Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival runs from the 14th to the 15th October, and the 21st to the 31st October 2017. It is open from 10am to 4pm.
The farm is in Summerbridge, a few miles out of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It’s in the valley of Nidderdale – an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
We travelled about an hour from Teesside to get to Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival.
The Pumpkin Festival and the farm in general make a great family day out for children and adults of all ages, although those with difficulty walking may not find it easy to navigate around the farm.
The day centres around the pumpkin patch, where you can pick your own pumpkins straight from the field. There are lots of family-oriented activities to take part in at the farm, and I will cover them in this review.
Let’s jump straight in!
Car parking at Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival
Access to the car park is down a stony track. Car parking is adequate and on a field. I don’t think a wheelchair or pushchair would find it the smoothest of rides out of the car park and into the venue, but it is possible.
Jonah just woke up from a thirty minute nap in the car and is not ready for life.
The pumpkin picking takes place on a massive field with about five or six rows of gorgeous orange and green pumpkins to choose from.
You will definitely need wellies or other suitable footwear as it’s muddy and you’ll need to navigate through the pumpkin tendrils grabbing at your ankles.
Choose a wheelbarrow to carry your pumpkin (or child) in.
There are lots of pumpkins to choose from at Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival, with two or three different varieties of pumpkin, and lots of different sizes of pumpkin. There are tons of standard Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins.
One of four set prices apply, depending on size.
We got two big orange pumpkins and one small green one for under £10. Quite reasonable given the free access to the rest of the farm’s activities.
Wash your pumpkins ready to take to the carving shed, or load into your car to take home.
The carving barn at Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival lets kids carve their pumpkins while you’re there. The barn is cosy and warm, and the carving is supervised by a friendly farm-lady. Kid-friendly pumpkin carving tools are provided.
There’s a small but adequately equipped play area where kids can enjoy baby swings, older kid swings, a slide, rockers, and a balance frame.
Pig racing happens at 1.30pm each day during the Pumpkin Festival.
Unfortunately we were waiting in the café when the pig racing was on, so we missed it!
I should’ve planned that one better. Bear with me Jonah, I’m new to this mum thing!
Grain train through the corn maize
Jonah is too young to ride the Pumpkin Express as kids must be 2 years or older to ride, but it looked like a lot of fun!
Six or seven barrels with wheels were being towed by a quad bike. Jonah loved watching it whizz around the field!
Corn cannon goes boom!
The aim of this activity is to knock down spooky wooden targets such as cats, bats, and witches, with a corn-loaded cannon. The cannon makes a loud noise which echoes around the valley.
There is a small extra cost for cobs to shoot out of the cannon.
Older kids will definitely enjoy aiming at the targets and watching the corn shoot off and (hopefully) hit the target.
The Jersey Barn Café at Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival
To keep you going throughout the activities of the day, visit the on-site café for a bite to eat.
Birchfield Farm has a spacious café with plenty on offer such as different types of sandwich, lasagne, ham and eggs, quiche, chips, cake, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks, etc.
And since this is an ice cream farm, several varieties of delicious ice cream!
We waited a long time to put in our food order, and it took 20 minutes before our food was served.
However, our food was really tasty. My chicken sandwich was full of juicy chicken breast and was large enough to share with Jonah.
Taking everything into account, we visited on the first Saturday of opening – a peak time, so of course the café would be busy.
Friendly staff apologised for our wait. The food was worth waiting for, which makes all the difference.
A faster option is to use the takeaway café at the farm which offers breakfast bun type fare. Enjoy your food outside on picnic benches if weather permits.
Check out the light fittings. They’re milking udder attachments! So on-point!
I do think the venue needs more than two high chairs as there simply weren’t enough to go round for those who wanted them. And there were so many babies there enjoying the day.
Restroom and baby change
Baby nappy changing is available and a soft changing mat provided.
The restroom doors need signs to show which restroom to use. A bit confused, we tried a few doors to figure it out!
In the changing room, the nappy bin is very small – there was no room for Jonah’s dirty nappy. Also, the changing room door wouldn’t close.
These little snags are very easy to fix and I’m sure the farm will fix them soon.
The farm animals
There are pigs roaming in the fields. This beautiful sow and her piglets just randomly appeared as we were looking out over the scenery, which was a lovely surprise.
There are also pigs, calves, a goat, and sheep in pens at the farm.
Kids can pet the animals and hand washing facilities are provided in this case.
In the fields surrounding the pumpkin patch, Birchfield Farm grows corn (maize), sunflowers, and Brussels sprouts.
Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival is a lovely day out for kids of all ages – but especially those aged 2 or above. Our visit lasted about 4 hours and we felt entertained the whole time.
The pumpkin patch is fab and it’s really great that kids can see where their food comes from and how it looks before it ends up on their plate.
At peak times, you’ll experience longer waiting times in the café for your order.
It definitely got us in the Halloween spirit. Thanks Birchfield Farm!
I hope we’ve documented our visit to Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival well, and given you a good idea of what to expect when you visit.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!