Touring the Webb Ranch Pumpkin Patch with a couple of experts – a preschooler and first grader
Webb Ranch on Alpine Rd. at the junction of Menlo Park and Portola Valley has had pumpkins for sale for the last 20 years or so, but in more recent years the number of activities for kids has increased. As 3 1/2-year-old James and [almost] 7-year-old Grace showed on a visit yesterday, there’s enough fun stuff to take up a couple of hours.
First stop was a tour of all the kinds of pumpkins available for purchase, many grown on the Ranch’s 20 acres of pumpkin fields. After a quick stop at one of two jumpy houses, it was up the hill to the Haunted House, which has two-sides of ghosts and ghouls and is spooky dark. (For the record, both kids made it through, after being reminded it was make believe.)
Then it was on to the train ride, which a tractor pulls around the field and through a pumpkin-lined tunnel of sorts. Next up was a ride in the hay wagon, which is a 20-minute excursion to the Ranch’s corn field. There every one got out of the wagon to pick corn to take home, or, in the case of James and Grace, to eat raw. The 20-minute ride back over bumpy ranch road required everyone to “hang on tight!”
While it’s difficult to pick “best of the day” — both kids enjoyed everything — it was hard to top something they’d never done before — getting zipped up in a big plastic bubble and being rolled into a pool of water. Grace was able to stand up and move the bubble around her; James was content just rolling around inside it.
On the way back down the hill, they looked at a not quite ready attraction — a pumpkin catalpult that will give kids (and maybe adults, too!) the ability to launch a pumpkin in the air to see how far it will fly.
Note: The Haunted House and Jumpy House are open daily but other activities — face painting, hay rides, train rides, pony rides and petting zoo are only open on Saturday and Sunday. Activities all require a ticket, which can be purchased in the produce stand building.
There is a picnic area, and the Ranch takes reservations for school groups and private events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For more information or to make a reservation, email the Ranch with your group info, number of people, day/date desired, your contact info (email and phone): firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2014; can not be used without permission