Ready to get your kids to stop acting like animals and actually visit some in person? First, grab the monkeys (yours!) and then head to the many farms surrounding Portland for a day of fall festival fun packed with our favorite p’s: pumpkin patches, petting zoos, produce, pony rides, plus a straw pyramid for your animals to climb all over! So sweater up, enjoy the sunshine and all the sweet things these festies have to offer.
Flower Farmer – Phoenix and Holly Railroad
What do you get when you mix farm animals, a pumpkin patch and a pint-size railroad? Delighted kids, for starters. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the farm’s picnic area and visit Ida the duck, Lokie the turkey, Dover the miniature goat and Tilly the mule, on the grounds. Afterward, enjoy the sites from a seat on the Phoenix and Holly Railroad, a miniature railroad that winds its way through the farm with views of the pumpkins, veggies and of course, farm animals. Extra bonus – from now through October 31, the train is decorated like a pumpkin and beginning October 6, will also offers a “Boo Train” from dusk until 9:00 pm. If your kids are dying to take the boo train, but not fond of Halloween scares, there is a special Sunday night “no scare” train.
Need to know before your visit: During the Pumpkin Run the train runs daily from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, with a special “Boo Train” from dusk until 9:00 pm (click here for schedule). Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and kids under 12.
If the two lovely mastiffs that roam the grounds don’t charm you from the minute you drive up to Lee Farms, the bunnies, goats, chickens and piglets are sure to do the trick. And October is the perfect time to get up close and personal with the animals in the petting zoo, just one of many fall activities you’ll find at the farm. Wind your way through the forested trails on a hay ride or have your kids test their sense of direction with the hay mazes that end in slides. For those more adventurous, Lee even offers carnival rides. Plan to make a day of it – pick some pumpkins, enjoy a pony ride, grab some homemade pies or donuts from the café and drink in the sight of your little animals delighting in those they find on the farm.
Krugers Farm Market
Krugers Farm is a MUST when it comes to Fall fun in Portland! Along with a petting zoo, the farm offers face painting, pony rides, free hay-rides to their u-pick pumpkin patch, caramel apples and all of the bounty that a Portland Fall has to offer.
Need to know before your visit: Entrance to the farm is free, but many of the activities have a charge. Hayrides and U-pick activities begin October 6 and run through the end of the month.
The Pumpkin Patch
Your kids will be in hog heaven as they step through the doors of The Pumpkin Patch’s 1920s red animal barn and visit the pigs, cows, chickens, rabbits, sheep, ducks and just about any other farm animal you can imagine during the Fall Harvest Festival. Open daily, the barn is just one part of a perfect fall day at The Pumpkin Patch. The patch also operates a cow train, hay rides, a straw pyramid for climbing, a corn maize and heavenly elephant ears to help entice little feet to stop running and take a break.
Need to know before your visit: Plan your trip during the first or last weekend of the month or on a weekday. The busiest times at the Pumpkin Patch are the middle two weekends in October.
Smith Berry Barn
Has all of the pumpkin hub-bub left you feeling more tricked than treated? Then leave it behind and celebrate the season at Smith Berry Barn’s 19th Annual Heirloom Apple Festival, October 20-21, in Hillsboro. The celebration will feature live music, apple sampling and wine tasting for the ‘rents while the kids enjoy a straw pile treasure hunt, face painting, freshly dipped caramel apples and even a pint-sized maze for the younger set. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the gentle alpacas roaming the grounds!
What is your favorite place to celebrate harvest season and Halloween in Portland? Share with us in the comment section below.
Photos courtesy of Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch and Krugers Farms Website and Facebook page.