Three generations of dedication led to the growth and development of the multipurpose Schnepf Farms family business.
The farm, developed from an initial 640-acre purchase of dull Arizona desert land, has grown into a destination for families, foodies and, during the Halloween season, pumpkins.
“The whole idea is really to preserve the farm,” owner Mark Schnepf says. “We want to preserve this farm for future generations. We want to have a place where families can come and make amazing memories and have lots of fun.”
Not only has the Schnepf family been successful in preserving their farm, but the family was also an integral part of conserving Queen Creek as the town it is today.
Schnepf, along with several other community members, made the Queen Creek area a recognized town, as he served as the inaugural mayor.
“Queen Creek is here because a group of people, which included me, wanted to create a town so that we wouldn’t get swallowed up by neighboring towns,” Schnepf says. “Schnepf Farms is just a part of the community of Queen Creek and we love being a part of it. And the town is really supportive of what we do.”
Support from the Queen Creek and Arizona community is vital, as the farm is in full operation and open to the public ten months out of the year.
In those ten months, the farm hosts open U-Pick seasons, weddings, farm-to-table dinner events and the ever popular Pumpkin and Chili Party.
“We created this event to bring people out to the farm, and it became phenomenally successful,” Schnepf says. “We have about 100,000 visitors just in the month of October.”
Attendees to the amplified pumpkin patch will be immersed in the hilarity of fall with more than just pumpkins and corn mazes. The 22nd annual event has evolved to include amusement rides, pig races, bonfires and an array of fresh foods.
With the amount of success Schnepf farms has had, its story has not always been the same. The farm has endured both success and failure to be built into the attraction it is today.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride for the farm,” Schnepf says.
But the ups and downs have led Schnepf Farms to develop into one of the largest agritainment farms in the U.S.
Schnepf Farms, 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, Open Dates: Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., schnepffarms.com.
Want to go overboard on fall fun? Here are a few other pumpkin patches to experience in the Valley to fill all your corn maze, hay ride and pumpkin needs:
Address: 5726 N. 75th Avenue, Glendale
Open Dates: Tuesday to Sunday, September 30 to November 5
Address: 26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Open Dates: Wednesday to Monday, October 1 to October 31
Price: $10 to $12
CROOKED SKY FARMS
Address: 19601 W. Broadway Road, Buckeye
Open Dates: Friday to Sunday, October 7 to October 29
Price: $9 to $10