daytime haunted village, weekend pony rides, animals to visit with and home-cooked barbecue at the cafe. Leashed dogs welcome.

The pumpkin patch is open through Halloween from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Halloween from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit pronzinitrees.com/pumpkin-patch.

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch: 4235 Spring Hill Road, Petaluma

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at the Spring Hill Dairy has fields of fresh pumpkins, gourds and cattle for the whole family to enjoy. Taste the cheese, climb the hay pyramid, find your way through the corn maze, watch the cows being milked, listen to some live music or try some barbecue.

The Spring Hill Dairy will be hosting its annual pumpkin patch beginning Oct. 8. Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit springhillcheese.com/pumpkin-patch.

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch: 450 Stony Point Road, Petaluma

The Petaluma Pumpkin Patch has been a Sonoma County tradition for 29 years, and for good reason: the annual patch features several acres of freshly grown pumpkins, farm animals, pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses, a “carnival fun slide,” and one of the toughest corn mazes in Northern California. (Farmer Jim creates a new maze each year.)

The patch is open through Halloween night, Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Corn maze daytime, $7; evening, $10. Visit petalumapumpkinpatch.com.

Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch: 5157 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch features an extensive corn maze, making it a popular destination for local residents for several years. This year’s season opens Oct. 8 with the usual soiree of a vast pumpkin patch, pyramids of hay bales and hay bale rides, petting farms and pumpkin decorating stations. And if you’re famished after the corn maze and pumpkin picking, the Snack Shack’s array of hot dogs, chili bowls, nachos and kettle corn will satiate even the hungriest little (or big) goblins.

The patch is open through Halloween night. Open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Halloween hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit santarosapumpkinpatch.com.

Muelrath Ranches Pumpkin Patch: 3800 Walker Ave., Santa Rosa

If a pumpkin slingshot and a pumpkin cannon aren’t enough to convince most locals to pay a visit to Muelrath Ranches, perhaps the traditional hay pyramid, the corn maze – or the hay tunnel that leads to a dungeon! – will do the trick.

Muelrath Ranches is open through Halloween night. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit muelrathspumpkins.com.

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