Until last year I’d never carved a pumpkin.  Apart from the faff of removing the pulp and seeds, I really enjoyed carving it, so was looking forward to trying something else this year.  Hatton Adventure World asked if we’d like to come to Pumpkin Week and choose our pumpkin direct from the field, so of course I said yes.

We only went to Hatton a few weeks ago so N could remember really well all the things he enjoyed, so he’d been looking forward to it loads before we arrived.  Pumpkin Week is one of their special events and runs during the October half term week.  I decided we’d go on the first Sunday in the hope it wouldn’t be too busy.  The weather was cold and very windy, but that didn’t seem to stop people coming for the event.

window shopping
Obsessed with fire and wanted to know why there was a ‘flame’

The first thing we noticed walking from the shopping village to the Adventure World was the spooky music, and the pumpkin displays.  Hatton really do make it feel quite spooky and just right for Halloween.  Of course N refused to have his photo taken sat amongst the pumpkins which I was gutted about.  The displays really looked lovely, even though they were quite simple.

spooky decorations at hatton adventure world

Throughout the site, there were Halloween dummies and scarecrows with sickles and scythes, knifes and barrels of gore.  N didn’t seem too spooked about the ones outside, but it was great to see how much effort that was put in.

hatton childrens tractor

Of course the combine, tractors and sandpit was calling him, so I spent a lot of time standing around watching him play.  I love how involved he gets with one simple activity, and the sandpit is definitely a draw for children of different ages.

playing on the sandpit cranes

N also had a quick trampoline, then we walked round trying to find some of the large ‘animal’ pumpkins for our pumpkin quiz.  I wanted to help win N a prize by completing it, but by the time we left we were still missing one and he refused to walk anymore!

Then the JCB tractors were calling N so he had a stint in the play area, which this time was pretty packed.  Not helped by lots of parents inside the track area helping their children and taking photos.  N had a few pedals round and then we wandered into the nearby ‘scary scales and terrifying tails’ to check out the spooky goings on in there.

pumpkin lady with a snake at hatton

There were the usual reptiles, spiders and ‘creepy’ animals which N’s never that interested in, although he did have a quick glance at the ‘pumpkin’ lady with the snake.  And there was a smouldering, smoking cauldron that other children were posing round for photos.

guinea pigs village

Despite N saying he didn’t want to, we also checked out the guinea pig village again – I’m not a particular fan, but it is mammoth with the pure numbers.  They were also just getting some out of the runs for children to hold them if wanted, but N was quickly into the next area…drawn again to it by the Peter Rabbit mural on the wall.

N wanted to go into Snortys for some soft play before lunch but it was packed out and he wasn’t sure about the crowds and noise so we just had lunch instead.  Considering how busy it was, we did find seats with no problems, although there is the Spinning Jenny Restaurant who want to dine in relative peace and quiet away from soft play.  N had a children’s lunchbox – again liking the choices to go in it (5 items plus a drink, with little pots of raisins, sausage and mini marshmallows going down a treat as well as fresh fruit, sandwiches, yoghurts, crisps and chocolate being included in the options).  I wanted a jacket potato again having found it good value and good size portions last time.  But the potatoes weren’t quite cooked when we were there at just after 12 – I didn’t want to wait 10-15 minutes so had a cheesy pasta dish which was a tad on the bland side.  I was also offered chips with it (carbs on carbs), but was able to have salad instead.  Veg option or garlic bread would have been a nice touch.

Inside there were spooky Halloween decorations again, and just behind our seating area was a spooky full size cloaked ‘man’ which occasionally moved.  I didn’t think anything of it until I got up to leave and tidy our tray up.  I turned round to see N hadn’t followed, and next thing I knew he was crying and wouldn’t leave the table. I think the scary ‘man’ must have moved as I walked.  I had to carry him out as there was no way he’d walk past the man.  Oops.

pumpkin patch directions

Then it was time for us to go and pick our pumpkin.  Needless to say you could tell who the regulars were…complete with tough fabric shopping bags, pushchairs, and wheely boxes to carry their pumpkins in.  I hadn’t really thought about that, so had to rely on the plastic bag we were given as we handed in our ‘free pumpkin for every child’ voucher.

pumpkin patch at hatton

N loved being in the pumpkin field. He was definitely in his element, searching out for a good pumpkin.

choosing pumpkins

‘Not a big pumpkin mummy, or daddy won’t be pleased’.  Eh?  No idea where he’d got that from, but a medium sized one would be good for ease of carving and carrying back to the car.

picking pumpkins

Pumpkin fields really are a picture of Autumn and Halloween.  It was so hard to choose one, because each time you spotted a nice one and went to it, you saw another one.

Eventually we made our choice and started walking back up the hill.  Our bag broke, so all I can say is that my arms had such a good workout (especially as N wanted to keep holding my hand), they were in agony the next day.  Next time I go to pick my own pumpkin away from a supermarket, I shall be taking a trolley.  Alternatively I’d have happily paid for the loan of a trolley or wagon for going back to the car.

