All the colors of fall – gold, yellow, red, brown, forest green – are spectacular, but we’re going to go with “orange” as our favorite color of the month, as in those cheery orange pumpkin globes that dot pumpkin patches, farm stands, hayrides, and autumn events.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Make Your Way to a Fall Pumpkin Patch
If you were planning to type Pumpkin Patch Wisconsin in your search bar, let us save you thes earching, as we’ve rounded up favorites in Wisconsin Dells. For good measure, we went ahead and searched for other autumn adventures too to help you map out your full fall getaway.
The perfect starting point for this story has to be Country Bumpkin Farm Market, what with it being the “bounty of the season” and all. This destination ranks right up there among the best pumpkin patches in Wisconsin. For those with little ones, try the Fall Fun Special, priced at $13 per person, which includes admission to their awesome Lil’ Bumpkin Play Village & Petting Farm, a 20-minute ride around the 30-acre farm on their express farm train pulled by Conductor Charlie’s vintage Farmall tractor, and entrance to the corn maze. The maize maze, if you will, is sized right for kids and their grown-ups, with educational trivia questions to help families navigate through the corn stalks. Your most difficult decision of the day will be which pumpkin to select. There are carving pumpkins that come in all sizes, mini-Jacks in orange and ghost white, pie-making sugar pumpkins, plus whacky gourds and colorful squash for decorating. Oh, and don’t leave without taking a gander at their giant, as in 100 pounds-plus, pumpkins!
Don’t Miss: On weekends in October, the concession stand is open and features yummy treats of the season, including hot apple cider. In the market, sticky caramel apples smothered with caramel made in Wisconsin are a must-munch.
Open: Through the end of October.
Located in nearby North Freedom, this attraction brings railroading history to life. Their harvest time tradition is the Pumpkin Special and this year it happens the weekend of Oct. 16-17. Riders will chug along to Quartzite Lake, where a local farmer awaits their arrival and will bring pumpkins right to the train. Pick your pumpkins, then board the train for the return trip. There are four coach departures per day – 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Pumpkin sales are cash only and not included in the train ticket price, which runs $22 for adults, $12 for children 3-15, and free for children 2 and under.
Here’s An Idea: Pack an old-fashioned picnic lunch to extend your stay, then tour the museum grounds with its turn-of-the-century atmosphere. It’s a treat to see the old steam locomotives, which remain a symbol of the Golden Age of railroading.
Open: Through Oct. 17.
Just as pumpkins come in all different sizes, so too do trains. The Riverside & Great Northern Railway is a 15-inch gauge railroad living museum, with the mini steam trains traveling along a scenic three-mile roadbed. There’s a learning center plus museum exhibits. On Saturdays and Sundays in October, take the Pumpkin Train, with kids 12 and under getting a free pumpkin. Tickets go on sale in the gift shop at 9:00 a.m. The first train departs Hyde Park Station at 9:30 a.m. and at the top of the hour throughout the day or as needed when the train is full. The last train departs at 4 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children 4-12, and free for children under 3.
Unexpected Sight: At the midway point in the trip, the locomotive is turned on a hand-operated turntable, and then turned again at the final stop at the Hyde Park depot.
Open: Through the end of October.
Moving on now from the “iron horses” (that would be the steam locomotives) to the trusty steeds at Red Ridge Ranch, where they have an October special that includes pumpkin painting with a pumpkin of your choice, a corn maze, tractor-drawn hayride, petting zoo, and hay maze. The cost for all that is $20 per person. Red Ridge Ranch is located 25 minutes from Wisconsin Dells in Mauston.
Ride On: The one-hour guided trail rides here take you through 250 acres of rolling farmlands and wooded hills. Cost is $35 per person for horseback riding.
Open: The fall special runs through the end of October.
Catch a horse-drawn wagon ride to the mini-pumpkin patch in Wilderland at the Wilderness waterpark resort. Kids get to pick out their favorite mini-pumpkin and decorate it with a silly sticker face. It’s one per child while supplies last and it’s free. The pumpkin patch is open Saturdays and Sundays through October, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Get Wet: It goes without saying that you’ll want to splash around in the indoor waterparks here after you snag your favorite little squash.
Open: Seasonal special activities open exclusively to overnight guests of the resort.
Edible Pumpkin Treats
There is no such thing as too much pumpkin. Try the pumpkin chocolate cheesecake at Cheese Cake Heaven. It’s one of their flavors of the month for October, yum! Gourmet popcorn store Oodlesmack Popcorn features pumpkin spice cheesecake flavored popcorn in October and we suggest opting for the extra-large bag.
Downtown Dells is Decked Out with Pumpkins
Make time to visit downtown Wisconsin Dells, as the local businesses really go all-out in decorating for the autumn season.
All that’s left to say is “Yay!” to the most colorful time of the year.