Pumpkin Picking at Spilman's Farm - Thirsk
Updated: Oct 4
AD} We were kindly invited along to Spilman's Farm Pumpkin Festival near Thirsk.
We have never been to Spilman's Farm before although we had heard a lot about it and we were planning on visiting this year, so when the lovely guys at Spilmans got In touch to invite us along, we obviously said yes straight away. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and we had a fantastic morning.
We arrived for 10am and were greeted by the lovely staff who talked us through how it all worked. We grabbed a wheel barrow (there are lots) and headed into the festival. (Read on to find a step by step guide on what to expect and for my top tips.)
What we did on our visit
We decided to have a walk around and do the activities first. This is what we enjoyed...
Corn Cannon, lots of fun you basically shoot a cob out of a pressured cannon. The boys really enjoyed it, and right next to it was - The Sling Shot you get a potato and you have to try and shoot the castle Honestly you could spend an hour just on these two. It's awesome!
Bale Mountain - If you love to climb then this is for you. The view is fab from the top and you might even spot a pumpkin or two.
Giant Pipe Roll - We didn't do this as the boys were determined they were too big for it (They looked big enough to me, chickens) Located in the Carving tent fun house
Spooky Walk - I didn't go in as I have asthma and there was quite a lot of smoke in the first bit so I turned around and went back out and waited for the boys who said it was really good. (I wont say anything else, so as not to spoil it. ) Think Haunted house.
Tractor ride - We left our wheel barrow to the side and jumped onto the tractor trailer for a ride around the pumpkin field which was fab, you also get to hear about the crops. We used this opportunity to spot some pumpkins that we wanted to take home, the hard part was trying to remember where they were!
After the tractor ride we headed into the pumpkin field. We set a limit to two pumpkins each (We got 8 as Adam was at work and unfortunately couldn't come with us today) we could have easily gone mad and filled a wheel barrow each. However we do have a few other patches to visit so I am limiting what we get. We do have a carving party at home closer to Halloween but I also make Pumpkin soup with the smaller ones. HERE is my delicious recipe. We really enjoyed wandering through the pumpkin field, there are loads to choose from in fact there are over 125k including traditional, white, yellow, blue and also squash and gourds. We used the opportunity as home educators to talk about the whole process from seed and Elliot spotted a few that had been damaged and gone rotten so it was great to see the life cycle in action. We then headed for the exit where you can pay for your pumpkins with either cash or use your £5 vouchers. We decided to stop and wash the pumpkins in the designated wash area as they were a bit dirty, I think this is a fantastic idea. We popped them in the car and then headed to the barn.
We did take a picnic with us but decided to try out the wood fired pizzas and had a margarita and a meaty with two trays of chips and this was more than enough for 4 people to share. It was absolutely delish. It came to around £27 we didn't get drinks as we had our own. There's also a lovely farm shop which stocks local produce.
All in all we had a fantastic morning and spent almost 3 hours here. If we had younger kids we could have easily spent longer. read on to find out more.
Good to know
Spilmans Farm is located near Thirsk, it was only just over an hour from Sunderland which isn't too bad. You can find over 125k pumpkins in different colours, shapes and varieties all grown on the farm.
Booking is a must and you can find tickets HERE
Tickets are priced at £7.50 per person and includes a £5 card to get stamped. You can use the card to pay for activities or pumpkins.
Activities this year include:
Lots of photo Opportunities
Giant Pipe roll
Carving Barn - You can carve your pumpkins after you pay for them on site if you want to.
Family Friendly Show - Fright Delight
Also fair ground rides to enjoy although these are at an extra cost and you can not use your card to pay for these.
Activities are priced at £2 per person and you can pay using your £5 credit. You get a stamp on your card when you do an activity. However there is a multi save option...
1 person £2
2 people £3
3 people £4
4 people £5
5+ £1per person
staff will keep you right if you get confused. Its honestly not as confusing as it sounds.
You can also use your credit to pay for pumpkins.
When is the festival on?
Spilmans farm pumpkin festival takes place on selected dates -
30th September, 1st October
24th - 31st October
Open from 9am-5.30pm
What to expect on your day
Arrive and find a car parking space, once you get out follow the signs for the PYO and grab a wheel barrow. They also have mini barrows for the little people. Then head to the kiosk and show them your barcode from your booking email. You will then be given your £5 credit voucher to use on activities or pumpkins. You can also purchase more if you need to.
You can then decide what you want to do first and you can stay all day if you want to. You pay for pumpkins on the way out at the stand and you can purchase carving kits. Don't forget to take your phone or camera and take advantage of the photo opportunities.
Your questions answered
Parking - You will find hundreds of parking spaces so don't worry about it.
Finding your way around - There's lots of signage, you wont get lost and most of the activities are in the same field.
Prices - Pumpkins start from £2 and go up to £10 (huge huge ones)
You can stay all day if you want to
Dogs are not allowed so please do not go and then leave them in the car. Just leave them at home.
Card and cash accepted although contactless is preferred
Toilets on site near main entrance
Feet - Wear wellies or walking boots as it can get muddy
Washing station free to use to clean of any mud on your pumpkins and you also get a free pumpkin carrier although this is plastic and I would advise against this.
Food vans on site and in the barn you will find pizza, chips and other hot food options.
Pumpkins will last until mid/late October if you keep them in a cool area and dry. Check for any small holes and if you find one just cover with a bit of tape to stop any air getting to it. I would suggest carving no earlier than a week before Halloween otherwise they will go rotten if you carve them before that. Please do not leave your pumpkins in the park or outside for animals. Pumpkins are not natural food sources for our wildlife and can be toxic to some. Just pop them into your garden waste bin or composter
How to find Spilmans Farm