One of the first American things we did upon emigrating just over four years ago was visit a pumpkin patch. It, therefore, became an important part of our annual traditions, so much so that the kids insist that we return to the exact same farm each year. This year, however, only five of us visited the pumpkin patch. At 14.5, our oldest son has outgrown the tradition and opted out. Sniffle.
We started with the horror barn. At night, there are live actors inside the barn who jump out at visitors and there are also moving parts and more special effects. I am a horror movie fan and totally cool with gore but I don’t imagine I would cope with the evening version of the horror barn. Mr Pict and I once visited the London Dungeon early in the morning which made us the first visitors. Mr Pict nipped to the restroom, leaving me alone in a dark room. When one of the models moved, I screamed very loudly and almost punched the poor employee. Anyway, the day time version of the horror barn contains the fixed props, some of which are very gory, and some sound effects. My kids love it but we did see a couple of kids crying, one hysterically.
The Alien barn is another favourite of the boys. It is all 3D paint effects, black light glowing, and disorienting strobe effects. And it definitely can be disorienting: in the pitch black, I walked smack into a wall that I thought was a door.
We also did a lot of the “country fair” type stuff that the farm runs during its Halloween festival. We shared a funnel cake, which is a must, and the boys used canon to fire vegetables at targets. A new thing this year was a range of sports ball activities. My very unsporty boys had a whale of a time measuring the speed of their baseball throws, getting balls through targets, shooting hoops, and scoring goals.
We also made another attempt at the farm’s corn maze. My children know nothing of the story and movie ‘Children of the Corn’ beyond the title but still decided to act out being spooky little ghouls among the corn stalks. The idea of the maze is to visit each of five stations within it in order to paint the fingers of one hand a different colour. For a bit of fun, the pattern of the colours on each individual’s hand then determines a funny little action each person takes – such as playing air fiddle or shaking your tail feathers. We have never yet managed to find all five stations. I think we are officially hopeless at mazes – though we did find our way back out again.
We hopped on the wagon which took us out to the pumpkin patch. The boys had wanted to select a small or medium pumpkin each but there were only large ones left so they agreed they would team up to pick and carve one communal pumpkin. Getting them to agree on a pumpkin was a whole other matter. Pumpkins were considered and rejected, argued over, discussed and dismissed. Finally they found one they could all agree upon. Now we just have to agree on a design and carve the thing.
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