It’s really not much of a surprise to anyone that having a kid means you have the opportunity to relive your own childhood… or give your own childhood a do-over in a vicarious kind of way. When I was little, we never went to a pumpkin patch. I think we may have carved a jack-o’-lantern once and that was only because it was a school project. And we bought the pumpkin from the big chain supermarket.
Even though my one-year-old daughter probably won’t remember it herself, we made our way over to her very first pumpkin patch a few days ago. There are actually several pumpkin patches in the Metro Vancouver area and we decided on Southlands Heritage Farm as it was one of the closest. Located in the southwestern part of the city near the Point Grey Golf & Country Club, Southlands is a working farm with livestock, crops and an on-site store. And every fall, they’ve got a pumpkin patch too.
Not all Halloween traditions have to be spooky. The older kids can share the famed haunted stories of Vancouver, ride the ghost train in Stanley Park, or get scared out of their wits at Fright Nights at Playland. For a calmer and quieter experience, spending some time at a working heritage farm can be a surprising source of comfort.
Naturally, the biggest draw this time of year is the pumpkin patch itself. There is a field near the entrance with several pumpkins lying around, as well as several more that have been placed throughout the property. Entry onto the farm is by donation and the pumpkins are sold for $5 each.To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with the pumpkin patch as I thought it would be both larger and denser.
The good news is that there is a lot more to do and see at Southlands Farm than just the pumpkin patch. You have to remember that this is a working farm, complete with livestock. There are free range chickens roaming around the property, including a rooster that’s almost as big as my daughter. There is a barn and stable with horses–you can also get riding lessons here. Apparently there are sheep too, though we didn’t spot them.
Walking around, you’ll also find a straw pile for the kids to romp around in, a couple of wooden horses for photo opportunities, a snack bar and coffee stand for a little pick-me-up, and a hot fire to gather around. Take a relaxed and leisurely pace. Get away from the city without ever leaving the city.
The pumpkin patch at Southlands Heritage Farm, located at 6767 Balaclava Street in Vancouver, is open daily from 10am to 5pm until Halloween.
Have you been to any of the other Vancouver area pumpkin patches? Do you have a particularly fond Halloween memory from your childhood?