Live the full Instagram experience and pick your own pumpkin at one of these Irish pumpkin patches – much more fun than a trip to your local grocery shop!
Halloween has its roots in ancient Celtic history and while pumpkins and costumes and scary movies may have come after the fact, the holiday is actually much more Irish than you might have known.
In fact, pumpkin carving dates back to a legend about an Irishman named Stingy Jack who is believed to have invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin he could use instead. The Devil did so, but Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross (which stopped him from changing back to his original form).
Jack eventually freed the Devil, so long as he agreed not to bother him for one whole year and promised not to claim his soul when he died. Twelve months later, Jack fooled the Devil again – this time convincing him to climb a tree and pick a piece of fruit. While up in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the tree trunk, preventing the Devil from descending until he said he wouldn’t bother Jack for ten more years.
Jack died soon after, but as legend would have it, God wouldn’t let such a treacherous character into heaven. The Devil, though still upset by Jack’s making a fool of him, kept his word and didn’t claim his soul. Sending him off into the night with only a burning coal to light his way, Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and is believed to be roaming the earth to this very day. Locals reported sightings of a lone figure in the distance and Stingy Jack soon became Jack of the Lantern and then simply, Jack O’Lantern (the name our friends across the water now use to describe carved pumpkins).
Well, now that you know the history, booking in to pick your own pumpkin is obviously the next logical step.
Tinahely Farm, Coolross, Co Wicklow
Pumpkin picking is an annual event at Tinahely Farm in Co Wicklow, who combine theirs with tractor and trailer rides for extra fun. Tickets cost €15 per child (max two adults free per child) and even include a play in the onsite activity barn. Running from October 23rd to October 25th, you can find out more info and book your spot here.
Ladyrath Pumpkin Patch, Navan, Co Meath
Set up back in 2016, Ladyrath Pumpkin Patch celebrates its fifth birthday this year. Initially attracting just a couple of hundred people, it’s now a sell-out event and just a few dates remain for this coming Halloween. Home to over 10,000 pumpkins (woah!), they also set up bouncy castles and inflatable obstacle courses to keep the kids entertained too.
Fulton’s Pumpkin Patch, Co Tyrone
A hub of festive activity, Fulton’s Pumpkin Patch plants a dozen different varieties of pumpkins ranging in colour from white to blue and of course, the traditional orange. Introducing a bit of a spookier feel to their offerings, the team adorn the track in their corn maize field with Halloween decor and even run various spook nights to cater to older children and adults.
Clonfert Pet Farm, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Limited tickets remain for the Halloween experience at Clonfert Pet Farm, but those who do manage to secure their spot are in for a fantastic day out. Set to run from October 23rd to 31st, all-inclusive entry costs €18 per child and gives you access to the haunted house, carnival, pumpkin patch, children’s disco and the many arts and crafts stations dotted throughout too.
Luggwoods Enchanted Forest, Crooksling, Co Dublin
Enchanted forest and Halloween go hand in hand if you ask us, and Luggwoods is busy putting the finishing touches on their “hooky spooky” event taking place later this month. One of the country’s most authentic All Hallow’s Eve experiences, visitors will be guided through the trail by some very suss characters who will help you find the ingredients needed for the friendly witches Halloween brew.
Ballycross Apple Farm, Co Wexford
Ghosts and goblins are always welcome at Ballycross Apple Farm, which has set up a special pumpkin patch and witches village especially for spooky season. No booking is necessary, so just show up a little early to ensure you get as much time there as possible. As for food options, you’ll be well looked after down there with both an onsite café and plenty of other food stalls which can be found in the courtyard area.
Killarney Pumpkin Farm, Killarney, Co Kerry
Halloween is a big deal at the Killarney Pumpkin Farm who pull out all the stops for the occasion. Pick your own pumpkin or ghoulish gourd from the wonky pumpkin patch, get lost in the corn maize and meet Hagatha the farm witch before settling in for a haunted Samhain story or a trip on the Killarney ghost bus. You won’t be lost for things to do here, that’s for sure.
Nore Valley Park, Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny
Open from October 6th to 30th, anyone hoping to pick up a pumpkin at Nore Valley must pre-book a day visit ahead of time. Pumpkins cost €5 each and you can carve them right there on the farm or bring them home with you if you’d prefer. Nore Valley also runs a number of evening activities for both campers and day visitors which includes a torchlight treasure hunt, bonfire, scare maze and marshmallow toasting.
Joe’s Farm, Ballycurraginny, Co Cork
Way down in Rebel County, Joe’s Farm gives visitors the chance to not only pick their own pumpkin, but walk around the farm and learn a little about where their vegetables come from too. Everything is outdoors though so definitely dress for the weather and wear wellies if possible too.