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Gourds galore: Visit pumpkin farms for decorations, family fun
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Gourds galore: Visit pumpkin farms for decorations, family fun

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One of the biggest joys of the season is carving a jack-o-lantern out of a big, ripe pumpkin. And it’s always a little bit more fun when, rather than plunking your pumpkin into a cart at a grocery store, you can head to an area farm to pick out your pumpkins or even wander around a pumpkin patch to make a selection.

If you want to head out and pick a pumpkin at a farm, you have a wide range of places to choose from. There are larger ones with multiple attractions on site, from hay rides to petting zoos to carnival rides, down to the scaled back simple pumpkin patches without an admission fee, where you can quickly get in and out if you’re strapped for time or have young kids that are more suited to a low-key location.

Tom and Zach’s Pumpkin Patch in Lockport, Illinois would fall into the latter category. A no-frills, small family farm, you can plop your toddler in a wagon and grab some cutters, then make your way out to the patch to choose that perfect pumpkin to cut off the vine. The owners pride themselves on offering pesticide-free pumpkins that are safe to use in pumpkin breads, pies or soups.

“People love that good feeling of being out on a farm when they come here,” said one of the owners, Tom McNamara. “And there’s a lot of room to social distance.”

Pumpkins range in price from $1 to $6 and mini pumpkins and gourds can also be picked from the field. McNamara said it’s likely they’ll run out before Halloween, but should be going through at least the middle of October. Check their Facebook page for updates.

If you’re looking for more of a fall attraction where you can make a day of it and spend a bit of time there, you can’t go wrong with local favorites like County Line Orchard, Kregel’s Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Tyme, where beyond getting your yearly pumpkins you can enjoy other fun — from corn mazes to barnyard animals to fresh apple doughnuts and cider.

Where to pick up your pumpkins

County Line Orchard

200 S. County Line Road, Hobart

219-947-4477

countylineorchard.com

Kregel’s Pumpkin Patch

7705 W. 159th Ave., Lowell

219-690-1503

kregelspumpkinpatch.com

Harvest Tyme

17904 Grant St., Lowell

219-440-2386

harvesttymefun.com

Tom and Zach’s Pumpkin Patch

15725 W. Bruce Road, Lockport, Illinois

708-955-8920

tomandzachspumpkinpatch.tripod.com

Odyssey Fun Farm

18900 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, Illinois

708-429-3800

odysseyfunfarm.com

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm and Fall Fest

13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen, Illinois

708-301-3276

pumpkinfarm.com

Seigel’s Cottonwood Farm

17250 Weber Road, Lockport, Illinois

815-741-2693

ourpumpkinfarm.com

Trick-or-treat hours around the Region

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