Fall has arrived. In Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head that means it’s time for an annual ritual for many local families. We’re talking about the quest for the perfect pumpkin, whether it’s snipped right off the vine, plucked from a pumpkin patch, or picked as a “keeper” to take home from a fall festival.

How about you? Are you ready to load up the family to go on a pumpkin-picking adventure? Here are five local pumpkin patches to choose from (listed in no particular order).

1. Holiday Farms

Where:   Ridgeland (about 25 miles north of Bluffton)
When:   October 4 - 31
Cost:   $12 admission, $3 per child

The price of admission includes all games and activities, like duck races, corn grinding, cow milking and more, plus wagon rides and a pumpkin from The Great Pumpkin Patch. This year, they are open to the public on Sundays from 1pm-5pm in addition to 9am-2pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-dark Saturday and Sunday. Also plan to visit with the animals in the Barnyard Zoo while you’re there.


2. Dempsey Farms U-Pick 

Where:   St. Helena’s Island (11 miles east of Beaufort)
When:   October 1 - November 15
Cost:   Varies ($.45 per pound)

Check their Facebook page for updates before you make the drive to pick your pumpkin from the farm stand or from the pumpkin patch-pick in the field. Harvesting dates can vary depending on the weather. If the harvest is on, their hours are usually 9am-6pm weekdays and 9am-4pm Saturdays.


3. Carteret Street Pumpkin Patch

Where:   Beaufort (right in town)
When:   September 30 - late October
Cost:   Varies by pumpkin

According to the Facebook page, the annual tractor-trailer load of pumpkins arrived at Carteret Street United Methodist Church the last day of September. So, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are ready for picking from their pumpkin patch on the lawn. Reminder: All proceeds benefit the church’s youth programs. Call ahead (843-524-3841) for hours when planning your outing. 


4. Lowcountry Produce

Where:   Lobeco (about 12 miles north of Beaufort)
When:   October 6 - 31
Cost:   Varies by pumpkin

When you swing by the pumpkin patch, build in some time to enjoy the games and other activities. They typically have face painting, hayrides and hay stacks where the kids can romp and climb.  Don’t forget that they have a market too with jams, jellies and such. Going during the week? Drop by between 9am-3pm; on the weekend, 9am-5pm.


5. Shelter Cove Pumpkin Patch

Where:   Hilton Head (in Shelter Cove Community Park)
When:   October 27
Cost:   FREE for children and adults

Your family can double the fun at this annual festival, which offers a Halloween costume contest as well as a pumpkin patch. Small pumpkins will be available for kids to paint or take home (one per child). There will also be carnival games, a petting zoo, hayrack rides, trick-or-treat and much more. The festival starts at 4pm and ends at 8pm.

There are few things that say autumn like a pretty pumpkin, whether you’re dressing up your front stoop, making a jack-o-lantern or baking pumpkin pies. And, one from a pumpkin patch comes with memories made when you and your family grab your perfect gourd. Have a great time celebrating the start of the season!