Who loves a good old pumpkin patch to kick off fall festivities? It’s actually a dear tradition we started in our family after we had our oldest son. We thought very hard whether to skip one this year or not and ultimately decided we could safely do it. I’d love to share the top tips on how to have a safe pumpkin patch this year.
Things to consider
We hadn’t left our home since the first week of March. My wife and I both have the privilege of working from home so we decided to stay put. I say that to let y’all know we didn’t take this lightly and in the end found it feasible to do.
Please consider how you feel. What’s your comfort level? What’s your risk level? Nothing is 100% guaranteed so you have to always consider your family’s best interest no matter what anyone says.
These are best tips to go to a pumpkin patch this year as safely as possible
Get out of town
I searched and searched for places outside of town. Luckily we didn’t have to go too far. We found a farm one hour and 10 minutes away! This was music to my ears as we have a baby who hasn’t been in the car much this year and we didn’t want to push his limits.
By going to a pumpkin patch even a little bit outside of town, you’re already going somewhere less crowded. Not everyone wants to make the trek. More often than not, people go with convenience and it’s convenient to only drive 20 mins from your home.
But when you’re trying to limit your contact and exposure from people, it’s worth going a little out of your way. Google pumpkin patches near you and you’ll be surprised how many there are! Choose one just a tad outside the city.
P.s. as an added perk, we saved ourselves heat! Our farm was an hour NORTH which meant it was 20 degrees cooler. That in itself is a huge perk. It makes me want to return next year just for that.
Go during the week
This one is important. You want to go while people are at work and children are in school. Sure you’ll have others who may have the same idea but you are already reducing the number of people who do not or cannot.
My wife actually took the day off work to be able to do this. Again very grateful for it and it even made me wonder how come we hadn’t done this before on “normal” years. I don’t know about you but some of those lines get crazy. It was extremely refreshing not to have to wait for everything.
Go first thing in the morning
Okay so we didn’t do a great job at this. Again my wife had already taken the day off work so we just had to go with it. Our intent was to be there when they opened at 7am. Our children are young so they’re up before the sun anyway lol.
If yours aren’t so young or you’re blessed with children that sleep in, set an alarm. It makes a big difference whether you get there at 7 or 9 am. Trust me we saw it first hand. The small amount of people that were there all got there at the same time as us around 9:30am.
I cannot stop thinking had we been there at 7 am like we planned, we would have had the whole place to ourselves. But you know life with small kids is unpredictable. Plus in my defense it was the first time getting ready to go out as a family of four ha ha.
Eat breakfast before you go
Part of our delay was stopping at Starbucks. You can easily replace it with your preferred morning coffee/restaurant drive thru. This wasted a good 20 mins as the drive thru is always busy when you’re late or in a hurry. ALWAYS.
Bring your own water/snacks
I know many places don’t allow outside food/drinks and I am not normally a rule breaker but we are going for maximum safety. And that means not buying food there or standing in lines. Where we went they didn’t check anything and we could have easily brought a whole cooler, lol.
Buy your tickets online
Again you don’t want stand in line. Choose a place where you can purchase your tickets in advance online if you can. And if the one you found doesn’t offer that, bring a contactless credit card. You want to avoid cash at all costs. If the place is cash only? Chose another place, ha.
Look for a farm that is set up BEFORE their festival
We actually found a farm that had a soft launch. Meaning their pumpkin patch festival didn’t start for another 2 weeks. That is another way you’re going to rule out even more people. We got experience everything except food vendor and races. But again you don’t want these things this year.
Our son had the bouncy (uncovered,) swings, tricycles and slides all to himself. Sure some people walked by every now and then but never for more than seconds. When has that happened on a pumpkin patch?
Wear masks and take your own hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
This is without say. Even with a few people as we encountered, some were not wearing masks so you want to protect yourself and children. These are some of my favorite customized ones. Remember double layer with a filter or a triple layer is best and 100% cotton.
I took a small tub of disinfectant wipes and wiped down as many things as I realistically could before my son touched them. Then sprayed his hands afterwards. Children after all are children and will touch their faces without realizing.
I hope these will help you brainstorm ideas on how to partake in one of our favorite fall traditions, the pumpkin patch. If after your best efforts there’s still too many people, you can choose not to go in or leave. That is perfectly fine.
If you are still not comfortable with going at all that is perfectly okay as well! They will be there next year and the year after God willing. If you need support I also wrote a piece about 5 ways to cope with anxiety.
Stay safe everyone!