On Friday we managed to squeeze in a Pumpkin Patch visit after school. I’d booked a session in the hope that the weather would be kind, the children would all be wonderfully cooperative for photos and that we would not have a mad panic to get there after school. It was dry and fairly bright and we got there in plenty of time ……… two out of three is not bad right?! We took Dad with us, and the children were delighted to have Grandad there.
We went to the Pop Up Farm which we love and have been visiting since it opened back in 2017. For those of you unsure of where it is, the easiest way to explain is it’s a turning off the roundabout for M1 junction 9 St Albans and Luton. It makes sense once you are there. But the postcode is AL3 8HT which is probably way more helpful than my explaining! But when you get there you will, at least I hope you will, acknowledge that my description makes sense.
On arrival you need to show your pre booked tickets, and are guided around the carpark to have them scanned, then you are shown to a parking space. It’s so well organised.
Wellies and coats on and we were headed off to get our wheelbarrow! There are loads of clear sign boards dotted round with information about the patch, about pumpkins and their prices, and also a map of the site. There are also loads of friendly staff on hand to assist. Wheelbarrows were all being sanitised, as families returned them, so you knew every care was being taken to keep you as safe as possible. As it’s an outdoor event, masks are not required, although of course social distancing needs to be followed.
There were quite a few families there, but there was still room to distance safely and to feel spread out, and not to have tonnes of people photo bombing your photos! Let’s be honest we all want nice photos when we go to these places. The actual pumpkin patch is 12 acres, so is spacious enough.
There were loads of pumpkins and squash waiting to be picked. Of course my three soon loaded up our wheel barrow, and then of course were all fighting over who was getting a ride, who was pushing it, and whose turn it was next. Cue tears, strops and general chaos. Not my envisaged afternoon of beautiful photos and fun with pumpkins! One mummy hissy fit later and all were calm, cooperative and suitably bribed!
They actually loved gathering the pumpkins. For once there were not searching for the hugest ones, but the more quirky ones – I have trained them well! Hallie was looking for a tiny pumpkin and settled on a small green squash (don’t ever tell her its not technically a pumpkin) which she has carried around with her for the past 24 hours like some kind of pet!
We are having an Autumn Trail event at school and need to decorate the outside of our houses in an Autumnal way – damn now I have the perfect excuse to buy ridiculous amounts of pumpkins. As if I need an excuse, I leave every year with a barrowful. I’m a sucker for a pumpkin. But this year if anyone questions why I have quite so many I’m sticking to the school event excuse.
There are actually quite a few photo opportunities dotted around the site for taking staged photos – suitably positioned hay bales with pumpkins on are just perfect for family shots, there is a cute pop up cafe, more hay bales as you come in which children love to climb on and run along, there are all the nice signs, and of course oooooodles of natural shots amongst the pumpkins.
Its actually perfectly set up to fill all those mummy needs – retail therapy of the pumpkin kind, outdoor fun for the kids where they can let off some steam and burn off some energy, hopefully wearing themselves out by lifting all the heavy pumpkins, plenty of photo opportunities for instagram – I know thats what you are thinking, and they even have coffee / hot chocolate and snacks! Win, win, win!
I would recommend wellies if you are planning a visit – it was dry on Friday, we got lucky with that, but it was still muddy. Mummy fail – Hallie had her Ugg’s on (actually annoyingly found her wellies in the boot today so had them with me all along!) and they are caked in mud – a job for Grandad on Monday! There were mums with prams and buggies, and they were managing fine, but if you can baby wear / drag your toddler along / carry / chuck them in the wheelbarrow it would probably be easier to be fair. Plus less cleaning to do when you get home. If your kids are anything like mine you will have enough washing to do as they wipe their muddy little paws all over their coats and clothes when they get dirty picking up the pumpkins.
Payment for pumpkins is by card only and they have contactless card readers. Pumpkins are measured and priced that way, there are signs up with prices and measurements but I’m not going to lie, I had no clue what was what, size wise, until it was our turn to pay. I was going to be buying them all anyway. Its all super efficient and really well organised.
We loaded up the car, and then headed back in to get hot chocolates and popcorn from the pop up pitstop to warm up before we left.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Pop Up Farm. To book tickets click here. Tickets must be booked in advance and from what I understand new tickets are released each week.