On the way back I wanted to check out the spooky halloween marquee where there was the haunted house for over 8s (at certain times of the day) and also benches set up to carve your pumpkin, which you could then enter into the carving competition.  N found it a bit too spooky in the dark with staff dressed up in their Halloween costumes, so we didn’t stay long.  It is meant to be suitable for all ages, apart from the set times for the haunted house part, but I suppose it depends on your children.

spooky halloween at hatton

My only issue was that there’s only one entrance and to get to it is a long way round if you’re lugging a pumpkin and have a 3 year old with ‘tired legs’.  Then of course to exit you have to walk the long way round too.  Would have been nice to have been able to exit out the short cut route.

There were also other spooky activities taking place that we didn’t make it too: the usual owl/falconry displays, scary storytelling for younger children, a Halloween disco in the family theatre, and the spooky eternity engine tractor ride.  There’s easily enough to spend a whole day with the family there and you can’t miss the spooky touches, including having all the staff dressed in various costumes.

Pumpkin week at Hatton Adventure World runs until 2nd November, and is included in the entry price.  And here’s our pumpkin all carved out.

witch on a broom pumpkin
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Disclosure: We were sent tickets to use for Pumpkin Week at Hatton Adventure World.  All words and views are my own.

 

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28 Comments

  1. I thought N would have been scared, but it was only the moving one that did it for him.

  2. We made the mistake of going for big pumpkins. I think my arms stretched a few inches having to carry them #letkidsbekids

  3. Oh fab pumpkin! It tipped it down when we were there! And it was so hard getting the buggy round the mud. So we chose teeny tiny ones! I love Hatton so much x

    • We were lucky when we went. Went on the first Sunday in case it rained and we had to go on the last Sunday instead, but the weather played ball – although really cold and windy.
      I will definitely be opting for smaller pumpkins next year (and taking a good sturdy bag!)

  4. That does sound like a fantastic fun place to go for halloween time. Love the thought of choosing a pumpkin like that.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  5. I am loving seeing all these Pumpkin Week posts! We had great fun there this half term! Hatton Country World really do make a big effort for Halloween x

    • We’d never been for Halloween, but it’s a great place to visit even without the events on. There’s loads of bloggers need there. We should all have a meet up there once the weather’s warmer again.

  6. We went to Hatton this week too and I was a little worried that it may have been too scary for one of mine who has sensory issues. She did fine though and we were able to bypass a lot of the more scarier stuff and still have a fantastic day. We left pumpkin picking until the last minute and then I got my other half to carry them back to the car…they were really heavy!

    • Glad you had a good day too. Yep, could have done with my OH coming and doing the carrying. Even though we left it til last, we still had a bit of a walk from there, to the marquee and back round again. V heavy. Next year, I’ll try taking a bag to go on my shoulder or back to make it easier to carry.

  7. Oh my Lord, those snakes would have freaked me out so much. I hate them. The rest of the farm looks amazing though. I’d love to take Amy to a pumpkin patch x

    • We weren’t really expecting the snake, and N wasn’t up for getting any closer. He definitely seems to be more willing to get closer to animals at nursery = he touched a snake and various other animals that were brought in, but when on days out with me, he always says no, even if I try it first.

      I reckon more pumpkin patches are setting up each year, so it’s great that more people have access. Hopefully you’ll get to one next year.

  8. It looks like a nice place to visit. I’d love to go somewhere to pick our own pumpkins next year, we were a bit too late this time! #countrykids

    • It’s hard trying to fit in everything that’s on. I know I’ve had lots of places I’ve wanted to take N for specific events, but sods law, they always clash.

  9. Looks like a great to spend a few hours. I love the pumpkin ‘patch’ – great carving btw! And what is it with the whole pasta and chips thing?! 😉

  10. It looks like you had a wonderful time, it’s a shame that N got scared of some of the things that they had going on. I’m glad you got to pick your own pumpkin and your carving is brilliant! Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

    • He is a bit of a wuss sometimes, but then I guess he is still only 3. Funny how some kids of that age embrace it, love masks etc, and others are more wary (sensible really)

  11. Sounds like fun, we’ve only ever been to Hatton in the summer, will have to make a mental note for net October. Love the idea of hunting for your pumpkin in the field rather than Daddy P bringing it home from the warehouse! #CountryKids

  12. Chantelle

    Looks like a fantastic day! We don’t have any pumpkin patches near us that I’m aware of, so we’ve had to just grab ours from Asda. Next year I’ll be sure to try and hunt one out, even if it does mean travelling a little further!

    • I reckon there’ll be a lot more next year. This year we had quite a few where last year I didn’t notice any. Worth keeping an eye out next Autumn as it’s great fun picking your own

  13. I would LOVE to visit a pumpkin patch – next year I must find one and go! Looks like you had a fun time!

    • Ooh you should. You’d love it. I think there seems to be more around, so reckon next year there’ll be more again.

  14. Aww what a fun looking day 🙂
    I have never carved a pumpkin before either, and designs are getting so intricate these days 🙂

    Gems x

    • Last year I just did a random face. Great for a starting point, so worth trying next year. N wanted the same again, but I wanted to try something different. Thanks for stopping by

    • If we’d not had tickets, I’d probably not have bothered, although we do have some pick your own places near us. I’d have just done supermarkets. But it’s definitely great fun and supporting the farmers better!

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