KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Halloween around the corner, now is the time to make some memories and enjoy all the pumpkins, apple cider, and candy. One of the most celebrated Halloween movies of all time reminds us that a good pumpkin patch can make or break the season.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” encourages children to use their imagination and believe in things adults likely eschew.
Several pumpkin patches are in Kansas City and the surrounding area, and for those willing to find it, one of these patches might have the Great Pumpkin. In the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schultz, Linus believes the Great Pumpkin flies around bringing toys to children on Halloween evening. Linus will sit in a pumpkin patch on Halloween night waiting for the legendary creature to appear. Linus vows to wait for him every year, even if the pumpkin doesn’t arrive. He tells Charlie Brown he’ll stop believing in the Great Pumpkin when Charlie Brown stops believing in Santa Claus.
One of Linus’ most memorable quotes is: “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”
The Great Pumpkin Fest has kicked off at Worlds of Fun, so you might find the Great Pumpkin there this Halloween. The fest will be happening until October 28. It includes Linus’ Labyrinth, where you weave your way through hay bales and cornstalk. Eventually you’ll make your way to a pumpkin patch.
But if you’re really serious about finding the Great Pumpkin, you might want to check out the pumpkin patches listed below. Also, we have ways for you to take care of your jack-o’-lantern and ways to use the pumpkin guts in a scrumptious recipe.
Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins | Belton, MO
The family owned farm welcomes people to search for the Great Pumpkin. Check the website for details when it rains, so you don’t go on a muddy day. They update the website depending on weather and other obstacles. You can also host a child’s birthday here with fall themed crafts, or you can schedule another fall friendly party. You can find pumpkins here in all shapes and sizes. Sunflower and zinnia bouquets are also available for a price, in case you want to send out a romantic fall bouquet or some flowers to your mom.
Kerby Farm Pumpkin Patch | Bonner Springs, KS
Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch. There are plenty of snacks to keep you warm or cool at the Kerby Farm, no matter the weather. School groups are welcome Monday thru Friday by appointment. Concessions are on weekends only. There is also a spook house. No pets allowed. Pumpkins are 50¢ per pound. Cash and checks only. $7 per person ages 3 and up.
Gieringers Orchard | Edgerton, KS
Pumpkins galore! All ready for eager people to find them, eat them, carve them, and be scared silly of them. Also, there is a corn maze, pumpkin jump for kiddos, a corn pit, and a hay mountain. If you get hungry you’ll find pumpkin donuts, and if you’re thirsty, grab an apple cider slushee.
Gary’s Berries, Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | Grantville, KS
There are enough fun filled activities at Gary’s Berries to cover a whole afternoon or evening. There is a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a tire pyramid, a corn pit, the popular game corn hole, slides, a goat mountain, a tractor pull, a hay bale maze, a petting zoo, giant jenga, ladder golf, hillbilly tic-tac-toe, and giant Legos. This is perfect for children with lots of energy and who love animals.
Red Barn Ranch | Harrisonville, MO
Admission $6, weekdays by appointment. The Red Barn Ranch has plenty of activities for kids and has a sunflower patch.
Faulkner’s Ranch | Kansas City
The ranch has apple cider, s’mores, fresh baked pumpkin spice donuts, and mouth watering BBQ. You’ll find top quality pumpkins and gourds for the fall season. It’s fun for all ages and great for families. There is also a hayride, petting farm barn, pony rides, and a field maze. It’s a great place to unwind and also get in some October themed pictures.
Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch | Kearney, MO
While at this magical pumpkin patch, you’ll find games for kids of all ages. There will be rubber duck races and more. The pumpkin fun continues until Halloween. There is also a corn maze, pumpkin slingshot, and hayrides.
Pixie Pumpkin Patch | Knob Noster, MO
The pumpkins you find here are priced on size. Activities include hayrides, kiddie corn maze, a corn pit, pony rides, popcorn, and more. It’s located at the Whiteman Air Force Base.
Schaake Pumpkin Patch | Lawrence, KS
Free admission and hayrides. Activities include pick your own pumpkins, farm animals for viewing, and a photo area. For the past 40 years, Larry and Janet Schaake’s family farm has hosted thousands of visitors from the northeast Kansas area and surrounding states.
Crazy Craig’s Pumpkins & Mums | Liberty, MO
You’ll find pumpkins, novelty pumpkins, mums, corn stalks, gourds, and straw bales at Crazy Craig’s Pumpkins & Mums. There is a straw maze and a hay mountain. It’s open from Monday-Saturday 10a.m. to 6p.m. and Sunday from 11a.m. to 6p.m.
