By Alicia Dziak
Going to Pumpkinville each fall has been a tradition for me and my girls for years now. When they were little, I’d organize group outings with their friends after school— we’d head there for a tour and pick out pumpkins from the patch. As they got older, after school schedules jammed up with sports and other activities, and finding times that worked for everyone became harder. But we still managed to break away, once every fall, to visit their favorite pumpkin farm.
Now my girls are 11 and 13, and while they’ve outgrown some of the activities they used to like, they still beg me to take them to Pumpkinville, as it’s the highlight of the pre-Halloween season.
Every year, Pumpkinville regulars know that there is always something new to do. This year, it’s the Pumpkinville Express and the partnership with Peanuts Worldwide. On our visit last weekend, our first stop was (as it usually is) the corn maze, which this year, is carved out with a Snoopy design, although you can really only see that from above. As we headed inside, we got a Bingo card with scratch-off spaces, similar to a lottery ticket. Inside the maze, we were challenged to find various “stations” throughout the maze and then had to scratch off certain spaces on the card. Once complete, we made our way back out and returned the card to the beginning and enter a drawing to win a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm.
“I like the Bingo format and having something to look for inside the maze instead of just trying to find the exit,” stated Lily, my 11-year-old.
“I like that they change the activities for the corn maze every year,” my 13-year-old, Ava, added.
Next, we headed to the tractor-drawn hay ride, which takes guests down a path and by the pumpkin patch. There’s something comforting about cuddling up to your older kids on a chilly fall day.
All this activity made us work up an appetite. We grabbed some pumpkin donuts from the bake shop and a cup of hot cider from the cider barn and found a seat on a bench. We talked about how good everything tasted and what we were going to do next.
Decision made. It was time for the Jumpin’ Pillows, a favorite since they added them a few years back. We always have to reminisce about the time they got to be in a Pumpkinville commercial they year the pillows debuted, jumping away with some other kids and yelling “Pumpkinville is for kids!” into the cameras.
As we approached, the girls asked if they were too old to do them this year. I said no way. Off they went jumping away on these air-bag pillows, giggling like they’ve done ever year since they were installed there.
“I like how Pumpkinville has different activities for different ages,” said Ava, using the two separate jumping pillows for older and younger kids as the example.
Next it was time to shop, but first we needed to stop at each and every photo cutout dotting the property and pose for pics. The favorite is probably still the pumpkin that reads “How Tall This Fall.”
“I like the pumpkin growth chart because every time you go, you can see how much you’ve grown since the last time,” Ava told me.
I agree—how cool is it to see how tall your kids have grown each year? We have a collection of these photos in front of this same growth chart, and it makes me happy and yes, a little sad.
After squatting down into the cutouts the girls once had to stand on their tip toes to get into, we are ready for some shopping. We grabbed some pickles and dilly beans from one of the shops, and some maple cotton candy from the all-things-maple stand. We picked out a medium-sized $9 bag and filled it with a variety of apples. I grabbed a butternut squash to make for dinner one of these nights when I might have a few minutes to make an actual dinner.
“I love going to Pumpkinville every year because there’s a lot of stuff to do and you don’t get bored,” Lily said.
As we headed back to the car, the girls thanked me for taking them and talked about how fun it was. Something that didn’t cost a fortune that you can enjoy with your tween and teen daughters? Yes, this is exactly why we will visit Pumpkinville every year! It’s the perfect place to enjoy quality family time and make lasting memories. If you’ve never been, give it a try before they close for the season.
For more info, visit www.pumpkinville.com.