My kids always love this time of year. They like wandering around the pumpkin patch looking for just the right pumpkin. My oldest always wants the biggest, of course, and I always want the prettiest. It seems like my middle boys are always looking for the most grotesque looking pumpkins, and we always pick the smallest one we can find for the baby. It is a family tradition for us to pick pumpkins together, and I bet we aren’t the only ones. If you want to start your own tradition, or if you just want to have a little fall fun, here are a few local patches to check out.

Missoula Maze – They don’t just offer a maze made from maize, they also offer a terrific pumpkin patch too! This is located at 1010 Clements Road and is open on Sundays from noon to 9 p.m., Tuesdays form 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pumpkin patch opens on Oct. 4. For more information go to

Missoula Alliance Church – This local church offers “The Great Pumpkin Patch” It is located at 100 East Foss Court and is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and all other days from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The pumpkin patch is open from Oct. 12 through Oct. 31. For more information go to

Grocery Stores – Many local grocery stores offer pumpkin patches of their own. These pumpkins are no longer on the vine, but they still offer an assortment of sizes and weights. Just keep your eyes peeled when doing your grocery shopping. The blocked off area of the parking lot filled with pumpkins will be hard to miss.

I hope this helps you and your family find your perfect pumpkins this year!

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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