by Mallory Moad
It’s October, Halloween is just around the corner and everywhere you go, it’s all about the pumpkins. If you’ve really got that autumn feeling down in your bones and feel the need to celebrate those orange gourds, Farmer Billy Bob Hobb’s Pumpkin Grove is the place for you (and your kids, too). Since 2010, the Pumpkin Grove has provided a family-friendly alternative to the scary, night time haunted-house attractions that are all the rage with teenagers and adults but are too intense for children.
Located in Sanger, Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove is more than just pumpkins. It is open to group and school tours during the week, when participants will hear about the life of a pumpkin farmer from Farmer Billy Bob himself, and learn about how pumpkins grow. Weekends at the Pumpkin Grove have a more festive atmosphere, when the sound of music and the smell of kettle corn fill the air. Other tasty treats, like corn dogs, funnel cakes and smoothies, are available, with picnic and play areas in which to enjoy them. And remember: The Pumpkin Grove is wheelchair accessible and all-inclusive with activities that are appropriate for kids of all abilities and needs.
There are so many things to see and do, where do you begin? Do you fancy a tractor-pulled hayride or would you prefer to test your skills in the corn mini-maze? You could take a guided stroll through the Fun-Filled Forest, where you might meet a talking frog, a colorful scarecrow or a friendly witch who would much rather share a smile than cast a spell. If your timing is right, you might even encounter a face-painting fairy who can give you a magical makeover or hear a story told by Farmer Billy Bob himself.
Maybe you prefer something more hands-on, like the corn kernel pit. It’s just like a giant sandbox, but filled with dried corn kernels instead of sand (there are even sand toys to play with, too). If you’re into running and jumping, you can tromp through an obstacle course made of brightly painted tires of all sizes. And here’s something really cool: a pumpkin is included with every admission.
Maren Harman, the Pumpkin Grove’s expert at multi-tasking, has this to say: “This is the favorite time of year for so many people. Everyone is just so happy to be outside, enjoying the start of fall.” After a long, hot Central Valley summer, I couldn’t agree more. Bring on the pumpkins!
Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove will be open for school tours on weekdays beginning October 11 and on the weekends of October 22, 23, 29 and 30. For more information, including admission prices and hours of operations or to schedule a tour, visit www.thepumpkingrove.com or call 559-356-3962. They are located at 14265 E. Goodfellow in Sanger, CA.
And if you are looking for something scary for your Halloween fun, you can enjoy Hobb’s Grove at night at the same location, and check out even more Halloween related fun right here in KRL this month, and in this Halloween Fun 2016 article.