If there’s anything I enjoy more than a fall day, it’s a fall day in a pumpkin patch. Today felt more like summer, but it’s starting to look like fall, so I visited the pumpkin patch at Geisler Farms east of Ankeny.

This pumpkin patch is the perfect blend of family fun and straightforward grownup stuff.  There’s a 10-acre corn maze, trails, pedal karts, games, hay rides, and a playground. There are also rows and rows of perfect pumpkins in every size and shape.

Baskets, carts, and shelves are also filled with pumpkins, gourds, and squash. I don’t know when I’ve seen this many varieties of pumpkins, and they were all beautiful. I bought three large gourds for $1 each, a small pumpkin for $1, a butternut squash (to make vegan butternut squash and macaroni casserole, a recipe I just got from the Whole Foods Market Facebook page) for $2, and a perfect white pumpkin for $4. I was tempted to buy more.

If you go to this pumpkin patch, you will appreciate the location. From I-35, take the  First Street Ankeny exit and drive east for 3 1/2 miles. The farm is on the right, and there’s a large, well-maintained parking lot. No gravel roads to drive on; no mud to deal with.

The corn maze and pumpkin patch are open weekends in September and October. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. If you want to do the corn maze, it’s $7, and the other kids’ activities require a nominal entrance fee. No charge just to walk through the pumpkins, which is the best part — and there are lots of cute photo ops for the little ones.


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