Halloween Fun in PDX!
The leaves are changing and a bite has returned to the nighttime air. Yep, it’s that time of year again when even the most die-hard wearer’s of shorts and flip-flops (e.g. me) begin to break out the Levi’s. Halloween is almost here and, as is a great tradition for many, it’s time to hit-up the myriad of haunted houses, corn mazes and pumpkin patches that have, quite literally, multiplied like freaky rabbits in the area. Heck, it seemed like just yesterday when there were only a small handful of these warehouses and farms turning themselves into centers of scream and delight. Now, much like the craft beer trend in good ol’ PDX, we have so many different options to choose from. Of course, with competition comes innovation, and wow are there some nice choices. Read on for some great tips for picking your October fun!
Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches Galore!
It seems that the corn maze craze is definitely still growing, with (at last count) over 20 farms taking this post harvest route. And while some locations sport just a small maze, others are simply gigantic! Having experienced one such behemoth on Sauvie’s Island (a few years ago), and having had to burrow my way through a couple “walls” to get out, these adventures can get pretty intense…especially when it starts to get a bit dark. Mix in the “bota bag effect” and BAM…well, you get the picture ;). Plus, a flashlight really helps ;).
With almost all corn mazes coming part and parcel with excellent pumpkin patches (because we all need 3 or 4 of these to scare away the evil spirits come 10-31), these locations really make for a nice half or full day experience.
Here are (4) of my favorite places offering corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and more. See the link at the bottom for a list of many more.
- The Original Maize at the Pumpkin Patch: Celebrating its 18th season, this corn maze on Sauvie Island, which is just 15-minutes from Downtown PDX), is stunning indeed! Sporting 15′ tall corn and many ways to lose your direction, the theme this year is one that both kids and parents will get excited about. The Maize, as its called, is working with Peanuts Worldwide to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” Suffice to say the maze is Peanuts-themed! When finished, don’t forget the hay pyramid and rides on the cow train! The food at The Patio Café is also remarkably tasty (great burgers!). To boot, the pumpkin patch is second to none.
September: Open daily 10am to 6pm* – Open until 10pm on September 30th
October: Sunday-Thursday 10am to 6pm – Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm
16511 NW Gillihan Rd.
$8/adults (13 & up); $6/children (6-12) & seniors; free for children under 5
- Bauman’s Harvest Festival: O.K., I know we’re covering the PDX area here…but seriously, getting a tip from one of the folks at Eyes on Broadway (a top eyeglass and optometrist shop in Portland (no bias here!)), I was clued into the Bauman Harvest Festival. Wow is all I can say. Also known for their hard apple cider (growing in popularity nationally), the number of activities at this Fall festival, which began on September 24 and runs through Halloween night sets a very high mark. Having received the 2016 Gold Award for Best Fall Festival in the Mid Valley, I do think this place deserves a trip down south. There so many cool things to do at Bauman’s (over 30 attractions), there are just too many to list…so just trust me and visit their site. Check the video they produced below as well, you will be amazed. Needless to say, having already hit Bi-Zi’s last weekend, I just texted my wife that, yep, we’re going to have to do it all over again.
Video Courtesy: Bauman FarmsHours:
Mon – Fri: 9am to 6pm*
Sat: 9am to 6pm
Sun: 9am to 5pm
12989 Howell Prairie Rd. NE
Gervais, OR 97026
Phone: (503) 792-3524
Pricing: General Admission of $5 and choice of an Unlimited Activity Wristband at $12 per person OR you can do ticketed activities where one ticket equals $1.
Directions: Click Here. (FYI: it’s near the Factory Outlet Mall close to Woodburn).
