Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
October 3, 2015Posted by pamela |
McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you have small children or are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. This year McClelland's has added a wide range of new attractions, from a giant slide to a pumpkin blaster.
The entrance to McClelland's can sneak up on you a little, so keep an eye out for their signs as you head down Bodega Road into the Two Rock area west of Petaluma. Turn into the dirt driveway and parking it to your immediate left. On your right you'll see their big pumpkin patch, where you're welcome to go pick that perfect Halloween pumpkin off the vine.
In addition to u-pick pumpkins, there's a little kids' hay maze, a big box full of wheat grains (perfect for digging—buckets and shovels provided), and a petting zoo where you can meet some gentle and friendly farm animals, including goats, calves, and a miniature horse. There's also a cool vintage John Deere tractor that kids can pose on for photos, with a bunch of little pedal tractors you can ride around it. All these attractions are free! (They were setting up even more fun attractions, like tire swings, when we visited last Sunday.)
For an added fee kids can jump around in a bounce house, tour the spooky haunted house, ride down the giant slide, and take a tractor-drawn hay ride. For $10 you can buy a wristband for unlimited fun and play all day. New this year is the pumpkin blaster, a compressed-air-powered cannon that you can use to fire pumpkins at various Halloween-themed targets. The pumpkin blaster is, well, a blast! It costs $5 to shoot three pumpkins and $10 for eight.
When you're ready to go pick pumpkins, grab a wheelbarrow and head out to the field. You'll find pumpkins of all sizes, from enourmous to tiny. There are several different varieties and colors, too, from your standard orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins to white "Polar Bear" ones to bright red-orange French "Cinderella" pumpkins. You might also stumble across gourds and other kinds of squash out in the patch, too. It's a lot of fun to see what you can find! Pumpkin prices range from $1 for gourds and small pumpkins to $25 for giant monsters.
There's also a farm store, where you can shop for organic dairy products like McClelland's highly regarded European-style organic butter, free range eggs, and other merchandise, and a food stand offering hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, pumpkin ice cream, chili, and other snacks and drinks, many of them organic. You can eat in the huge tented picnic area, and you're welcome to bring your own food, too.
You can also look through a large window and watch cows being milked in the parlor. There's another viewing window in the building adjacent to the farm store where you can get a different view of the milking action. This is always a big hit with the kids and they really enjoy watching the how cows being milked.
If you want to learn even more about life on the farm, they offer guided farm tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:45 pm. On the tours, you can learn about the history of the farm and how animals are cared for, pet babies in the nursery, and even try milking a cow by hand. Farm tours cost $15 for visitors ages 13 years and older and $7 for children 4 to 12; children 3 and under are free. Reserve your farm tour spots online, since tours often sell out in advance, especially during pumpkin patch season.
You can spend the whole day out at McClelland's—grab some lunch, go on a farm tour, hunt for pumpkins and gourds in the pumpkin patch, play, and more. It's a great addition to the fall pumpkin patch lineup, and a lot of fun to visit.
If You Go
McClelland's Dairy is located at 6475 Bodega Avenue, just outside Petaluma. To get there, take Highway 101 to the East Washington Street exit in Petaluma. Turn left (west) at the stop light and follow East Washington Street west. Washington Street becomes Bodega Avenue. Keep following Bodega Avenue west and keep an eye out for McClelland's pumpkin patch signs; they'll let you know when you're getting close.
The pumpkin patch is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am–6 pm through the month of October, weather permitting. Admission is free. Credit cards are accepted for all purchases. For more information, visit www.mcclellandsdairy.com or call (707) 664-0452. You can also keep up with pumpkin patch happenings on their Facebook page.