Every fall, American families living in Hohenfels, Grafenwoer, and Vilseck go to their local expat Facebook groups to ask, “where can we go pumpkin picking in Germany?” Friends, I’m here to let you in on a Bavarian expat secret: Jerry’s Pumpkin Patch.
Jerry’s Pumpkin Patch is a beautiful pumpkin patch that’s an easy drive from Hohenfels, Vilseck, and Graf. The pumpkin patch is 4.8 acres, and is in Litzlohe, Germany — sort of near Neumarkt an der Oberpfalz. It’s owned by a long-term American expat family. They’ve been in Germany since 1982, and have had nine of their ten kids in Germany. Pretty neat story, isn’t it?
Jerry’s family plants 14,000 pumpkin seeds every season by hand over 35 rows of pumpkin patch. Once the seeds are planted, they do some things with a tractor, some by hand, and they leave nature to take care of the rest. Apparently, when there isn’t a lot of sun in the growing season, Jerry’s pumpkins end up being green instead of orange. How cool!
Great for Families & Groups
Jerry’s is open all season to families, but they can also accomodate groups. If your kids’ school, scouting group, or youth group is looking for a fun outing, Jerry’s can bring them in for a pumpkin-picking day. They can even arrange refreshments and hayrides if you let them know in advance.
My Tips for Jerry’s Pumpkin Patch
We went to Jerry’s late in the season in 2014, and came home with several wonderful pumpkins. We had a great experience, took some pretty pictures, and made some really good family memories. We also decided that when we go back this year, we’ll do a few things differently. Here are my tips for your first trip to Jerry’s:
- Bring an extra pair of shoes for everyone in your family, because it can get really muddy!
- Bring plastic bags to put your dirty shoes into when you’re ready to head home.
- It’s also helpful to bring bags to put your pumpkins in. Since they’re fresh from the vine, they’ll have clumps of mud and dirt on them that you might not want to get on the inside of your car.
- Wear shoes with good tread (mud is slippery), and don’t wear light-colored or fancy clothes — especially pants.
- Bring your camera! The pumpkin patch is a beautiful place to take a few candid family photos, and last year they even had a few hay bales set up for you to use as a photo backdrop!
Pumpkin Patch Hours
Jerry’s will be open for the 2015 season on Saturday, September 19th. In future seasons, just check their website in August to see when that year’s opening weekend will be.
The pumpkin patch is open every day, including Sundays and American and German holidays, but there are no hayrides or refreshments on Sundays.
Pumpkin Patch Location
Jerry’s is about 30 minutes from Parsberg, 45 minutes from Vilseck, and an hour from Grafenwoehr.
If you’d like to use your GPS to find the pumpkin patch, be aware that you’ll see the patch about 1 km before your GPS thinks you should. Watch for the signs with the pumpkins on them!
Litzlohe, Lohweg 7
I’d also highly recommend reading the detailed directions on Jerry’s website. They list the turn-by-turn directions from all of the area’s US Army installations, so you should have an easy time finding directions from your duty station.
Add Wolfstein CSstle Ruins to Make it a Day Trip!
If you want to make your pumpkin patch trip even more fun, consider adding a little visit to the Wolfstein Castle Ruins to your day trip! Wolfstein Castl Ruins, or Burgruine Wolfstein, is about fifteen minutes away from the pumpkin patch, just on the outskirts of Nuemarkt an der Oberpfalz.
Read more! My visit to Wolfstein Castle Ruins in Nuemarkt, Germany.
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