Galway Pumpkin Patch, which is based in Ardrahan, in the south of the county, will open for its second season later this month.
Adults and children are invited to enjoy a Halloween-themed day out, which includes much more than just pumpkin picking. There is a fancy dress, Halloween-themed games, farm animals on-site, and many more attractions.
Galway Pumpkin Patch is operated by Caroline Whelan and her husband, Gerry Quinn; the patch is located on Ms Whelan’s family farm at Castletaylor Demesne in Ardrahan.
“Last year, we were procrastinating about opening the pumpkin patch – we could see they were so big in the States, and Halloween was getting a lot more popular here, but we thought maybe we were a bit far of the beaten track and needed to be nearer the city.” Caroline told That’s Farming.
“However, I think the fact that we are quite rural is all part of the allure – it is an excursion for families to come and visit us.”
“People are enthralled by the space available for the kids to run around. We have customers come from all over the country and are so grateful to everyone who takes the time out to visit us.”
The Ardrahan woman believes that with so many now living such fast-paced lives, the pumpkin patch is a bit of a reprieve for a few hours. “I always say what we are offering families is a very simple, rustic, outdoor experience.”
“There are no bouncy castles or computer games – its simple fun – farm animals on show, lots of amusing decor and picture opportunities, old Halloween games like Snap the Apple and Toss the Beanbag through the pumpkin.”
“There is so much stimulation for children nowadays – sometimes it’s nice to pare it back to basics.” she added.
She also thinks that people like the idea of authenticity. “My husband, who works full-time in his father’s fruit and vegetable business, trades at a number of farmers’ markets weekly.
“People love to come for their home-grown veg. Now they are being offered a homegrown pumpkin. We are not one of the big supermarket chains – our pumpkins are grown and harvested with love.”
Castletaylor is a working farm and the animals proved to be a popular attraction with the younger audience. “Last year, we showcased our vintage tractor, along with some sheep, goats and a Shetland pony.”
“This year, we are hoping to add a rabbit or two to the mix! We also have two special guests who make random appearances – a pair of alpacas!”
“When you grow up on a farm, you forget yourself how much of a novelty that animals are to other children who don’t.”
“We are really looking forward to the events and all we are crossing our fingers, for now, for a bit of fine weather to come our way!” Caroline concluded.
Galway Pumpkin Patch will open on Friday, October 18th, Saturday 19th, and Sunday 20th, and Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th, and Bank Holiday Monday, October 28th.