[Updated August 2016]
Ready to see a 2,000-pound pumpkin? Or a cannon that shoots pumpkins hundreds of feet in the air? Here are five of our favorite pumpkin festivals happening this autumn…
Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival (Clarence, NY)
Clarence rolls out its red — or maybe orange — carpet each fall for the Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival. The event is akin to a county fair, and you can expect plenty of food stalls with kettle corn, turkey legs, and cotton candy. For the season’s best flavors, The Pumpkin Palace Bakery serves up pumpkin pies, cookies, and other desserts. And don’t miss the immersive “FSI: Farm Scene Investigation” experience, which includes a corn maze. Download the app to mark your progress through the maze, and get interactive sounds and animations.
September 17 through October 31; free on weekdays, $7 per person on weekends.
Autumn at the Arboretum (Dallas, TX)
Each year, the Dallas Arboretum transforms into a fall village with the help of more than 50,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash — along with the 150,000 blooming flower varieties that you’ll always find onsite. Pumpkin-lined pathways and pumpkin-adorned huts decorate the village. We suggest giving yourself the better part of a day to partake in all the scavenger hunts and hay maze adventures.
September 17 through November 23; adults $15, seniors $12, children $10.
Walters’ Pumpkinfest (Burns, KS)
At this Kansas autumn festival, we can’t get enough of the PumpGun, a blaster canyon that rockets pumpkins hundreds of feet high into the air. The “Human Gerbil Wheel” is exactly what you think it is, and a couple of rides on it will work up an appetite for pumpkin salsa, pumpkin chili, and pumpkin soup — all of which are among Walters’ homemade specialties.
Starts September 17; weekdays $9, weekends $12.
Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Visit the self-proclaimed “World Pumpkin Capital” in Half Moon Bay and its Art and Pumpkin Festival. Highlights include the mammoth 1,200-plus pound pumpkins on display, the pie-eating contest, and the many stages of live music throughout the grounds. If you’re looking to bring home your own prized gourd, the pumpkin patches are well-stocked with winners, ready to become jack-o-lanterns.
October 15-16; free.
Shady Brook Farm’s Pumpkinfest (Yardley, PA)
A highlight of the fall season in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, Shady Brook Farm’s Pumpkinfest makes the most of the harvest season with its extended tribute to everything pumpkin. You can dive into the fall spirit with a ride on the farm wagon, or head straight for the store, where you can sample baked pumpkin pies, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin spiced coffee. Stick around as the sun sets for the Horror Fest at the farm.
Throughout October; weekdays $10, weekends $15.