Never a fan of dark Halloween, I love any type of family-friendly Halloween celebration! We have done many Trunk-or-Treats and several pumpkin patches, but I wanted some variety in our fall festivities this year…enter: Kings Dominion Pumpkin Fest. Pumpkin painting, hay mazes and scare-free were only a few reasons why this was a huge hit for our family.
Our first stop was The Great Pumpkin Fest Headquarters, where my children were measured for the appropriate-colored wristband which denoted which rides they can do based on height restrictions, and immediately after they each got to choose a small prize. Prizes became one of the themes of the day, as the kids earned prizes at each station throughout “Snoopy Planet”, where Pumpkin Fest is held.
In addition to the incredible rides Kings Dominion is known for, the kids loved the extras, like Van Pelt Derby, where they rode mini tractors along a hay maze. All the rides in Planet Snoopy are designed for young children. It was such a relief to know that these rides are safe for my children, ages 8 and 4, and also, to not have to turn them away at rides due to their heights. Pumpkin Fest is specifically for children, and one must be under 60” to participate.
Between rides, we circled and circled Franklin’s Scarecrow Hollow, a hay maze and certainly, were in it longer than we intended, but I really appreciated how the kids could actually lead us through and navigate it on their own. Because Kings Dominion used hay, rather than corn they could see outside of the maze, so it was much less daunting for younger children.
During the brief rain, we slipped into Joe Cool’s Pit Stop. While here, the kids each chose a small pumpkin to color. Thanks KD for providing the washable markers, adorable pumpkins and creative inspiration while we waited out the rain.
Throughout our visit we saw several PEANUTS characters, even Lucy dressed as a witch! It was such a treat to see her and the entire PEANUTS gang is so patient and happy to take photos with children. We couldn’t miss our chance to ride the Great Pumpkin Coaster, a first for us during the fall season!
After having spent nearly 4 hours at Kings Dominion, and riding nearly every ride in Snoopy Planet, we decided to head home. Although RVA is a quick drive, the kids had plenty of entertainment in the backseat with all their prizes! Thanks for making this Halloween celebration one that was full of treats!
Ways to save at Kings Dominion:
Discounts for active/retired military
Go with a season pass holder for $39.99
Purchase parking pass online/save $5 for preferred parking and $3 for single day parking
If you plan to go more than twice, consider the season pass. The Gold Pass is $89
— By Lindsay Garrison
Richmond on the Cheap contributor Lindsay Garrison is a Richmond, Virginia based mom to two young children. A graduate from Chesterfield Schools and Randolph-Macon College, Lindsay is proud to call Richmond home. In the years prior to planning activities and outings with her own children, she was a French teacher. During her tenure she earned accolades for her creative teaching style and ability to connect with her students. Lindsay now applies the skills she learned when she was planning student trips to France, to her own family adventures. She can’t wait to take her own children to France one day! Follow the Garrison’s family adventures on Instagram: @thegarrisonsrva
Richmond’s Farmers Markets
Richmond area scenic drives
October Festivals, Halloween Fun & More
Fun events in October around Richmond – concerts and more!
The Ultimate List of Richmond-area Halloween Events and Activities
Richmond area Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and Fall Fun Farms
Apple picking fun, plus apple donuts, apple pie, apple cider, and wine