The rustic town of Waimanalo stretches lazily along the windward coast of Oahu along the foothills of the Ku’ulou Mountains. This laid back Hawaiian beach town is usually only a rest stop for tourists on the way to the North Shore from the resorts in Waikiki. A smattering of restaurants and lunch trucks along the narrow two lane highway providing them a place to stretch their legs and grab a shave ice or plate lunch before continuing on their way to the better known beaches and attractions to the north. Locals, undoubtedly, are ok with this. They prefer to keep their rural, sleepy lifestyle separate from the hustle and bustle of nearby Honolulu. It also happens to sit on one of the largest and most scenic beaches on the island. A long, curving white sand beach that stretches for nearly 3 miles provides an ideal location some of Hawaii’s best for body boarding and beach going all set against the postcard-perfect backdrop of the steeped mountain range it fronts. Behind the village rises acres of land ideal for farming, the rich volcanic soil and sunshine providing perfect conditions for growing a variety of plants and vegetables. In autumn, this includes pumpkins! The rich foothills are home to Waimanalo Country Farms and their 2nd Annual Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Only in its second year, the event delivers nicely on the nostalgic yearly family trip to the local farm to select the perfect Halloween pumpkin, with a Hawaiian twist of course. Hot apple cider and mittens are replaced by rainbow colored shaved ice and slippers. The typical farm expanse tragically littered with awe inspiring views of the nearby ocean instead of changing foliage! Open every Saturday and Sunday in October from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the family owned and operated farm hosts a fall celebration including pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn maze, games, photos, face painting, food, shaved ice and other family activities. Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes line the farm’s fields for your family’s scrutiny, evaluation and selection. Pumpkins are priced by size and start at about $2.00 (slightly better than prices at other farms or the grocery store!). Activities are grouped into packages of four activities and each package is $6.00 per person. The last two weekends of the month, the maze and hayride will take on a far more sinister and haunting attribute and will reopen from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (they stop selling tickets at 10:00 p.m. to ensure ticket holders can get through prior to closing) for those seeking a more frightening experience. Tickets for these two events cost $12.00 for one or $20 for both. Bring plenty of cash, the pumpkin patch is cash only and there are no ATMs on site. There is no charge for parking or for admission. There are restroom facilities on site (Port-a-johns only). Food and drink are available for purchase. We highly recommend that you bring a wagon, preferably the All Terrain type with a sun shade, for carrying your children and pumpkins around the farm! Trust us on this one, you will thank us later! Jogging strollers will work too if you do not have a wagon. Additionally, we recommend you dress the family in clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty—it is a working farm! The farm is off Lupe Street in Waimanalo across the street from Waimanolo Beach Park, follow the signs from Kalanianaole Highway. At the end of Lupe Street, follow the narrow dirt road leading to the farm. Use caution, the road is narrow (one way traffic only) and quite rough. Pay attention to the staff along the road managing traffic flow, it can get backed up at times. You won’t need a four wheel drive but you may wish you had it! The experience at Waimanalo Country Farms is similar to other island pumpkin patches in that the pumpkins are pre-picked and placed in the field, replenished each night for the next day’s customers. The patch is slightly smaller than other farms but there is still a large selection of quality pumpkins available. Likewise, the number of activities is not as plentiful; however, there is more than enough to keep the children entertained for the afternoon. Despite the smaller scale of the event at Waimanalo Country Farms, we actually greatly preferred the more picturesque surroundings, the typically cooler temperatures found on the windward side and the smaller crowd size over neighboring farms and patches --although that may change as word continues to grow out about it! The farm’s smaller size somehow made the visit more intimate and the experience less overwhelming. The weather was balmy but not oppressive, and its super friendly staff made this feel like the vintage family friendly trips we so fondly look back on and want our children to experience as well. We highly recommend you consider visiting Waimanalo Country Farms if you are looking for a uniquely Hawaiian family adventure to the pumpkin patch. Neighbor Islands: Oahu is certainly not the only Hawaiian Island that holds these terrific family friendly fall events. If you are visiting or reside on Maui or the Big Island, there are farms on those islands that also offer pumpkin picking during the Halloween season. Consider checking out Kula Country Farms in upcountry Maui and Kohala Mountain Farm Pumpkin Patch on the Big Island.