From mid-September to the end of October, Pumpkinville in Great Valley has been a traditional fall destination for young and old alike.
The 200-acre farm, the oldest continuously working pumpkin farm in New York State, will attract more than 100,000 visitors, making it the county’s largest tourist attraction. The farm is owned and run by Dan and Diane Pawlowski and their children, Jim and Lisa, who turn 25 acres into a combination fairground/farm market/feasting venue for kids and grownups of all ages.
Each year, Pumpkinville strives to add a new fun feature to their magic pumpkin kingdom. This year, the newest attraction is the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillows. These two giant, air-filled jumping pillows are sure to entertain young children, as well as those older folks who have never outgrown the spirit of childhood.
“Our visitors also get a big kick out the Singing Chickens,” said Dan Pawlowski. “These animatronic chickens sing, tell jokes and put a smile on everyone’s face.”
A full show runs every half hour, but a short series of jokes are available at the push of a button.
Of course, the popular old favorites are back as well, including the restored Hayrides, the Corn Cannon, Goat Mountain, the Cow Train, Gem Mining and Storyland. Visit the enlarged 6-acre Corn Maze, one of the largest in the U.S., to find messages and win prizes.
On weekends in October, weather permitting, take a helicopter ride and see the gorgeous fall foliage from above.
Pumpkinville also offers lots of delicious food including homemade pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, old-fashioned kettle corn, pumpkin ice cream, caramel sauce and caramel apples, fudge (two new flavors — butterscotch and strawberry), jam, maple products, homemade peanut butters, almond butter, and much more. Topping the list is their famous pumpkin donuts made fresh daily.
“We’ve got people across the country asking us to ship those donuts to them,” said Mr. Pawlowski.
The Pumpkinville Grill, Chicken BBQ, Ice Cream Factory, and Di’s Pies & Bake Shoppe all are filled with goodies like hot dogs, chili, pumpkin soup, Italian sausage, been on weck, curly fries, sweets and more.
Fall apples, of course, are another main attraction, with all the most popular varieties to take home in bags or bushels. Pumpkinville makes its own freshly pressed cider in the 1870s antique cider mill, which you can tour and see how the process works from beginning to end. You can even take cider home in gallon or half-gallon jugs.
And don’t forget the main attraction — pumpkins! Guess the weight of a giant pumpkin and watch artists carve these beautiful orange giants. There’s also a vast array of pumpkins — from small to behemoth — presorted, or pick your own, to take home for cooking and carving. You may even find one weighing more than you! Also, check out edible and decorative squashes, Indian corn and gourds for seasonal decorating.
Pink Pumpkin Weekend is Sept. 21–22 and features 3 acres of specially developed pink pumpkins, along with pink-themed merchandise and activities including pumpkin painting and entertainment. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Western New York.
Pumpkinville will also participate in Fall Festival Weekend, Oct. 12–14, with a variety of festivities each day.
Pumpkinville is just minutes from Ellicottville at 4844 Sugartown Rd., off Route 98 in Great Valley, and is open daily from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. through Oct. 31. Admission is free and there is ample parking. Dogs are welcome if on a leash and well mannered.
For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com or call (716) 699-2205.