The Godmothers of Timothy Murphy School Pumpkin Field (St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch)
One of Marin County's most beloved Halloween traditions is the Godmothers of Timothy Murphy School Pumpkin Field, AKA the St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch. This popular seasonal fixture is located in St. Vincent's field near St. Vincent's School for Boys just south of Novato.
As usual, this year's pumpkin patch is really well done. It's attractive both for adults and children, with colorful plywood cutouts for photos ops, and plenty of spooky decorations, figures, and props to keep everyone interested. They don't actually grow their pumpkins here, but have a large selection of them ready to choose. There are wheelbarrows and red Radio Flyer wagons available for you to haul around your pumpkins (or your kids).
Like many pumpkin patches these days, pumpkins aren't the only draw, and St. Vincent's has the requisite bouncy house and giant inflatable slide for kids to play on on weekends.
Pumpkins prices are comparable to other Bay Area pumpkin patches. Small pumpkins can be had for $5, while very large jack-o-lantern pumpkins are $25. Gourds and mini pumpkins are $2 and up. There's a snack shack selling drinks and goodies, as well as a gift shop with Halloween decorations and toys, all pretty inexpensive.
The pumpkin patch is run by volunteers, and everyone is really nice and seem to be having a great time. 100% of the proceeds from the pumpkin patch and gift shop go to the Timothy Murphy School, a non-public day school serving boys with special needs, located at St. Vincent's.
While you don't get that on-the-farm experience that some of the more rural pumpkin patches do, the St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch makes up for a lot in spirit, fun, and charm. You also don't have to drive for an hour into the wilds of West Marin or up into Sonoma County, so convenience definitely counts.
To get there, take the Marinwood/St. Vincent's exit off Highway 101. Head east toward St. Vincent's and you can't miss it. When my kids were really little, we lived pretty much right across the freeway from St. Vincent's and always visited this pumpkin patch several times during the Halloween season. Admission is free, but tickets must be purchased for the bounce house and slide. They're open Wednesday through Sunday, through October 29 from 10 am to 5 pm. For more info, call them at (415) 785-3264 or visit www.godmothers.org.
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