Six spooky harvest picks for the fall season

By Maya Valletta, For The Pitt News

Spooky season is officially upon us, and for many of us that means pumpkin and apple picking. There are many options near campus that offer a fun way to destress from midterms — providing everything from food trucks to giant pumpkins and games. Get this season’s fix of apple cider, corn mazes and hayrides at these local Pittsburgh-area farms. 

  1. Triple B Farms

The farm is in Forward Township, so find a friend with a car or split an Uber with friends, and enjoy a weekend having some fall fun. This fall fest offers a plethora of activities designed for both children and adults. Triple B Farms’ $15 admission tickets grant visitors access to farm animals, jumping pillows, rope mazes, “farmcade” games, two corn mazes, a barnyard carnival and Pumpkinland, a field of pumpkin scarecrows. These activities open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and are available until the end of October. 

For a bite to eat, the venue’s Food Barn offers a wide array of apple products and hot sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can pick their own apples, flowers and pumpkins for an additional cost from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  1. Soergel Orchards

This orchard is a 20-minute drive from campus and is located in Wexford. Their fall fest is open every weekend until the end of October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to picking apples, visitors can pick pumpkins, go on tractor rides and enjoy activities and food. Admission is free. The farm also offers Friday Night Hayrides where visitors can enjoy pork or hot dogs and pumpkin picking. 

  1. Trax Farms

Located in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, this farm is a half-hour drive from campus. Admission to the large farm and market is free. The market sells a large selection of treats, produce, plants, holiday decorations and, of course, pumpkins of every size. There will be food trucks, live music and a corn maze every Saturday and Sunday until Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can purchase tickets for hayrides online. 

  1. Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival 

For all the pumpkin lovers out there, the Monster Pumpkins Festival provides all things pumpkin. The festival takes place Oct. 15 to Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Stacks at 3 Crossings. It is a free two-day event where giant pumpkins ranging from 1,000 to nearly 2,500 pounds are carved, painted and dropped from 140 feet in the air. 

In addition to the pumpkin extravaganza, there are glass blowing exhibitions, pie-eating contests and kids’ activities. The festival also sets up noteable activities such as the “giant pumpkin pedal pull” and craft and food vendors. With a quick bus ride on the 54 to the Strip District, visitors can indulge in pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin. 

  1. Shenot Farm

Shenot Farm is a family-run farm about half an hour drive from campus. They offer both pumpkin and apple picking daily. The hayride, corn maze and pumpkin patch is $5 per person. They also offer a half-mile scenic walk for $2 on the weekends and free on weekdays. The farm hosts a number of food trucks on the weekends. 

Shenot Farm posts updates on Instagram with time slots for apple-picking. The weekend after Halloween, the farm is hosting a pumpkin smash where you can absolutely obliterate your pumpkin. 

  1. Cheeseman Farm

Though this farm is a bit further away with a 45-minute drive from campus, they offer family friendly fun during the day and haunted activities at night. Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch for $5 and enjoy holiday items, a petting zoo and a pick-your-own pumpkin for additional cost. At night, the farm transforms into a 650-acre scare zone. More than 100 actors lurk within the haunted hayride, corn maze and other parts of the farm. General admission tickets for the Fright Farm are available for $25 on their website.