Pumpkins (credit: Linda Yolanda/Thinkstock)

Although no longer the agricultural Eden it once was, the South Bay Area is still home to a number of festive farms perfect for hand-selecting autumn pumpkins. For those looking to truly celebrate the season, several spots provide the perfect backdrop for some down-home fall fun. Here are five South Bay pumpkin patches worth a visit. For even more pumpkin patch ideas, check out our coverage from last year.

Spina Farms
8820 Santa Teresa Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95120
(408) 463-0125
www.spina-farms.com

South San Jose’s Spina Farms is one of the largest area pumpkin patches. This multi-generational family-run farm offers free admission, with over 60 different types and colors of pumpkin to choose from. On the weekends, for a small fee, the kids can enjoy everything from pony and train rides to a petting zoo and hay ride. The farm is cash only, and has a sizeable produce stand as well as snacks and drinks available for purchase.

Uesugi Farms
14485 Monterey Highway
San Martin, CA 95046
(408) 778-7225
uesugifarms.com

Located just south of Morgan Hill, San Martin’s Uesugi Farms pumpkin patch is worth the drive. Open seven days a week from Oct. 1through 31, the farm is home to a multitude of attractions, pumpkins and live entertainment on the weekends. Those looking to fully celebrate fall will enjoy spending the day navigating the two-acre corn maze, visiting the petting zoo, taking an enchanted hay ride or strolling through the interactive butterfly valley. The farm sells all manner of edible pumpkin delights ranging from pumpkin pie to ice cream. Hot food is available for purchase on the weekends, when there is also a $5 parking fee.

Swank Farms
2600 San Felipe Road
Hollister, CA 95023
(831) 637-4704
www.swankfarms.com

Swank Farms is a 60-acre family-owned ranch located in Hollister. Originally purchased in 1928, over the years the farm has grown or raised everything from cows and pigs to peaches and prunes. The farm is now home to a stellar seasonal pumpkin patch replete with multiple corn mazes appropriate for both little kids as well as braver older ones and adults. In addition to pumpkin hunting, there are numerous other attractions for the whole family, including a 16-foot-tall pumpkin slingshot, a swinging bridge, chalkboard house and a “sandbox” filled with dried corn.

Pumpkin Junction
Casa de Fruta
10021 Pacheco Pass Highway
Hollister, CA 95023
(408) 842-7282
www.casadefruta.com

Located at the base of Pacheco Pass, Casa de Fruta has long been a stopping point for travelers to and from the central valley. Each year during the month of October, Casa de Fruta stages a large pumpkin patch. Visitors can not only enjoy browsing for the perfect pumpkin, but can grab a bite to eat in the on-site restaurant, take a twirl on the carousel, mine for gemstones or even go for a ride on the train. After selecting pumpkins, make sure to stop in the fruit stand to shop for everything from dried fruits to local wines.

Rodoni Farms Pumpkin Patch
4444 Coast Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 426-6438
www.rodonifarms.com

Another multi-generational family-run operation, Santa Cruz’s Rodoni Farms is an increasingly organic farm focused on growing a variety of produce such as artichokes, leeks, beets and pumpkins. The farm’s ocean-side pumpkin patch is open throughout the month of October, and pumpkins are priced according to size rather than weight. In addition to some seasonal and spooky décor, the farm boasts a huge 5-acre corn maze. After pumpkin picking, make sure to snap up some of the farm grown leeks or on-the-stalk Brussels sprouts.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.