courtesy of the Arboretum.

Fall

An Amateur’s Guide to the Dallas Arboretum’s Pumpkin Patch

In pursuit of the perfect fall day.

As a native of Little Rock, Arkansas and a recent TCU grad, I’ve only called Dallas home for a month, and am brand new to the Dallas Arboretum’s beloved Pumpkin Village tradition. This year’s theme is classic, beloved, witty, and a personal favorite of mine: “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

Through October 31, you can see all of the adored Charlie Brown characters causing a rumpus in the Pumpkin Village. This local gourd-filled garden has been around since 1982 and is one of “America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals” according to Fodor’s Travel. Being an autumn junkie myself, I decided to see what all of the hype was about.

On the path to the Village, pumpkins and fall foliage welcome you to the celebration of nature’s favorite season (I’m biased). It’s like being fully immersed in fall—I couldn’t even see the city, nor did I want to. I was immediately awed by the size of the characters and their all-natural components. Franklin, Sally, and Linus stand proudly by the 15-foot tall Great Pumpkin, made up of 4,500 quarts of marigolds.

As you walk around the Village, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Pattie, and Marcie stand watch behind the iconic brick wall, observing the chaos their friends are creating. I walked into pumpkin houses and spun around gazing at panels of printed scenes from the film. Snoopy and Woodstock rest atop the doghouse before Hallows Eve, while Lucy offers advice and Schroeder plays his trusty red piano.

I took over 56 photos (even made one my wallpaper) and sent each and every one to my family. Do they hate me? Yes. Do they love Charlie Brown? Double yes, so we’re good.

But where did all of these gourds and squash and bales of hay come from? Glad you asked. 90,000 of them were brought in from Pumpkin Pyle, a family farm in the state’s pumpkin capital, Floydada, Texas. These pumpkins are used not only to create the Village, but also to bring you an “urbanized” pumpkin patch. You don’t need to drive out of town to get your fall decor—gourds and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are all available for purchase at the gift store.

My trip to the Arboretum? A hit. I am fully fall rejuvenated and even scooped up a gourd or two to add to the pumpkin shrine in my apartment.

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