In the Arizonan southwest, where I now live, October is a “shoulder season” between the three-digits temperatures of Summer and Winter. I won’t cover the fact that Summer lasts upward of six months (and I am not being dramatic). The sum total of our other seasons is squeezed unto the remaining six months with Winter lasting about two weeks.
“Fall” — as I shall kindly refer to it — is heralded not by the traditional Fall colors and cool temperatures but rather by cool-er temps (yes, this is an important distinction) and the opening of the Marana Pumpkin Patch because we all know, pumpkin season means Fall.
For us, the trees won’t change colors until December and they will lose their leaves in time for Spring.
The Pumpkin Patch
Until about six years ago, Tucson only boasted one Pumpkin patch located about 25 miles from downtown Tucson. For me, someone who does not live in the city, we are talking an hour drive.
Granted, I only went once about twenty years ago. There was not enough for me to want to ever go back. From what I understand, not much as changed. Although, in all honesty, I can’t really have an opinion since I have not — recently — been there.
While I love Fall, I am not a — gasp — pumpkin lover. Yeah, there are cute and all that but if pumpkin anything never graced my lips I would be totally fine. No crisis here.
Driving one hour to pick a pumpkin from a field is not on my top ten exciting things to do in the Fall (or all year for that matter). I did it once and I am good for the rest of my earthly days.
Sorry for all of you pumpkin lovers.
My Neck of the Woods
Marana, however, is but a fifteen-minute drive from my house. So, right there, that’s a plus. Another plus is that the Marana Pumpkin Patch offers a lot more than a field of pretty pumpkins, although they do have one.
The Patch — as we affectionately refer to it — offers food (that’s important), a country store, petting zoo, zip line, pony rides, corn maze, pumpkin cannons (the only thing worthy of pumpkins in my opinion — just kidding) and a slew of other things including a train.
The Marana Pumpkin Patch: Dates and Time
This year the Marana Pumpkin Patch opens on the 6th of October. It is open daily seven days a week until the end of the season (October 30th, 2018).
The hours are 3 to 7 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am to 7 pm Friday through Sunday.
The bad news is that the price of admission went up this year $11 on weekdays and $13 on weekends PLUS tax. Most of the rides and activities are free once you enter the Patch. HOWEVER, the zip line, pony ride and cannons have an additional fee: $5, $5 and $1 respectively. Kids under 34 inches enter for FREE.
The Marana Pumpkin Patch is conveniently located off I-10 at the Marana exit or approximately 25 miles from downtown Tucson, about 33 miles from the east side of the city and 17 miles from Northwest side.
Once you leave the exit, the path is well marked and you cannot miss it.
Plan to spend a few hours milling around and expect crowds on weekends.
The Marana Pumpkin Patch: More Info
Another thing you notice when you enter the Patch is that it is green! There is indeed some patches of green grass and some nice shaded areas.
Music is played over the sound system but the owner — Mr. Jon Post — tries to be mindful of the music since there are a lot of children who come to visit.
Staff members wear bright green t-shirts with a large pumpkin on the front. We have found them to be friendly and helpful (my favorite are those who share my last name — of course, I have no biases).
The Marana Pumpkin Patch: In Summary
For us, the Marana Pumpkin Patch is a great way to have some family fun, to make memories, and to start getting into the Holiday spirit. Moreover, it does herald the end of the scorching summer days and the promise of our best weather of the year.
Usually, I can turn off the AC at night and enjoy nippy mornings on my porch.
For me, October ushers my favorite time of the year — which last until March.
For my older kiddos still at home, it is a way to learn about hard work and responsibility while making a paycheck. For my little tykes, it is just plain fun!
If you have been to the Marana Pumpkin Patch, please share your experience below in the comment section.
You can find more information about the Patch on their website.