In our family, we celebrate all things “Spooky Season”. The official launch is the day Pumpkin Spice Lattes make their grand voyage back into Starbucks stores across the nation. We drag out the fall decor. We light our scented candles and change out to fall soaps throughout the house. The “Go Away, We’re Watching Hocus Pocus” doormat gets rolled out, and we plot our costumes and outings. One event that especially can’t be missed is “Pumpkin Nights,” a half mile walking trail through immersive insta-worthy pumpkin laden lands. There are photo stations throughout with Pumpkin Night employees standing by to snap pics for you. You’ll walk through streams of bubbles under the sea in neon reef, mystical smoke from dragon in The Forbidden City, a fresh snow fall in Enchanted Forest and even dig for treasure in Pirate’s cove. You’ll begin and end your journey in The Pumpkin Village. Here you’ll find the fire spinners show, the award winning fresh pumpkin carver, food trucks, the sweet shop, the souvenir shop, and rotating vendors that may include palm readers, adult beverages, and more.

   On Fridays and Saturdays, Pioneer Village next door will host a free exhibit of historic fortune telling devices. They’ll also be selling fresh pumpkins and and will be taking spirit photos for just $3. This is considered a separate event from Pumpkin Nights, just follow the appropriate signage.

Pumpkin Nights Pro Tips:

1. Buy tickets early. Yes, some walk up tickets are available but this event is very frequently sold out and can’t admit more due to safety. There’s nothing worst than seeing little pumpkins have to be turned away at the gate! Make sure you have your ticket confirmation loaded with the QR code as this is what is scanned at the gate. I recommend screenshooting it and keeping in your camera roll for easy access since the internet isn’t always reliable for searching on site.
It should look similar to this:

2. Carpool. Parking is available on site at $10 a car and there is no nearby street parking so carpool and save that cash for the food trucks! Parking lines on weekends can take up to 30 minutes to safely park everyone so plan accordingly.

3. Bathrooms. There are flushable toilet trailers in The Pumpkin Village. This is your best bet as there are multiple stalls. Near the beginning of the trail there is one flushable toilet for ladies and one for gentlemen, and again one of each more than half way through the trail near coral reef.

4. Wear comfortable shoes! Yes, we all want those costume-on-point pics for the ‘gram but this is a forest path and heels, heeled boots, sandals and opened toe shoes just aren’t going to cut it. Wear your tennis shoes or boots! The ground is not always even so take caution. Spritz a little bug spray on while you’re at it.

5. The trails welcome strollers, the bigger the wheels, the better you’ll be able to navigate, especially after a rainy night. The paths are unfortunately difficult to navigate in a wheelchair.

6. If you arrive before dark, take your time in the pumpkin village exploring the vendors or loading up on snacks, the path is prettiest at night. That being said, if you’ve got little kids, you can walk through before dark to keep them from being spooked and then walk through again as it gets dark. You’re allowed to walk through as many times as you want so if an area is too crowded or the photo line is too long, just come back!

8. Cameras are welcome!! Bring a back up battery if you’re worried about your cell phone’s power supply. There are THAT MANY photo opportunities. Drones are however not allowed.

9. Pay attention to what times the Fire Spinning Show is happening in The Pumpkin Village. It’s usually 3 times nightly at the beginning of the hour and it draws a big crowd so you’ll want to arrive early for a prime viewing spot. The songs WILL get in your head.

10. The store sells hoodies, mittens, beanies, t-shirts, glow in the dark and light up toys and other souvenirs, (good to know in case someone gets cold or spills on their shirt!). The light up balloons and the light up cotton candy are big draws and tend to get the longest lines so keep that in mind if you’re wanting to score both. The Light-up cotton candy size is huge and can be shared between younger siblings.

11. This is a real functioning farm so please for your safety and the safety of your kids, stay on the trail. There are live animals and barbed wire areas a safe distance off of the path, so you do not go wondering off trail.

12. Don’t miss the wall of carved pumpkins by @thepumpkingeek or the live fresh pumpkin carvings happening on site. They’re both incredible!

13. Go to the ticket booth if you have lost an item or need a first aid kit. The ticket booth is also a good place to go if you are missing a member of your party and you need assistance.

14. Pioneer Farms is a living history museum that hosts Pumpkin Nights each year. For the sake of the museum, please clean up after yourselves, (Think of the farm animals!); there are trash cans throughout. 

Pumpkin Nights runs September 21-October 30. For tickets and more information, click HERE!

Jacy Knoop-Troullier
Jacy is a Nebraska native, married to Sebastian Knoop-Troullier from Hamburg, Germany whom she met at a Renaissance Festival. She has two step kids, both teenagers, Katie and Kera, who are at Meridian I.B. World School. The family likes to travel, try new restaurants, volunteer at Pioneer Farms, and explore “haunted” locations. Jacy and Sebastian are in the process of growing their family and have been on their fertility journey since their 4th of July “Pandemic" wedding in 2020. When Jacy’s not busy trying to translate just exactly WHAT her husband is saying to his family on the phone in German, or trying to learn the latest TikTok trend to keep up with the teens, she’s a Travel Coordinator for the TV Show, “WALKER”. She’s also an avid traveler and photographer, and mini zoo curator with her family’s 2 Dogs (Apollo & Atlas), 3 Cats (Harmony, Lafayette & Jack), two Pet Rats (Scabbers & August), and Rescue Turtle, Günther.


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