As families look for fun & safe fall activities, local pumpkin patch sees growth

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CREEDMOOR, Texas (KXAN) — Some local pumpkin patches are stepping in to offer fun and safe fall activities during the pandemic– and they’re seeing growth.

“For the last couple of years, I’ve had a dream to do a pumpkin patch,” says Mary Tristan, owner of Mama Mary’s Farm and Pumpkin patch in Creedmoor.

So, when the pandemic hit, Tristan plowed through, anyway, along with some precautions that didn’t necessarily come to mind two years ago.

“Naturally the face mask, washing your hands, keeping your hands off of your face and social distancing,” Tristan says.

A laminated sign at the register indicates COVID-19 safety rules at Mama Mary’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch. (KXAN Photo/Tahera Rahman)

Despite the restrictions, she says support has been overwhelming. So much so, she had to do some crowd control.

“The first weekend we were seeing about 750 and it increased to about 1,800 the next weekend and then another 2,400 the next weekend, so yeah, we were concerned that we needed to back that off a little bit,” she says.

Now, she requires online reservations for the weekend.

It’s something Tanya Melguizo and Matthew Horner appreciate.

“We knew that everybody was taking precautions and it was probably going to be a safe bet for us to come,” Melguizo says.

The CDC puts pumpkin patches as a moderate risk activity, saying it’s safer than traditional, door-to-door trick or treating but not as safe as carving or decorating pumpkins outside with neighbors or friends from a safe distance.

Still, Melguizo and Horner say they’re glad for a normal fall activity–even if it does look a little different.

“We’re all staying home and I’m working from home as well, so we knew that we needed something to just get out and stay sane,” Melguizo says.

Although the CDC lists pumpkin patches as a moderate risk activity, they also say going on hayrides or tractor rides with people outside of your household is considered a high-risk activity.

You can find the full list of the CDC’s fall activity rankings below:

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