Below, we provide links to pumpkin patches and farm stands selling picked pumpkins in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area around the Puget Sound region. All are open weekends in October, a few open earlier. Some locations are open weekends only, others during the week. Check their website for details before you head out. One thing they all have in common is loads and loads of pumpkins in all sizes and shapes.
- Some pumpkin patches are working farms, where you might be able to enjoy related activities, such as take a hay ride out into the field or make your way through a corn field maze.
- Some locations are u-pick fields and some are simple roadside stands offering a variety of pumpkins, winter squash, and other seasonal produce.
- Others are more elaborate farm stores offering Halloween goods and décor along with pumpkins.
History of jack-o’-lanterns
The idea of jack-o-lanterns—carved out and lighted pumpkins—can be traced to an Irish folktale about a drunkard and grifter named Stingy Jack. As the story goes, Jack managed to cheat the Devil himself, not once but twice. (There’s more to the story involving coins, trees, and crosses, but they’re not important to your understanding of Halloween pumpkins.) When Jack finally died, his nefarious nature barred him from entering heaven. Nor, as it turns out, from hell—due to his successful bargains with the Devil. Having no place to go, Satan gave him an ember from hell, which Jack placed into a carved-out turnip. He wanders earth to this day, with no final place to rest.
“Jack-o’-lantern” has also been used to describe any strange light flickering over bogs, swamps, or marshes. The light is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from a safe path and to some unfortunate end. In English folklore, the concept is known as a “will-o’-the-wisp.” The term comes from “wisp”, a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch. And someone named “Will”. Therefore, the phrase means “Will-of-the-torch” and is found in many English folktales. In these stories, the protagonists—named either Will or Jack—are doomed to haunt the marshes with a light.
So, in Ireland, England, and Scotland, people made “Jack’s lanterns” by carving scary faces into turnips, potatoes, or beets to place on windowsills or in doorways to frighten away evil spirits. This tradition was brought by immigrants to America, who found that native pumpkins were easy to carve and make the most splendid jack-o’-lanterns.
How to carve a pumpkin
Here are some simple instructions for creating a jack-o-lantern:
- Cut off the top of the pumpkin to form a lid; cut at a 45-degree angle so the lid sits atop the pumpkin (rather than slip down inside it).
- Scoop the pumpkin flesh and seeds out. The flesh is usually discarded from carving pumpkins. The seeds may be rinsed, roasted, and salted for a snack.
- Carve an image into the side of the pumpkin—either a monstrous or comical face, or other design, is carved into the rind.
- To create the lantern effect, place a light source such as votive candle (or today, an LED light) inside the pumpkin.
For something more elaborate, check out the following links for pumpkin carving templates, patterns, and stencils, plus no-carve decorating ideas.
Pumpkin Carving Templates, Patterns & Stencils
- HGTV Beginner Halloween Pumpkin-Carving Patterns
- StoneyKins 10,000 Pumpkin Carving Patterns and Stencils
- DLTK’s Crafts for Kids Pumpkin Carving Patterns
- Seattle Seahawks-themed pumpkin carving patterns
- MLB Mariners Halloween Pumpkin Stencils
- University of Washington Pumpkin Carving Stencils
No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
- RealSimple: Creative No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas That Are as Good as Any Jack-O’-Lantern
- BuzzFeed Nifty YouTube video: No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
- Parenting Special Needs: Easy No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
Can I eat pumpkins I’ve used for decoration?
Pumpkins grown for carving generally have thin walls and stringy fibers. What little flesh there is tastes bland. So, while they’re safe for consumption, they are not particularly good for eating. For pies, most cooks recommend sugar pumpkins. For soups and stews, there are a large variety of winter squash with wonderful pumpkin-y flavor, such as butternut, kabocha, red Kuri, and Hubbard. Still others are best roasted and/or stuffed, including acorn, carnival, delicata, and spaghetti squash.
Also, by the time Halloween has passed, a carved pumpkin often grows moldy in damp, cool Pacific Northwest weather. It’s best to dispose of your jack-o-lantern in your compost pile or if your city offers it, your municipal “green” bin. (Yes, it’s okay to compost moldy food.)
Puget Sound U-Pick Pumpkin Patches
All pumpkin patches are open Saturday-Sunday in October. Some are open Friday, and several are open daily. Most u-pick and farm stands are free to visit; pumpkins are typically priced by the pound.
Many farms offer fall attractions for a fee, such as corn mazes, hayrides, and fire pits, etc.). Some farms require advance purchase tickets, so check their website before you head out. Confirm hours and whether tickets are needed, methods of payment (some only take cash, some only take cards), plus other details such as where to park, what to bring (if anything), and what to wear.
These are all working family farms. Be courteous and be prepared to be flexible if weather or other conditions require a change in your plans.
Working farms forbid pets—so please leave Fido at home.
(Listed alphabetically by city or location)
Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins & Corn Maze in Arlington, WA. Open daily in 2021.
Suyematsu Farms on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Maris Farms in Buckley, WA. Open weekends. Cashless. Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Woods: Laughter by Day, Screams by Night! Save on advance purchase tickets, which include many attractions (Corn Maze, Wagon Ride, Kiddie Cow Train, Ziplines, Animal Barn, and more).
