Arata’s Pumpkin Farm entertains visitors through the fall season


Austin Brazil

Arata’s Pumpkin Farm truck just outside the historic barn, described as “crucial to getting the full Arata experience,” by visitor Shane Greenfeld.

Excitement, fear, confusion, these emotions are all attainable when visiting Arata’s Pumpkin Farm.

From the festive decorations to the farm animals to the most significant attraction, The Labyrinth, the two-acre maze that has gained the farm national attention, Arata’s is a go-to spot for anyone who can visit during the Halloween season.

Arata’s Pumpkin Farm holds a lot of history and is very important to the locals of Half Moon Bay. The farm has been open for almost 100 years. The pumpkin farm originated in the 1930s during the great depression; a couple stopped by the farm and bought two pumpkins that the children had brought to the farm. From there, the business began and has continued thriving for 89 years.

Arata’s Pumpkin Farm was established in 1932; however, the maze was built 15 years ago, and since then has continued to be a massive attraction to those near and far. The maze features many different paths, turns, and tricks, often leaving visitors confused no matter how many times they visit.

“I have been coming here since they started doing the maze, and I still get lost every time,” said Half Moon Bay resident Kathy Harborough.

An overhead view of the notorious Labyrinth Maze. (Austin Brazil)

The maze gets its name from the original Labyrinth in ancient Greece, and the owner of the farm Chris Gounalakis wanted to create a similar experience.

“I wanted to introduce it here about 15 years ago to show the public what it would be to be stuck in a labyrinth like this,” Gounalakis said.

In addition to the hay maze, the farm offers attractions such as a historical barn tour, a haunted barn, a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, and hayrides. Tickets for these attractions can be purchased online or in person. The attractions range from $5, being the train ride, all the way up to $30 for a night ticket to the maze. The farm also provides all-access passes for visitors, ranging from $35-$45, which gives visitors full access to all attractions at the farm.

“The all-access pass was a really good value for me and my kids; we went to all the attractions and had such a fun day,” said the mother of two, Shane Greenfeld.

The annual event is highly anticipated for people in the area every year and continues to have enormous success year after year. Visitors hope the farm stays open due to its unique qualities.

“You can’t get an experience like Arata’s Pumpkin Farm anywhere else,” Greenfeld said.