It’s that time of year again – the leaves are crisping, the cider slushie machines are whirring, and logs are popping in the fire pit. Autumn is such a beautiful time of year!
Here in Buffalo Niagara, nothing gets us in the autumn spirit more than visiting The Great Pumpkin Farm. Lucky for us, as of opening weekend (September 14th through 15th) festivities are now in full swing! From the food to the rides to the shops on site, The Great Pumpkin Farm provides absolute magic during the weeks leading up to Halloween. It is no surprise that this holiday paradise has been voted one of the best pumpkin farms in the country by Fodor’s Travel Guide, Country Living, and The Travel Channel!
We do not want you to miss out on all the fun, so we have put together a list of seven different reasons to visit The Great Pumpkin Farm.
Here is what you need to know:
1. This is your one-stop shop for pumpkins! Need more proof other than being in the Guinness Book of Word Records? Whether you carve them, harvest the meat to bake delicious pumpkin treats, or use pumpkins to decorate your front porch, The Great Pumpkin Farm has all the varieties you could imagine. Here you will find your regular-sized pumpkins, specialty pumpkins, white pumpkins, mini pumpkins, pie pumpkins, and painted pumpkins. You can also purchase gourds, cornstalks, Indian corn, and mums. Want to cross everything off your shopping list? Be sure to also check out all the hand-made crafts in the Halloween Store. Your home will be decorated in no time!
2. Weekdays are free! If you are coming to shop, or you have children who are a little too small for all the bigger attractions, come during the week and you won’t be charged admission. Tiny hands will love the petting zoo, which features farmyard favorites. There is a lovely hand-built playground on-site, as well as a classic hay maze. It is the perfect opportunity to get your stir-crazy toddler out of the house! (Special Note: Columbus Day is considered part of a festival weekend, so admission will be charged.)
3. Saturdays and Sundays are a blast! Absolutely everything is open and running on weekends. There’s a corn maze, which occasionally features wandering dinosaurs and zombies! There’s the Boo Barn, which has kid-friendly, spooky statues and other decor. There are hands-on activities including Midway games, Duck Races, Gem Mining, Pumpkin Cannons, and Pumpkin Sling Shots. And there are TONS of rides – the tractor-pulled hay wagon, the cow train, the zombie paintball train, ponies, jumbo jumping pillows, the notorious mechanical bull, and carnival attractions. The Great Pumpkin Farm is basically every child’s paradise!
4. The festivals will get you in the holiday spirit! Enjoy smoky barbecued eats during the Oinktoberfest Cook-Off. See exploding pumpkins at Inde-Pumpkins-Day. Get your picture taken with your favorite comic conqueror on Superheroes Weekend. Watch magic shows, juggling and comedy acts, the Cackling Hen Revue, and pig races. We also cannot forget about the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Championship, the Pumpkin Trebuchet Contest, the World Pumpkin Weigh-Off, and the Halloween Costume Contest. Never a dull moment!
5. This place is heaven for foodies. Where should we start? First there is the Bakery, where you will smell freshly baked pies the moment you step in through the door! Not a fan of pies? Try the cookies and pastries! Your inner child will be delighted by the old-fashioned Candy Store, which is perfectly framed by a loft where you can lounge to pass the time. Hankering for some cider and donuts? There is a stand on-site that sells fresh cider on a daily basis, whether you want it hot or cold. If you want donuts, you will have to come during festival weekends, but one bite of an apple or pumpkin-flavored one is worth the wait! Still not satisfied? Then it is time to hit up the Food Grove, where every fair food imaginable is available: hot dogs, Italian sausage, hamburgers, french fries, corn on the cob, pizza, tacos, soft pretzels, Bavarian nuts, kettle corn, blooming onions, fudge, taffy, deep fried Oreos, candy apples, cotton candy, ice cream, sugar waffles, and so much more. Talk about a food-lover’s paradise!
The Great Pumpkin Farm has family-friendly festivals available for the whole season, including NY State’s Longest Running BBQ Festival
6. The drinks are excellent. Bring a date and check out the Witches Brew Bar and Cafe. In addition to bar food, there is draft and craft beer, wine, and specialty Halloween Drinks! Live music plays on festival weekends, featuring cool musicians like the Nickel City Blues Band, Randle and the Late Night Scandals, Unleash the Lion, Russ Vesci and Texas Revolver, and several others. Not a bad way to end a busy work week, if you ask us.
7. This is a fantastic venue for parties. It is not hard to imagine throwing a birthday party here. The Great Pumpkin Farm is so popular with kids! But you might also consider hosting a family reunion here, as autumn lends well to feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Or how about taking the starchiness out of your next corporate gathering? A brand-new outdoor pavilion and picnic tables are available for up to three hours. It’s the kind of place your attendants won’t soon forget!
Don’t miss out
When it comes to fall festivities, The Great Pumpkin Farm is king of the patch! Bring the kids, plan a date with your significant other, or enjoy some alone time with a warm beverage and your shopping list. No matter how you do it, be sure to make this local staple a priority in your calendar this year. You will not regret it!
Located at 11199 Main Street in Clarence. Weekdays are free. Weekend admission is $8/person and free for children 2 and under. Discounted tickets are available at Buffalo and Rochester Wegmans locations. Additional costs are required for individual attractions. Open daily from 10 a.m. to dusk. For attraction details, prices, festival calendar, live music lineup, rental options, FAQs and more, please visit www.greatpumpkinfarm.com. There you will also find an email sign-up form so that you can receive the latest updates on festival weekends.