Jubilee Farm in Carnation, WA. U-Pick Pumpkins and Harvest Festival Weekends. Free admission.
Oxbow Farm in Carnation, WA is a Certified Organic and Certified Salmon-Safe farm. Farm Stand open Wednesday-Sunday. Enjoy trails, seasonal scavenger hunts, picnics, and more. No reservation required. More info: https://www.facebook.com/OxbowCenter
Remlinger Farms in Carnation, WA. Fun Park, Market, Restaurant & brand-new Brewery. Open Wednesday-Sunday.
Muddy Boots in Duvall, WA. Open daily. Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze.
Novelty Hill Farm in Duvall, WA. Pumpkin patch, corn maze, and other farm fun plus snacks. Free admission.
Fairbank Farm in Edmonds, WA. Open weekends in October. Acres of pumpkins of all varieties. Small admission fee. Cash only. Many activities including corn maze, treasure hunt, wagon ride.
Thomasson Family Farm in Enumclaw, WA. Open daily in October. Admission weekday/weekend $12/$15 includes many attractions. If you are ONLY interested in u-pick pumpkins, admission is FREE.
Steel Wheel Farm in Fall City, WA. U-pick pumpkins and farm stand. Corn Maze for additional fee.
Briscot Farm historic landmark in Kent. Open Friday-Sunday in October. Small admission fee includes many farm activities.
Carpinito Brothers Farm in Kent, WA. Open Daily. $5 admission applied to pumpkin purchase. Mount Rainier serves as a beautiful backdrop for Carpinito’s beautiful Kent Valley pumpkin patch (27508 W Valley Hwy N, Kent, WA 98032). Throughout the farm, you’ll encounter a sea of pumpkins & plenty of photo inspiration. Additional attractions for a fee (corn maze, hayride, farmyard). You can also visit their farm stand to pick up pumpkins and other produce in Kent (1148 Central Ave N, Kent, WA 98032).
Carleton Farm in Lake Stevens, WA. No Frills Pumpkin Patch, Animals, Market, Concessions, and Free Parking. Open to public at no charge.
Creek House Farm in Port Orchard, WA. Visits by appointment only; schedule online. Guests can select pumpkins from the field or the farm stand. Multiple family-fun activities across the farm and many opportunities for photos.
Double R farms in Puyallup, WA. Third generation (going on four) family farm (formerly Richen Farms). During the month of October, the farm features a 5-acre corn maze and the largest selection of pumpkins in the valley. Come try your hand at one of three pumpkin slingshots. FREE tractor pulled hayrides on the weekends (weather permitting). In the 80-year-old barn, you will find decorative gourds, cornstalks, mini pumpkins, and edible squash.
Picha Farms in Puyallup, WA. Open daily. Over 25 varieties of pumpkins to choose from and over 9-acres to search and find your perfect pumpkin. Ticketed attractions also available.
Picha’s Pumpkin Patch Annual Bluegrass Festival (Weather Permitting): October 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 from 12 to 4 pm. Featuring: Steelhead, Downtown Mountain Boys, Runaway Train, Me and the Boys.
Mcmurtrey Farm in Redmond, WA. Pumpkin patch & fall attractions. Admission and activity fees.
Serres Farm in Redmond, WA. Small farm open in October for Pumpkins with pumpkins and related activities. Wide range of pumpkins: tiny Jack be Littles, Baby Boo, Knucklehead, Warty Goblins, Long Face, and one called Jack O’ Lantern, plus specialty White Ghost pumpkins and Red French Cinderella.
Bailey Farm in Snohomish, WA. U-pick farm with lots of unique varieties in all colors, textures, shapes, and sizes, including traditional orange pumpkins. No admission fees. Free kids play activities include a hay run, farm trikes, and a sandbox.
Craven Farm Inc. in Snohomish, WA. Open daily in October. Snohomish Valley’s Original Pumpkin Patch, a decades old tradition for many families. Pumpkins activities for a fee.
Stocker Farms in Snohomish, WA. 10-acre U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and iconic Corn Maze, plus many other fun attractions. Admission fee not required for access to the pumpkin patch–just pay for the pumpkins you pick to take home. Attractions available for one admission price; some open ONLY WEEKENDS.
Thomas Family Farm in Snohomish, WA. Free access to Pumpkin Patch, Food Court, TVs with Live Sports, Beer Garden (21+), and General Store. Parking is free! 149 different varieties of pumpkins with over 140,000 to choose from. Fun Park Day Pass admission includes Corn Maze and 15 other attractions.
Tonnemaker Valley Farm in Woodinville, WA at their farm stand or farmers markets in Seattle. Offers pumpkins, winter squash and other seasonal produce.
More Seattle, Island, and north Puget Sound Pumpkin patches
Find more pumpkin Patches in Seattle, King County, Island Kitsap, and Snohomish counties. This page lists pumpkin patches, farm stands, corn mazes, hayrides, and more in northwest Washington. Also see these reviews on Yelp for Seattle area pumpkin patches.
More Tacoma and south Puget Sound Pumpkin patches
Find more pumpkin patches for Tacoma and surrounding counties: This page lists pumpkin patches, farm stands, corn mazes, hay rides, and more in southwest Washington, including Pierce County, plus Lewis, Mason, and Thurston counties. Also see these reviews on Yelp for Tacoma area pumpkin patches.