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Fall fun continues in the South Sound

Pumpkin farms and more

Avery Brundage, 8, of Tukwila, plays with her brother, Sawyer, 3, on an old red tractor during a recent visit to the Scholz Farm and pumpkin patch in Puyallup. It’s free to visit the farm, for parking and even to go through its corn maze. (JBLM PAO photo)

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You don’t have to go scary to enjoy the Halloween and harvest-time options available around the South Sound and beyond this month, and many won’t give a fright to your pocketbook.

Whether you want to dress up your children, yourself or your fur kids, take a romp in a corn maze or enjoy the taste and smells of apple cider and pumpkin donuts, there’s a nearby activity waiting to thrill the senses and put some fun in the season.

One such option is the Scholz Farm and Garden in Puyallup. It’s free to visit the fourth-generation family farm, which has a market open from April through October every year. The farm is known throughout the region for its sweet corn and farm animals, but from now through Oct. 31 the site is transformed into a Halloween-fun destination offering a massive pumpkin patch, free corn maze, painted or U-pick pumpkins and much, much more.

“We gear everything to the little people: nothing scary and nothing spooky,” said Fawnella Scholz, adding that everything, including parking, is free at the farm unless you buy something.

Scholz and her husband, Allen Scholz, own the farm, which Allen took over from his dad, Kenneth Scholz. The farm has been in the family since 1948. Fawnella is an Army and Air Force veteran, having retired in 2009 as a major after 23 years as a clinical nurse at Madigan Army Medical Center.

On the weekends, the Orting Lions Club sets up on site its concessions trailer with a host of food options, including hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos, biscuits and gravy, coffee, tea, sodas and a traditional hot pumpkin drink.

U-pick pumpkins and ghost (white) pumpkins at the farm cost 33 cents per pound. Smaller pumpkins and gourds are 75 cents each. There’s also a variety of squash for 49 cents per pound as well as painted pumpkins in the farm store for various prices.

On a recent weekday afternoon, Navy Vietnam veteran Brian Sweiven helped 8-year-old Avery Brundage, of Tukwila, Wash., pick out a perfect pumpkin for the child to purchase. Avery comes to the Scholz Farm’s pumpkin patch yearly with her mom, Tami, and siblings — 3-year-old Sawyer and 1-year-old Alder.

“It’s really fun (at the farm), and the pumpkins are really cool,” Avery said, as she helped Sawyer climb onto a large, old red tractor set up on the outskirts of the pumpkin patch.

Sweiven has managed the Halloween retail sales at the Scholz Farm for the past few decades. Since moving to Arizona three years ago, he drives up each fall to participate.

“It’s just something fun to be part of,” he said.

Mike Van Scoyoc and his friend, Maureen Soler, both of Enumclaw also are big fans of the Scholz Farm. Both said they have been coming to the farm for many years.

“I think it’s awesome,” said, as she helped Van Scoyoc load a pickup truck with a few hundred pounds worth of pumpkins and gourds they planned to use for an event at the state fairgrounds in the coming week. “There are high quality pumpkins, and it’s a wonderful place to visit. There are not too many patches where you will find all of this for free.”

In addition to the dozens of area pumpkin patches and corn mazes — many of which have entrance or parking fees — there are several events planned in coming weeks on JBLM, including some Trunk-or-Treats planned at individual brigades and the Book Patch Library’s Haunting Storytime Hour at the Lewis Main Library Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

One fun event for dog owners is the Pet Brigade Halloween Party, planned at the Pet Brigade, 4907 Pendleton Drive, across from the Lewis Army Museum on Lewis North, Oct 22. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition to pet costume contests, the event will include games for the pups such as treats-for-a-trick and bobbin’ for treats, and a chili cook off will take place for the two-legged guests. People and pets don’t need to be affiliated already with the Pet Brigade in order to participate, according to Morgan Flaig, Pet Brigade facility manager.

“All dogs are welcome, big and small,” she said.

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