By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Aw, those poor pumpkins… so lovingly picked out of a patch, proudly displayed at home, used for decorations, and then.. smashed! If carving a pumpkin isn’t enough for you and you’ve always wanted to see the silly and messy destruction that pumpkin smashing is all about, there are some places where you can do just that in Northern Virginia. Wayside Farm Fun offers this every weekend during its fall festival, and Cox Farms and Great Country Farms take it up another level with a weekend dedicated to pumpkin smashing in a big way. See below for details.
Wayside Farm Fun
This farm in Berryville, Virginia (a little less than an hour from the Fairfax County border) has many fun activities, including pumpkin smashing several times a day each weekend during its annual fall festival. A worker atop a crane takes the pumpkins more than 30 feet into the air and drops them onto a platform below. Spectators watch as the pumpkins immediately break upon impact, pieces large and small flying off (don’t stand too close if you don’t want pumpkin “guts” on you!). The mess doesn’t go to waste, as some of the large pumpkin pieces are fed to the piggies in the area next to it — the same piggies who race daily (see our full review of Wayside Farm Fun for details)! And if you want to be the one to “smash” your own pumpkin, Wayside also offers the option to shoot smaller pumpkins through a cannon at a target! This year’s festival is open through October 30, 2016, with a bonus day on Columbus Day.
Cox Farms in Centreville (western Fairfax County) is home to Northern Virginia’s largest fall festival, with lots to do each day and beautiful pumpkins to bring home. When you’re done with your Jack-o-Lanterns or decorative pumpkins, Cox Farms invites you to bring them back for “recycling.” The farm will “drop them from the High Drop, squish them with the Squisher, or smash them with the Smasher.” Pumpkins small and large are welcome. The grand finale on the last day is the dropping of the giant pumpkin! If you prefer, you also can stomp your pumpkin in the Stomping Grounds (dress appropriately for the mess!). See the pumpkin smashing in action in this video on the Cox Farms site. This year’s Pumpkin Madness weekend takes place November 5-6, 2016.
Great Country Farms
Great Country Farm is Bluemont, about an hour west of Fairfax, also has a great fall festival that ends with a Pumpkin Smashing Weekend, this year on November 5-8. The farm smashes pumpkins in all sorts of ways for four days and has a unique Giant Pumpkin Drop for charity. The Silo Drop and the Zip Wire Sploosh let you do the smashin’ yourself, but you also can bring your pumpkin the Pumpkin Drop Zone and add them to the upside down “fireworks display” as the pumpkins are dropped from a 40-foot lift. This is one of the most fun pumpkin smashes around: visitors buy rubber duckies all season long at the farm for $5 each (also available online), with all proceeds go to Boulder Crest Retreat for military and veteran wellness. The Lucky Ducks are numbered and placed in the pond for a giant pumpkin drop that takes place on Sunday, November 6, 2016, at 2 pm. As the pumpkin drops it splashes the duckies out of the water and onto “Prize Spots.”