Celebrating Fall with a Pumpkin Patch Visit and Pumpkin Roundup!

Time to celebrate fall with a pumpkin patch visit and pumpkin roundup! Fall is our family’s favorite time of year, and one of our favorite ways to celebrate is with a pumpkin patch visit. I love all things pumpkin, so I reached out to a few other bloggers and asked them to share some of their favorite books, crafts, and recipes to go along with this post, so let’s just call this a complete pumpkin roundup. Everything related to pumpkins you will find here.

Visit to a Pumpkin Patch and Pumpkin Roundup

It has been quite awhile since we visited a pick your own pumpkin patch and I didn’t know what to expect when we recently visited Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry, Illinois.

The farm is located about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting, it is definitely worth the drive. The farm produces over 2,200 acres of crops, from pumpkins to soybeans, and many seasonal fruits and vegetables. During the fall they have a Shades of Autumn festival featuring attractions and entertainment for the family. Not only can families take a tractor ride out to the fields to pick their pumpkins, they can partake in various games, rides, and activities. There is a full day of fun for everyone!

We went early in the morning (I would recommend) and I must say my kids were super excited when we pulled in the drive. They could see the giant slides, tractor equipment, food booths, and pumpkins everywhere. Once we had our wristbands for the day, they were off and it was hard to keep up with them. There was a pretty large petting zoo, giant slides, a beautifully restored carousel, a ferris wheel for the younger ones, a corn kernel play area (my kids love this), tire swings, zip lines, a corn cannon, jumping pillows, and pumpkin launching (yes, this is a thing). Have I convinced you yet? Let’s just say, my kids were never bored. We stayed three hours in the amusement area and they wanted more.

Stades Farm and Market-Kids Are A Trip

I practically begged them to head to the pumpkin patch, and they reluctantly agreed it was time to head out. We boarded the tractor and went out to the fields. The fields were densely populated with pumpkins. They went as far as the eye could see, and they weren’t just of the orange variety. There were gray, white, green, and speckled ones. Basically, if they can grow it, you will find it somewhere in that field. The boys of course wanted the LARGEST pumpkins. The ones they can’t lift. Since it was just me that day, I could carry them to the tractor, but it was difficult getting them up the stairs. Thankfully, the nice gentleman driving the tractor helped me out. Four different times. Kids.

Visit to a Pumpkin Patch-Kids Are A Trip
No mom, it’s not heavy!

After unloading the pumpkins off the tractor and into a wheelbarrow, we loaded them into the car. We headed into the market to enjoy some apple cider and apple cider donuts. Maybe it was because we were famished, or maybe they were just that good, but the donuts were the softest pillows of sugary dough we have ever found in our search for apple cider donuts. Stade’s Farm and Market hit it out of the park with these beauties, and it was the perfect ending to our successful day at our new favorite pumpkin patch.

Best Chicago Attractions for Families

So what do to do with all those pumpkins collected at the pumpkin patch? You carve them of course! I scoured the internet for ideas and found Girl Gone Mom’s 19 Real Pumpkin Carving & Craft Ideas. The things people can create with these giant gourds are amazing.

Want some sweet recipes? Check out these from The Jenny Evolution: Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte and Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake Copycat Recipe (Ok, so maybe you won’t use your pumpkin to make these, but the recipes look fantastic)! And to tie it all up with some kid friendly activities, The Jenny Evolution also shared some Picture Books About Pumpkins.

Looking for other fall posts? Check out: 50 Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats, Best Places to See Fall Leaves in the Midwest, Fun Fall Activities Across the US, Canada, and UK, and Kid Friendly Spooky Destinations in Illinois.

Best Kid Friendly Restaurants in Chicago


  1. All of our pumpkin “patches” are trucked in and set up in parking lots or church yards down here. Might get too hot for too long to grow good carving pumpkins. For more than 10 years we hosted an almost-annual pumpkin carving party for our friends and family complete with prizes. It was a lot of fun but I’m glad we switched to a more laid-back format last year and this year!

  2. It looks like y’all had so much fun! We are taking our kids tomorrow and can’t wait! It will be my son’s 2nd birthday, so we will be celebrating out there.

  3. Sounds like so much fun! I love when the pumpkin patches have all the extra things for kids like that. And fresh apple cider donuts are the best things no matter how hungry you are!

  4. Looks like y’all had tons of fun. I looked around here for a pumpkin patch, but they’re all just plain pumpkins to buy. I wish we had something fun like this around!

  5. I miss living back east specifically because of the seasons and pumpkin patches. It looks like there is a lot to do and it looks like Stades is HUGE!

  6. Awww I wish I had a pumpkin patch near me! I live in AZ so unless you carve pumpkins the day before Halloween they always wilt in the heat :/

  7. We are heading to the pumpkin patch today!!

  8. Looks like a great time had by all. We are lucky to have so many local places to choose from. We try a new one each year!

  9. We took the kids for pumpkins two weeks ago. We always have such a great time. Fall is so much fun with the kids!

  10. oh my what fun I can well imagine. Yes we have a pumpkin patch nearby and our grand-daughter will head there October 30 and have so much fun love all your great ideas of how to celebrate pumpkins
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  11. Looks like a ton of fun! We loved taking our little man to the pumpkin patch this year!

  12. That looks so fun! I like that they have some other activities for the kiddos.

  13. Aw your pumpkin patch looks like a hoot! I haven’t found one as fun as that in our area!! Loooove the slides!

  14. A carving party would be fun, but I can imagine it would be quite a bit of work. Enjoy your carving this year. What will you make?

  15. Thanks for sharing! I love your post and am happy to include it!

  16. That would be so fun to celebrate at a pumpkin patch! Hope you have a great time!

  17. You are right! Love those apple cider donuts!

  18. Bummer! Maybe you could just buy some, throw them around your yard and pretend? LOL

  19. Thanks Cynthia! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  20. Stade’s is huge! I love everything about fall. Probably because I grew up in Arizona and we never had changing leaves!

  21. So true! I grew up in Tempe and we always waited until the last minute to carve ours!

  22. Hope you had a great time Michelle!

  23. It is nice to have a large selection. I don’t think mine will let me go anywhere else after this visit!

  24. Jen, fall is so great. I always look forward to it!

  25. Thanks Angie! Have fun celebrating with your grandaughter!

  26. Susannah, I bet you had a great time. It’s so fun when they are little!

  27. It is nice they have other activities. Definitely makes it worth the effort!

  28. Jaclyn, it is so amazing. Obviously you can see why the kids love it!

  29. CourtneyLynne says:

    Pumpkin patches are so much fun!! We just took my daughter on Wednesday and had a blast!

  30. I love pumpkin patches. We weren’t able to go last year, we had to settle for the store bought – but it is on the list for this year for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Laurie, it had been a couple of years since our last visit to a pumpkin patch. We usually buy at the store. I think it will definitely be an annual tradition from now on. Enjoy your Sunday!

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