The drive to Dunnellon is about an hour and a half from South Orlando but completely worth it. We always combine it with a trip to see the waterfalls at beautiful Rainbow Springs State Park, which is only about 15 minutes away.
The main attraction at the Pickin' Patch is the pumpkin patch. This is no small pumpkin patch. They grow both regular and specialty pumpkins and the patches stretch as far as your eye can see.
The employees recommended we go on the hay ride first, which goes around the perimeter of the field, to get an idea of where all the biggest clusters of pumpkins are. My daughter, however, had her heart set on finding the perfect pumpkin right away so she hopped in one of the free wagons they provide and off we headed to the pumpkin patch.
The Pickin' patch is stroller friendly, however, I would think it would be a little hard to push a stroller through the patch. There are plenty of wagons available (with or without hay in them) so I recommend leaving the stroller behind and using one of them if you can. Make sure you also grab a pair of pumpkin cutters/shears before you head out to the patch so you can cut your perfect pumpkin off the vine and check out the price list as you exit the tent.
After she selected the perfect pumpkin my daughter headed straight for the hay slides. There are two slides reserved for children only. My daughter climbed up the hay bales and slid down the two slides into the hay over and over. These slides seemed to be a hit with children of all ages!
The Pickin' Patch also has a small slide that is just for kids four and under. My daughter went down in but very much preferred the big slides. I'm sure if she was younger she would've loved the small slide as well though. It was new this year and when she was younger she was a bit wary of the large hay slides.
Next to the small slide is a small hay maze. My daughter had fun finding her way through. The hay maze is small and short enough that it is perfect for little ones to get lost in. My daughter found her way out quickly but wanted to go back in a second time to explore all of the pathways and dead ends.
In addition to the regular pumpkin patch the Pickin' Patch also has a pumpkin patch with ornamental pumpkins (we saw lots of big white ones!), a small sunflower garden where you can cut your own sunflowers, and a gourd patch where you can cut your own gourds. The gourd patch has a little gourd tunnel in front of it. You can't cut any gourds growing in the tunnel but it is worth a walk through to see all the gourds growing down from the roof.
We let my daughter play on the slides for a while before calling it a day and heading into the tent to pay for our pumpkin. Inside the tent there are lots and lots of fun fall photo spots set up. Professional photography is not allowed but we were able to get plenty of nice shots of our family on our own.
We had a great time at the Pickin' Patch and have made it an annual tradition. I am so glad we found a true pumpkin patch where my daughter can have the experience of finding the perfect pumpkin and cutting it off the vine even though we live in the state of Florida!