By Marwa Benahmed-Ali
Hayrides, pony rides, corn and straw mazes, Dracula in Transylvania, pumpkin patches, farm animals and playland— all reasons why Pumpkinland is one of the most popular fall events in Delaware County, locals say.
Pumpkinland, which has been a tradition at Linvilla Orchards for 50 years, opened its doors in Media on Sept. 12.
Linvilla Orchards, which has been around for 101 years, welcomes visitors year round.
According to Jean Linvill, the manger of operations, Pumpkinland attracts thousands of visitors from the Delaware Valley and nearby states.
A favorite activity for families is selecting pumpkins to carve for Halloween. “The selection of pumpkins Linvilla has is unbelievable,” said visitor Alex Guzman of Phoenixville. “You have your traditional pumpkins, or pumpkins that are white or have knuckles on them.”
Pumpkinland includes a scarecrow display with Disney’s Cinderella and
Snow White, pumpkins, and Dracula in Transylvania, a screening for the upcoming film “Hotel Transylvania.”
“The Pumpkinland display is utterly beautiful,” said Melodie Shreve of Aston. “It represents not only Halloween, but the joy of Autumn.”
According to Linvill, Pumpkinland was the creation of her mother. “She was asked to do a center display of pumpkins and a scarecrow in Fairmont and won first place.”
In the 1960’s, the display was brought back to Linvilla and used as a display next to the pumpkin patch.
“My mother placed the display next to the famous octagonal barn, which burned down in 2002,” Linvill said. “Now, we use the location for Pumpkinland.”
Nancy Linvill, the artistic director at Linvilla, is responsible for Pumpkinland setup.
“Nancy puts a lot of work into Pumpkinland,” said Mark Rosenberger, a tractor driver at Linvilla. “It takes weeks for her to set up the display.”
Visitors also had the opportunity to explore various attractions. “Pumpkinland is not just about pumpkins and shopping,” Linvill said. “It’s about exploring the rural life in the heart of Delaware County.”
Rosenberger said the best way to see rural life is by taking a hayride, which runs 20-30 minutes and offers a tour of various orchards on 300 acres of land.
“This hayride reminds me of Lancaster,” said visitor Colby Remney of Ridley. “There’s peaches, gala apples, even Christmas trees.”
According to Rosenberger, the hayride is the most popular activity at Linvilla, so visitors may wait in line up to two hours during Halloween.
Mazes are also a fun attraction for families. Visitors pay a fee of $3 for the straw maze and $4 for the corn.
“I usually drive to Lancaster for corn mazes,” said Mariah Dougherty of Chester. “It’s fun, seasonal, and close to home.”
The straw maze, which is next to the corn maze, is less challenging, according to Dougherty.
“The mazes have been a tradition at Linvilla for 73 years,” said employee Steve Linvill. “Visitors especially enjoy the corn maze for its small size.”
Steve recreates and relocates the corn maze each year.
“We have to plow the corn every year, so it is required for us to move the maze,”
Steve said. “Hopefully, next year, we will keep the corn maze in the same spot.”
Pony rides, petting zoo, and Playland are other popular attractions for children, said one employee who preferred to remain anonymous.
According to Sue Dougherty of Chester, she takes her kids to Playland if they aren’t fans of mazes. “All I have to do is pay a dollar and let my kids play freely,” Dougherty said.
“My kids absolutely love the pony rides and animal petting,”said Tanya Richardson of Springfield. “There’s goats, ostriches– you name it.”
Linvilla also offers a garden center with a wide selection of souvenirs and Halloween decorations.
The Farmer’s Market, located in the front of Linvilla Orchards, sells fruits and vegetables that were grown in the orchards.
The Garden Center also sells various plants and flowers that were handpicked on
site. “Our visitors enjoy the various activities and wide selection of seasonal products,” Linvill said. “During the fall season, we want to give our visitors the ideal experience.”
Pumpkinland will be open until Nov. 8. For more information, visit www.linvilla. com/family/pumkinland or call Linvilla Orchards at (610)-876-7116.