5 North Dakota Pumpkin Patches — With A Twist

It’s prime pumpkin patch time, people! Here are five of the best North Dakota pumpkin patches and corn mazes to get your fall fix.

You’ll find family friendly spots for a little corn maze/pumpkin picking/hay ride magic. Or you could zoom over the crowd on a zipline or load a pumpkin into a sinister looking weapon and launch it across a field. (Hey, it takes all kinds…)

Whichever options you choose, be sure to visit sooner rather than later. Pumpkin patches are seasonal and weather dependent.

Bismarck: Papa’s Pumpkin Patch

This isn’t just one of the best North Dakota pumpkin patches — it’s one of the Top 10 Pumpkin Patches in the nation according to the Travel Channel, so it’s certainly worth a stop. The super photogenic grounds hold dozens of pretty little tableaus for family portraits and selfies and you can pick out white or orange pumpkins (as well as squash, gourds and decorative corn). But the activities are what really set the place apart.

Thrill seekers can climb tires and fly over the grounds on ziplines. Those who want to wreak havoc have an impressive arsenal at their disposal. Choose from cannons that shoot squash for a mile, corn cob sling shots or a positively medieval looking pumpkin trebuchet. (For a less intense experience, try a pedal cart, train ride or take a horse-drawn hayride.)

Grafton: Grafton Parks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Little ones go for the straw bale maze and digging in the corn pit. You’ll also find wagon train rides and pedal car races every day the grounds are open. (That’s typically Saturdays and Sundays.) Big kids (including the adult kind) will dig the four-acre corn maze and blowing off a little steam working on their corn cannon technique.

Weekend events vary and have included everything from mini-donuts, face painting and a petting zoo, to a popular Lao food truck, an adult bean bags tournament (I just can’t call it cornhole, sorry) and a beer garden. Don’t forget to grab your pumpkin on the way out.

Emerado: Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch

The sprawling, 11-acre corn maze (that’s huge!) is the highlight of this rural attraction. The theme and layout is different every year, so people come back again and again.

Once you find your way out of the maze, grab snacks from the pumpkin shack, take a hayride or shoot the corncob cannon in celebration. There are games and a pull behind train ride for the kiddos, while kids at heart can roll themselves through an obstacle course while inside a giant hamster ball. (No, I’m not kidding.)

So if you want a pumpkin patch with a side of adventure, head to Emerado.

West Fargo: Lil’ Bitz Pumpkin Patch

My son has a long term obsession with this place. And I can see why. This place has tons of kid-friendly activities, including a petting zoo, storybook walk, barrel rides, games, hay bales to climb and horse-drawn wagon rides. And, as the name suggests, there’s also a pumpkin patch.

The older crowd is into the massive corn maze, the beautiful, photo-ready grounds (smile for the Christmas card, everybody!) and relaxing around a crackling bonfire. This is a pretty spot to soak in a little autumn atmosphere.

Williston: Cottonwood Forest Pumpkin Patch

Come for the pumpkins and stay for the haunted house! This is one of the few spots in the state that combines the scary stuff with the family attractions, so that makes it a draw for older kids and fans of all things creepy.

There’s lots of non-scary stuff to do as well. Check out the zipline (where were these when I was a kid?) or bring the kiddos to climb on hay bales, wear themselves out in the tire gym or jump in the bounce house. There are pedal car and train rides too.

What about you?
Which one of these spots is your favorite and why?
Why ones do you want to check out this season? Which pumpkin patches do you recommend in your neighborhood?
(Your recommendations don’t have have to be from North Dakota!)
What fall events and festivals are on your bucket list?

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Alicia Underlee Nelson

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