Fall is the most colorful time of year to be in Boulder. The leaves glow gold, the skies stay blue and the pumpkins begin popping.
Whether you live here and need some seasonal curb appeal or you’re visiting, looking to celebrate autumn Colorado-style, here are six of the best pumpkin patches in Boulder County, listed in no particular order.
1. Anderson Farms, Erie
Anderson Farms, 6728 County Road 3 ½, has the standard fun stretched across 30 acres. For families, there’s the annual Fall Festival (Sept. 25-Nov. 3). It has traditionally included Colorado’s longest-running corn maze and pumpkin patch. You may also find hayrides, pumpkin launching (from a cannon), pedal karts, mine cars (aka the “redneck rollercoaster”), farm animals, a maze, a kiddie fort and more.
One unique offering here: You can book a private campfire site. The farm has 40 different campfire sites that can seat between 16 and 50 people on log benches and tables, depending on the size of the site.
If pumpkins are what you’re after, hitch a ride on the wagon and choose from more than 70 different kinds of pumpkins and gourds. Note: Due to cross-pollination, you may even find some unique pumpkin hybrids here.
Anderson Farms also gets a bit spooky for Halloween. After dark, take a “haunted hayride” on a tractor and ghost town experience, where your ride will encounter scary monsters and creatures along the way. For a different kind of rush but without sacrificing the gore, try the Zombie Paintball Hunt corn maze game.
2. Cottonwood Farm, Boulder
This farm is right in Boulder, at 75th Street and Arapahoe Road. It’s not huge — the hand-cut corn maze is 4 acres — but the whole place is family-friendly. In addition to multiple corn and hay bale mazes, you can buy pumpkins and produce here, browse a farm stand and see farm animals and tractors and a steam engine. Take a wagon ride on the weekend.
Everything is free for children under 5 and seniors, except you pay for your pumpkins, of course, and the weekend wagon ride has a small fee. Otherwise, admission is cheap: just $5 on Saturdays and Sundays in October.
The family-run farm offers fall activities through Halloween, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
3. Rock Creek, Broomfield
You’ll have to venture to Broomfield (just beyond Boulder County at 2005 S. 112th St.) for this farm, but it’s worth it: more than six miles of family-friendly (not scary) corn mazes of varying difficulties and (wait for it) 100-plus-acres of you-pick-’em pumpkins, straight from the vine. This has to be one of the best selections of pumpkins around. It’s huge.
Top off the day with farm animals — goats, ponies, chickens, pigs, donkeys — fall-themed snacks, a hay bale maze and a family fun area. In the past, fall food has spanned caramel apples, baked goods, pumpkin bread and more.
Admission is totally free, plus whatever your pumpkin and food costs. It’s open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., weather permitting.
Local tip: The corn mazes are now open after dark on Fridays and Saturdays, so bring a flashlight. They’re open through 10 p.m., but don’t fear; they’re ghost-free.
4. Red Wagon Organic Farm, Longmont
Venture out to Longmont, 7694 N. 63rd St., for this organic farm where you can get a pumpkin patch tour that includes a hayride, a mini pumpkin per child and more. The 90-minute tours, offered weekdays by appointment, are inexpensive and set up for groups of children, like classrooms.
General admission here is free and includes farm animals like alpacas, llamas, chickens, goats and geese, as well as access to the pumpkin patch, where you can pick your own straight from the vine (or select from a pre-cut pile). Kids can also explore a straw bale maze.
The farm is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Halloween.
5. Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch, Longmont
Longmont is also home to the Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch, 9057 Colo. 6. Take a tour of the grounds and try out the obstacle course, paint a pumpkin, ride a pony, hug a llama or baby cow, go down the slide, pet farm animals and see how fast you can get through the hay maze and corn stalk tunnel. There are also carnival rides here, making this destination definitely worth the drive from Boulder.
The pumpkin carnival is only offered on weekends, although some of the other activities are offered daily. Carnival highlights include mini airplane rides, carousel car rides and more.
General admission is free and so is parking. The carnival activities on the weekend require inexpensive tickets. At the Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch, you can also shop the organic farm stand, with many different kinds of veggies.
If all this action has left you hungry, the farm has food vendors selling carnival-style food like cotton candy, caramel apples, hot dogs, big pretzels, snow cones, popcorn and brats.
This pumpkin patch is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and until 6 p.m. in October.
6. Munson Farms, Boulder
This is another farm in Boulder, located at North 75th Street and Valmont Road. The corn maze at Munson Farms is small, but it and the pumpkin patch are free to walk through. You can also enjoy an inexpensive hayride.
The farm itself isn’t tiny; it spans more than 100 acres of produce, including pumpkins and sweet corn grown right on site. In addition to fresh-picked pumpkins, get some sweet corn, picked the same day you buy it.
The farm is open through Nov. 1. It reopens again in December as a Christmas tree lot.