No October is complete without a trip to a pumpkin patch. Fortunately, the East End has some of the best pumpkin patches around, offering the perfect setting for fall family adventures.
Where To Go
Acres of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes await eager pickers at Hank’s PumpkinTown in Water Mill. Beyond pumpkins, the farm offers a corn maze, gem mining, apple picking, giant slides, train rides, and a playground for little ones. Be sure to savor a fresh cider donut and take a bag of roasted corn to go.
At Lewin Farms in Calverton, families can hop on a scenic hayride through the rolling farmland to select the perfect pumpkin. After you’ve found the perfect one, see if you can find your way through the 5-acre corn maze. Wrap up the afternoon with fruit ice cream, pies, roast corn, and craft beer from the market.
Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River offers ample fun for little ones with unlimited hayrides, a corn maze, an apple cannon, bounce pillow, animatronic chicken shows, kiddie train, pony rides, live music, and character appearances. Outside food is permitted in the picnic area.
With locations in Jamesport, Mattituck, and Riverhead, PumpkinLand and Barnyard Adventure Park at Harbes Family Farm offer plenty to do after you’ve gotten your gourd. Choose from gnome, Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood, or Halloween themed mazes. Sample award-winning wine, take a musical hayride tour, or watch the pig races.
Once you have your fresh-picked pumpkin, crafting is a fantastic way to engage kids in creative and hands-on activities during the fall season. Here are some fun and easy ideas to get started:
- Pumpkin Painting: Let your kids’ imaginations run wild by providing paints and brushes for them to transform pumpkins into colorful works of art. They can paint faces, abstract designs, or even their favorite characters.
- Pumpkin Carving: For older children with adult supervision, pumpkin carving is a classic fall activity. It’s an opportunity to teach them basic carving skills while creating spooky or whimsical jack-o’-lanterns.
- Pumpkin Decorating with Nature: Gather leaves, acorns, pinecones, and other natural materials to decorate your pumpkins. Kids can use colored glue to create beautiful designs.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Not exactly a craft, but it’s worth mentioning you can rinse the scooped-out seeds, salt them, roast them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, and eat them.
- Pumpkin Planters: Hollow out a small pumpkin, adding soil and seeds, to create a mini planter. Kids can watch their own little garden grow.
- Pumpkin Bird Feeder: Cut out a portion of the pumpkin and fill it with birdseed. Hang it from a tree branch and observe the local wildlife enjoying their autumn feast.
- Pumpkin Candle Holders: Carefully carve out the top of the pumpkin, creating a hollow space. Place a tea light candle inside for a warm and cozy fall ambiance.
- Pumpkin Masks: Cut eye and mouth holes in a pumpkin and let kids decorate it as a fun and festive mask for dress-up play.
Benefits of Crafting With Real Pumpkins
Crafting with pumpkins isn’t just a fun fall activity; it also offers numerous educational benefits for kids.
- Fine motor skill building: While painting, carving, and decorating pumpkins, children enhance their fine motor skills as they carefully handle brushes, carving tools, and craft materials.
- Self-expression: Pumpkin crafting activities encourage creativity and self-expression, allowing kids to explore their artistic talents and enjoy the season.
- Education: Pumpkin seed art and planters introduce kids to basic principles of biology as they observe seed germination and plant growth.
- Confidence building: Foster a sense of pride, self-esteem and accomplishment as your child showcases a pumpkin creation.
Want more ways to enjoy the season? Stop by The Shine Studio for classes, camps, and crafternoons.