Friday, October 13, 2017

Pumpkin Nights in Auburn, California

Tonight, our family got to experience a Media Night preview of Pumpkin Nights in Auburn, CA.  This is the first year that Pumpkin Nights has come to California.  They started in 2016 in Twin Cities, Minnesota.  This year they expanded to Salt Lake City, Utah and Auburn, California.  Pumpkin Nights is an outdoor Halloween festival featuring over 3000 hand carved pumpkins in different displays.  It is spread out over a half mile walk.

We arrived at Pumpkin Nights about 7pm, it was already dark.  Do not go into this event thinking you're gonna get a ton of cute pictures of people unless you're a really skilled low light photographer. (I am not.  I am a bright light photographer.  Low light is not my jam.)  You will however get great pictures of the fun scenery and the kids had a blast.  We brought the kids in costume which was fun but hubby and I opted not to wear costumes.  Other adults wore costumes and they were adorable!  Do you!  I do advise to bring sweatshirts or jackets because it does get chilly at night.

In case you don't know, my kids are 4, 8, and 10.  This is a hard age range to work with since preschool things are "too babyish" for my oldest and my youngest is too little to do most "big kid" things.  Pumpkin Nights worked perfectly for our family.  My youngest loved it!  It was definitely not too scary for her.  My boys loved it too!  There was enough for them to do and the displays were engaging enough for them even though my oldest is "way too cool for everything.  Ugghhhh!"  (You know the age.)

We really enjoyed the intricate cravings of the pumpkins!  There were a few different areas with different themes and I enjoyed how the lighting and the music matched up.  I will say that we are not really Halloween people.  We like it just fine.  We put up a handful of decorations, get the kids costumes, go trick-or-treating, etc... We are not obsessed with Halloween.  If you are OBSESSED with Halloween, you should definitely go to Pumpkin Nights.  It's just an awesome experience.  (I'm not going to post too many pictures because I don't want to spoil it for you.)

Our favorites:
~ Hay Bale Maze!  All my kids loved this and spent at least 20 minutes running through it.  My 4 year old daughter could easily navigate it.  It's definitely not complex and small children/toddlers will do fine in it.  I think there's something about it being nighttime and all the fun lights that made it extra fun.
~ Movie screen with Harry Potter.  They have hay bales out for seating but there's also a couple benches over there to sit on.  It's showing every night at 7pm.  You could plan to watch the whole thing if you wanted to.  We liked taking a little break and watching for a bit.  You could even grab your food and head up to watch as you finish eating.
~ Pumpkin Galaxy which leads into the maze and movie area was our favorite themed area.  The kids loved dancing to the music.  There were fun lights that flashed around.  Don't miss what someone called the "car wash" area to the right of the main Pumpkin Galaxy display.  It was metal spinning thingies (I know, very scientific) covered with pool noodles and the kids had a blast running through it.
~ Pumpkin carver.  He was super cool to watch!  He moved so fast and the music in the area was great too!  We sat down and watched him while enjoying a snack.

Auburn is about an hour drive from our house so it's a bit of a trek.  We ended up spending about an hour and a half at Pumpkin Nights.  We might have been able to stay longer but it is a Thursday and the little one has school tomorrow.  If we were to go again, I would have tried to make a day out of it.  I probably would have tried to meet up with some friends, plan to eat dinner there, and then hang out until we were exhausted.  I would also look for deals on tickets.  On their website, they have a list of discounts.

Our family had a really great time!  The outdoor atmosphere works really well for the kids.  The freedom to be able to run and express their excitement is always a plus for my kids.  It was actually really relaxing for me which I can't say a lot because I'm so high strung.  (TMI?)  We walked, we ohh'd and ahhh'd, we laughed, we danced, we took pictures, and it was a great night of family fun!

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  1. Wasn't it such a neat event?! I liked the hay bale maze and the movie screening too!

  2. What a fun event! I love finding family friendly (aka non-scary) stuff to do this time of year.

  3. This looks so awesome! Such a fun event to take your family too!