The Fox Valley Park District’s annual celebration of everything October, Pumpkin Weekends officially begins Sunday, October 1, at charming Blackberry Farm – the district’s 54-year-old living history museum at 100 S. Barnes Rd. in Aurora.
The popular monthlong event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, along with Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day on Oct. 9.
Admission to the park is $10 per person (ages 1+); visitors can purchase pumpkins to decorate for an additional $3 upon arrival. Unlimited rides and attractions – train, carousel, ponies, hay wagon, to name a few – are included with admission.
“We have people who come from all over, maybe 45 minutes to an hour away, to enjoy Pumpkin Weekends,” says Becky Harling, facility manager at Blackberry Farm. “Families make a day trip out of it, and I that’s a testament to not only how special Pumpkin Weekends is, but also the accessibility of Blackberry Farm. People appreciate that and make it part of their traditions every Fall.”
Visitors are invited to be on the lookout for five golden pumpkins strategically placed throughout the park. Successful scavengers can enter to win a 2024 Season Pass (family of 4) to Blackberry Farm. Harling stressed the stroller-and-wagon-friendly confines of Blackberry Farm, which makes leisurely laps around the park –dressed in its autumn outfit – just as enjoyable for the adults as it is the kiddos.
“We have an incredibly unique array of trees,” Harling says. “You get dimension with different types of trees and colors, and get the full foliage experience as you wander through the park during one of the most beautiful times of year.”
Additionally, special activity dates – nine in all! – will be featured throughout the month of Pumpkin Weekends, including:
October 1: Bubble Making, Noon to 3 p.m.
October 7: Bounce House, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 8: Face Painter, Noon to 3 p.m.
October 14: Balloon Artist, Noon to 3 p.m.
October 15: Jeanie B! Children’s Concert, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
October 21: Trick-or-Treat, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
October 22: Pumpkin Carver, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
October 28: World’s Tallest Scarecrow, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
October 29: Pumpkin Princess, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We added more to try and add to the uniqueness of the park being open in October,” Harling said. “Throughout the season, we don’t have special guests, so it adds to the overall experience on top of the fall décor and pumpkin patch. We understand that not everyone can come on Saturdays, so we wanted to expand our list of special guests, so everyone can enjoy a little extra during their time at the park.”