I LOVE Pumpkins !!! I like choosing the perfect pumpkin for the perfect use… of which there are many uses you may not have considered, like just playing with them, rolling them like balls to each other, stacking them up and arranging them for pictures, sitting on them, balancing on them, riding the big ones like a horse. Yee-haw ! It is fascinating to see how creatively children, at each different age and stage, will interact with a variety of pumpkins and child friendly percussion instruments and props.
My daughter and I just picked a plethera of pumpkins for creating our own little pumpkin patch for my Kindermusik classes – in a safe cool room filled with children, music, dancing, and games. It is fascinating to watch children play, move, and explore the different sizes, shapes and weights of these unique garden treasures. You may enjoy seeing a slide show of the fun we have had in past years: Hands on Play with Pumpkins.
For this article, I wanted to list some of my favorite pumpkin patches, Fall Festivities, Events, and more. Some are recommended by my Kindermusik families. If you know of other local fun pumpkin spots, please share in the comments and/or on my Music Connections Facebook 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 $45). This is a fundraiser for their school, and I like to continue to support the wonderful people there. There is also another Methodist pumpkin patch- across from Southgate Plaza.
My daughter and I just picked a plethera of pumpkins there for creating our own little pumpkin patch for my Kindermusik classes – in a safe cool room filled with children, music, dancing, and games. You may enjoy seeing a slide show of the fun we have had in past years: Hands on Play with Pumpkins.
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. Facebook Event Link.
Some of my friends on the south side of Lakeland recommend the Pumpkin Patch at the TBA Church on 540 A, and say it is a great place to take pictures. Share your thoughts in the comments. On their website, they also mention an event, see below.
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!!!
All Aboard! The express trains to the Pumpkin Patch will be departing this October. Enjoy a two hour excursion including a stop at our Pumpkin Patch! Lots of activities will be available and each child will be able to pick out one pumpkin to take home – all included with your ticket price! This was recommended HIGHLY by one of my Kindermusik families, and she suggested to book your tickets quickly if you want to get in on this opportunity.
Ooky Spooky Haunted House & Pumpkin Patch… and ALL the FARM FUN
– Green Meadows Farm – near Poinciana – weekends in October
This farm near Poinciana was a traditional favorite for our family for YEARS 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 and take a tour of the kid-friendly haunted house. We loved the picnic area, where we could enjoy our own foods (or food purchased there), and let the children play freely on the playground nearby.
– Hunsader Farms (Bradenton)
This was recommended by one of my Kindermusik 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 a few are 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. 19 – Polk State’s Fall Fest 2013 – Event Link
– Polk State College – 999 Ave. H N.E. – Winter Haven
9 am – 3 pm. This is a HUGE free event to attend. ”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 a Kids Zone, complete with LaSertoma’s Pumpkin Patch, balloon art, hands-on activities, bounce house, and face painting.
Oct. 19 – Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings
– Loyce E. Harpe Park – 500 W. Carter Road, Mulberry
5 – 10 pm. Presented by Polk County Parks & Recreation. Admission fee is $5 per person (children under 2 yrs are Free). Admission limited to 3,500, so recommended to purchase tickets in advance. Includes Trick or Treat Village, Carnival games, crafts pavillion, photo stop, moon walks, food vendors, Rescue Road (?), Costume Contest, Haunted “Hayride” Walking Trail, Pie Eating Contest, and more… Event Link.
Oct. 25: Morning BOO! Bash & Kid’s Night at the Museum
– Explorations V – 109 N. Kentucky Ave. Lakeland
- Boo! Bash, 10am-1pm
- Celebrate safely during a fun-filled morning of Halloween games, food and activities for the youngest crowd. Join us in kid-friendly costumes. Included with admission/membership.
- Kid’s Night at the Museum, 6pm-8pm
- Friday night Flashlight Fun! Come dressed in your favorite costume!
Oct. 25: Naturally Creepy Trick or Treating
– 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 ! Event Link
Oct. 26: Noah’s Fall Festival – 4 – 8 pm.
Noah’s Fall Festival 2013 is a church sponsored, community supported alternative to “Trick-or-Treat”. It is a FREE fun filled event for all ages. There are clowns, balloons, games, prizes, food, entertainment, health fair and much much more. 1/2 mile north or 92 east on Fish Hatchery Road, Lakeland
Oct. 27 – Broadway Studio – Halloween Parade and Costume Contest
– Broadway Studios – 3143 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland 606-0030 Studio Link
– Preregister for Parade by phone or by 1 pm. that day. “Trophies, Prizes, Treats, and Fun”
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.) I plan to be there with my Pumpkins and music pit !
Oct. 31: Fall Festival 2013
– 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 small zip lock bag of her favorites that she has gathered so far, then donate the rest to this event !!! Candy… be gone. Event Link
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 !!!