The news is forever full of stories about how kids nowadays can’t tell a pear from a potato and that they think pasta grows on trees and milk is made in the supermarket. Well if you’d like to make sure your children know that pumpkins grow in the great outdoors, rather than appearing by magic in the shop, why not take them to pick their own?
That’s what we did this weekend when we were invited along to visit this year’s Pumpkin Festival at Piglets Adventure Farm Park. Jumping on the tractor and heading out to the giant pumpkin patch was a definite highlight for our kids (aged almost 6, 3 and almost 1). They loved listening to the commentary and spotting the woodland creatures on the journey and then choosing which pumpkins to take home with us from the groaning orange pumpkin patch (a free pumpkin is included in the price for each child). This isn’t a task for the indecisive – we took so long to choose that our boy was genuinely worried we’d be left behind. Top tip: you might want to do the pumpkin patch towards the end of your visit otherwise you’ll be lugging them around with you, unless you take them back to the car. If you’re feeling creative, you can carve your pumpkin in the carving tent, which has the added bonus of leaving the mess behind.
The pumpkin fun doesn’t stop there. The pumpkin slingshot brought out the competitive side of Mr Viking, who couldn’t believe it could be so hard to hit a massive target with a vegetable. Ditto the corn cannon, but it didn’t stop him trying. Having children who find Tom & Jerry a bit scary, we gave the Creepy Cottage a miss as it’s not for the faint-hearted. But if you’re up for a fright, give it a go. Speaking of frights, there’s a gorilla in residence at Piglets for Halloween (call off the RSPCA: he’s not real) and the finale of his show will have young children cowering behind their parents’ legs. For once we all went out dressed in our normal clothes, but if you go in your best ghoulish outfit, don’t miss the daily fancy dress parade (3pm). During half term there’ll be witches doing spooky storytelling too. If they’re anything like they were last year, it’ll be really entertaining and not to be missed. Our son – unfortunately – still remembers some of their terrible jokes.
Halloween aside, we had a great time doing all the things that Piglets does well at every time of year. Crazy golf is a family favourite, as is the barrel ride, seeing the animals (especially the cute piglets – anyone broody should avoid!) and going in circles on the go-karts. Our three year old built a massive castle in the sandpit and the baby laughed her head off on some of the little ride-on animals in the play area.
We went just after lunch so didn’t need to eat, but there’s a good selection of quality hot food as well as plenty of outdoor and covered space to eat your own. Tired parents will be grateful that there’s proper coffee and Yorkshire Tea on offer too; you’ll need the energy boost for what promises to be a spooky, fun-filled day out in the Yorkshire countryside.
The Pumpkin Festival, Piglets Adventure Farm Park, The Farmer’s Cart,Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York YO32 9ST- 17th & 18th October and everyday from 24th October to 1st November 2015 – £6.95 adult/£7.95 child (free pumpkin with every child’s ticket) – visit the website for more details
Thank you to Piglets for having us. As always, our reviews are completely independent and we will only ever recommend things that we have really enjoyed.