The train and the Museum of Life+Science…those together are a winning combination. But when Life+Science adds fall activities and pumpkins, there is no wonder why the Pumpkin Patch Express is a signature event for the Museum.
My family and I were able to take the express this past Saturday. (The Pumpkin Patch Express runs on weekends only.)
Here are a few, immediate, things to know:
- Unlike the Santa Train the Pumpkin Patch Express happens during normal hours of operation for the museum. This means that if you show up at the museum and have not purchased Pumpkin Patch Express tickets you will not be able to ride the train.
- Tickets to the Pumpkin Patch Express also include admission in to the entire Museum (I love this aspect).
- Members do get a reduced fare, so check it out online (see link below).
For the Pumpkin Patch Express, you need to purchase tickets in advance for a specific train time. And be on time for your ride as the train will depart promptly at the time on your ticket!
About halfway through the train ride (which always excites my boys) the train stops. Everyone gets off the train and you are in the woods. Here there are small pumpkins, beautifully perched on top of hay bales, and Museum employees welcoming you. The train leaves and you begin your adventure by picking up a small pumpkin.
Once you get your pumpkin you take it over to a big tent and outdoor area that houses the Fall Festival.
Inside the tent there are temporary tattoos, local fresh apples (for free, one per person), brown bags to decorate to carry your loot, a science station, a bead craft, and stickers to decorate your pumpkins.
Outside the tent is a beautiful spot to take a fall family photo. There is “candy corn bowling” and other outdoor games. But the most popular station at the fall festivities is the pumpkin toss. If you follow Mom in Chapel Hill on Instagram you were able to see a little video of my boys trying this out.
The activities area wasn’t huge but since the train drops folks off one trainload at a time it was not at all crowded. No bathrooms here and you can not take food and drink with you on the train (you can have some snacks, but they must be packed away inside your bag).
To be quite frank, this is not cheap at first blush if you are not a museum member (2013 prices are $12 for members ages 3&up, $20 for non-members ages 3&up); however, you must remember that this includes the price of admission in to the museum for the entire day (admission rates for non-members are $14 adults and $10 ages 3-12 and all train tickets would be an additional $3.00 per rider). So truly, it isn’t that much more to get a fall festivalon top of general admission. Plus it creates wonderful memories! My boys thought this was so fun.
Tickets do sell out so you would be smart to buy in advance.
The Pumpkin Patch Express at the Museum of Life+Science
annually on weekends in October
433 West Murray Avenue
Phone: (919) 220-5429
Disclosure: Tickets to The Pumpkin Patch Express were provided to me by NCMLS in consideration for my review but all thoughts and opinions are expressly my own.