Love it or leave it, every October a smattering of farms hugging the Seattle area turn into pumpkin and apple U-Pick wonderlands, complete with tractor rides, corn mazes, and a lot of seasonal food. Here are three autumnal havens bound to be loved by anybody embracing sweater weather and wellies.
Jubilee Biodynamic Farm in Carnation hosts pumpkin patch festivities every weekend until the end of October. All activities are free, including a hay maze in the loft of Jubilee's barn, samples of steamed squash, cooking demos, and hayrides to fields of pumpkins about a quarter mile from the parking lot. Pumpkins are hurled across the sky from a trebuchet in regular intervals throughout the day, and there's a small indoor market with organic farm-grown produce.
Street Treats food truck will be on the premises this weekend, selling coffee, pumpkin pie bars, and caramel apples. Jubilee also sells burgers, cider, and other sweets on the barn porch.
Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm just south of Olympia started making cider in the mid-70s. They still sort, cut, and wash every apple that goes into the 4,000 gallons that will be sold around the Puget Sound this year. The mill hosts an Apple Festival and pumpkin patch every October, featuring live bluegrass, wagon rides, and a maze.
While parking is $3 bucks, everything else (sans food and take home apples) is free. It's no surprise that the menu is focused on the fruit, with homemade apple fritters, apple crisp, apple cake, and baked apples starring alongside cider and pumpkin doughnuts.
The Farm at Swan's Trail in Snohomish is the closest thing to an autumnal amusement park you'll find in these parts. Kids can (get ready) play putt putt, run through a corn maze molded into the shape of Washington State, pet a sheep, ride on a vintage tractor, and climb around in a tri-level barn maze with a slide exit. Parking is free, but most else will cost you. There's also a nice U-Pick orchard and pumpkin patch on-site.
The Farm at Swan's Trail
The farm's Milkhouse Bakery sells fruit pie, fat blocks of pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, and fresh cinnamon roles. An espresso bar sits near the outdoor food court. You'll order and pay first at one of two stations, then wander in and claim food with state fair-worthy amounts of fat content. So bad but good options include ears of corn drenched in butter, kettle corn, pulled pork sandwiches, and farm fries doused in cheese sauce, thousand island, and sauteed onions.