With everything from pumpkin carving and pumpkin picking, to pumpkin spiced lattes, and more, that time of year has officially arrived and we’re ready for it.
Folk tradition says pumpkins ward off Stingy Jack and other spirits, and they also look good by the window and scare away the nosey neighbours too, but instead of going to your local supermarket for a pumpkin this year, how about doing things the old way and harvesting the pumpkins yourself.
It’s a wholesome activity to do this half term, so wrap up warm and let the kids run around while you fill your wheelbarrow with fresh orange pumpkins.
Here’s just some of the best pumpkin patches near Manchester to head on down to.
Grab a wheelbarrow and browse the Hewitt family’s vast field of pumpkins.
The family have been growing pumpkins for 30 years, but decided to open their patch to the public last year, and for just £5, you get entrance and parking on the site – which then gets taken off the price of any pumpkins you catch.
The fun doesn’t stop there either, as stunning scenic walks around Dunham Massey Hall and Gardens can be polished off with wood fired pizza and Dunham Massey’s homemade cider made from their own apples.
So if you’re up for the challenge, then somewhere at the heart of the maize maze lies a kingdom of pumpkins ready for you to rescue, while a 100 scarecrows are also hiding somewhere in the maize, along with a Harry Potter area.
There’s no booking needed for this one, but themed fancy dress is encouraged.
A great place to spend a day this half term, Lancaster Park & Animal Farm in Chadderton doesn’t just stop at pumpkin carving, as there’s also costume competitions, tales in a Spooky Haunted House, and a whole farm of animals.
Alternative activities that come with the farm include mini-quads and zip lines.
Book online where tickets range from £4-£8, including the pumpkins you take away and access to the activities.
Head on down to Cockfields Farm to pick your perfect pumpkin, create your monster in the Spooky Carving Cave, and tire out the kids with fancy dress and dance competitions, fairground rides, and hand-feeding the farm animals.
Tickets range from £4.95 to £12.95 per person, depending on ages and how many pumpkins you take home.
Woore Fruit Farm is ripe and ready for picking, and it’s open 9am to 5pm daily, so you can go down and grab a pumpkin before Halloween is here.
Featured Image – PublicDomainPictures
Things To Do
Stockport is hosting a Town of Culture Weekender with 50+ events – and it’s all FREE
Stockport will be marking its current Town of Culture title later this month, and it’s set to see the town come together for a huge celebration.
In case you missed it, Stockport was named Greater Manchester’s ‘Town of Culture’ for 2023 back in May of last year, so what better way to celebrate the coveted title than hosting a weekend packed full of cultural festivities for all the family, with access to some of the town’s must-visit venues? We can’t think of one.
And the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is setting out to do just that.
With over 50 events and activities taking place over the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March, the Town of Culture Weekender will shine a light on the impressive variety of culture and creativity happening in the Greater Manchester town, as well as the work and projects that’ve been delivered during the duration of the ‘Town of Culture’ year so far.
Marking the end of the town’s ‘Town of Culture’ status with a bang, activities will be taking place at 25 locations across the Stockport borough.
Over the two days, visitors will be given the opportunity to explore some exciting new spaces, all while enjoying an event programme packed with live music, art, comedy, and history.
So, what are some of the dozens of free events you can get stuck into over the two days then?
Well, for starters, the newly-opened town centre park – which is the first green space in the UK to be built on top of a transport interchange, in case you didn’t know – will play host to many of the activities across the weekend.
A ‘Carnival of the Animals’ parade, which is curated by carnival arts organisation, Global Grooves, and features giant animal puppets, is one of the stand-out events on the lineup, but some of the other highlights have to include a grandpa comedy duo, live music with Pandemonium Steel Band, Tai Chi and Yoga taster classes, and a Stockport Sculpture Trail too.
Music and dance will be showcased at venues including Merseyway Shopping Centre, AMP, Petersgate Tap, Magnet, Spinning Top and the Market Place, while Stockport Library will be bringing fun to little ones with a Bluey Day full of games and crafts based on the popular animation series.
There’ll be more than 50 FREE events across 25 town centre locations / Credit: One Stockport (Supplied)
A series of Stockport-themed walks, tours, and activities will also take place across the weekend, while The War Memorial Gallery will also be hosting the Stockport Rising Exhibition showcasing the works of five local celebrated artists.
And, for those interested in exploring the town’s many attractions, there’s set to be free entry for all over the weekend – including the newly re-opened Hat Works Musuem, the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, and Stockport Museum.
Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is taking place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 25 March, and you can find more information ahead of the event here.
Featured Image – One Stockport (Supplied)
Things To Do
A pug cafe with a ball pit and themed cakes is opening in Salford today
A cafe where you can hang out with pugs while you tuck into your coffee and cake is opening in Salford today – and this time it’s permanent.
There’ve been plenty of pop-up dog cafes in Greater Manchester over the years, but CuppaPug will be putting down roots on Chapel Street for good.
Inside the bright pink space – described as a pug playground – there’ll be a ball pit and a pug wall, as well as 10 resident pugs.
And on the menu there’ll be smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, teas and cakes all inspired by the adorable squashy-faced pooches.
This Salford cafe will be the second location for CuppaPug, which launched in London in 2022.
The business was launched by owners Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse, with the aim to create a safe and nurturing pug community.
They’ve been working with charities and organisations that rescue and rehome the popular breed, while educating owners. Those charity partners include National Pug Protection Trust, Manchester Pug Thing and Pug Life Rescue, where £1 from each booking is donated towards the rescue and rehoming of pugs.
Aaron is an ex-police officer turned digital media producer, as well as a successful drag queen performer as part of the Beyonce Experience that was seen on Britain’s Got Talent and UK Black Pride.
Guests can hang out with pugs at the new CuppaPug cafe in SalfordThere are pink interiors and 10 resident pugs at the CuppaPug cafe in Salford
Meanwhile Matt is a professional actor known for his roles on Channel 4’s Bleach, plus short film Mild Thing.
And completing the CuppaPug family are the pair’s resident pugs, Gaston, Bruce, Bowser, Beau, Gizmo, Bebe, and Baloo.
Speaking about where the idea of CuppaPug came from, Aaron said: “Our inspiration was to create an environment, a pug playground where the pugs can play and people can safely engage with the pugs.
“We want our customers to have an instant smile on their faces as they enter CuppaPug, we want them to feel the warmth and joy that pugs can bring and feel that spike in pleasure from hugging a pug.
CuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: SuppliedCuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: Supplied
“We are so excited to be opening in Manchester, it’s a fantastic city. We are so humbled by the families from the North travelling to London for a day trip just to spend an hour with our pugs. We thought we owed it to those pug lovers to open a second site up here.”
Matt said: “CuppaPug’s vision is to firstly amplify the education of owning a dog, the responsibility and commitment it takes, continuing to share our pugs with people to bring them joy, help with mind wellness and mental health and rescue pugs.
“Manchester has an amazing pug community as well as its own non-profit organisation ‘Manchester Pug Thing’ that we wanted to help, not only with regular donations but to amplify the organisation and the work they do.”
The 10 resident dogs for the new Salford pug cafe have been chosen through a six-week application and rehearsal process, with 60 dogs whittled down to the final 10.
CuppaPug opens on Chapel Street in Salford today (Friday 1 March). You can book one-hour slots to visit at £15 per person here.