The fall season means that Pa’s Pumpkin Patch is back at its home base on E. Pacific Coast Highway! As longtime RMT’ers already know, we love Pa’s and have for a long, long, LONG time. But there are a lot of changes this year that you should know about before you head on down.
First, this year’s Pa’s Groupon for an unlimited ride wristband doubled in price from $15 last year to $30 this season. These bands allow kids to ride to their heart’s content on the day you activate it (pony rides limited to one per customer; no merchandise, games, or food/drink concessions included). While on the surface the doubling of the pricing makes you go, “WHAT?!” trust me when I say that it’s still a steal of a deal. I’ll get to that later.
In addition, tickets also have appeared to increase in price. A sheet of 10 cost $15 last season and increased to $20 this year (making each ticket $2 on the 20-ticket deal). Individual tickets are $2.25 each this season (which may be the same, but I honestly cannot remember since I didn’t buy them last season either). And 30 tickets will set you back $50 this year ($1.66 per ticket, or their “best value”).
I blame the ticket increases on one thing: “Pa” passed away earlier this year, and the folks now running the place (still in the family, I’m fairly certain) are a bit more business-minded. Honestly, I can’t blame them. That piece of property they operate on is some prime real estate; their costs can’t be cheap, and, well, those costs will and have to be passed along to customers to keep things operating and profitable. Though it’s a family-run business, it is still a business and why they’ve been around as a pumpkin patch and/or Christmas tree lot for 40-plus years. It’s just too bad that this wonderful and longtime local tradition now has been priced out of a lot of family’s budgets as the years go by.
That brings be back to the Groupon and/or any other discounts that one manages to find around town and on the interwebs. While the time’s passed already this season to buy the Pa’s Groupon, I found a few other deals here, here, and even on the Pa’s website directly. No, they are not flash-sale level quality discounts, but it’s something!
We went to Pa’s on Monday for about 90 minutes. Here’s what T did, and he wasn’t even running around like he normally does We went on a Monday after school and before the dinner hour also, which means no lines either. I’ll list the ride, how many individual tickets one ride costs, how many times T rode, how many total tickets each ride, and a total per individual ticket at a cost of $2.25 per…
Inflatable Slide (1 ticket per ride) x 3 = 3 tickets for $6.75
Train (2 tickets per ride) x 2 = 4 tickets for $9
Castle of Mirrors (1 ticket per ride) x 6 = 6 tickets for $13.50
Rollercoaster (3 tickets per ride) x 3 = 9 tickets for $20.25
City Cars (2 tickets per ride) x 2 = 4 tickets for $9.00
Pirate Ship (1 ticket per ride) x 2 = 2 tickets for $4.50
Bounce Castle (2 tickets per entry) x 2 = 4 tickets for $9.00
Pony Ride (3 tickets per ride, limit one pony ride per wristband) = 3 tickets for $6.75
“Candy Cane” Scrambler (2 tickets per ride) x 1 = 2 tickets for $4.50
Total if we’d bought ticket-by-ticket: 37 tickets for $83.25 (or a best potential deal of $65.75 using Pa’s “best value” bulk buy of $50 for 30 tickets plus 7 additional tickets at $2.25 each for $15.75).
So even if we’d taken Pa’s up on their “best value,” it doesn’t even come close to the Groupon offering of $30.
And next week, we’re going back to the patch as T’s school offered its families and students a special offer: $25 for each unlimited ride wristband. Though a bit more restricted in use (the bands are for a one night event only), this is an even better rate than the Groupon offer! While the school told us that it’s not the best deal they’ve gotten in seasons’ past either, it’s still a longtime tradition they wished to continue for families, and we are so glad they did. I encourage other local schools to inquire with their PTA or school site about partnering with Pa’s as either a small fundraising opportunity or a family “spirit building” night out. I mean, you’ll probably wind up going anyway, right? Might as well get a deal when you do!
See you again next week, Pa’s!
I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for more deals at Pa’s and post more if I find them. RMT’ers, can you please do the same?