10 Simple Things to do Before Pumpkin Picking with Kids

10 simple things to do before pumpkin picking with kids in blue text on a pumpkin patch background

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Is there a fall family activity that’s more classic than pumpkin picking with kids? I mean, there’s always apple picking, going on hayrides, trick or treating, and going to haunted houses, but…pumpkin picking has my heart! Going pumpkin picking with kids can result in some of the most treasured family photos. My first son was born the beginning of September, so I always look back on his first pumpkin picking photos fondly.

Now, when it comes to pumpkin picking with the kids, there are a few things you can do to prepare to make sure the experience goes as well as possible. We have a few tips for going pumpkin picking with kids that are super simple. They won’t take you much time and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be thankful you took the time to plan ahead.

10 Simple Things to do Before Pumpkin Picking with Kids

Find a Location to Pick Pumpkins

Are you interested in visiting a small local farm? Do you want to visit a larger farm complete with hayrides and face painting? Before you start packing up your supplies, I totally recommend going to your local parenting Facebook group to ask for recommendations. In my experience, parents are more than willing to give honest feedback and recommendations on the best local spots, so take advantage of that! If all else fails, you can always go to Google and do a search for “pumpkin picking near me.”

Baby’s first time at the pumpkin patch!
He was so tiny!

Pick a Day and Time to go Pumpkin Picking

As suggested in our apple picking with kids article, choosing the time and day to pick pumpkins can make or break your experience. If you’re able to visit the pumpkin patch on a weekday, we tend to suggest visiting Tuesday-Thursday. Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays and, if you go on a Monday or Friday, you may run into crowds due to parents taking a 3-day weekend from work.

You also want to consider nap times and any other time specific issues your family may run into. Going first thing the morning could work best if you’d like your child(ren) to take a nap in the car afterwards. Or, it may be better to go right after lunch when everyone’s fed and happy!

Invite Friends & Family

Do you want to include friends & family on your excursion? If so, contact them beforehand and invite them to come! Who knows, you could even qualify for a group discount at the pumpkin patch if your group is large enough!

Plan for Photographs

Do you want to get photographs taken at the pumpkin patch? Do you want to have a photographer take them or are you ok taking them yourself? If you’d like to have a photographer, plan ahead by booking them ASAP. If you don’t already have a photographer in mind, try asking the parents in your local Facebook parenting group for suggestions.

If you will be taking photographs yourself (or maybe that’s one reason you’re bringing along a friend or family member?), be sure to prepare! If you’re bringing a camera, pack it up in your camera bag with a fully-charged battery or two, a tripod, and some cleaning cloths. If you’re planning on using your phone, have it fully-charged, consider bringing an additional charged battery pack and a phone tripod. I also like using a bluetooth enabled clicker to take selfies and family photographs!

Need some inspiration for your pumpkin patch photos? Check out our Pinterest Board of Fall Family Photo Ideas.

Dress Accordingly

That fall weather can be interesting, am I right? One minute it’s chilly and overcast, the next it’s warm and sunny! Pack light jackets in the car along with sunscreen, hats, and bug spray. You never know!

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If you’re planning on getting photographs taken, consider bringing along a change of clothes for the kids – so they can either get dressed in their nice clothes upon arrival or just in case something gets spilled on their clothes. You may also want to have them wear their play shoes until you arrive at the photography location. Pumpkin patches can often be dusty or muddy and you wouldn’t want their nice shoes getting ruined before photographs!

Pick Pumpkins with a Purpose

Sure, it’s fun to go pumpkin picking with kids, but what are you going to do with all these pumpkins once you get home? If you’re planning on picking pumpkins to carve, look for pumpkins that are big enough to cut into and that have a decent surface size for your design. If you’re looking to decorate your front step, you may want to get pumpkins in a variety of sizes and shapes. Want to pick pumpkins to use in your favorite pumpkin recipe? Get smaller pumpkins that’ll be easier to roast.

Go over the rules

Have a talk with the kids, before heading to the pumpkin patch, so they know what’s expected of them. You may consider reminding them of any family rules and also let them know the guidelines of the pumpkin patch you’ll be visiting.

Pack Snacks and Drinks

It’s pretty inevitable that someone will get hungry or thirsty, right? Plan ahead by packing snacks so you’re prepared whenever a little starts telling you they’re hungry. You may even want to take advantage of the picturesque location and, if guidelines allow, bring a picnic lunch!

Bring Hand Sanitizer

Depending on the type of pumpkin patch you’ll be visiting, they may have public restrooms in which to wash hands, but it’s better to be prepared if that isn’t the case. Bring along some hand sanitizer to stay clean after pumpkin picking with kids or petting any farm animals that may be at the pumpkin patch!

He’s so proud of himself! Kids love when you let them choose the pumpkins themselves.

Make it Fun!

Want to make a visit to the pumpkin patch even more fun? How about a pumpkin patch scavenger hunt? Print one out for each child and make the pumpkin patch experience even more exciting!

Get the Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt

Who’s ready for pumpkin picking with kids?

We hope these suggestions will help make your pumpkin picking experience that much better! Considering a visit to the apple orchards, too? Check out our tips for going apple picking with kids! It even comes complete with it’s own apple picking scavenger hunt!

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