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Two In Tow & On The Go: An autumn adventure at Harbor Farms

Posted on October 6th, 2023 By:

Big news!

Clara got glasses!

And I have pink hair!

And, oh yeah, Rosedale’s all-new Harbor Farms is now open with a delightful family-friendly roster of things to do — including a pumpkin patch!

Just after the last golden days of summer officially slipped into the crispness of autumn (and forced me to put on a jacket), Harbor Farm opened its gates on Sept. 29. I reserved three tickets for opening day.

The 90-minute reservation got us into the pumpkin patch, uphill (but not too uphill) to the big red barn and petting zoo, and a short ‘lil mosey on over to the western town play area that looks straight out of a kids’ museum. An Instagram-worthy rainbow tractor barrel ride, pumpkins, and merchandise are also available for additional fees. We tried all three extras, and the kids even bought their own candied apples.

Dirt began to move on the farm in 2022, when Gig Harbor residents Justin and Lauren Himenes bought five acres of what was once described as a longtime homestead that had fallen into years of disrepair. The cute family, which also owns franchise locations of Round Table Pizza and Cutters Point Uptown, chronicled their progress in transforming the land and whatever structures remained. With their kiddos, the family covered swirls of black and blue graffiti lettering with swipes of bright red paint on the old barn walls, cleared entire swaths of tangled overgrowth from the hillside all the way down to the road, and lined walkways with charming split rail fencing (careful, though, Clara got a little splinter).

The Himenes fam also welcomed in new farm animal friends. Two of which, might I add, just happen to be the very first Highland Cows I’ve ever seen in real life! (Sadly, my other fluffy cow faves only reside on my Pinterest boards.) If you didn’t know Highland Cattle is an extra special breed sporting shaggy hair, long horns, and a certain hardiness that only comes from surviving the rugged terrain of the rocky Scottish Highlands across the pond. Harbor’s Highlands are named Beth and Rip and they’re oh-so-cute with their sweeping pageant lashes and endearing teddy bear ears.

The Pumpkin Patch

The pumpkin patch goes from Friday to Sunday through the end of October. Harbor Farms charges admission, (I’m referring you back to their website for prices in case they change) and as I mentioned above, entrance is by reservation only. You can book your timeslot right on their website, which is handy for busy parents.

The pumpkins there are stacked in piles, lined up near the parking lot, and framed the bases of trees, all around the acreage near the parking lot. There are lots of colors and varieties to choose from. Whether they’re your typical orange pumpkin or white, pink, or even a smokey blue-green, the gourds are all sold by weight and marked with their respective per-pound pricing on the display signage. (Click on any of the small images below to see a gallery of photos.)

Barrel Rides

When we went, the Barrel Rides picked the kids up right on the lower end of the property across from the entrance, still within the pumpkin patch. I can already tell the barrel rides are going to be a fan favorite! They look super sturdy, are colorful, and have neat car navigation stickers inside on “the dash.” Clara and Wyatt both snagged a red barrel seat in the back while other kids filled up the green, yellow, blue, and pink seats up front. Later, I saw a few parents ride inside a barrel seat with smaller kids on their laps.


Up The Hill

The owners here have taken great care to decorate all the parts of the walkway leading up to the second half of their amenities, offering fun photo stops along the way. There are haystacks to plop down on for quick group selfies and even a vintage vehicle to pose with. Chin up, though, because you’ll be able to see peek-a-boo looks of the petting zoo along the way since it’s located right at the top.

The Petting Zoo

This spring we were finally able to see what we had been planning in our heads,” the couple wrote online about their land’s renovation. “And (we) put in a split rail fence to section off our future area for customers and our petting zoo.” The petting zoo is anchored by the red barn, along with two additional buildings (although I never figured out what they’re used for – maybe a chicken coop and mini barn?) marked the “Chick-Inn” and the “Goat-el.” It’s in this entire fenced in area where you’ll find extra-nice goats, chickens, a turkey Clara couldn’t stop following, and the amazing Highland Cows of course! Fun fact, you can read all about the animals’ individual species and even their cute little names right on the farm’s website! There’s also an outdoor sign on site for all the animal introductions.

Western Town Play Area

I thought the animals would be the kids’ favorite part of the farm – but turns out it was this adorable creation! The wooden town is life-size, featuring three themed buildings for a saloon, general store, and jail. Their doorways were tall enough for me to walk through. And, the indoor spaces were outfitted with enough toys and themed furniture to make the kids want to stay forever! While Clara and I admired the cows, Sheriff Wyatt even staked a claim on his newfound post to play cowboy a little longer.

I thought it was so cool that they had cowboy hats for kids to try on in the rooms — something my kids immediately went for. Other props were real iron skeleton keys (but no locks, luckily) for the jail bars, a serving counter playing restaurant with wooden pizzas at the saloon, and a plastic rolling cart of plastic veggies to collect from window bins at the general store. The yard outside also had a couple of plastic haybale steers to lasso with rope, as well as a couple of bouncy toys.

Overall, Harbor Farms is a hit! It had a great mix of interactive and outdoor stuff to keep my 7- and 9-year-old interested, and none of the crazy circus shenanigans of the more commercialized pumpkin patches that draw huge crowds this time of year. I’m excited to see what the new business setup will be after Halloween when they open up their farm tours, field trips, and birthday party packages.

See ya there!







Harbor Farms

7777 Rosedale St. NW


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