We were looking forward to taking E pumpkin patching this year. He was going to be old enough to walk around the patch and pick out his own pumpkin, ride the tractor rides, look at the animals, sample the snacks.
Of course, that’s not going to happen. So we’re extra grateful to those that are working hard to give a semblance of the experience in a safe and socially distant way. When we heard that Waimanalo Country Farms was offering a drive-through pumpkin patch experience we signed up immediately and snagged one of the first slots this past Saturday.
The cost is $10 per person for anyone three years of age or older. Groups are limited to five or less and everyone needs to come in the same vehicle. If there are more than five in your group only five are allowed to leave the car to enter the pumpkin patch.
I thought overall for a first time doing this its as a very well-thought-out experience. Granted I’ve been to the farm for there pumpkin patch a few years ago and while this is nothing like that, it was the best given the situation.
They probably book around 15 cars (I didnt count the exact number but it seemed around there) per 30 minute time slot. We arrived a few minutes before our designated time and they checked our name off the list and encouraged us to scan a QR code. There were probably about seven or eight of these QR codes around the farm which played voice recordings about the experience. It was a nice touch.
After waiting a few minutes for the prior group to finish and drive out we made a short drive through the farm and parked on the side of the dirt road. Everyone then got out and the group was given 20 minutes to explore the pumpkin patch. The patch is huge and not every car had five people so there was plenty of space to social distance. Also everyone was required to wear a mask.
Throughout the patch there are several little photo shoot opportunities including a pumpkin wall, a hay bale, a tractor and a tub of pumpkins. Of course there are also pumpkins everywhere for you to pick one to take home. Pumpkins are $10/each and you pay as you leave.
Then you get back in the car and drive through the rest of the farm where there are pigs, goats, llamas and cows. Seeing the animals was easily E’s favorite part. He was not a fan of being thrown into a pumpkin tub. 🙂
You then hand over your form where you can order things from their country store including lemonades (each person’s entrance fee includes a free Waimanalo Country Farms lemonade… YUM), smaller pumpkins, produce, etc. And then pau. Overall I would say the experience was under an hour and if you’re with an 18-month old their attention span is probably that long anyway. So it was perfect.
If you’re planning a trip (I just checked and it looks like they only have weekdays left so book quickly!) here are some of our tips:
- Bring a pen. We found one stashed in our car but this will come in handy to fill out the form (even if you don’t want to buy anything you need to designate your flavor of lemonade).
- Plan your pumpkin patch time! Twenty minutes goes by FAST so we recommend hitting the photo areas when there is no line so you’re not wasting your time standing in line.
- Bring CASH. Not sure if they accept credit cards but it will probably go A LOT faster if you can just pay cash, which is what we did.
- Wear closed toed shoes. It’s a farm. And the entire pumpkin patch (if you’ve been there before) is just a dirt field so its incredibly dusty. And it’s Waimanalo so if it recently rained it will be muddy. They recommend bringing a trash bag to throw your dirty shoes in just in case.
- If you were thinking of washing your car that week… don’t. You’ll be driving through lots and lots of dirt roads around other cars who will be kicking up dust. It gets dirty, dusty and muddy fast.
More on the Waimanalo Country Farms 2020 Drive Thru Pumpkin Patch experience here.