Maybe it’s the smell of fresh-baked pumpkin pies wafting through the cool fall air, or some well-hidden secret in the heart of a corn maze. Maybe it’s the lush fall colors, or the unmistakable crunch crunch crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. There’s just something magical about exploring a pumpkin patch in the fall—and whatever that magic may be, pumpkin patches in Minnesota sure have a lot of it!
Minnesota farmers grow some of the best pumpkins in the country, from awe-inspiring giant pumpkins, to artisanal heirlooms, gourds and everything in between. Whether you prefer pumpkin pies, corn mazes or hay rides, here’s one thing we can all agree on: Your family will love exploring these 11 unique Minnesota pumpkin patches.
1) Barten Pumpkin Farm, New Prague
Billing itself as “the most family-friendly free pumpkin patch in the Twin Cities,” Barten Pumpkins talks a big game. Visit during one of the Family Fun Saturdays for free live caricatures, pony rides, pumpkin bowling and other family games. Browse the thousands of pumpkins, photograph a few picturesque fall moments, and enjoy a free hayride on the farm.
2) Collegeville Orchards, St. Joseph
Just south of the Lake Wobegon Trail—a 62-mile paved bike trail between St. Joseph and Osakis—you’d better believe the pumpkins at Collegeville Orchards are above average. Bike there from St. Joseph for a short, 7-mile ride split between the Lake Wobegon Trail and a few rustic, country roads (the aptly named Old Collegeville and Fruit Farm roads). Pick from a wide variety of pumpkins: from mini, to pie, to all sizes of carving pumpkins. Kids will love the wagon rides, petting zoo (with goats, sheep and alpacas!) and pumpkin painting.
3) Dehn's Pumpkins, Dayton
Since opening in 2003, Dehn's Pumpkins has attracted families who adhere to the belief that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Although Dehn's is a true family farm, it still manages to feature practically every fall activity you can imagine, from tried-and-true staples like pick-your-own-pumpkins, hay rides and a 5-acre corn maze, to more off-the-beaten-patch activities like a gourd slinger, giant slide and Saturday wine tastings.
4) Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch, Austin
Farmer John’s has a refreshingly simple philosophy: to provide informal, hands-on fun to families. It’s not the largest or most dazzling pumpkin patch in Minnesota, but that’s because the fun at Farmer John’s isn’t about gadgets or mazes—it’s about spending time together as a family. Pick your own pumpkins and raspberries, see the chickens, pet the farm cats, bring a picnic, and establish your family’s next annual tradition. Schedule an evening group tour—complete with campfire, marshmallows and hot dogs—for a truly special memory.
5) LuceLine Orchard, Watertown
Sprawling across 155 rolling acres of land—including 10 acres of pumpkins, an 80-acre wetland and nearly 10,000 apple trees—LuceLine Orchard is practically a small town unto itself. Kids will love unique activities like Hay Mountain, pony rides and the apple launcher; meanwhile, kids-at-heart will love walking or running through the lush wetland trails. Leashed dogs are welcome, so bring Rover along to help sniff out the perfect pumpkin.
6) Nelson Farm, Litchfield
During the fall season, Nelson Farm can guarantee two things will always drop from the sky: leaves and—thanks to the Pumpkin Chucker Flinger Thinger—pumpkins. A full-scale, working trebuchet, the Pumpkin Chucker’s 20-foot arm and 1,000-pound counterweight easily flings pumpkins through the air and into the Nelson Farm lake, drawing cheers and shrieks of glee from kids and adults alike. Other experiences at the massive Nelson Farm pumpkin patch include the daily Agricultural Olympics, kickball golf, mega corn maze, Pumpkin 500 tricycle race and scarecrow-making contests.
7) Peaceful Pines Farm, Pine City
Peaceful Pines is a family focused pumpkin patch located just a few miles from downtown Pine City, offering pick-your-own pumpkins, complimentary bounce houses, a corn pit, and even a kid-sized corn maze! Plan your trip during the Fall Fun Festival (Oct. 7-8) for special activities like free face painting, apple and honey tasting, and kid-friendly games.
8) Probstfield Farm, Moorhead
Named for its original 1868 homesteaders, Randolph and Catherine Probstfield, this farm is both a historical site honoring their legacies, and a shining modern example of sustainable agriculture and community gardening. The farm runs pick-your-own heirloom squash and pumpkin classes throughout the fall, and on the weekend of Sept. 30—Oct. 1, you can attend its annual Harvest Festival. Celebrate the fall harvest on Probstfield Farm with pick-your-own pumpkins, wagon rides, farm activities, live music and even some Civil War reenactors.
9) Simek’s Farm, Kelsey
The Simeks have been farming in northern Minnesota since 1926, and although many things have changed over the last century, your family can still rely on Simek’s Farm for a bit of old-fashioned farm fun, and a joyful fall harvest. Get lost in the 4-acre corn maze, pet the farm animals, enjoy a hay ride through the field, and visit the general store and cafe. Kids love the giant silo slide, jumbo rope swings and pony rides. Local bluegrass and gospel musicians play on the cafe’s front porch every weekend afternoon, so pull up a chair and enjoy!
10) Tweite's Family Farm, Byron
More than just a pumpkin patch, Tweite's is a full blown—or should we say "fall blown"—22-acre amusement park! Among the many things to do while exploring the park, be sure to challenge your kids to a game of barn yard bowling, giant dominoes or the "biggest checker board ever!" And as you search for the perfect pumpkin, choose from a wide selection of pick-your-own and pre-picked gourds. Tweite's brags that its massive, 12-acre corn maze can take nearly two hours to finish, so be sure to fuel up at the snack shack before heading into the stalks.
11) Waldoch Farm, Lino Lakes
As you explore Waldoch Farm, don’t be alarmed if you hear a faint BOOM in the distance. That’s just the corn cannon. Found among the many wonders of Waldoch’s massive maze area, the corn cannon is just one of many fun activities, including pedal-powered go-karts (for kids and adults), Grandpa’s Grain Train, face painting, an obstacle course, playhouses, tug-o-war and, of course, the corn maze. If you manage to tear yourself away from the maze, Waldoch offers pick-your-own and pre-picked pumpkins, too.
Explore more pumpkin patches in the Minnesota Grown Directory, available in print or online. With over 800 listings, use the directory to discover #OnlyinMN farmers' markets, produce stands, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, wineries and more.