Without changing leaves and crisp air, we Valley dwellers rely on other harbingers to let us know autumn has arrived.
You know it’s fall around here when, for example, Four Peaks Brewing Company releases its Pumpkin Porter beer. Sun Devil football gets earnest. And Schnepf Farms’ Pumpkin and Chili Party gives us a place to welcome harvest season in the desert.
The folksy fete, open through the end of the month, embodies everything there is to love in a fall festival, from a pumpkin patch, hay rides and pig races to corn mazes, a petting zoo and a pumpkin launcher.
New on the farm this year are two giant, in-ground air pillows that let kids and adults bounce high into the air.
One of our favorite traditions, the after-sundown marshmallow roasts, are included with admission, as are fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
Expect to pay extra for optional pumpkins, candle-making, train and pony rides, and food, served outside from the farm’s giant grills.
DETAILS >> 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays in October. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. $16 per person at the gate, free for children younger than 2. Tickets are available at a $3 discount from Fry’s Food Stores. (480) 987-3100 or SchnepfFarms.com.
Photo: Schnepf Farms' pumpkin patch in Queen Creek