REVIEW: Carving fantastic family memories at Cannon Hall Farm

Halloween was made for three-year-olds.

Monday, 23rd October 2017, 11:49 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 9:12 pm

Imogen helps daddy load her pumpkin into the little red wheelbarrow, and turns to give me a big thumbs-up.

We’re in Cannon Hall Farm’s Pumpkin Patch, where rows and rows of thousands of pumpkins stretch out colourfully across the field, waiting to be snatched up by eager little monsters over the next week. There were a few false alarms from our very picky little quality checker, before we finally settled on this one; perfectly round and perfectly orange.

We head to the main tent’s Carving Station, and proceed to draw what we hope is a ghoulish face onto our prize pumpkin, then we hand him over to one of the professional carvers.

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While we wait, we head up the bank to walk the spooky ‘trick or treat’ trail through the Witch’s Wood; sneaking through the trees, posing next to ghostly faces and witches on broomsticks, stroking giant spiders and pretending we’re being chased by all manner of ‘orrible things. Imogen hasn’t stopped grinning since we got here, and now she throws back her head and does her best impression of a witch’s cackle. This is awesome.

Cannon Hall’s Pumpkin Festival is always a sell-out event, and with good reason. Staff at the family-run farm are always coming up with new and creative ways to ensure children are bowled over with activities to do, from beginning to end, and that families are getting plenty of bang for their bucks.

With just a few minutes to go until the witch’s show begins - every hour, on the hour - we hurry to get some seats, and spend the next 25 minutes defrosting from the chilly wind, and enjoying the magical tale of witches Madame Harrible, and her assistant Dory, complete with potions, spells and a rousing rendition of Bippity Boppity Boo.

Back at the Carving Station, our pumpkin’s face has been created, and we all set about hollowing him out with giant spoons. Immy grips the tealight candle in her hand tightly, excited to get ‘Percy’ home and light him up this evening, after dark, making him the perfect spooky lantern. There are all kinds of spooktacular Halloween crafts going on in the tent too, and we set about making a horrifying headdress, with plenty of gloopy glue, ribbons, pom-poms, stars and googly eyes (of course).

It’s been an absolutely brilliant couple of hours, and there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Tickets for The Pumpkin Festival also grant you admission to the rest of the farm, so you can meet the animals, ride the tractor trailer, visit the adventure playgrounds and indoor soft play. Fabulous.