‘10,000-plus pumpkins’: New Castle Gardens continues fall tradition
Pumpkin Patch at New Castle Gardens continues to grow each fall
Every fall Michelle and Steve Cox turn over four and a half acres into a destination for family-friendly activities centered on pumpkins.
After living in San Diego for 30 years, Michelle Cox, who has a background in soil biogeochemistry and restoration ecology and her husband Steve Cox, a photojournalist for nearly three decades, decided to return home to Colorado.
The married couple, which has owned New Castle Gardens for the last four years, continues to expand its pumpkin patch each season.
“It started out pretty small,” Michelle Cox said. “We’ve probably quadrupled it in size now as far as attendance.”
Located at 6501 County Road 214 (Peach Valley Road), the Pumpkin Patch at New Castle Gardens welcomes visitors 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday as well as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The pumpkin patch will remain open to the public through Halloween.
Admission costs $7, however children under 3 and seniors over 65 get in free as do first responders, active military personnel and veterans.
According to Michelle Cox, this year’s Pumpkin Patch will feature up to twelve varieties of pumpkins and gourds grown locally in southwest Colorado.
“It’s that time of year,” Michelle Cox said. “I’d say we go through, probably, 10,000 plus pumpkins.”
While Pumpkin Patch at New Castle Gardens hosts plenty of field trips on weekdays, the family-friendly atmosphere features live music, food trucks, face painting and a petting zoo on weekends, too.
“I love working with kids and working to connect them to nature,” Michelle Cox said. “We’re not a fancy train ride kind of pumpkin patch. It’s down and dirty.”
This year’s pumpkin patch includes a slide, haunted straw rides and even a slingshot known as “the pumpkinator.”
“We have two of them and they’re permanent structures and you get to launch balls or pumpkins at our back mountain” Michelle Cox said of the pumpkinators.
Wanting to offer new activities each season, this year Steve and Michelle Cox have added giant Jenga, giant Connect 4 and adult tricycles to the mix. “Our goal is to send your kid home filthy and asleep in the car,” Michelle Cox said.
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Roaring Fork Schools volunteers who have already completed a comparable background check through an approved entity would be good to go.