Pumpkin Festival at Willows Farm & Fun Facts

Jumpy turned four on Tuesday (how did that happen?) and today, we celebrated her birthday with our closest friends. We spent the day at Willows Farm having a great time together, picking pumpkins and learning a few fun facts.

If you live in or around London, I am pretty sure you have heard of Willows farm. We go regularly but I have to say the novelty never runs off because the farm is always ahead of the game with new shows and seasonal activities for the children.

Today was all about pumpkins and oh my goodness, the car park was overflowing when we got there. I thought it would take hours to get in, but there were enough tills open to keep visitors coming in quickly. As we already had our tickets (always book in advance!), we were shown in straight away.

We normally have a bit of a routine when we go to Willows, but today, we just followed the children’s lead. After a bit of merry-go-round action, they all jumped on the mini tractors whilst I was catching up with my friend Cé and cuddling her gorgeous baby girl. After lunch and birthday cake (of course!), we had a look at the animals and Crevette tackled the giant pumpkin-themed puzzle on his own before a bit of a rubber duck race and a walk.

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

The highlight of our day was picking our pumpkins, which were included in the price of our tickets. The huge pumpkin patch meant we had plenty of choice and did not have to fight the crowds for a pumpkin. The children were torn. They struggled to choose their favourite pumpkins.

 

Crevette was adamant he would get the biggest pumpkin there and you know what? I think he found it.

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

I was trying to get them to choose some little ones too because they were so cute!

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

We went straight to the art and crafts tent where the children did some colouring as we were waiting for a table to carve our pumpkins.

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

The fact the tops were taken off for us really saved a lot of time and carving the pumpkins there and then meant we would not make a mess at home. Win, win!

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

Beanie loved getting messy and scooping out pumpkin flesh with her hands (arms?).

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

Crevette carefully carved eyes, nose and mouth, with a little help from Cé.

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

Pumpkin facts were displayed all around the farm and it got me interested so I did a bit of research when I got home and found out a few facts that children might find interesting too.

Did you know?

1- Pumpkin is a fruit because it contains seeds, but it is usually referred to as a vegetable.

2- Pumpkins are 90% water.

3- It is Christopher Columbus who introduced pumpkin seeds to Europe when he came back from America.

4- Pumpkins are normally orange but can sometimes be yellow, white, green or red.

5- The ‘jack-o-lantern’ tradition could have come from Ireland, where they used to carve faces into root vegetables like turnips as part of the pagan festival of Samhain to mark the end of the harvest season.

6- ‘Pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, which means ‘large melon’.

7- You can eat pumpkin flowers.

8- People used to recommend pumpkins to remove freckles and cure snake bites.

Have you got any fun facts about pumpkins?

After all that excitement, we headed towards the ‘Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn’ where the children had the time of their lives, screaming with delight as they were going down the slides, running after each other and coming to us for snacks and water. We spent a couple of hours chatting, drinking tea and coffee and taste-testing the pumpkin muffins from the café (would have been rude not to!).

Here is the recipe from Willows Farm’s Facebook page if you fancy it:

We left as the farm was closing and waved goodbye to the pumpkin face straw bales as we drove off.

Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

 

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Head over to Willows Farm for a great autumnal day in London - their pumpkin patch is impressive! Oh, and read on if you want to find some fun facts about pumpkins. I had no idea about #3!

Disclosure: We were gifted tickets free of charge, but I paid for our friends’ tickets and Cé treated us to warm drinks and muffins. All opinions and photos are my own. 

Country Kids

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40 Comments

  1. Ruth Anne
    29/10/2016 / 3:29 am

    What a great idea to have pumpkin carving at the farm! Definitely wins all around! Sounds like a wonderful birthday treat! #countrykids

    • 29/10/2016 / 3:35 am

      It really was a great treat for my birthday girl, and I was so grateful about the pumpkin carving on site!

  2. Cheryl TimeToCraft (@CherylInTheUK)
    29/10/2016 / 9:37 am

    Smiling at the hay rolls sprayed up. Love the idea of a communal table to carve the pumpkins. I bet everyone was getting design ideas from around the table. No mess at home either. My kitchen table still gets covered in pumpkin guts every year. You would think it would get better as they grow older. Taking a note of the pumpkin muffin recipe.

    Answering your question about the candle wax and leaves. Yes, any candle wax should work. I just love working with bees wax. Hope you give it a go. #CountryKids

    • 30/10/2016 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks for answering my question, Cheryl! I’ll definitely give it a go this week. I checked our leaves today and they are now nice and dry.

      For the past couple of years, we’ve made a big effort to carve our pumpkins beautifully, but as we were at the farm, we only had a butter knife each so all our pumpkins have triangle eyes and some sort of a mouth. Happy children anyway, so happy Mummy too!

  3. mummyconstant
    29/10/2016 / 10:04 am

    This looks like a lot of fun… Great idea to do at Halloween. Coming over from #CountryKids x

    • 30/10/2016 / 11:22 pm

      It really was a beautiful day. I love Willows!

  4. Steph (@mummyplusthree)
    29/10/2016 / 11:17 am

    What a lovely day out with fun pumpkin themed activities! Love the facts too – I didn’t know pumpkins are a fruit, how interesting 🙂 #countrykids

    • 30/10/2016 / 11:29 pm

      Me neither!

