If you’re like my family here in The Dalles, you may have spent the last several years trekking just outside of town every fall to Renken Farms for their annual Harvest Fest fundraising event, sponsored by MidColumbia Medical Center and benefiting their Great and Small Preschool at MCMC. I myself have years of fond memories of that event and photos of my kids on the barrel train, in the petting zoo, and smiling with sticky hands from cotton candy and apple cider. And if you’re like me, you probably felt a nostalgic pang when you found out that the event was being discontinued. But never fear – it’s going to be okay because we’ve found a handful of other opportunities to get your pumpkin patch groove on over the next few weeks all over the Gorge and surrounding area. So with that, let’s bid a fond farewell to the folks out at Renken and a hearty thank you for hosting a spectacular community event for so many years that provided amazing memories! It’s time to find new patches to explore!
With that, let’s get on to the business at hand. Finding the perfect pumpkin is no small feat, but we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a list of autumn events, fall festivals, and perfect pumpkin patches that are guaranteed to get you ready for the spookiest time of year. Be warned, this is by no means a complete list of every orchard, pumpkin patch, or autumn event in the Gorge, but it will certainly get you well on your way. Pumpkins, fall produce, crafts, and other items vary in price by location and venue, so bring some spending money along, grab a hoodie, and hit the road! Remember that many of these are working farms and orchards, so please leave your pets at home for this adventure. You will also want to check with the venue directly with any questions regarding COVID-19 precautions. Bring a mask and adhere to all current Oregon guidelines regarding events and gatherings. Now go explore! It’s fall, y’all!
Sandoz Farm Pumpkin Fest at The Mill Creek Pumpkin Patch
5755 Mill Creek Rd, The Dalles
Saturday, October 16, 2021
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
This family-owned farmstand is a longtime fixture in The Dalles. This year they are promising “Farm animals, Sandoz farm goodies, Dani’s cookies, and family fun!”
There is no admission price listed
Root Orchards Pumpkin Patch
1111 Root Rd, Mosier
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in September
11:00 am – 4:00 p.m.
This 5th generation cherry orchard knows how to bring in the fall season! Advertising pumpkins, sunflower bouquets, and the opportunity to pet the farm’s resident mini horses, Hank and Rocky, this little gem in Mosier is worth visiting! There are refreshments and snacks available and the u-pick pumpkin price is just $.50 per pound so make sure you get a BIG one!
The Pumpkin Patch at Howards Haven Animal Sanctuary
37 Monogan Howard Rd, Lyle WA
Saturday, October 23 – Sunday, October 24
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free admission, donations accepted
What an event! Every child will receive a free pumpkin and they are offering a variety of events, from storytime in the barn to educational crafts and free cocoa or coffee. They’ve got animals to pet and groom, a pallet maze, and more! Search out their FB page for more info, including directions to the property.
Packers Farmstand & Pumpkin Patch
3020 Thompsen Rd, Hood River
Open Thursday – Monday
Hours Vary, Check website:
Ticket prices vary, see website for details.
Tickets must be purchased online in advance for entry, and give you access to the corn maze, the giant hay tower, a children’s play area, bouncy corral, pumpkin bowling, and more! There are also pre-picked and U-pick pumpkins available at an additional cost, plus farmstand produce, unique crafts and gifts, dozens of photo ops, hot coffee, apple cider, cinnamon apple donuts, other sweet treats, and more! There is truly something for everyone!
The 39th Annual Hood River Harvest Festival
Hood River Event Site, Portway Ave.
October 15 – October 17, 2021
Times and Events vary – Check the website for more info
Ticket Prices: $10 general admission (Friday entry $5 for seniors and military)
This is THE ultimate Gorge Fall Fest. The three-day event truly has something for everyone and you will not be disappointed! From the website: This old-fashioned fall festival brings together more than 125 vendors offering local produce and food products, plus arts and crafts, wine, cider, and beer tastings…kids’ activity area, complete with bouncy houses, face painting, and other activities.” There is so much more, check out the details online for more info.
