Ready for adventure?

The smoke is clearing, and we’ve all become “comfortable” with safety protocols. After recent months of “pandemic life” we’re all ready for some fun! Favorite pastimes are those spent friends and family, and there are many options. Northwest attractions have reopened and are excited to welcome visitors. They’re doing things a little differently — in fun and creative ways — with safety protocols in place. Just in time for the season, this month we highlight great regional pumpkin patches, corn mazes and more.

Vince Woods Farm

Vince Woods started growing pumpkins at his home on Hawthorne Avenue in Salem in 1963. People came to his door asking to buy them, and the Vince Woods U-Pick Pumpkin Patch was born. In 1974, Vince purchase acreage from his uncle that the family had farmed since 1912, and moved is operation to 6435 62nd Ave NE.

Today Vince Woods Farm is an autumn ritual for many families, visitors enjoy finding the perfect pumpkin in the field and trucking it to the scale shed by wheelbarrow. The farm also offers fall decorative items and low-cost entertainment appropriate for all ages. Shopping is socially distanced, and everything at the farm is kid friendly.

The corn maze, a deceptively simple path through 2/3 acres of field corn, is open this year. Admission is free. Learn more at vincewoodsfarm.com or 503-393-0120.

Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm

Don’t let the name fool you — there’s great fun to be had at Northern Lights Farm during the harvest season. Things are a little different this year, but the folks at the Pleasant Hill farm have created a drive-thru family adventure with three stops. The first includes a food court, coffee shack, gift shop and area for visiting with resident goats.

Next is the corn maze and u-pick sunflowers. Parking is plentiful, and a limited number of people are allowed in the maze at one time. At six checkpoints within the maze, kids can fill play an investigation game. Keeping things touchless, the game involves cards and mini pencils to complete the farm investigation.

The third and final stop is of course the pumpkin patch. Seven sprawling acres makes it easy to distance and enjoy the ever-popular tradition of heading to the farm to pick the perfect pumpkin. The farm is open 10-5 Tues-Sun; masks required. Every Thursday is Grandparents Day, with free coffee drink for grandparents with their littles. Get details at northernlightschristmastreefarm.com or 541-746-5161.

The pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island

At “the original Pumpkin Patch” just 15 minutes northwest of Portland, visitors enjoy the fresh air and walk (or run) through the carefully designed corn maze on Sauvie Island. Self-described “Our own farm village,” it really is! In addition to the sprawling pumpkin patch, popular attractions include The Maize , The Market, The Animal Barn, The Pumpkin Cottage GiftShop, and the Patio Café and coffee stand.

Closed-toe shoes recommended, boots if it’s been raining. Masks are required where social distancing cannot be maintained. Bags provided for pumpkins. The Pumpkin Patch is located at 16511 NW Gillihan Rd on Sauvie Island. Look for the festive red and white striped Market. Hours vary for different attractions; details thepumpkinpatch.com or 503-621-3874.

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