Pumpkin mania is upon us, and in just a few short days, another season of "pumpkin everything" will commence. And we're not just talking about your daily dose of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte.
In many parts of the country the leaves are changing color, the air is getting crisp, and pumpkin patches, farms, and orchards are swiftly beckoning the fall season. With activities from picking out your own pumpkin to sipping a frothy glass of pumpkin beer, the autumnal activities happening around the country are a bountiful harvest of fun. These locations feature family-oriented activities suitable for all ages; consider one of these pumpkin locations where the offerings go beyond the traditional fall activities. From launching, catapulting, and smashing pumpkins to detoxifying your skin with the good stuff, these pumpkin hot spots have something captivating for everyone.
1. The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival
You can find a family-friendly fall outing anywhere, but some offer a more unique take on your traditional autumn festival. One in particular, the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, is one of those events that is truly outstanding from the rest. The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival is located in north suburban Highwood, Illinois, about a 28-mile drive from Chicago. Families can pick and carve their own pumpkins onsite and then weave their way through the Great Pumpkin Maze (sponsored by Home Depot). There's a petting zoo, carnival rides, two stages of entertainment, a 5K Pumpkin Run & Kids Dash, and much more. To make things even better, they're partnering with the Autism Society of Illinois, and some of the proceeds will be donated to the organization.
2. Pumpkin Beauty Regime at the Coronado Island Resort & Spa Marriott:
This season, ditch the latte and "fall" for a seasonal spa treatment! Packed with antioxidants and fruit enzymes that offer anti-aging effects and leave the skin feeling and looking smooth, the detoxifying, energizing, and nourishing benefits of fall fruits such as pumpkin and yam help the skin achieve a healthy glow throughout the fall and winter season. In honor of the pumpkin madness, The Spa at Coronado Island—a luxury Southern California health and wellness facility—introduces a new power peel enzyme facial that harnesses the power of seasonal fruits. From moisturizing and brightening the skin, to increasing cell renewal and collagen production, pumpkin is rich with healthy nutrients perfect for beauty treatments, including Vitamin A (skin healing), Vitamin C (antioxidant) and Zinc (skin glowing).
3. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, New York
"The tri-state area's largest, most electrifying Halloween event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display—all made entirely from jack o' lanterns!" While not technically a farm, this epic display brings together 7,000 individually hand-carved jack-o-lanterns in this elaborate, hugely popular walk-through experience. Walk along the Hudson on the grounds of the historic Van Cortlandt Manor built in the early 18th century, stroll through the real-life Jurassic Park, and discover headless horsemen, sea serpents, and even an entire spider web made of illuminated pumpkins. All have been designed and individually hand-carved on site by their talented team of artisans. Within easy day-trip distance from New York City, be sure to buy tickets ahead of time—last year, every night sold out.
4. Hurl Pumpkins at Cox Farms
With a solid pick-your-own pumpkin patch along with a truly enormous farm store, Cox Farms has a lot going for it. Clocking in close to the DC area, this northern Virginia farm opened in 1972 when Herndon was more farmland than suburb. As the DC metro area has grown, so has this establishment. They celebrate fall every year with a grand Fall Festival and cap it off with an early November "Pumpkin Madness" finale, where leftover pumpkins are "hurled, smashed, dropped, spiked, bowled, and squished." Don't forget their interactive hayride or spooky nighttime "Fields of Fear" attraction.
VIDEO: Try These Pumpkin-Inspired Beauty Picks
5. Elysian's Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival
Tickets for Elysian's 12th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival in Seattle are currently on sale, and this marks the 12th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival. This year, stop by the Elysian Fields, where more than 80 pumpkin beers from near and far will be poured, including 20 or so from Elysian's pumpkin-crazed brewers and their collaborators. They even have a giant, several-hundred pound pumpkin that is scooped, scorched, filled with Elysian pumpkin beer, sealed and conditioned, and then tapped at the fest for all to enjoy! Orange is the theme, so you are encouraged to break out your fall festival colors. If you're one to bust out in full costume, you may be rewarded! Each day of the festival, their judges will be roaming through the crowds to select the most festive bunch to compete for a prize. The festival is one day only this year, Saturday, October 8, at a brand new location: the North Lot of CenturyLink Field outside of Elysian Fields.