With fall finally in the air because of a cold front, the timing is perfect for the return of the Pumpkin Patch Festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. this weekend (Oct. 16-17) at the Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle Dr., Bellaire.
After a scaled-back event last year due to COVID concerns, the full festival will include more than 12,000 pounds of pumpkins and no-carve decorating kits, carnival games, inflatables, food, nature activities, animal encounters, and a marketplace of natural and nature-themed items, including pumpkin centerpieces. While the entire event is a family photo opp, professional photo sessions will be offered on Sunday.
Among the vendors and exhibitors will be the TWRC Wildlife Center, InPrint’s Poetry Buskers, Texas Wildlife Association, Plant it Forward Farms, Texas Snakes and More, Texas Master Naturalists, Dough a Deer play dough kits, and Usborne Books.
Admission to the festival is free, with pumpkins sold using cash or credit, and tickets required for games and activities. Pumpkin Passes offer 30 tickets for $20, and and Petite Passes include seven tickets for $5. They will be sold at the north and south end ticket tents for cash or credit.
Concessions will be available at the ticket tents, and outside food vendors in the park will include Liberty Taco, Lemonade Day, All We Need Farms, and New Orleans Style Sno-Balls. Along Evergreen Street, Churrasco Food Truck and It’s a Wrap! will be out on Saturday and Moon Roster will be out on Sunday.
The staff from the Nature Discovery Center is encouraging all who attend to be considerate of those at the event who may be vulnerable by being vaccinated, wearing masks, maintaining safe distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene.
There are bicycle racks at the center in Russ Pitman Park, and parking is available on Newcastle and along neighborhood streets. Attendees are reminded to be considerate about not blocking driveways.
For more, visit www.naturediscoverycenter.org/event/pumpkin-patch.