A recent exploration of Central Illinois was in honor of a yearly tradition my husband and I take part in. About six years ago my husband and I went on our first date at the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois. Ever since then, we make it an annual tradition to visit the pumpkin patch.
When we first visited the Pumpkin Patch years ago, there were only a few displays and places to take pictures. Now, the patch is full of interesting displays expanding from country-themed exhibits to a “decoration idea corner” for people to get ideas on how to decorate for fall. The owners have also added a few more animals to the mix. Pigs, chickens, ducks llamas and sheep are all part of the fun experience at The Great Pumpkin Patch.
The pumpkin patch is dog-friendly, and we decided to take our golden retriever, Wrigley. He was completely fascinated with the animals, and made fast friends with the piglets. The ducks and chickens, on the other hand, did not appreciate Wrigley or his friendly bark!
Next up – the pumpkin picking … the reason why most people go to The Great Pumpkin Patch. If you feel adventurous, and lucky, you can try your hand at finding a pumpkin in the patch. I have never been lucky enough to find a pumpkin in the field, but if you do some searching and are patient, you are sure to find the “Great Pumpkin.” I would also recommend going at least a few weeks before Halloween before the pumpkins are picked over. For those not so adventurous, there is a selection of pumpkins and gords already picked to sort through.
If you are looking for some fall plants, The Great Pumpkin Patch has a great selection. The patch was having a great sale on mums during our visit -- which resulted in us bringing home four beautiful, colorful mums and three pumpkins (one for me, JC and, of course, Wrigley :) ) for under $30.
Our trip would not be complete without visiting the Bakery on site. The Bakery serves every kind of fall treat you can think of, along with tradition cinnamon rolls, and breads. Our favorite item, that we get every year, is Banana Nut Bread. It is beyond delicious!
The Great Pumpkin Patch has continued to get more and more popular each fall. The owners have even been featured on Martha Stewart and other national television shows. Because of this notoriety they have continued to increase the displays and items people can purchase.
My husband and I continue to go back to The Great Pumpkin Patch every year, and will continue to as long as we live in Central Illinois. It is a great, cheap (ony $5 per person for adults) way to spend the afternoon on a warm fall day. And it's fun to see the new exhibits and animals added each year.
Here's the link to check out The Great Pumpkin Patch's website: http://the200acres.com/thepatch/