| By Amanda Oien
Halloween is creeping up and whether you need a pumpkin for carving or want a plump one for your porch, you better get one now before you find yourself gourd-less on October 31st.
With Nick and Laurie Buckelew permanently hanging up the hat on their pumpkin patch, there’s two local spots to get your pumpkins this year and channel your inner Sanderson Sister: Apple Annie’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard in Willcox and Marana Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival in, you guessed it, Marana.
If you’re having trouble deciding on where you want to pick your perfect pumpkin, we’re here to help.
What You Need to Know: Apple Annie’s Pumpkin Patch
Apple Annie’s is located in Willcox, Arizona, which is about an hour from Tucson. But don’t let the drive deter you— it’s a pretty one. Plus, it’s a bit cooler too!
There’s no charge for admission or parking at the patch or orchard. If you plan on hitchin’ a hayride around the patch or orchard, it’s $4.
You can pick pumpkins, veggies, and apples at the Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard, either yourself or at the barn stand. If you want to know what fruit and veggies you might find at the farm, check out their Harvest Calendar.
Apple Annie’s is home to Arizona’s largest corn maze, spanning 20 acres. Those 12 years and older, the cost is $8. If you’re bringing little ones, between 3-11 years old, the cost is $6.
Here comes the sun(flower!) Arguably one of Apple Annie’s best photo ops is their sunflower patch.
Each weekend in October, Apple Annie’s hosts their Fall Pumpkin Celebration. The festivities kick off with an all-you-can-eat pumpkin and buttermilk pancake breakfast 8:30-10:30 a.m at the Orchard Grill. Or stop by for an applewood smoked burger for lunch. There’s truly something magical about eating at a picnic table in an orchard. If you still can’t get enough, feast on pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, and homemade cider donuts.
Bonus Tip: If you love candy corn, try Apple Annie’s candy corn fudge. You won’t be disappointed.
What You Need to Know: Marana Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival
Post Farms, where the Marana Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival is located, is around 30 minutes from Tucson. Once you’re headed down Kirby Hughes Road, you’ll start seeing pops of orange in their 50 acres of homegrown pumpkin patch.
The Marana Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival offers free parking, but does charge for admission. Depending on which day of the week you visit, admission ranges from $11 to $15 per person. Kids 34” and under get in free.
Before you head to the patch via wagon, get your money’s worth with everything included in your admission: entrance to the corn maze, petting zoo, pig races, jumping pillow, slide and swings—just to name a few. Because the patch and festival are open until 7 p.m, take advantage of the golden hues beaming over the pumpkin patch just before sunset. It’s not only cooler, but you’ll get beautiful photos too.
While a lot of activities are included in admission, some are not. The zipline will cost you an extra $7 and the pony ride is $5.
Bonus Tip: While an added cost, definitely get out those singles for the pumpkin cannon. For $1 a shot, you’ll have a smashing time.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, the festival has everything from pizza and corn dogs to apple cobbler and soft ice cream.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re a bit older, Apple Annie’s is for you. Whether you’re on a date, with friends, family, or out-of-towners, the farm and orchard are the perfect place to wander, take photos, and pick produce. Apple Annie’s has been around since the 1980’s, making it an Arizona staple.
If you’ve got kids, or if you’re a kid at heart, and are looking for more than a farm experience, Marana Pumpkin Patch is your perfect pick. It truly is a festival, with lots of kid-friendly activities.
Be sure to check each location’s COVID-19 policies and as always, if you’re feeling unwell, stay home.