Mummy Diaries | Picking the perfect pumpkin at The Patch MK

woman and boy standing in front of giant letters, spelling out PUMPKINS

Oh my gourd, I know what you’re thinking – it’s another The Patch MK post. That, or how grey is that sky in the photo? Our bi-annual tradition continued for another year and for the third year running, we visited during pumpkin season. This year was the best year yet – both for sunflowers and pumpkins – and it was incredible how much there was to do and see.

Best of all, prices remained the same as before and it was only £2.50 per person (plus the booking fee) which is amazing value… although we did spend close to £50 while we were there (on lunch, pumpkins, and toasting marshmallows… more on that later!). My mum joined us this time, having come with us to the sunflowers last year. And as always, a good time was had by all – even the rain couldn’t spoil our fun!

Read more: No tricks but plenty of treats (and pumpkins) at The Patch MK

Like previous years, all the popular photo opportunities and activities were at The Patch, including:

  • Vintage combine harvester and tractor
  • The green slides
  • Bale maze
  • Pumpkin House
  • The PUMPKINS letters
  • Barrel train ride (still a £2.50 supplement per person)

You can find out about those in my last couple of posts (see the links throughout this post) – but I want to talk about all the new things there were.

boy sat at a piano, redecorated for Halloween, with This is Hallloween song lyrics painted on

Brand New for 2022

The climbing wall which made its debut during sunflower season was back again, and it had been given a spooky makeover. Alfie didn’t go on it then and was keen to try this time. He was still a bit too small for it, and couldn’t reach the hand grips, so mum and I took it in turn to try and carry him across. He mastered the foot slots, so hopefully next year, we can have another go! There were two levels of difficulty, and it was so good to see people smashing the routes.

Our favourite thing was the vintage fairground games – there was the iconic buzz wire and a Halloween-themed knockdown game. The buzz game had two levels of difficulty, with the wires spelling out THE and PATCH. The aim being, to get from one to the other without touching the wire… which was definitely easier said than done! I think I managed one letter of PATCH and gave up. The other game proved even more popular – there were tennis balls and juggling balls and you needed to knock down the zombies and pumpkins. Pull the zombie’s arm to bring all the figures back to the fore. Alfie loved it and was quite a decent thrower! There was always a queue for the games, which was a good sign – but at the same time, a lot of children were just left unattended and refused to leave to let others have a go. I think we waited about 5 minutes for a turn.

Boy sitting on a witch's broom, on a stage as part of a photo opportunity
In terms of other photo opportunities, there was the Witch’s Broom, which definitely resembled the cover of Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson! I wish I’d got a photo on it now, but Alfie modelled it well. There was also the cutest iron pumpkin shell, with a little bistro set inside it… great for sitting and enjoying a PSL from the Patch Pantry – but with the pumpkins on the table, it also made a great photo opp. You could even get a shot with the PUMPKINS letters in the background! Inside the Patch Pantry, there was a spooky piano, inspired by Jack Skellington and The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was so cool, and you could even sit and play it.

Finally, there were the pumpkin cart, which was just so colourful and gave off all the ‘harvest festival’ vibes. You couldn’t actually sit on it, but it made such a vibrant photo. And also, a Ford flatbed truck, which apparently had been used in film (I have no idea which one/s but let me know if you do. IYKYK) – which had been kitted out with old barrels, all the pumpkins and squash, and a garland of autumn leaves. There was the biggest queue for this one, so people must have known its iconic status – but it did make the most perfect autumnal photo too!

vintage wooden cart, full of hay, pumpkins and squashes

Food Glorious Food

I have to quickly mention the Patch Pantry, because once again, it did not disappoint. I remember last year, Ash bought a sausage roll and I had a bite – it was heavenly. This year, there were three varieties of sausage roll: vegan, sage and onion, and chipotle. We all ordered the sage and onion ones, and they were super tasty. Washed down with the most incredible pumpkin spice latte (honestly, the nicest one I’ve ever had). Alfie also wanted a box of popcorn, so he munched that, while mum and I shared some Burt’s crisps – and Alfie also had a gingerbread biscuit for later (from a bakery in Towcester, I think it was). There were plenty of other options though, including lunch boxes for the kids, pumpkin soup (obv) and mac ‘n’ cheese. We also toasted marshmallows on the big fire pits (£1.50 per marshmallow).

Read more: Creepin' it real this Halloween at The Patch MK

As you can see, it’s easy to make a day of it. We had tickets for the 10:30am slot, and I’m sure we were there for 4 hours. We picked our pumpkins throughout the day, and both took home three each. There were recipe cards in the fields, which even gave recommendations on which varieties of pumpkin or squash to use – as well as differences between the various types on offer. I’ve already made the snozzcumber muffins (inspired by the BFG) and I’m going to use the same recipe to make a loaf cake. I’m also planning a pumpkin pie, and maybe a PSL cake. The flesh is cut, bagged and frozen – ready to go!

We can’t wait for our visits to The Patch next year… I wonder what new additions we will see then.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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