Halloween does not have to be cancelled and family traditions can live on in 2020! Tanaka Farms has TWO new Pumpkin Farm Tours that have been updated to Covid-19 standards. Tanaka Farms invited our family to check out the new tours for free, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.
There are two different Pumpkin Farm Tours: The Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm Experience runs every Saturday and Sunday from September 19th through October 31st and the U-Pick Pumpkin with Wagon Ride runs Monday through Friday from September 21st through October 30th. You must make reservations in advance to enjoy either option. Reservations can be made at TanakaFarms.com. Our family chose the Weekday U-Pick Pumpkin Wagon Ride option.
Weekdays U-Pick Pumpkin with Wagon Ride
Take a wagon ride led by one of our friendly tour guides around our beautiful 30 acre farm! Includes watching us launch the pumpkin cannon, a ride through the barnyard educational exhibit with farm animals, lots of fun stuff to look at, a scarecrow contest, sunflowers (currently growing, should be in peak bloom in late October), U-Pick veggies, and a pumpkin you pick yourself! Please note you will not exit the wagon until it is time to pick your vegetables and pumpkin. This activity lasts about one hour.
- Monday through Friday by reservation only
- Tickets: $25 per person, ages 2 and under are FREE, Active and Retired Military FREE
- Guided wagon tour (wagons are limited to 20 people max, 10 per car)
- Pumpkin Cannon Launch
- Pumpkin Display, Scarecrow Contest, Wall of Pumpkins, Sugar Spider Cane
- Animal exhibit with farm animals (we saw goats, alpacas, and pigs!)
- U-Pick produce where you pick 3 veggies
- Walk the pumpkin patch and find your perfect pumpkin!
Weekend Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm Experience
A leisurely 1.5 mile drive around our beautiful 30-acre farm! Includes a pumpkin, samples, a barnyard educational exhibit with farm animals, lots of fun stuff to look at, a scarecrow contest, sunflowers (they are growing right now, should be in peak bloom late October), and more! This option is an in-vehicle only option. You will not be exiting your vehicle, except for one optional stop where you will pull off the path so you can pick your own pumpkin in the fields.Thank you for understanding. (Please note that there is a 9 1/2 foot vehicle height clearance.)
- Weekends only, reservations must be made in advance
- Tickets: $20 a person, ages 2 and under are FREE, Active and Retired Military are FREE
- Enjoy the farm from the comfort of your own car (masks are still required)
- Drive through the same path as the wagon tour and enjoy the decorated pumpkin display, scarecrow contest, Wall of Pumpkins and Sugar Spider Cane.
- Does NOT include Pumpkin Cannon or U-Pick veggies stop
- EXCLUSIVE scavenger hunt, pre-bagged samples of pumpkin seeds and candy corn, and Pumpkin Wall Selfie opportunity.
- At the end of the tour, park your car and walk the pumpkin fields to pick your perfect pumpkin.
Which Tour Should You Pick?
In terms of safety and risk, the weekend Drive-Thru tour will limit your exposure to other people outside of your household since you are in the safety of your own personal car during the hour tour. The only interaction you would have with staff is when they check you in, hand you samples (you can sanitize them as soon as they’re in your car), and if you choose to hand your phone to the worker to have your picture taken at the Wall of Pumpkins.
In terms of photo ops, I thought I would get “better” photos from the wagon, but the wagon actually moved pretty briskly and did not stop in front of the Wall of Pumpkins for a photo. I did manage to snap quick photos from inside the wagon. For the Drive-Thru Weekend tour, you can go at your own pace AND stop at the designated Wall of Pumpkins for a “selfie”. Both experiences allow you to get out of the wagon or car so you can snap photos in the pumpkin patch.
Each experience follows strict Covid guidelines, and I felt safe during the U-Pick Wagon tour. Since we are a family of four, we shared a wagon with 2 other families (each family had 2 adults and a toddler). Our family sat in the center of one side of the wagon, and the other 2 families were spread out in the far corners so we were appropriately socially distanced. Masks are strictly enforced for everyone over the age of 3, employees included.
Pumpkin Patch Rules
With either option, you’ll be able to pick your own pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. You must be able to carry your pumpkin out by yourself. This means adults can not help kids carry larger pumpkins, and you are limited to what you can physically carry (I really pushed my limits here, but I was able to get the largest pumpkin of my dreams!). They do provide wheelbarrows for you to roll to your car, but you have to get it to the wheelbarrow first! Tanaka Farms offers a variety of pumpkins including pumpkins still growing on the vine, unique fantasy pumpkins like Cinderella Pumpkins, yellow, white, and green pumpkins, and smaller sugar pie pumpkins which are great for little hands. You can also purchase extra pumpkins on your way out, but your ticket entitles you to one pumpkin.
Is it Worth It?
With tickets being $20-$25 each, the price definitely adds up especially if you have multiple kids. But remember that the price also includes the cost of a pumpkin AND the Tanaka Farms experience. I checked prices of pumpkins at our local grocery stores and they run about $10 for the fancy pumpkins. Even at 99 cents a pound, my larger than life 50+ pound pumpkin could have easily cost me over $50. For the additional price, you also get the full Farm tour AND the opportunity to pick your own pumpkin straight from the vine. Also, every dollar you spend goes to supporting an Asian owned small business!
Know Before You Go
- Remember that this is a working farm with uneven dirt ground! We were comfortable in flip flops, but close toed shoes are recommended. You will probably leave dirty and dusty, so bring hand wipes or a change of shoes.
- Parking is included with price of tour
- Pick an early tour time for the best selection of pumpkins.
- Portapotties and handwashing stations are available.
- Light snacks and drinks are available for purchase in the outdoor giftshop
- Strollers are welcomed, but it may be hard to push on the dirt terrain.
- Masks are required for everyone age 3 and up
- As mentioned on their website, please do not check in with people outside of your household. No groups of any size are allowed to gather outside of your quarantine pod. Further Covid-19 information can be found at TanakaFarms.com.
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