  5. Coombe Mill
    29/10/2016 / 4:20 pm

    What a fab family day out, it’s wonderful that you all got into the Halloween spirit. That pumpkin puzzle looks fab, it’s wonderful to see Crevette brave it on his own and his concentration at the pumpkin carving station is impressive. I hope Jumpy had a wonderful birthday!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    • 30/10/2016 / 10:41 pm

      Jumpy had the best birthday ever (her words). We are all well and truly excited about Halloween! xx

  6. chocolateandwineandillbefine
    29/10/2016 / 11:34 pm

    What a lovely autumn day! I have never heard of this place but it looks lovely, but I bet it gets busy! I love that pumpkins were included and that you were able to carve them there and then. We carved ours at home yesterday and it was messy and my daughter hated the smell so much she had to go outside! #countrykids

    • 01/11/2016 / 9:48 pm

      I’ve just seen on your blog that you’re near London. If you ever get the chance, I’d really recommend Willows Farm. It’s a great place for the whole family (and their coffee is really good!).

  7. 30/10/2016 / 10:27 am

    We’ve never been to Willow’s Farm, this sounds like a great place to go. We’ll give it a try soon 🙂 beautiful pictures!

    • 30/10/2016 / 10:37 pm

      Let me know if you ever fancy going together. I’d love to meet the boys! x

  8. dearmummyblog
    30/10/2016 / 5:56 pm

    What great pumpkin facts! We just wish we knew how to make proper soup with them afterwards! Looks like you guys had a great adventure 🙂 #CountryKids

    • 30/10/2016 / 11:12 pm

      My mum used to make the best pumpkin soup when I was little. I’ve got 2 untouched pumpkins at home so I can’t wait to make pumpkin soup!

  9. Karen (@wouldliketobe)
    30/10/2016 / 11:07 pm

    The pumpkin farms are proving popular this year and looks like this one has lots to keep everyone happy. We haven’t carved ours yet despite buying them a few weeks ago. Need to get organised as its tomorrow!

    • 02/11/2016 / 9:34 pm

      The farm is really amazing and my favourite part was definitely not having to carve at home! Doing that again next year!

  10. Wave to Mummy
    31/10/2016 / 12:54 am

    Wow I had no idea pumpkins were actually fruit! This looks like such a lovely visit out on a pumpkin patch, and even better you got to leave all the carving mess over there 😀 #countrykids

    • 01/11/2016 / 9:39 pm

      Me neither! It was nice carving our pumpkins there, although we couldn’t really get creative with our carving as we only had a butter knife (safety first!).

  11. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    01/11/2016 / 1:08 pm

    Oh wow that looks like lots of fun! That jigsaw puzzle is amazing, Boo is a huge fan of jigsaws I am pretty sure we would have been doing that one for hours! haha #CountryKids

    • 01/11/2016 / 5:41 pm

      I love the fact they change the jigsaw puzzles regularly. No matter how many times we go to Willows (if I remember well, we’ve been 5 times so far this year!), we never get bored!

  12. 01/11/2016 / 2:37 pm

    What a fabulous day out. Love the giant jigsaw puzzle and Crevette’s look of concentration whilst carving the pumpkin. Beanie looks like she is having a wonderful time scooping out the inside of the pumpkin with her hands! We’ve never been to Willow’s Farm but will have to check it out sometime! 🙂 #countrykids

    • 01/11/2016 / 5:38 pm

      You’ll have to go one day: the girls would love it. It’s a great place to run around, have fun, play, see lots of animals and even have a coffee whilst the little ones are in soft play. We should plan a play date there. Do you fancy that?

  13. Ce
    02/11/2016 / 9:33 am

    What a great day @ Willows farm!!! They did amazing to entertain children of all ages and Having pumpkin carving at the farm meant no mess at home for the parents!!! All staff were extremely helpful as usual. I definitely recommend it for next year!!

    • 02/11/2016 / 3:36 pm

      We’ll definitely go there again next year for pumpkin picking too. Who knows, we might invite you and the girls again, he he!

  14. Sarah Bailey
    02/11/2016 / 7:11 pm

    What a fun looking place to spend some time, it looks like you really had fun picking the perfect pumpkins

    • 02/11/2016 / 9:25 pm

      We really had a brilliant day with friends and although the car park was packed, the farm is so big it didn’t feel crowded once we were there.

  15. Hannah
    02/11/2016 / 11:03 pm

    This looks brilliant, I would have loved to have gone x

  16. Yaya
    03/11/2016 / 3:01 pm

    This looks like such a wonderful day out! I love that they got to carve a pumpkin whilst there. x

    • 03/11/2016 / 9:47 pm

      Me too!

  17. domesstique
    04/11/2016 / 2:11 am

    Pumpkin festival and birthday treat, that’s definitely a perfect day. Love your photos. #countrykids

    • 04/11/2016 / 10:10 pm

      It really was a gorgeous day out!

  18. MELANIE EDJOURIAN
    05/11/2016 / 5:39 pm

    Willow farm is a great place to visit with the kids we went over Easter. I din’t think t take them for Halloween, opsy x

    • 05/11/2016 / 11:41 pm

      There’s always next year!

      • MELANIE EDJOURIAN
        06/11/2016 / 12:14 pm

        I will need to try and remember for next year 😉

  19. Annie B
    05/11/2016 / 11:01 pm

    What a wonderful fun activity day! I think tuese activities are fantastic for kids… the same days where you do strawberry picking then learn to make jam!

    • 05/11/2016 / 11:40 pm

      I love that too! We didn’t get to make jam this year… all the strawberries were eaten on the way home, ha ha!

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