Everyone knows that the ritual of pumpkin carving brings family and friends together to create the scariest — or the cutest, depending on your mindset — Halloween decorations.
The dilemma that most folks have is picking the perfect pumpkin. To make it easier to find yours, here’s a list of pumpkin patches near Columbia.
Clinton Sease Farm: 404 Olde Farm Rd., Lexington. Open: Friday 6-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m-11 p.m. and Sunday 2-7 p.m. Pumpkin patch and corn maze during the day, (De)Ceased Farm haunted attraction at night (Thursdays & Sundays, 7:30-10:30 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays 7:30-11:30 p.m.). Bee Day is Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Pony Rides will be available on Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. www.clintonseasefarm.com
Lever Farms: 5057 SC Highway 34, Pomaria. Open: Saturdays 10 a.m-5 p.m. You-pick or select one from the stand. Also: mini corn maze, farm animal petting zoo, corn pit, wagon rides and pumpkin bowling. Bring a cooler to load up on farm raised pork products and, while you’re there, sample apple cider slushies, pumpkin fritters, pumpkin bread and pumpkin/apple butter. Cash or checks only, no credit cards. www.facebook.com/Lever-Farms-150598138332289/.
Fox Farm: 133 Virginia Pine Lane, Lexington. Open for Fall Fun Days: 4-6 p.m. Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5 p.m. Oct. 28, and 3-5 p.m. Nov. 4. These dates are ticketed events and must be purchased in advance, Tickets $8/child include horse ride, hay ride, visit pet/feed farm animals and one pumpkin. Additional pumpkins and food available for purchase during the event. www.facebook.com/pg/foxfarmsc/events/.
Old McCaskill’s Farm: 377 Cantey Lane, Rembert. Open Thursday 2-6 p.m., Friday noon-6 p.m. and Saturday 2-6 p.m. Come on out and pick a pumpkin, bring the kids to see the baby animals and shop in the farm store for fresh from the farm foods and woolen items. Join the first-come-first-served Friday lunch on the farm for $10. www.oldmccaskillfarm.com
SC State Farmers Market: 3483 Charleston Hwy, West Columbia. Open: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-6 p.m Sunday. In addition to pumpkins, you can find Certified South Carolina grown fresh fruits and vegetables. www.facebook.com/SCFarmersMarket/.
Northeast United Methodist Church: 4000 Hardscrabble Rd. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m. A wide variety of pumpkin shapes, sizes and colors, Indian corn and gourds for decoration. Proceeds go to youth charity projects. Resupply truck arrives after 11 a.m. service Sunday, Oct. 15. Praise the Patch outdoor worship service with hotdogs and hamburgers 6-8 p.m. Oct. 21. Trunk-n-Treat for kids in costume, with candy and hotdogs, 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 29. www.facebook.com/neumcsc/
Trenholm Road United Methodist Church: 3401 Trenholm Rd. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Lots and lots of pumpkins! Proceeds got to children and youth ministries. www.facebook.com/TrenholmRoad/
Red Bank United Methodist Church: 850 S. Lake Drive, Lexington. Open Saturday 9 a.m-8 p.m., Sunday 1-8 p.m. and Monday through Friday noon-8 p.m. First load of 2,000 pumpkins arrives Saturday, Oct. 14. www.facebook.com/RedBankUMC/
And one festival...
When you need inspiration (or just a celebration of all things pumpkin), run up the road to the SC Pumpkintown Pumpkin Festival, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Pickens. There will be a parade of antique cars and other vehicles starting at 9 a.m. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a day of music, BBQ, homemade desserts and ice cream. Bring cash as there are some areas at the festivals where cell phones do not work so vendors may not be able to use debit card readers. More information at intheknowupstate.com/event/sc-pumpkintown-pumpkin-festival/
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and Clemson Tiger paw