October 22, 2016

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin FestMy kids, especially my two younger ones, are not much for zombies and skeletons. So, of course, we loved that Kings Dominion’s Great Pumpkin Fest near Richmond, VA is all about painting pumpkins, costume parades, trick-or-treating and interactive shows.

We had the opportunity to check out the second annual Great Pumpkin Fest over the weekend and we were not disappointed. Operating on Saturdays and Sundays through October 30 in the Planet Snoopy section of the park, there was plenty to do and all of our favorite Peanuts Gang characters were in on the fun.

Kings Dominion is part of the Cedar Fair family, so the Great Pumpkin Fest is taking place at several other parks as well, including Cedar Point in Ohio and Valleyfair in Minnesota. Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California is also hosting scare-free weekend celebrations, but as Knott’s Spooky Farm.

Get the kids in the car and head to Kings Dominion for the Great Pumpkin Fest. Not that your kids will need much convincing, but here are 10 reasons to love Kings Dominion during the Halloween season. Have fun. 

1. Paint Your Own Pumpkins. Little ones (up to 54” tall) can head to Sally’s Pumpkin Painting Patch to paint their own mini pumpkins (one per child). Consider doing this activity last unless you can put your pumpkin in a stroller or you want to carry around a wet, freshly painted pumpkin.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

2. Trick-or-Treat Prizes. When you pick up your map at the Great Pumpkin Fest headquarters, little ones will also get a plastic treat bag. At each of the stops kids can pick out a Halloween-themed prizes, like paddleball sets, crayons, notepads and snap bracelets. No candy, just fun toys.

3. Cute Baby Animals. Who doesn’t love a petting zoo with baby animals? At Woodstock’s Barnyard Pals, there are bunnies, alpacas, sheep and miniature horses. You can buy a cup of food for only $1 and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer when you get all of your pets in.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

4. Costume Parade. Twice-daily, your kids can walk alongside Peanuts Gang characters in a parade around the Planet Snoopy area of Kings Dominion. At 1:50 and 4:50, be ready to party with the Peanuts Gang as they all show up in their favorite Halloween costumes.

5. Halloween-Themed Rides. I love it when theme parks switch up the names of rides to coincide with the season. There were a few of those at Kings Dominion, including the Great Pumpkin Coaster and Van Pelt Derby, which lets kids ride around a track on miniature tractors.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

6. Shorter Ride Lines. While not Halloween-related, one great reason to the take the kids to the Great Pumpkin Fest, and to Kings Dominion in the fall, is that the lines for rides are shorter than in the summer. Even better, the weather is cooler, which is nice when plans have you outside all day. 

7. Scarecrow Stage. Have a seat on a bale of hay for live shows that take place three times a day. On Saturdays, look for potions and magic with Mad Science. On Sundays, you’ll find snakes and lizards at Reptile Adventure. In between shows, they play It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

8. Playing in Soapy Foam. Be sure to head to Pigpen’s People Washer, which is essentially a 20’ x 20’ area of soapy foam. Kids and adults loved this one. Where else can you just run around in soap bubbles as if you’re in a giant bubble bath? Um, nowhere.

9. Character Meet & Greets. Of course, there are character meet and greets every day at Kings Dominion, but  now the Peanuts characters are dressed up for the season. We saw Linus dressed up like a scarecrow and Sally dressed up as a fairy. They were always roaming the park, so there were lots of good photo opps.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

10. Peanuts Playhouse. While the musical shows take place throughout the year, it’s still fun to sit for a spell and watch “Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers” and “Schroeder’s Sing-Along” at the Peanuts Playhouse. Live shows take place four times each day.

The Great Pumpkin Fest is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5 pm at Kings Dominion. Note that the park opens before noon and closes after 5 pm if you want more time at the park since there’s a lot more to do outside of Planet Snoopy.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand. I have been compensated for my participation. However, all opinions are my own.

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