Welcome to the fall season! Enjoy the Desert Botanical Garden's Great Pumpkin Festival. The summer is over, and now the cooler weather is coming. This is a fun excuse to get together outside with the kids.
And bring the cameras because there are lots of places for those “Kodak moments.” There was an old truck with pumpkins and bales of hay for the kids to sit on.
The Great Pumpkin Festival is held just before before Halloween. Parking is good because it can be warm in the sun so people won’t be staying the whole day.
The weather outside in the garden can be a scorcher even this time of year. So bring some water or buy some when you get there. If you get hungry there are snacks too. Like a bag of “kettle korn” for example. And bring a hat and sun block because the sun is intense even in the fall in the desert.
You make your way to the east of the entrance and get your tickets then go past the stroller parking.
Strollers don’t fit on the hay ride or work on the rough terrain where you will go to get your pumpkins.
Same with wheelchairs, they just are not suitable for the rough ground in the pumpkin patch.
There was some mention that things may get better in the future for the handicapped.
Anyway, there is music that you can enjoy while you are making your way in the line to the hayride.
They had a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy group called Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers playing live.
Here’s a movie of what the hayride tractor looks like. They also have a horse drawn hayride. Time goes by fast, before you know it you are getting on the hayride.
You scramble on a hay wagon pulled by a tractor for a brief ride though the brambles in the desert. You head out east to a flat area between cacti where there is a pumpkin patch. It is about a 10 minute ride over a bouncy, curvy dirt road. So hold on to your hats! And your kids.
It is a novel thing to joyride through the desert on a hayride. When you arrive, there is a quick hay bale maze that opens up to a sunny field of pumpkins. Kids that were 12 and under got to take a free pumpkin home.
The pumpkin patch also has booths with things like petting zoo animals, creative balloons, even a pumpkin carving station where they will carve your design for a small fee! You can put your child on a small tractor for pictures and movies.
Enjoy your stay and then when you are done make your way for the return trip to the entrance of the Desert Botanical Garden. If you have time and energy, finish off your visit with a walk through the cactus gardens or the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion with live butterflies.
Here's the website for more details: http://www.dbg.org/events/great-pumpkin-festival