Everything’s Coming Up Pumpkin!
Now that it’s officially fall, better known by coffee fans and foodies the world over as "pumpkin spice season,” there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the noblest of gourds: Sip a pumpkin-flavored latte or beer. Have yourself a bowl of Frosted Pumpkin Spice Mini-Wheats. Serve up a meal of roasted pumpkin soup followed by Ben & Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream. And don’t forget the snacks: Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s, Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, Pumpkin Spice Oreos … (Seriously, this list could go on forever.)
Live entertainment is certainly not getting left out of the pumpkin game, and this year there are events all over the country dedicated to our tasty orange friend. From carving to chucking to eating, here’s a roundup of some of the pumpkin-themed events happening around the country. Maybe you’ll want to stop by Starbucks and pick up a Pumpkin Spice Latte on your way to one?
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Festival: Consider this your family’s one-stop shop for everything awesome about Halloween. To start, the annual event’s famous 15-acre corn maze — designed this year in a pattern that celebrates the Chicago Cubs — has been called one of the top 10 of its kind in the country by TravelChannel.com. Then there’s the massive U-Pick Pumpkin Field, accessible by hayride, where you get to select and purchase the perfect future jack-o-lantern. Older kids and grown-ups in your party will have a literal blast on the Sniper Zombie Paintball Ride, where they will fire away at the living dead from the back of a Real 5 Ton Army Troop Carrier Truck. And that’s only the beginning — more than 30 additional attractions await, including the towering Mia & Miley’s Mountain Slide, Bubba Duck’s Waddle Races, Fly’n Farmer’s Ziplines and more.
Brews and Boos: Sip on seasonal craft beer and carve a ‘brewtiful’ pumpkin at Art Room Events’ Brews and Boos. A flight of four beers of your choice, a pumpkin and tools are all included. Beermiscuous maintains the largest selection of local beer of any bar in Chicago, with more than 200 local beers from more than 55 Chicagoland breweries. Join the fun in the coffee shop-style atmosphere and sculpt something festive for your doorstep or home.
Don’t live in Chicago? Find your perfect Halloween activity here.
Oktoberfest River Cruise: Break out your lederhosen and celebrate Oktoberfest the D.C. way, with a cold beer in hand and breathtaking views of a scenic waterfront. Aboard this 90-minute cruise on the Potomac River, you’ll see D.C.‘s most famous monuments against the stunning backdrop of autumn foliage. As you soak in the sights, you’ll also get to savor all things fall, with special sweets and treats, local ciders, pumpkin beers and signature seasonal cocktails available for purchase.
Alhambra Pumpkin Run: One of Alhambra’s biggest annual events, this race through beautiful downtown is an awesome sight of more than a thousand participants in orange and black. Wear racing gear, a Halloween-themed shirt or a full costume. The day kicks off with a fun group warm-up, then it’s on your marks for a 1k (for children ages 6 to 13) or 5k race. As you cross the finish line you’ll receive a commemorative medal, plus some swag, including a Pumpkin Run T-shirt, a drink ticket from Ohana Brewery (for adults), snacks and nonalcoholic drinks and more.
Not into running? Discover tons more Halloween fun here.
Decker Farm: There’s all kinds of fall fun happening in October at Decker Farm on Staten Island, where you can hop on a hayride, tour the historic farmhouse, navigate a cornstalk maze, say hi to scarecrows, get your face painted and of course, pick out your own pumpkin. You’ll be soaking up that fresh air and searching for that perfect gourd on the 11-acre grounds of the oldest continuously operating family farm in the area, dating back to 1810.
Pumpkin Chuckin: Catch a Pumpkin Chuckin competition, where teams will launch pumpkins for distance, accuracy and creativity. You can also enjoy the Best of the Midwest BBQ Cook-off. Sample a variety of food and mouthwatering fall beers, as well as stage performances throughout the day. The festival also includes family-friendly activities including games, carnival rides, a pie eating contest, a pumpkin baking contest, a costume contest for kids and roaming entertainers.