By Jann Wiswall
Just a few miles from the Village of Ellicottville lies an expansive farm with numerous outbuildings that magically turns itself into a six-week long celebration of the pumpkin and everything else that ripens in the Fall.
Pumpkinville is a one-of-a-kind destination for the entire family. Owners Dan and Diane Pawlowski, their daughter Lisa and their daughter-in-law Missy, work year-round planning and preparing for this annual festival. And everything – from the pumpkins to the games to the mouthwatering treats – comes directly from the family’s instinctive understanding of what it means to have fun.
While in festival-mode from September 12 through October 31, 25 acres are turned into a combination fairground/farm market/feasting venue for kids and grown-ups of all ages. There are dozens of games and activities, including a cornfield maze, a corn cannon, a petting zoo, hayrides, “Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillows,” and even helicopter rides (weekends only).
This year, Dan Pawlowski said they’ve just finished testing a new activity – “Punchin’ Pumpkins,“ which he describes as a 40’x40’ fence-rail maze where you navigate through the maze, stop at four spots to punch (or tap) a pumpkin and then race for the finish line. The race is timed, and you can compete with friends, family or vie for your own personal best.
Of course, at Pumpkinville, there’s a vast array of pumpkins – from mini to enormous – to take home for cooking and carving, or you can pick your own. There’s a bountiful produce barn with a huge selection of apples, squashes and other veggies, plus Indian corn and gourds for seasonal decorating. Crafts and gift shops feature homemade fudge and caramel, pumpkin, almond and peanut butters and maple products from Moore’s Maple.
And then there’s the eats. Oh boy, are there eats!
Head on over to the picnic tables, mark your spot, and then take your pick from a menu that includes hot dogs, chili, Italian sausage, BBQ pork and chicken, pumpkin soup, beef on Weck, kettle corn, curly fries and more. But save room for dessert, because you won’t be able to resist.
There are freshly baked, truly mouth-watering pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin pies. There’s homemade pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and pumpkin fudge. There are apple choices galore, too, from apple slices drizzled with homemade caramel sauce to apple pies and freshly pressed cider.
With one or many trips to Pumpkinville this fall, you can do your weekly produce shopping, take home an entire winter’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner goodies, do some holiday shopping, fill your cellar with produce and make some memories of a fall full of fun.
There’s something for everyone at Pumpkinville. Make sure to visit any day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. between September 12 and October 31. Visit www.pumpkinville.com.
Job seekers: Pumpkinville is hiring for the season. Please stop by in person to pick up an application at 4844 Sugartown Road, Great Valley, NY 14731.