Pumpkin Patch: fun for fall

October 17, 2019 — by Anouk Yeh and Apurva Chakravarthy

Every year throughout the first week of September, the empty lot across from Intero Real Estate Services on Saratoga Avenue transforms into a beautifully decorated pumpkin patch. After years of driving past the alluring patch, we decided to finally visit the pumpkin patch. Filled with enough activities to warrant many hours spent there, the Saratoga’s Queen’s Pumpkin Patch has a lot more to offer than just pumpkins.

The pumpkin patch is split into different sections, including a petting zoo, a water games zone, a crafts and concessions booth and the actual pumpkin patch.

At first arrival, there weren’t many people there. It is important to note that we went on Monday afternoon, and Saturdays and Sundays will likely be a lot more crowded. However, while teenagers might feel a little out-of-place amid the many families there, the activities offered are perfectly suited for any age level to enjoy.

After much consideration, we decided to hit the petting zoo first. The zoo was filled with many adorable farm animals, including bunnies, goats, rabbits and chicks. All the animals seemed well taken-care of and were all surprisingly friendly.

There, we were able to have a nice conversation with Shelley Williams, a worker at the patch. Williams is originally from Oregon, but came down to California with her two children to work at the patch. Williams told us that the animals would all be up for adoption after the season.

Admission to the zoo was free and it overall guarantees a good time, especially for animal lovers. The only downside to the experience was Pepper, a sweet bunny, got a little excited and ended up peeing on Anouk. 

After hanging out with the animals, we spent some time at the water game stations. The two main games were the hamster balls and the paddle boats, which both cost $8 for 10 minutes of playtime.

We were feeling adventurous (and spendthrifty), so we decided to pay and take a spin on the paddle boats. Although the pool for the paddle boats wasn’t very large, we still ended up having a lot of fun racing from one end of the four yard pool to the other. 

Although the small pool and high price for only 10 minutes was a downside, the activity overall was great and we loved chatting with the workers there.

After our time on the paddle boats, we decided to retire to the concessions booth. The booth had a nice array of classic carnival snacks, including popcorn and cotton candy. We decided to go old-school with one of our snacks and buy a stick of cotton candy, while for the next one we stuck to a sweet familiarity and bought an ice cream bar. Both snacks tasted fairly good (you can’t go wrong with the classics, right?) and were decently priced, so all-in-all we loved the snacks offered at the patch.

After letting our stomachs recover from the bombardment of sugary concessions, we decided to walk around the actual pumpkin patch and check out the pumpkins. The patch had an impressive variety of pumpkins to choose from, including everything from traditional smooth orange pumpkins to twisty and freckled gourds. The prices of the pumpkins were fairly reasonable, ranging from $2 to $35. The wide variety ensures that any prospective pumpkin buyer will take home a pumpkin they love.

After we finished surveying the pumpkins, we walked back to the concessions area to rate the experience overall. The scores ended up being a 4.5 out of five Falcons, the only negative factor being the high cost of the games. We left the pumpkin patch, with our craving for fall festivities satisfied and wallets emptied.

In order to enjoy the patch like we did, one must go through the full experience step by step. Start with the petting zoo, and then cool off with a water game. Then, buy a snack from the concessions stand, try to figure out the maze or take a ride through the cow train. Finally, end your magical experience by picking up a pumpkin or two.

Overall, we loved going around and enjoying all the activities that the patch has to offer. We would recommend this to anyone who is looking to spend an afternoon filled with fall fun.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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