The event website does ask that all attendees wear a mask and that all ticket holders 12 and over present either proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test for entry.
The Gorge Fruit & Craft Show
Hood River Fairgrounds
October 16, 2021 – October 17, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Bring your spending money and start your holiday shopping off right! Going strong after 25 years and featuring “unique handmade items that may include jewelry, candles, clothing, foods, photos, garden decorations, and more! The local flower flub will be selling bouquets and will also be hosting a country store.” If you enjoy a craft fair, don’t miss this one!
Drive-in Movies at Sunshine Mill
901 E 2nd St, The Dalles
Weekends in October
Check-in starts @ 6:30 / Movie @ 7pm
$20 per car (concessions also available)
Watching a movie in the comfort of your car at Sunshine Mill is an experience not to be missed! Featuring fall-themed movies like Hocus Pocus, IT, and Coco, an outing to the drive-in is a cozy way to spend an autumn night! Capacity is limited, so buy your tickets in advance. The full appetizer menu is available as well as hot dogs, popcorn, beer, and wine.
The Dalles Witches Walk
Sponsored by Route 30 Bottles and Brews
317 E 2nd St, The Dalles
Friday, October 22, 2021
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Something wicked this way comes! The 5th Annual Witches Walk is back this year throughout downtown The Dalles. Local businesses will be open late offering raffles, sales, samples, and tricks and treats for all. There is no admission cost, but bring your spending money and get a jump on your holiday shopping. Come into town for dinner or a drink, watch the Witches Dance in the middle of 2nd St, and have an amazing fall night out on the town!
And finally, if being scared silly is more your spooky style, here are a few options that don’t require you to go too far from home. Please adhere to any COVID restrictions and requests that any event requires and check with the venue directly with any other questions before you head out!
Family Fright Night at Timberline Lodge
Here’s Johnny! If The Shining scared you silly as a kid, this might just be the event for you! $250 gets you overnight family accommodations at Timberline and a $40 dining credit for a night packed full of activities, including swimming, a scavenger hunt around the lodge, costume parade, and more. Halloween movies will be playing throughout the evening, capped off with the ultimate freak out, “The Shining” to finish out the night. Spend the night in the iconic lodge that served as the exterior backdrop for that old 1980s classic…if you dare!
The Dalles “Die Hollow”
930 E 19th St, The Dalles (Just off of Dry Hollow Rd)
October 31st ONLY from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Who says door-to-door trick or treating is…well… dead? Take a ride up to Die Hollow and get your loot – if you dare! Big thanks to this neighborhood in The Dalles for stepping up the door-to-door trick or treat game in a big way. This is an interactive Halloween display with lots of pumpkins, lights, sounds, and a few surprises but nothing TOO terrifying. Kid-friendly and free.
Night Harvest: The Haunting of 1111 Root Rd
Root Orchards, Mosier
October 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31st
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 per person
Recommended for ages 13 and up, – take the trail – IF YOU DARE. Details are a little limited online but this is an outdoor venue so it’s safe to say you should dress warmly. Given the age recommendation, it’s probably safe to assume that this one might be a bit more frightening with potential-jump scares, etc (as if being out in an orchard in Mosier in the dark isn’t scary enough, right?). Contact Root Orchards directly with questions.
Flashlight Maze at Packer Orchards, Hood River
Don’t forget your flashlight! Visit the farm place and run through the corn maze after dark! This family-friendly event is for ghouls and goblins of all ages! No jump scares, and no scary costumes allowed, just a fun night with a slightly spooky kid-friendly element. The farm store will also be open.
Children under 16 must have parental supervision.
See the Packer’s Orchards website for more details.
Doors Open at 7:30 (Last ticket sold at 8:30)
$10 per person
E.T. Holiday Light Display
3800 W 6th St, The Dalles
Now through Halloween
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Nightly
Fill up a thermos with warm apple cider and go watch the impressive light display set to music in this quiet residential block in The Dalles just a few blocks from Home Depot. Tune your car radio to 98.1 FM and enjoy the show!
You can find more information on Facebook by searching for E.T. Holiday Lights
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