Gorge on autumnal fun (and pie!) at these eight Sacramento-area pumpkin patches

Photo courtesy of Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival
The Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival boasts hundreds of pumpkins from Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse and a world championship pumpkin pie eating contest.

Whether it’s for a spooky jack-o’-lantern, sweet and spicy pie or just a little festive décor, we found eight places around the region where you can get your pumpkin fix this fall. Load up on homemade fudge, hay rides and mazes galore at these praise-worthy patches. 

Abel’s Apple Acres
Through Oct. 31.
With five photo cutouts, horse and pony rides and the “amazing maze,” Abel’s Apple Acres remains one of Apple Hill’s most crowd-pleasing pumpkin patches. This year, Abel’s has added a scavenger hunt on Saturdays and Sundays where plastic apples will be hidden around the site with vouchers for a free piece of pie or candy apple. Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade fudge in flavors ranging from vanilla nut to cappuccino, or grab barbecue favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers and hog fries (French fries topped with pulled pork and cheese), and on weekends, this Apple Hill haven hosts a full craft fair with vendors selling jewelry, art, candles and more. Free. Daily. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.  2345 Carson Rd. Placerville. 530-626-0138. abelsappleacres.com

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm
Through Nov. 1
With a renovated 1950s carousel, a marble mine, and a zip line more than 200 feet long, this pumpkin farm feels more like an amusement park, but that doesn’t mean Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm skimps on the traditional offerings. Go for a hayride in one of the wagons pulled by a vintage John Deere tractor or get lost in the corn maze. (A portion of the proceeds from the maze is donated to local charities.) For a more relaxing walk, check out the sunflower labyrinth, where you can cut your own flowers to take home. Complete the amusement park experience with festival favorites like the corndogs and caramel apples, or tri-tip. Free (Some activities require tickets). Sun.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 1415 Pumpkin Ln. Wheatland. 530-633-2568.  bishopspumpkinfarm.com

Bobby Dazzler’s Pumpkin Patch
Through Oct. 31
With everything from flying saucer and cotton candy pumpkins to the classic orange, Bobby Dazzler’s patch features over 150 types of pumpkins, gourds and squashes. Say hello to the resident llama Onyx and her daughter Sorpresa on the farm, as well as patch-favorite Dozer the sulcata tortoise, or meet bunnies and guinea pigs at the petting zoo. After over 30 years in business, Bobby Dazzler’s has grown into a pumpkin patch that offers a two-acre Milo Maze, face painting and a cow train that encircles the entire patch. Free. Daily. Mon.-Fri. noon-7 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 23300 County Rd 99D. Davis. 530-867-4167. yourpumpkins.com

Cool Patch Pumpkins
Through Nov. 1.
The Guinness Book of World Records winning corn maze at this popular patch continues to grow every year and this season boasts a Sacramento Kings theme with the team logo carved into 43 acres of the maze. This year, the patch enlisted an engineer to design the maze and make it even more difficult featuring two trails: a shorter one that goes to the first checkpoint and leads you out, and a longer path that encompasses the entire maze. Jump on a hayride, nosh on their famous tri tip sandwich or enter the fun zone, which includes a corn bath, pedal cars, a mini sedan grass maze and more. On Mondays an adult gets free admission to the fun zone with the purchase of a kids’ ticket. Free. Daily. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 6585 Milk Farm Rd. Dixon. 530-746-8725. coolpatchpumpkins.com

Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 3-4
This 21st annual festival is a cornucopia of all things pumpkin with a patch (which showcases hundreds of pumpkins from Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse), a pumpkin derby, and the Elk Grove World Pumpkin Pie Eating Championship where professional competitive eaters, including champion-eater Joey Chestnut, will battle it out to see who can wolf down the most pounds of Sinful Treats pie in eight minutes (last year’s winner, Matt Stonie, ate more than 20 pounds of the dessert). Pumpkin spice latte fans can indulge in the wealth of pumpkin-infused fare including pumpkin cupcakes, flan, chili and even shaved ice. At this free festival drink in live music, and new offerings like an art walk highlighting local youth artists and a pumpkin derby in which participants careen along a racetrack in handcrafted pumpkin racecars. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 9950 Elk Grove Florin Rd. Elk Grove. yourcsd.com/pumpkinfestival

The Pumpkin Farm in Citrus Heights
Through Oct. 31
Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, from the teeny to the giant (in 2010 one of the mammoth gourds weighed in at more than 1,500 pounds, taking first place at the World Championship Pumpkin weigh-off in Half Moon Bay) will abound at this 12-acre farm. Check out the haunted barn, which has monsters, goblins and mummies in scenes with moving parts and scary special effects, or say hello to furry friends like the goats, sheep and pigs at the farm zoo. Bask in the view of the whole farm – including the rows of hundreds sunflowers of the eight-car train – from the 30-foot lookout tower before exiting down one of the four slides, and classics like the hayrides and corn mazes at this 41-year-old farm don’t disappoint. $2.50-$10. Tues.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 7736 Old Auburn Rd. Citrus Heights. 726-1137. pumpkinfarm.net

Steamboat Acres Pumpkin Patch Draft Horse & Vintage Tractor Show
Through Oct. 31.
Instead of showing pumpkins in dirt patches or hay fields, Steamboat Acres – which has been owned and operated by the same family since 1848 – places pumpkins in their famous pear orchard allowing families to walk around in the grass under the trees while picking out their favorite gourd. Visitors can partake in farm tours via a hay ride, and kids can take a romp on the bounce house or hay pyramid, and everyone can fill up on barbecue and farm-fresh produce like pears, cherries and apples. $10 per car. Fri.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 15819 Sutter Island Rd. Courtland. 775-1166. steamboatacres.com

Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch
Through Oct. 31
Thanks to a recent move, this year Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch is bigger than ever with 15-acres that boast a wide selection of pumpkins straight off the vine. Carve pumpkins, hop on a hayride or get lost in the two-acre corn maze or hay maze. In coming weeks, you’ll be able to dig into some Asian cuisine provided by Oto’s Marketplace, and with the pet friendly policy, even Fido can pick out a pumpkin. Free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 5610 Garden Hwy. 997-8573. unclerayspumpkinpatch.com  

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