There are dozens upon dozens of pumpkin farms within 45 minutes of downtown. Find one that fits your needs. (Petting zoo? Pumpkin cannon?)
6394 Sugar Creek Rd., Elkhorn
The Apple Barn was built in the 1860s by a Norwegian immigrant and Civil War vet. With the war long forgotten, Apple Barn Orchard and Winery offers apple and pumpkin harvesting. The winery uses more than just grapes in its concoctions. Small batches of fruits, including strawberries grown on the grounds, turn into award-winning wines that can be sampled at the Apple Barn and at several markets in southeastern Wisconsin.
2. Apple Holler
5006 South Sylvania Ave., Sturtevant
Apple Holler, just north of the Illinois border, has long been Kenosha’s least-kept secret. Apple Holler’s fame comes from the desirability of its apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple pie, and everything else that doesn’t include the namesake fruit — for instance, pumpkins! Outside of the mouthwatering sales floor, there are also pony rides, pedal carts to race, a giant slide, a full restaurant, pig races and plenty of fun to be had.
3190 County Line Road (Q), Colgate
The best time to go is from Sept. 23-Oct. 31 during Pumpkin Fest when there are rat and duck races, adult- and kid-sized jumping pillows, an inflatable obstacle course, straw bale art, and the Goatel 6 petting zoo. There’s plenty else going on at Basse’s, the most unique of which would be the pumpkin cannon, which kids and kids-at-heart can use to blast tiny pumpkins or launch candy into the fall sky.
649 Highway 60, Cedarburg
Cedarburg Creek Farm does more by charging less. There’s no entry fee and hay rides are free. There’s also the petting zoo, where the only charge is for feed. Of course, there’s also a corn maze to explore. The pumpkins also come bigger at Cedarburg Creek; the smaller ones are still about four feet around, with the largest measuring 13 feet in diameter.
S11 W30780 Summit Ave., Waukesha
Unlike most other patches, Cozy Nook is an actual farm, not just a country lot cashing in on pumpkin lovers. Its award-winning cows provide milk that is turned into cheese at Swiss Valley Farms. Still, during the fall the grounds open up to families where anyone can pick up some pumpkins, squash and corn. You can also take a tour of the farm to see the cattle up close.
13101 N Wauwatosa Road, Mequon
Creekside Valley Farm has pretty much anything you could want in a pumpkin farm, plus a little extra. Besides the hayrides, petting zoo and story theater, the 8-acre corn maze is a labyrinth complete with riddles to solve and 10,000 feet of paths to traverse. Every year, the maze has a different theme, ranging from Jurassic times to American pride and outer space. Make sure to stop by on Sundays, when Creekside airs Packer games in the theater room.
33603 High Drive (Highway 20), East Troy
Zip and slide at Green Meadows Petting Farm. Besides the dozens of animals to cuddle, milk or ride, there’s also the zip line inside the smiling yellow barn. The plus-sized playground is big enough for the whole family: children, rebellious teenagers and grandparents alike. Better yet, you (or your little ones) can pick pumpkins straight from the patch.
7150 18th Street, Kenosha
Jerry Smith combines art with squash. Between the sizable country store and expansive cornfield is an outdoor exhibit featuring dozens of memorable scenes from beloved movies, television shows and books, starring pumpkins painted to resemble their silver screen counterparts.
19075 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin
Looking to knock down some pins, but don’t want to bowl in a smokey, nacho-filled basement? Well then pick up a gourd and go for the 7-10 split in pumpkin bowling in Linders Big Back Yard. Looking for something more high-speed? Then hug the corners at the pumpkin-lined Scarecrow Speedway pedal tractor racetrack. Need to go faster, but can’t pedal fast enough? Take a ride down the burlap sack slide.
10. Schuett Farms
Highway 83 and Road X, Mukwonago
Addicted to your smartphone? Schuett Farms is a-OK with that. The corn maze uses a cellphone-friendly checkpoint system, helping questers navigate an eight-acre labyrinth. Every weekend in October, the maze will remain open after dark for flashlight-lit adventures.