Updated Oct. 13, 3:46 p.m.–
The Pumpkin Farm in Citrus Heights opened its annual month-long “farm experience” on Oct. 2 this year, featuring corn maze activities, a farm zoo and a 30-foot tower slide.
Tucked away off Old Auburn Road near Sunrise Boulevard, the Farm celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, making it one of California’s oldest family-run pumpkin farms. The attraction now draws over 10,000 visitors each October, according to Shymoniak-family operators, with youth groups and school field trips accounting for the majority of visits.
Farm operator Yvonne Shymoniak previously told The Sentinel she sees the seasonal attraction as “more of a farm experience than a Halloween experience,” highlighting several activities offered, like weaving through tall corn stalks, learning about farm operations, petting goats, or picking out a pumpkin from one of the 100 tons of pumpkins grown on the 16-acre property.
Hopping on a hayride takes small groups on a meandering tour throughout the Farm — and also on a journey back in history — as 73-year-old Leonard Shymoniak presents an overview of the Farm’s past 120 years, beginning with its use for harvesting oak wood in the late 1800’s, before becoming an orchard, and then an area for bee-keeping, raising turkeys and dairy. In 1974 the Farm merged into its current use as a pumpkin farm.
Although only open for a month each year, family operators say it takes about six months of work each year to prepare for the annual busy season, with corn being planted in late July and other events and plantings needing several months to get ready. The Farm is primarily operated by “Farmer Leonard” and three of his children.
Opening at 9 a.m. each day — except when closed on Mondays for a “sanity break” — Yvonne said mornings are typically filled with school groups, and recommends the general public come after 12 o’clock to miss the rush and fully enjoy the activities and learning experiences. Although mostly known by visitors in the greater-Sacramento area, the Farm gained extended recognition when it won first place at the 2010 Half Moon Bay Giant Pumpkin Festival contest for growing a 1,535-pound pumpkin.
Open through Oct. 31, the Pumpkin Farm is located at 7736 Old Auburn Road in Citrus Heights and is open Tuesday-Sunday in October. More information is available on the Farm’s web site: pumpkinfarm.net
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The Pumpkin Farm in Citrus Heights will open its annual month-long "farm experience" on October 2 this year, featuring activities like a corn maze, farm zoo and a 30-foot tower slide.
Tucked away off Old Auburn Road near Sunrise Boulevard, the Farm celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, making it one of California’s oldest family-run pumpkin farms. The attraction now draws over 10,000 visitors each...
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