Distance: ~50 minutes from downtown
Though Didier Farms and their impressive farmstand featuring local produce from across the Midwest are open year-round, their Pumpkinfest deserves special mention. Of course, there are plenty of pumpkins for you to take home, but they also feature camel rides, hay rides, and, uh, pig races as well. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’re itching to check out their “Silly String Asylum,” where they pretty much just give you a bunch of cans of silly string and tell you to blast other folks with it.
Distance: ~70 minutes from downtown
Sonny Acres has some longevity in the pumpkin farming game -- they’ve been around since 1883. Another family-owned and -operated farm, their name comes from the fact that the first owners of the farm had seven sons. From September 22 on through Halloween, they’re hosting a fall festival featuring food trucks, giant slides, haunted hayrides, and (of course) acres and acres of ginormous pumpkins.
Distance: ~1 hour from downtown
Puckerville Farms is a mainstay in seasonal farm tourism, and for good reason. They focus primarily on pumpkin farming, with 150 acres dedicated to those wonderful gourds, but they also make their own honey as well. Even better, admission is completely free.