With Halloween right around the corner, thoughts of witches, pirates, bags-full of candy and of course jack-o-lanterns fill children and parents’ minds a-like. In a follow up to my pumpkin patch write up from a few years ago. Here a few tips for those of you headed out to pumpkin patches over the next few weeks.
- Don’t pick your pumpkins too early in the season. Pumpkins are living things after all and if you pick them too soon they will be stinking piles of mush long before your munchkins can take a knife to them. Either that or they will just be too soft to carve. Don’t wait too long either, the closer you get to Halloween the less choice there is and if it’s been rainy (which is fairly common) the pumpkins start to get soggy sitting in the fields.
- Try to head to the pumpkin patch during ”non-peak” times. Obviously weekends are the busiest but be mindful of when bus loads of school kids on field trips might also be showing up. I recommend mid afternoon during the week to avoid crowds. Of course check websites or call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
- Don’t get carried away. It’s easy to get excited (we’ve done this several times) when picking your future jack-o-lanterns and end up with too big or too many pumpkins. Little ones tire quickly of cleaning pumpkin guts and some of the fun of carving your pumpkins will be lost. Try not to chose the biggest pumpkins in the patch but something you can picture your kids being able to clean and carve (with help). Also, don’t pick too many as carving pumpkins is time consuming and you- know- who ends up doing all the work once the kids get tired.
- Have fun. Put on your boots and old jeans. Let the kids get dirty as they wander the muddy fields finding that ”perfect” one. It’s usually a good idea to bring cash as some places don’t take interac or credit cards. Also, bring a bag to carry pumpkins and to protect the trunk of your car. Don’t forget your camera either.
For more information here are the links to a few local and very popular pumpkin patches. Most have additional activities but also charge admission (which may or may not include a pumpkin): Laity Pumpkin Patch, Country Pumpkin Patch, Aldor Acres, Apple Barn, Maan Farms, Petey’s Pumpkin Patch.