Autumn agritainment for all ages in Portland
It always seems to happen overnight: You go to sleep and it’s Summer. You wake up and suddenly the air is crisp, a few leaves change color, and pumpkin spice starts showing up on menus. You feel a pang for warm summer days until it suddenly dawns on you--autumn is AWESOME!
Fall’s rituals and traditions run deep in our blood, calling back to our ancestors who celebrated the autumn with bountiful harvests with feasts, music, games, and contests. These days, we honor our seasonal heritage by throwing on our favorite boots and sweaters and heading out to local farms for pumpkin picking, hay rides, wine tasting, corn mazes, and warm apple cider. Here in Portland, we are blessed with the best of fall, from the sweeping landscapes of colorful trees to the lush produce-rich farmlands and orchards that also host some of our favorite festivities.
Just 10 miles northwest of downtown Portland is Sauvie Island, a place you can find a whole day’s worth of fall fun for the whole family! The 24,000-acre island is one of the largest river islands in the country, and its rich soils have been providing bountiful crops for generations. At The Pumpkin Patch, families can visit the animal barn, get lost in the corn maze, hop on the hayride to pick fresh pumpkins, and grab some homemade pickles and jams from the farm-fresh market.
Topaz Farm is another Sauvie staple, offering sandwiches and picnic boxes for two to take out into their fields. Enjoy underneath their massive, historic oak tree! Their farm store is always stocked with fresh, seasonal produce and mouth-watering baked goods. Every Friday and Saturday night in October, get spooked in the haunted corn maze at Bella Organic Farm, where terrifying creatures stalk you through acres of corn in the dark. Don’t forget to try their house-made wine and cider!
Home to TLC’s “Little People, Big World,” Hillsboro’s Roloff Farms is a treasure trove of autumn entertainment for the whole family. Their self-guided, quarter-mile scenic trail is spotted with fun play areas, food and drinks, a country store in a restored, century-old barn, and acres of pumpkins and gourds.
Family-owned Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm sits on 65 acres of pristine rolling hills and offers a bounty of fall activities. Let the kids roam free in their fallow field filled with mazes, slides, and an obstacle course. Visit their farm store stocked with cold and hot drinks, donuts, local honey and jams, and alpaca socks. Firing the pumpkin and apple cannons are a must.
Ride the Phoenix & Holly Railroad out to the pumpkin patches at Flower Farmer in Canby, 30 minutes south of Portland. After dark it becomes the “boo train” - take this haunted ride, if you dare! In their farm store you’ll find local goods and fresh-cut, seasonal flowers, as well as a fragrant flower shop for dried flowers year round. Kids love to see the farm animals and climb the hay pyramid.
No matter where you decide to embark on your fall fun adventure, know that time spent with loved ones enjoying the simple pleasures of life that create the deepest, most joyful memories. A bountiful harvest will always be an occasion to celebrate, so get out there and howl at the harvest moon in Portland!