The leaves turning orange and red and the crisp autumn air are all signs that the seasons are changing, but there is nothing that says Fall in the Pacific Northwest like a visit to a pumpkin patch. In Vancouver, Washington, the Zimmerman family owns and operates Bi-Zi Farms, which has everything you could ever want from a pumpkin patch. The farm itself is pretty large so be sure to give yourself ample time to roam the attractions and spend some time hunting for the perfect pumpkin.
Exploring the Corn Maze
The first thing we checked out was the corn maze. You have the option at the entrance of taking a map or going it on your own. We opted to brave the maze without a map and headed in. The corn stalks are tall enough that you aren’t able to see over the top of them, making the maze a real challenge! If you have the option of going in a group, you can systematically work your way through it — there are a lot of loops and dead ends. Be sure you don’t sneak down one of the user trails to a false exit — the real exit is just to the east of the main entrance.
Once you’ve conquered the corn maze, it’s definitely worth the effort to climb the Bale Pyramid. You can clamber to the top of the tower of hay (as well as climb into it) and get a great view of the whole farm from above. From the summit, you can scout out what’s next on the agenda for your visit. We spotted the animals in the petting zoo and headed in that direction.
Visiting the Farm Animals
The farm has more goats than you can count (including some new baby goats), chickens, sheep, pigs, a llama and a donkey. All the animals were happy to say hello at the fences. While you can’t feed the animals, they are fun to observe and photograph.
Pumpkin Patch Activities
From there we headed to a popular attraction at the farm, something that many pumpkin patches don’t offer — the pumpkin launch. You present your ticket as you walk in and get to choose two small pumpkins from a crate. Once you’ve picked the perfect pumpkin grenades, there are a handful of stations equipped with massive slingshots slung between two wooden posts. Across the field (which is littered with previously launched pumpkins) are big white bins, which are your targets for the launch. We took turns loading the little pouch in the middle of the slingshot and pulling it all the way back to aim and fire! The slingshot is stretched pretty taut, so you really have to use your body weight to get a good shot.
If you have kiddos with you, you can definitely make a whole day of it at the pumpkin patch. Some of the other attractions include a calf roping station, duck races, face painting, kettle corn and cotton candy, and a bale maze for those that are a bit too little for the bigger corn maze.
Picking the Perfect Pumpkin
Once you’ve covered all the activities, it’s time to go hunt for the perfect pumpkin out on the farm itself. You can walk out into the fields on your own, or hop on the hayride. We opted for the hayride, which takes just about ten minutes and drops you in the far field. From there, you can take your time scouring the fields for your pumpkin as you slowly make your way back toward the center of the farm. Once you’ve selected the one you want to take home, there’s a pumpkin washing station so you can get your jack-o-lantern nice and shiny before bringing it home. There are wheelbarrows available for carting your pumpkins out to the car as well.
The farm is an excellent family adventure for the weekend, and the farm store is open all year. From downtown Vancouver, it’s about a 15-20 minute drive and there is plenty of parking. On the weekends, the corn maze is open in the evening if you want to brave it in the dark and there is live music on Saturday and Sunday.
Bi-Zi Farms is open for the fall 2020 season with Covid-19 restrictions in place. Masks are required, indoor activities are restricted, and there is no hot beverage service, petting zoo or live music this year. However, you can still enjoy outdoor activities on the farm including hayrides, the pumpkin patch, animal viewing and the corn maze. You can also reserve your tickets in advance online. Learn more about the farm’s Covid-19 response on their website and by watching this Facebook video.
Tickets are $11.50 per person and include pretty much everything: a hayride, one pumpkin per person, two pumpkin launches per person and entrance to the corn maze. Their hours vary by time of the season, so be sure to check out the Bi-Zi Farms website for the most updated information.