Take your family out to celebrate all that October brings — a bounty of apples, pears and pumpkins, and plenty of spooky fun for Halloween.
FIND A GREAT PUMPKIN
Sauvie Island is home to several pumpkin patches that also feature lots of extra activities for additional fees. Take a hayride to the pumpkin field at the fairly new Topaz Farm. Pro tip: Plan to order a picnic from their chef-prepared menu! For 52 years, The Pumpkin Patch has been a can’t-miss destination for families. Check out the corn maze and animal barn, too. In addition to their regular corn maze, Bella Organic also has a separate “haunted corn maze” on Friday and Saturday nights — perfect for teens looking for spooky thrills. Pro tip: On weekends, go to Sauvie Island early and head home early to avoid traffic delays caused by everyone attempting to leave the island at 5 pm.
Bushue’s Family Farm in Boring offers yummy apple-cider doughnuts in addition to an old-fashioned family farm experience in their pumpkin fields. Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm on Portland’s westside features plenty of kid-approved fun such as pumpkin bowling, pig races and outdoor play structures — in addition to fields of pumpkins. Find a 10-acre corn maze, an off-road, but wheelchair-accessible pumpkin patch, and yummy milkshakes at Hoffman Farms Store.
In 1988, a Disney Channel movie used the little town of St. Helens as a set. And every September and October since, St. Helens captures the Spirit of Halloweentown by recreating key scenes from the movie. (The teen vampire flick Twilight also filmed in St. Helens!) The fun continues through the end of October. Visit Spirit of Haloweentown for the full schedule of events and activities.
After a drive-through event in Clackamas last year, the creepy Davis Graveyard Halloween display is back in Milwaukie this year! It’s open all through October with effects on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and lights every night. But they will not be holding an open house or have dancers this year.
The Oregon Zoo will once again host its Howloween event for kids. They are encouraged to wear their costumes as they romp through the zoo and end up with a bag full of treats from companies that are committed to using deforestation-free palm oil. Saturday and Sunday, October 23-24 and 30-31.
**Update for 2021, the Pumpkin Regatta is sadly canceled this year** For some not-so-spooky daytime fun for the littles, check out Tualatin’s West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta. Watch as costumed paddlers take to the water in massive, hollowed-out gourds. You can even try some pumpkin bowling and pumpkin golf. Free admission.
There’s nothing like a trip to the Hood River Fruit Loop to celebrate fall’s bounty. Here’s my favorite route with kids. Kiyokawa Family Orchards in Parkdale features a huge variety of apples and pears. You can pick from its trees or hit the farm stand. The Butter pears, and Crimson Crisp and Sweetie apples are my family’s favorites. Then head to Draper Girls Country Store in Mount Hood to pet goats and get apple cider. Draper Girls also has U-pick apples and pears in the fall, and an assortment of ghost, Cinderella and other unique pumpkins available for purchase. The Packer Orchard Cookie Stop in Hood River is always on our list. From lemon-white-chocolate to cowboy cookies, their treats all have pear in them. They’ve got plenty of other baked goods and ice cream as well. Pro tip: Plenty of outdoor tables make this a great spot for a picnic! Last year we discovered Packer Orchard’s other location, The Farm Place, complete with a corn maze, play area, pumpkin patch and apple picking. Find even more stops at Hood River Fruit Loop.
In Portland proper, our farmers’ markets are bursting with apples, pears and specialty pumpkins at this time of year. From the vast Beaverton nd PSU Farmers Markets to smaller neighborhood stops like the Woodstock Farmers Market, you’ll find delicious fall produce and foods. While the Portland Nursery will not have its usual Apple Tasting Festival this year, it will still be selling hard-to-find, farm-fresh varieties through October.