One of our annual family outings is going to a pumpkin patch. There are a lot of reasons that we like this. It is a fun activity where we can get out of the house. It is on a farm, and we want our kids to have a lot of exposure to rural life so that they understand and appreciate where our food comes from. Plus it is just a good harvest activity that signals the beginning of fall. Here is some information about our favorite pumpkin patch.
Since we are a family of 6, free admission is important to us. We have many options in the Kansas City area but our favorite one is Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch. It is between Lawrence, KS and Kansas City off of K-10.
Their season is the last weekend of September through October 31st. Admission is free and they are open daily from 9-6pm. It is a well-organized farm. Once you park and walk up to the barn you can catch a free hayrack ride to the patch. This patch also has livestock to view, a playground and hay bale maze. You can also pay $1 to launch baby pumpkins at targets. We always bring a lunch so we can stay as long as we want.
They have a large variety of pumpkins and gourds. There are plenty of options for each of us to get exactly what we want. We let each kid pick a pumpkin to take home and carve, and I get my Cinderella pumpkin for decoration. Nate always requests that we roast the Pumpkin Seeds, and I make sure we come home with a couple pie pumpkins to make some pies from scratch. It is a lot of work but so worth it!!
Each year we get better and better at carving the pumpkins. We have finally found the perfect knife that makes it so much easier and much less dangerous. Some years we print off patterns and other years we have used cookie cutters. Regardless of what we do we enjoy this family time. It’s fun to get grossed out together as we clean out the inside guts, and to wait with anticipation as Nate lights the candle to find out if our design worked as well as we had hoped!
This is a great opportunity to spend time together as a family or with friends or family. Do you have a pumpkin patch by you? What is your favorite pumpkin recipe??
Last year’s picture at Schaake’s.
Do you have any fun pumpkin traditions? How do you carve your pumpkins?
This is how I roast our pumpkin seeds…
Place in a saucepan:
1 1/3 cup of water and 2 TBSP of salt
Bring to a boil and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour over 2 cups of raw, clean pumpkin seeds. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12-24 hours. (This is the hard part for my husband!)
Drain and spread seeds evenly on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until seeds are dry and puffed.
You can put seasonings on your pumpkin seeds if you like. I have tried regular salt and garlic salt. Other options you could try are chili powder and cinnamon-sugar. Have fun experimenting!