- Bella Organic: Now, let’s roll back north to Portland. At one of the great, organic farms in the area, Bella Organic has not only created a great mix of pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay ride fun…they are also mixing in the Portland Timbers! Indeed, Bella’s corn maze (above) is a celebration of the Portland Timber’s 2015 MLS Cup win. And with their location close-in, soccer fan or not, this is a great place to stoke your (and that of your kids) Halloween spirit! To boot, the maze is free! Additional cool stuff includes food and beer vendors and a wide variety of other Fall activities (including duck races ;).
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
$7/adults (13 & up); $5/ seniors & children (6-12); free for 5 & under
Additional activities available (cash only)
Haunted Maze: $12/all ages
Combo Pass (Both Haunted & Rip City (regular) Maze): $17
Website: See it here at http://bellaorganic.com/pumpkin-patch/
- Bi-Zi Farms: Going back 20 years, Bi-Zi Farms began with a small pumpkin patch and a single wagon that took guests to and fro. Back then they also had a small petting zoo. Today, well, like many other farms in the area, they’ve taken things to a new level. In fact, just this last weekend I had the chance to visit Bi-Zi and I was definitely impressed. From the fresh apple cider (made in front of you) to the pumpkin launcher to the GIGANTIC corn maze, Bi-Zi means business. Also featuring excellent bluegrass music, a fantastic pumpkin patch (featuring orange, white and various shades of green pumpkins!), this place makes for a great Halloween day. Additional features include a petting zoo, calf roping (mock for little kids), a hay pyramid and one free pumpkin…well, you can’t go wrong. You can probably tell I really like this place! To boot, their corn maze goes into “nightime mode” on Fridays and Saturdays.
9504 NE 119th St.
$10/3 & up; $8/seniors; free for 2 & under
Contact & Website: bizifarms.com
The Haunted House Scene
So, let’s continue here with haunted houses. Depending on your age, haunted houses are either “right on” for a night out, too spooky to contemplate (as with kids sub 6 or 7) or totally passé. That said, if you’re at all like me, well, these things are just pure fun…especially if you can accompany someone who gets scared much easier than you. Nothing like enjoying another’s discomfort (I mean that in the best of terms). Or, perhaps it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend thing where one is still afraid of the dark? Either way, there are some truly eerie options in and around PDX that must be considered. Here’s a short list of just a few great ones:
- Frighttown: Claiming to be the “only Hollywood-quality haunted house in the Portland area, ” and located in the Rose Quarter in downtown PDX, this year’s Frighttown should be very legit. In the words of one promoter, “Three haunted attractions for one ticket! More zombie mayhem in THE CONTAGION II: BLOOD FEVER! Our all new haunted house inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, THE MADNESS! And of course, you can always count on an ever-changing crop of oddities and entities at BARON VON GOOLO’S MUSEUM OF HORRORS!” Frighttown is the real deal when it comes to haunted houses. Large, complex, highly-detailed…and downright bone chilling. Even the most “skilled” haunted house attendee will want to check their ego at the door. No doubt Frighttown’s excellent ratings (8.64 out of 10) are well-earned. This 40,000 square foot spook center isn’t to miss.
Video courtesy: Baron Von Goolo
Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon, 97227
One regular admission to FrightTown at the Rose Quarter is $22 for all ages. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Just call the Rose Quarter Ticket Office at 503.963.4400. Only groups wishing to purchase premium SPEED DEMON passes may reserve tickets for 10/17, 10/18, 10/24 and 10/25/14. Be sure to check out their website for full ticket information AND their coupon deals.
- Fearlandia: Borrowing off of the cult T.V. show Portlandia, Fearlandia is a new installment in the local scream scene. Opening on October 7th, there are no reviews posted just yet. That said, I like what I see on their website, which describes a “hospital gone all wrong.” Fearlandia Hospital sounds like a place you may check into but never leave. Best to approach with caution. Check it out and post a review!
Video courtesy: Tim Devlaeminck
16255 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Tigard, OR, 97224
7pm to 11 pm (Fri, Sat only)
Sunday Oct 23 we will close at 10 pm
Admission Costs: General $20
Payments Accepted: Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards