Pumpkinville Open Sept. 12 – Oct. 31

Pumpkinville is not just a local favorite fall destination. It was ranked No. 6 in the KidsOutandAbout.com survey of the Top 20 places to take kids around Buffalo. It’s also a winner of New York State’s Agri-Tourism Business of the Year.

The brainchild of Dan and Diane Pawlowski, Pumpkinville is the largest fall tourist attraction in Cattaraugus County, drawing more than 100,000 people during its six-week run. The 200-acre farm is also the oldest, continuously working pumpkin farm in New York State.

While in festival-mode from Sept.12 through Oct. 31, 25 acres are turned into a combination fairground/farm market/feasting venue for kids and grown-ups of all ages.

There are dozens of free games and activities, including a Singing Chicken Show, Perky the Talking Pumpkin, Farm Animals, Corn TeePee, Storyland, Kiddie Spookum Barn, a Train Play Area and more. There’s also a brand new feature this year: “Punchin’ Pumpkins Race.” This creative race involves navigating through a maze, stopping at four spots to punch a pumpkin and then racing for the finish line.

With the purchase of an activity wristband ($11 Mon.-Thurs.; $12.50 Fri.-Sat.), you can also spend as long as you want on the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillows, driving Farm Pedal Carts, taking a country hayride, riding on the Cow Train or getting lost in a six-acre Mix 96 Corn Maze that, from above, looks like a carving of the Mix 96 radio station’s logo. Individual activities are $3.75 each.

On weekends (and weather permitting), you can also take a helicopter ride to get the bird’s eye view of the area’s gorgeous fall colors (add’l fee).

Of course, there’s a vast array of pumpkins – from mini to enormous – to take home for cooking and carving, or you can pick your own. There’s a bountiful produce barn with a huge selection of apples, squashes and other veggies, plus Indian corn and gourds for seasonal decorating.  Crafts and gift shops feature homemade fudge and caramel, pumpkin, almond and peanut butters and maple products from Moore’s Maple.

And then there’s food – a mouthwatering array of delicious, tummy-tempting favorites that will draw you back for more throughout the season.

Grab a delicious lunch, dinner or a snack from the Pumpkinville Grill, where you’ll find hot dogs, chili, sausage, beef on Weck, pumpkin soup, kettle corn, curly fries and more. There’s also a chicken BBQ on weekends.

And there’s dessert, featuring freshly baked pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin pies, homemade pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and pumpkin fudge. There are apple choices galore, too, from apple slices drizzled with homemade caramel sauce to apple pies and freshly pressed cider.

There’s something for everyone at Pumpkinville, located at 4844 Sugartown Road in Great Valley. Make sure to visit any day, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit www.pumpkinville.com.