Beyond the Valley

Pumpkins are synonymous with fall. With Halloween just a month away, pumpkins of all varieties are popping up in patches all around the Valley and beyond. Why not make a day-trip of it? Whether you like to carve them, toast the seeds or bake them into a pie, we invite you to take the kiddos and go on an out-of-town adventure to one of these stellar locations.

The Arboretum At Flagstaff Pumpkin Walk & Fall Fest

Head to Flagstaff on October 27 and stroll through the Arboretum grounds on trails lit with glowing jack-o-lanterns. If Mother Nature cooperates, you’ll even be treated to the fall foliage. Open from 3 p.m. ‘til 7 p.m., guests are encouraged to come in their Halloween costume. Activities include hayrides, apple bobbing and spooky storytelling around a campfire. Keeping with fall traditions, hot apple cider and cocoa will be served. www.thearb.org

Mortimer Family Farms Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze

In Dewey, just a 90-minute drive north of Phoenix, is Mortimer Family Farms. Enjoy a quick getaway and have a whole lot of fun in cooler temps. This festival’s centerpieces are a 15-acre pumpkin patch and 15-acre corn maze. Open Friday through Sunday, from September 28 until October 28, Mortimer Farms is family-friendly. Guests can participate in activities like zip lining, gem mining, tractor tire swings, cart races, barn dances, hay rides, live entertainment, an obstacle course as well as a U-pick pumpkin patch where you can select your pumpkin right off the vine.  www.mortimerfarmsaz.com 

The Great Prescott Pumpkin Patch

Head up to Prescott on October 27 for this one-day event. Held at the Mile High Middle School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a portion of the proceeds benefit Boy Scouts of America – Grand Canyon Council. The event will host  Activities include scream, costume and pumpkin carving contests, carnival games and craft stations along with food vendors. www.prescottevents.net       

The Grand Canyon Railway Pumpkin Patch Train

All aboard! Get into the spirit on The Grand Canyon Railway Pumpkin Patch Train. Enjoy the fall landscape from the comfort of the rail car. From October 6 through October 28, the train runs on Saturdays and Sundays with departure times at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Kids and parents alike are invited to wear their Halloween costumes. Be spooked on the Haunted Train Car, participate in pumpkin arts & crafts activities, select your very own pumpkin and conquer the hay bale maze. Hot beverages, house-made fudge and other Halloween treats will be available for purchase. www.thetrain.com/Grand-Canyon/Pumpkin-Patch 

The Apple Annie’s Fall Pumpkin Celebration

From September 22 through October 28, enjoy old-fashioned family fun at Apple Annie’s in Wilcox. Pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors will be available for picking. The corn maze, with two-levels of difficulty, wagon rides and fall veggie and apple picking add to the fun. An “All-You-Can-Eat” pumpkin and buttermilk pancake breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The lunch menu of apple-smoked burgers will be available from 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. as well as homemade pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream and apple bread. A portion of the proceeds from all Apple Annie’s special events benefit the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona, March of Dimes and Youth Haven Ranch. www.appleannies.com