MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Whether it’s carving, cooking or just decorating, pumpkins are a staple of life in the fall. They can be hundreds of pounds, or just the size of an apple. But where’s the best place to get one?
You voted and sent Natalie Nyhus to a family farm in Wyoming. This is Pinehaven.
There’s something magical about pumpkins. We’ve seen them transformed into fairytale carriages, and waited on by the Peanuts gang in the Great Pumpkin. But maybe the magic is simply in the smiles on kids’ faces when they find the perfect pick.
Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, voted best of Minnesota, is a picturesque backdrop to celebrate autumn.
“Everyone who drives by on the freeway says I had no idea there was that much behind that fence,” owner Sue Hastings said.
From a animatronic scarecrows, to a pumpkin-eating dragon, Pinehaven is a massive playground where you can let your imagination run wild.
“We were a Christmas tree farm for most of that time and have now transitioned out of Christmas trees to an agritainment farm, which means we mix agriculture with entertainment and education,” Hastings said.
A visit here is like stepping back in time, with an attention to authenticity and detail.
“Children nowadays don’t have a grandpa’s farm that they can go to,” Hastings said. “My generation they did, and now they don’t. That’s what we are trying to preserve and keep that memory going for them.”
Alex Peterson, or “Farmer Alex,” works on the farm.
“I really like seeing the kids’ faces light up,” he said. “Whether it’s during the dragon show, or going out to the pumpkin patch, or petting a goat for the first time — it’s amazing.”
While you could spend hours exploring Pinehaven, the most satisfying moment is finding that perfect pumpkin.
“I was looking for a heavy pumpkin. Then a small big one,” said one young pumpkin hunter from St. Jerome School. “Then I realized the one I picked was heavy. So I picked a different one!”
Folks like Farmer Bill make that possible, leading kids on a tractor ride to the fields, building anticipation as the rig sputters to a stop.
“October is almost like December. It’s like a Christmas,” Hastings said. “When you see the kids get so excited about that, seeing just a pumpkin. It’s like opening up a Christmas present.”
But perhaps it’s the moments that bring the magic of the season.
“We want to keep it real for them. We just always have this vision of making it so much more than a pumpkin patch,” Hastings said.
Pinehaven is having a Kid’s Halloween Party Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. including trick or treating. There will also be a pumpkin smash bash on November 1st. Your other favorite pumpkin patches are Barten Pumpkins in New Prague and Triple S Farm in Royalton.