For all things pumpkin and festive for the upcoming fall season, head to the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, California. It is no wonder it is known as the pumpkin capital of the world. This coastal town produces more than three tons of pumpkins every year by local growers. Menus around town are filled with specialty items including pumpkin cheesecake and pie and pumpkin brews are on tap. A Half Moon Bay Halloween can be spent at the many pumpkin patches and festivals making a trip this time of year a seasonal must.
On October 18th and 19th, the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival returns for its 44th year. Admission is free to this fun, family event and will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day. A haunted barn, Great Pumpkin parade, pumpkin carving and pumpkin pie eating contest are just a few of the many events to be enjoyed this year. There will be three stages at Pumpkinpalooza with a music lineup including classic country, blues, salsa, folk, and rock and roll. The main stage will feature The California Cowboys, Big Cat Tolefree, Robin Campbell, The Stan Erhart Band, Pamela Rose, Extra Large and Caravanserai. Jim Steven’s and Friends will open the event as they have done for the past 30 years. Don’t miss the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off which happens on Monday, October 13th. If that wasn’t enough pumpkin, there are plenty of pumpkin treats to be had such as pie, pancakes and ice cream and sausage, tamales, macaroni and cheese and homemade stew.
Open daily throughout the month of October, Lemos Farm is a family favorite for Halloween. Since 1941, Lemos Farm has been a fall staple in the town of Half Moon Bay. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Scare Zone with two haunted houses, a hay ride, spooky train ride, pony rides a petting zoo and a large pumpkin patch. Families will be able to play all day and then enjoy BBQ drinks and snacks in the picnic area. Tickets can be purchased for each individual activity or visitors can buy a day pass for unlimited rides. The farm is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm and 9:00am to 5:00pm on the weekends.
Another family farm to visit this time of year is Pastorino’s Farm. Enrico and Lorraine Pastorino started the farm back in 1957. Their son Hank began having the pumpkin patch at the farm in 1971 and visitors return to this fun atmosphere year after year. Families will find pony rides, a petting zoo, a haunted house, face painting and a giant slide for kids. Attractions range in price from $1.00 to $6.00. During the pumpkin season, the barn is turned into a decorators dream as it is filled with seasonal arts and crafts. It truly is a sight to behold as the crafts are displayed into unique settings with an autumn atmosphere.
It just isn’t the fall season without a visit to the corn maze. World famous Minotaurs Labyrinth Hay Maze at Arata’s Pumpkin Farm is back by popular demand. This 2 acre maze is fun for all ages and will challenge visitors to see if they can find their way out! Other fun events include a mini hay maze for children, train ride, petting zoo and a pumpkin patch.
After a long day at the many festivals around town, be sure to retreat to Mill Rose Inn on Mill Street in Half Moon Bay. This bed and breakfast by the sea is a beautiful, country inn offering guest suites that create a calming atmosphere. Relax in the provided Japanese dressing robes and kick back with a complimentary drink in the room’s stocked refrigerator. Start the day with the Inn’s complimentary breakfast either in the privacy of your own room or in the lush garden courtyard. Check in today and let your everyday stresses just melt away.
Photo courtesy of Ritu Vincent