Liberty Corn Maze | Liberty, MO
The corn mazes center around iconic parts of Kansas City. Those ready to jump into the mazes will be impressed. There are four large corn mazes to try. You can swirl around a saxophone and music notes, trek through a train car, or splash in a water fountain.
Louisburg Cider Mill | Louisburg, KS
For those who love apple cider, apple butter, and anything apple, this is the place to go. There are a number of fun activities coming up all the way to Halloween. You’ll find scarecrows, zombies, costumes, apples, and pumpkins. Look at the company’s schedule to find out more.
KC Pumpkin Patch | Olathe, KS
Open for one weekend at oKCtoberfest, October 20th and 21st at the farm. Your ticket includes hard cider slush (21+) or traditional non-alcoholic apple cider. There will be festival food trucks and live bands. There will be plenty of activities for kids from a child rock climbing wall to skee-ball, tug of war, and the like. This event is great for adults and also families.
KC Wine Co | Olathe, KS
An adult only venue (21+) with wine, rustic scenery, vintage-inspired space, and tastings; you’ll be giving yourself time to really appreciate fall and the lovely colors on trees by taking a trip here.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead | Overland Park
More than 250 animals and birds are at the farmstead. Children can learn about flowers, vegetables, and take a tour through a one-room country schoolhouse. You can also bottle-feed baby goats, milk cows, and ride horse-drawn wagons through the woods.
Allredge Orchards | Platte City, MO
A rustic barn, apples, pumpkins, mums, and honey. Pick your own apples, choose a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, and have fun in the play area. Visit the Orchard Cafe for a treat. The Pumpkin Patch is open Saturdays and Sundays in October. Apple picking is a great way to connect with your little ones.
Pumpkins Etc | Platte City, MO
You can pick your own pumpkins and gourds. There are two mazes and several hay bales to climb. There is no charge for admission. It’s about 10 minutes away from the Kansas City International Airport.
Great Pumpkin Patch-Xmas Tree | Pleasant Hill, MO
Pumpkins and Pines is on beautiful must-see land. If you’re already itching for Christmas, this place can be a two-in-one stop for your holiday needs, for both the trees and the pumpkins.
Weston Red Barn Farm | Weston, MO
Traditional farm animals and crops will be found at the Weston Red Barn Farm. The farm does offer schools tours, has areas for bonfires, hayride events, and plenty of pumpkins.
Making a pumpkin last after cutting it
Before you start carving your newly favored gourd, it’s important to understand what causes pumpkin-rot. The pumpkin’s skin is a protective layer that prevents it from going bad. Once the skin is broken or cut, it becomes vulnerable to mold, fungi, and bacteria. Too much heat can also speed up this process leaving you with a really gross mess. Also, insects find it attractive and start nesting in it. Oxidation and dehydration contributes to the rotting process. So remember: once the pumpkin is open, it will start rotting faster than if left alone.
5 Natural Ways to Make Your Pumpkin Last Longer
Be careful how you clean the pumpkin. Bleach might be too strong, and apple cider vinegar will attract bugs.
1. Scrape out pumpkin guts.
Scrape out all the guts and leave nothing behind. Don’t just waste the pumpkin inside, you can use it in soups, pumpkin bread, or other goods. The cleaner and drier the pumpkin interior — the slower the rotting process.
2. Clean with peppermint dish soap.
Dilute one tablespoon of peppermint dish soap such as Peppermint Castile Soap in a quart of water. Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle and lightly spray the inside of your pumpkin. Peppermint is anti-fungal. It’ll slow the decomposition process.
3. Put the pumpkin in the fridge
With changing temperatures, don’t leave the pumpkin outside if it starts to feel like summer again. You’ll want to put the pumpkin in your fridge instead. Spray your pumpkins with the Castile soap-water mixture and wrap each one in a trash bag prior to placing in the fridge. This process will hydrate your pumpkins.
4. Soak the pumpkin overnight.
Another way to hydrate your pumpkins is to fill a large bucket, bin, or tub with cold water and soak the pumpkins overnight.
5. Use a fruit fly trap.
Fruit fries are in love with pumpkins and gourds. The critters are drawn to rotting fruit and vegetable flesh. But fruit flies will expedite the process, leaving a damaged pumpkin and an infestation behind. Natural fruit fly solutions, like Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch or this DIY mixture, are poison-free ways to prevent fruit flies from turning a pumpkin into mush.
Pumpkin spice muffin recipe
15 muffins | prep 25 minutes | 25 minutes oven
- Streusel topping
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch kosher salt
- 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 c. canned pumpkin / or pumpkin guts
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 sour cream
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin tin with liners.
- Make crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir in melted butter until crumbs form.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add pumpkin, eggs, butter, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Divide batter into muffin liners. Top each with crumb topping.
- Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan, then serve.