One of my favorite family outings is our annual journey to Terrebonne each October to choose a pumpkin. Two great farms in the little town by Smith Rock in Central Oregon grow pumpkins each year, and then let loose eager souls to pick through the orange spheres in search of the perfect jack o’lantern to take home. It’s good fun, of course, especially with a couple of small people in tow.

But what I love best is the setting. The light in Terrebonne is amazing in October. Smith Rock’s craggy spires spike along the horizon. The air is fresh and clear, and typically much warmer than one expects from fall. We always take a camera, and always get great shots.

D&D Ranch offers a petting zoo, hayrides, hay maze, kids corral, super slide, petting zoo and pumpkin hunting, naturally. Grass-fed organic beef is for sale in the barn, along with jams and various other sundries. A fleet of Radio Flyer red wagons are available to ferry your pumpkins (or children, whichever needs the ride most) around the farm.

The Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. ups the pumpkin patch ante by building a gigantic corn maze (maize) every year. Don’t get lost—or do! This year the theme is dinosaurs. Covered wagons, pony rides and a zoo train are pretty fun, too.

Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. runs through October 31. 1250 NE Wilcox Ave., Terrebonne.

D&D Ranch runs through October 31. 3836 NE Smith Rock Way, Terrebonne.

About the Author: Kim Cooper Findling

Kim Cooper Findling grew up on the Oregon Coast but became a Central Oregon girl in the mid-90s, taking in the sunny skies and never looking back (expect a few wistful glances at the ocean). She is the editor of “Central Oregon Magazine” and the author of “Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler” and “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir.” Catch her around the state sampling microbrews, hiking river trails, taking silly pictures with her iPhone, and camping with her husband and two daughters in the family tent trailer, Brutus.

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