I LOVE Pumpkins – even though I hate Pumpkin Pie. I seek out fun pumpkin places locally to get pumpkins, or take pictures, or enjoy all the Fall fun surrounding them. So I thought I’d share a few of my favorites in and around Lakeland, Florida. This list is for this year, 2012, but many are annual events, and the links should remain valid through the years.
If you know of other local fun pumpkin spots, please share in the comments and/or on my FB Page.
Pumpkin Patches just to Pick a Perfect Pumpkin
– First United Methodist at Lake Morton: Event link
My son went to preschool here, so this is a favorite stop for our first go around. The “mini-pumpkins” (actually gourds) are just 50 cents each. The tiny pumpkins are 75 cents, and there is a great array of sizes (up to $30). There is also another Methodist pumpkin patch- across from Southgate Plaza.
My daughter and I just picked a plethera of pumpkins there for my upcoming Annual Pumpkin Party Playdate. On Oct. 13, We had a great time in our own little pumpkin patch, in a safe cool room filled with babies, music, dancing, and games. Check out the details in the link.
Some of my friends on the south side of Lakeland recommend the Pumpkin Patch at the TBA Church on 540 A. Share your thoughts in the comments. On their website, they also mention an event, see below.
The Kathleen Road Pumpkin Patch (on the north side where Kathleen intersects with Duff). The Revolution Church has their patch open from 8 am – 8 pm. “Bring the whole family and browse our selection of orange & white pumpkins in all shapes & sizes!” A Facebook friend shared this one.
Favored Pumpkin Patches with more Extravagant options !
Each title is a link to their website if they have one.
– Cornfusion – on Moore Road in North Lakeland
I took my daughter to this last year and we had a great time. It is very family friendly, for little ones AND for the big kids, and has a down home relaxed atmosphere. We got some GREAT pictures with the hay bales and pumpkins! If you go, don’t plan to rush, just relax and enjoy. Plan to get on the bounce bubble and have fun with your kids!!!
– Pumpkin Safari 2012 – just a little further down Moore road in North Lakeland
I only recently learned we have a full African Safari Wilderness in Lakeland’s back yard. WOW! Their Fall Festival is a bit more pricey than the others listed here, but the wilderness tour in the customized safari vehicle is included in the price, as well as the petting zoo and entrance to the free flight aviary… AND, of course, the pumpkin patch !!! Feeding the Lemurs is extra, but seems like a cool experience. Check out their full website.
– Green Meadows Farm – near Poinciana
This farm near Poinciana was a traditional favorite for our family when my kids were younger. I highly recommend going anytime because of the animals, but especially October, when the kids can pick a free pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. It looks like this year they have added a kid-friendly haunted house.
– Hunsader Farms (Bradenton)
This was recommended by one of my families. WOW, the website lists an amazing array of adventures ! Talk about taking it to the next level !!! It looks like many things cost extra though.
There is a list of other creative holiday places on the Polkmoms.com site. Interestingly enough, only one of the sites is in Polk County, most are in nearby counties. I am respecting their work and not listing their information. So please take a moment and check them out as well.
Family Friendly Holiday Events
Oct. 20 – Polk State’s Fall Fest – link
– Polk State College – 999 Ave. H N.E. – Winter Haven
9 am – 3 pm. This is a HUGE event “FallFest attracts more than 10,000 attendees annually, luring them with handmade crafts, the promise of a thoroughly spooky haunted house, and plenty of pumpkins just waiting to be carved.” There is an area specifically for children, and I plan to be there with my music pit !
Oct. 20: More Than A Fall Festival
– St. Joseph’s Academy – Knights Field – 310 MacDonald St. Lakeland
10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. At this Fall Festival you can expect much fun and fellowship, including; bounce houses, food and refreshments, vendor booths, snow cones, games and prizes. Also featuring; the Lakeland Fire Department, Lakeland Police Department’s Canine Unit, Cake Walk, Children’s Characters and much, much more. Event link.
Oct. 26: BOO! Bash
– Explorations V – 109 N. Kentucky Ave. Lakeland
Celebrate safe during a fun-filled morning of Halloween games, food and activities for the youngest crowd. Join the fun in kid-friendly costumes. Included with admission/membership.
Oct. 26: Naturally Creepy Trick or Treating – link
– Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales
6:00 – 9:00 pm. I have heard from many families that this is a highlight of their Halloween Trick or Treating, and has become a tradition filled with memories. Strolling through the gardens, seeking out trick or treating stations, and listening to the Carillon play classic and fabulous “spooky” music. Classic !
Oct. 27: PMOA Family Halloween Party: 2012 Theme: 1950’s Horror Shows
– Polk Museum of Art (PMOA) – 800 East Palmetto Street (across from Lakeland Library)
4:00 – 7:00 pm. I didn’t find out about this until the last minute, just in time for me and my girl to attend. I was so impressed… so many people worked so hard to have creative and fun activities for children and families. There was a scavenger hunt to find clues in the different art exhibits. There were games stations run by many of the Harrison School of Arts students in full costume. There were art projects, a fun interactive storytime, and even some 1950s horror movies going. AND, our little costumed delights got to have their caricatures drawn, and professional photographs taken which will be available on the PMOA Facebook. I had to come back and add it to the list so I can check for it again next year. If they have it, we will be there !!!
– UUCL – 3140 Troy Ave. (off Edgewood) in Lakeland
6:00 – 10:00pm – Unitarian Universalists Congregation of Lakeland will host our 6th Annual UNICEF Festival featuring the Haunted Ghostship “Bloodbeard’s Nightmare“, courtesy of the Lakeland Role Playing Guild and the Lakeland Inclusive Homeschoolers. This includes kids games, bake sale, costume contest, music and entertainment. Event Link.
Oct. 28 – Community Halloween Party
– TBA Church – 1815 CR 540 A South Lakeland
11 am – 1 pm. – That’s all the details I could find. Does someone have more info?
Oct. 31: Harvest Festival
– Harvest Assembly – 2120 Airport Rd. Lakeland – 682-7000
6-9 pm. Free – Family Friendly kid games, cake walk, face painting, many booths of activities, music, give-a-ways (bike, fishing trip, etc.) They also offer a prayer tent, with a short message and prayer at the end.
Oct. 31: Fall Festival – link
– Scott Lake Baptist Church – 5811 Scott Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 644-6444
5:30 – 7:30 pm – Free – Games, bounce houses, obstacle course, live music, hot dogs, and more fun for the whole family. They do have Candy drop off stations. I love this. I plan to have Cora choose a zip lock bag of her favorites that she has gathered so far, then donate the rest to this event !!! Candy… be gone.
Another great resource for us locally is the All About Polk list of local events. They included the Bartow Parade (which I hear was wonderful!), as well as other events for older children and adults.
I keep adding more to this list as I learn more. This is awesome. Lakeland sure has a lot to offer. Please share your favorite places and events in and around Lakeland !!!