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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

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

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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.

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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!

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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!

    • Mel
      Author
      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

    • Mel
      Author
      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!).

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