We love pumpkin patches around the valley but there was one year when we invited a group of families to the farm for a fun outing and we had more meltdowns in an hour span than you can ever imagine.
I must say, even though we planned our outing as late in October as we possibly could, that day was almost 100 degrees, so I am not surprised that we had so many challenges. Arizona’s weather is still very warm at the end of October and most farms don’t open super early, so by time we met our friends, some kids were tired, some were hungry and some were just not into the pumpkin patch that day. Almost every kid had a tantrum at some point.
At the end of the day, we were all hot, tired and HANGRY!
Last year, in order to avoid tantrums and to try to make it easier on the parents, I decided to re-create a small version of a pumpkin patch at home.
The kids had an amazing time and the grown ups were able to enjoy themselves as well.
The pumpkin patch was super cute and this time we made sure to include lunch and make a day out of it.
I definitely think we spent about the same amount of money we spent the year before when we went to the farm, but the kids definitely enjoyed our own version of a pumpkin patch a lot more.
Breaking this pumpkin patch into different stations made it more enjoyable for the kids. They were engaged and entertained for over three hours.
When we invited our friends, my daughter wanted to dress up, so we encouraged our guests to wear their costumes and it turned into a pumpkin patch/Halloween party.
It didn’t take much effort to plan this party and it was definitely a better alternative for us.
The pumpkin patch party was broken up into stations:
- Halloween Bean Bag Toss– I believe I got this at Target’s Dollar Spot. We hung it up on the frame of our vegetable garden and it worked out perfect for kids to play with while we waited for all our friends to arrive.
- Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe– I used the kids’ picnic table and black tape to mark the lines. The kids used either gourds or pine cones instead of the traditional Xs and Os
- Pick your own pumpkin– my husband and I scattered medium size pumpkins throughout the garden and we blindfolded the kids to make it a little bit more challenging. The kids paired up with their parents for this activity. The parents would give “hot” or “cold” hints to guide the kids to a pumpkin. This activity had the kids giggling and they were so excited when they finally found a pumpkin!
We set a table with bandanas for those kids who wished to be blindfolded. We added stickers to decorate pumpkins if anyone decided they didn’t want to carve it and a set a few leftover dinosaurs masks from my son’s birthday party. We know not all kids like to dress up so we placed the masks in case they changed their minds. We also had a carving set, permanent markers, long spoons to scoop out seeds, and plastic gloves.
This same table was used for carving pumpkins. I decided to use a plastic tablecloth so clean up would be easy.
- Carving station– once the kids found their pumpkins, we proceeded to carve them.
- Halloween Craft Table – This was a great activity for kids to engage in while the adults cleaned up the carving station. The kids had fun painting their Halloween pieces. We used a picnic table covered with craft paper to avoid getting paint on the table. A trick I use to keep the paint sets from spilling: taping them to the table with painter’s tape. We also provided them with smocks to keep their costumes/clothes free of paint.
A friend brought a spider piñata, so we ended our party with a bang!
This year the kids are already asking when we’re having our Pumpkin Patch party!
I will be adding some new activities since our kids are a little bit older and more dexterous!
Some ideas I may incorporate are:
- Sack Race
- Donuts on a string
- Egg & Spoon race
We are thinking of visiting Mortimer Farms up north to enjoy better Fall weather but we will definitely do a pumpkin patch again.
We may have to add the pumpkin patch party to our Fall traditions along with making our Ofrenda for Dia de los Muertos.