Are pumpkin patches like 6 o'clock news broadcasts? Do families just pick one and then never deviate?
In my experience, people return to the same pumpkin patch every year, and assuming they don't move too far away from home, it's sometimes the same one their parents took them to every year.
As a transplant to the Lower Mainland from somewhere (England) where pumpkin patches aren't nearly the cultural phenomenon that they are here, I had to wade through the sea of choice without a familial affinity to one or another.
After some trial and error, my friends and I found "our patch" and have diligently returned to it every year for the last five years. For those in search of pumpkins this fall season who maybe have kids in tow or who want to make a day of it (because why else would you go to a pumpkin patch when you could pick it up at the grocery store?) these are the best places to check out in the Lower Mainland.
Greendale Acres, Chilliwack
Home to the famous 12-acre Chilliwack corn maze, this farm also has a pumpkin patch and is worth the drive out for both. It's well established this is the best corn maze in the Lower Mainland but there are also tons of activities and play areas to keep kids entertained all day long: rope courses, a giant jumping pillow, a hay bale maze, duck races, tractor rides, animals, and a lot more.
The maze has been open since August and this year Greendale is partnered with Science World for a T-Rex-themed maze to correspond with the exhibit on until February. Online tickets are $16 for weekdays and $18 for weekends and includes entry to everything.
Laity Pumpkin Patch, Maple Ridge
This is my patch (in the sense it's the one we go to every year). There are now two locations across the street from each other both with different attractions. The North patch has hay wagon rides, farm animals, and an admittedly bizarre enchanted forest walk full of gnomes, fairies, and painted cutouts of fictional characters. There's also a family-friendly corn maze, kids' play areas, and of course a u-pick pumpkin patch.
The south side patch is newer and has a western-style town made of pumpkins, a glow-in-the-dark garden, and a pumpkin cannon in addition to the kids and family games areas, corn maze, and pumpkin u-pick. Entry is $12 on weekends and $9 on weekdays.
Country Farms, Richmond
If you buy before October 15, entrance to Country Farms in Steveston is $15 on weekends and $12 on weekdays (it goes up to $18 and $15 after Oct 15) but the ticket includes a small pumpkin, wagon ride, and a Spartan apple snack after picking your pumpkin. There's also a train that runs on weekends that costs $4 and tours the farm, blueberry patch, and the neighbouring Country Vines Winery. A jovial ambience is created by live music from the farm's in-house band "The Country Pumpkins" and wagon entertainers.
There are animals, a corn maze, food vendors and a mini haunted Transylvania village to enjoy as well as the pumpkins.
Taves Family Farm, Abbotsford
The Applebarn pumpkin farm, also known as Taves Family Farm in Abbotsford, is Cinderella's pumpkin patch of choice or at least it looks like it because of the life-size fairy tale pumpkin carriage. They also have a great selection of Cinderella and sugar pumpkins which make the best pies and can grow up to 50 lbs, plus heirloom pumpkins in shades of blush pink, blue, and white. What's more, there's apple picking (for added fall vibes), a trusty corn maze, petting barn, kids' play areas with peddle karts and a zipline. And for adults, there's Taves Estate Cidery on-site
Maan Farms, Abbotsford
Maan Farms has amazing offerings day and night. The day 'Fall at the Farm' tickets grant access to the pumpkin patch, the daytime corn maze, and barnyard adventure land whereas when the sun goes down things get a whole lot spookier. Mann Farm has four different horror experiences including the infamous haunted corn maze but there are also super immersive "full contact" limited-edition offerings too. These must be booked separately from the happy-go-lucky pumpkin patch.
Maan Farms also has a winery and some seasonal eats like Double Pumpkin Spice Cream, a house ice cream made with spiced roasted pumpkins from the patch and topped with a homemade ginger molasses cookie and whipped cream served in a hollowed-out pumpkin.