I’m pretty sure as Haligonians we are required to make an annual fall pilgrimage to the Annapolis Valley to a) pick apples, b) go to a corn maze, c) pick a pumpkin, and/or d) see the Pumpkin People Festival.
Our family is no exception and this past weekend we headed to Kentville to check out the Pumpkin People festival for the sixth year in a row and now we have our top seven tips below to make the most of this fun fall festival for kids.
Our little family grabbed our bikes and headed down with the goal to bike the rail trail through Kentville and visit the Pumpkin People. This theme this year is Pumpkin People on the Move and with a little man who is obsessed with all things that move, we knew he’d especially enjoy it.
We parked by the Research Station in Kentville, hopped on our bikes and pedaled our way through the rail trail (which passes through the back of town) and over to the ball field where the bullet train pumpkin people crew were hanging out.
Our seven year old daughter made it on her own steam but we brought our trail-a-bike for our five year old. It was about 3km each way and he probably could have done it, but no one wanted to carry him and two bikes back if he couldn’t!
This area by the ball field and veterans memorial also has a small playground at the back of the parking lot (which connects to the rail trail we biked in on) with a few natural elements to it as well.
Burgher Hill (amazing sledding spot if you’re there during a snowy time of year) housed this awesome airplane and loads of pumpkin people.
Each main display had several pumpkin people as well as at least one main feature - the bullet train, the airplane, the cruise ship, etc. Each of these displays also had “doors” that the kids could go in which they LOVED.
seven TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE PUMPKIN PEOPLE FESTIVAL
The festival runs through the month of October, check the website for the exact dates each year.
Use their website to access the handy map with the main displays highlighted on it to guide your experience.
Feel free to stray off the map through the town streets and surrounding neighbourhoods as a lot of local families and businesses get in on it too.
Plan to be hopping in and out of the car at each stop as the kids like the see the people up close, and dress the kids accordingly so you’re not struggling with heavy coats and gear. We’ve found it’s best to dress in light layers, especially for kids who are still in a five point harness that you’re buckling and unbuckling often. Having a light fleece on in the car with a puffy vest (and maybe mittens and hat) to put over top is usually sufficient.
Print off the new Pumpkin People scavenger hunt on the festival website for the family to play along with.
Get inspired and pick up a pumpkin at a local market to create your own pumpkin person when you get back home.
Build in a little extra time to have lunch in Kentville, go for a bike ride on the rail trail as we did, or visit a playground, such as the one by the veterans memorial/bullet train display, the one at Kings County Academy (KCA) - just down the road from the veterans memorial, or their newest natural playground at Oakdene Park. You can see a list of playgrounds at Valley Family Fun by clicking here.