By Mare Contrare
“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”
~Linus from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
The Great Pumpkin will have difficulty choosing the most “sincere” pumpkin patch here in Mandarin, as each offers its own distinctive choices.
The pumpkin patch at the Mandarin United Methodist Church has the traditional fare of pumpkins, ghost pumpkins and gourds in all different sizes and shapes. This is the spot for the purist. There are orderly rows of shapely pumpkins for you to carve into masterpieces limited only by your imagination. The first truck arrives on September 24 and the patch will open as soon as it’s unloaded. This is an easy in and out venue for those on a serious mission of selecting the perfect pumpkin.
Another sincere pumpkin patch is the Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church Pumpkin Patch. Pumpkins are distributed amongst a beautiful 40-acre wooded lakeside location. It is a serene and peaceful setting perfect for families to enjoy, picnic and a lovely place to take the perfect family photo.
If you have kids, make sure to mark your calendar and join them for what has become the annual Mom’s Blog Playdate on Oct. 20, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The River of Life Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch is a “destination” with a lot of fun and games. Amongst their hay bales are a maze, craft tables and treats. This is the place to go for an entire afternoon of pumpkin picking. If you have someone special celebrating a birthday in October or looking for a field trip opportunity, consider this pumpkin patch.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. is the church’s annual Fall Festival where they will have complimentary hot dogs, chips, drinks, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn and hay rides. Pony rides will be available 11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. and train rides will be conducted 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. The festival will also feature two bouncy houses, face painting, balloon art and local entertainment.
With five weekends in October there is lots of opportunity to have fall fun and select your pumpkins to express your creativity.
Mandarin United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch, 11270 San Jose Blvd. (904) 268-5549
Sept. 24 – Oct. 31
Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. ; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church Pumpkin Patch, 6595 Columbia Park Ct. (904) 629 – 9762
Oct. 9 – Oct. 30
Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
River of Life United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch, 2600 Race Track Road (904) 230-2955
Sept. 29 – Oct. 31
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12.p.m. and 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Photo courtesy Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church
Photo courtesy River of Life United Methodist Church