Back in the day, when I was single and ready to mingle, a "progressive" was when every room in a house had a different type of cocktail. There was something "cooler" about moving from one room to the next and exploring what drink each room had to offer.
Today, 8 years and 2 kids later, my husband and I discovered a completely different way to celebrate in a progressive fashion. We took our kids on a Pumpkin Patch Progressive, exploring 3 pumpkin patches all within 10 miles of our house. Despite what you may think, rows of pumpkins and barrels of hay are, in fact, not all the same.
We were disappointed that we couldn't find a pumpkin patch in Mountain View. Last year we went to Grandpa's Pumpkin Patch which was in the Sears parking lot on San Antonio. Now a construction zone, Grandpa had to move his patch to Sunnyvale. But we still managed to find it.
For us, going back to Grandpa's Patch was mostly about tradition – since we did it last year. It's a simple pumpkin patch and they do a great job of creating a farm like setting – well, as good as anyone could in a parking lot on El Camino. Our children love the animals, especially the baby chickens. And they never pass up a bouncy house.
Our children's favorite pumpkin patch, for reasons that have nothing to do with pumpkins, is the ABC Farm's Pick of Pumpkins Patch on El Camino in Sunnyvale – across from Grandpa's Patch. You can't miss it because there are two towering jumpy house slides.
The cost is $8, per half hour 0 it seems slightly ridiculous to pay all that money for jumping – no pumpkins included. But I would pay it again in a heartbeat just to see the anxious look on my children's faces when they sit at the top of the gigantic slide and their happy smiles at the bottom. Plus, while they slide, my husband and I sit on hay barrels, watch our children and actually have a conversation.
Finally we went to Webb Ranch in Portola Valley looking to experience what might be different about an organic farm's pumpkin patch. We discovered that organic bouncy houses, hay rides and haunted houses are the same as the non-organic ones.
We did appreciate the unique pumpkins Webb Ranch has to offer. It was great to show my children that pumpkins come in different shapes and colors and to see how, in the end, Josie and Owen each chose unique pumpkins instead of traditional ones.
As we drove home with tired kids and a variety of pumpkins in the backseat, my husband and I agreed that our Pumpkin Patch Progressive was a huge success, perhaps even a new family tradition.