There’s something about pumpkins that make people happy.
Tiny pumpkins can nestle in tiny hands. Great big ones are chosen to become jack-o’-lanterns. Medium-size pumpkins are held up high on kids’ heads when they pose for pictures. And small children carefully carry them along as their parents remind them to “be careful.”
Pumpkin patches, craft fairs and bazaars are now here and scheduled in South Florida. It’s a favorite time of year.
At The Little Farm in Goulds, parents and children can experience a step into a gentler time. Goats bleat, roosters crow and turkeys gobble. Corn stalks line the paths covered in hay and under big old gnarled trees and swaying palms children ride slow horses. A decorated vintage farm tiller sits nearby.
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“We love the environment and being outdoors,” said Tyler Higginbotham, who visited The Little Farm with Stephanie De Leon and their daughters Kenzee, 2, and Harlee, 4. The sisters were dressed to match their mom in black and white stripes and they wore orange and hot-pink Halloween socks.
“It’s about memories. And the activities. Kenzee gets to ride on a pony and that’s her perfect part,” De Leon said.
Moms Michelle and Sandy Weiner brought their son Gregory, 15 months, to take photos in front of the rows of pumpkins stacked on a trailer bed.
“It’s our second time here,” Sandy Weiner said. “We love that it’s safe and that kids can get to feed the goats. It’s a hands-on experience.”
Members of the extended Connor family were all smiles as they agreed they love visiting this pumpkin patch.
“You get to see the other side of South Florida,” said Brendan Connor. His wife, Marilyn, said the kids’ favorite part is the pony rides.
Youngsters 36 inches and taller can ride on their own walking next to an attendant. Smaller children can ride small ponies and “their parents can walk with them,” said riding attendant Mario Salazar.
Destiny Polles, 5, said, “I was here when I was 4!” as she held up four fingers. She rode a horse this year on her visit with her sister, Josee, 3, and mom Chrischelle Polles.
Volunteer Amaris Perkins, 17, is at the farm every weekend during the Pumpkin Patch to help families pick out their perfect gourds, and to remind parents that there are free pony rides with each purchase. She also gets community service hours. She said The Little Farm “helps a lot with kids to volunteer.”
Three-year-old Daniel Figueras and his mom Cristina live in the area. It’s their second year visiting. Daniel pointed happily at a rabbit hopping inside the petting area and said, “Pavo!” when the turkey strutted by.
Across town in Coconut Grove at The Barnacle Historic State Park, preparations are underway for celebrating another kind of bird — owls.
Owl-o-ween is Oct. 30 and kids can attend dressed as owls and hoot it up in the annual parade. Winners of the Best Owl Costume and Best Owl Hoot can get a free, one-year family membership in The Barnacle Society.
Craft fairs and bazaars also abound this time of year. At schools, churches and temples portions of proceeds from rides, homemade food and vendor shops can help fund vital causes.
“The Our Lady of the Holy Rosary St. Richard International Food and Art Festival is still in its infancy,” said facilitator Jerome Armstrong. “This will be the third year for the event. It was created to raise funds for badly needed roof repairs to several buildings on both church campuses. The festival is also an excellent means for our parish community to bond and share the differences of our various cultures, primarily through cuisine.”
At Miami Country Day School, celebrating its 21st annual Holiday Bazaar, the focus is on gift giving, said Lisi Port who is co-chairing the event this year with Wendy Russakoff.
“We encourage everyone to come. We have tons of people who donate food and homemade desserts. We have a really enthusiastic and hard-working parent association,” she said.
The students walk through the bazaar and make purchases when they visit as a class, Port said of the big event held in the school’s gym.
“Toy vendors do really well,” she said. “We do raffles too and throughout the day people are winning prizes.” She said this year there is plenty of parking for the public in the school’s new garage. “That’s a huge plus,” she said.
David Brown is hosting his ninth annual Downtown Miami Riverwalk Festival and Boat Parade Nov. 12. He said it’s “the only free, family-friendly, multicultural festival in Downtown and Brickell.”
“This is my baby,” he said. “My favorite part is when I see the reaction of the guests as they are amazed at the authenticity of the artist crafts, cuisine and folkloric music and dance.”
For Arianna Hunter, 3, it is still about the pumpkin. She said through her mom and dad, Daniela and Jason Hunter, that she is planning to use glitter and stickers and paint a face that is “like blue.”
“Happy pumpkin!” Arianna said with glee.
And what’s its name?
Our annual guide
Here are some of South Florida’s pumpkin patches, community bazaars and craft fairs:
Through Oct. 29: Poinciana United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days, 200 Curtiss Pkwy. All proceeds from the pumpkin patch go toward local, national and world missions. Church volunteers bake around the clock to sell their famous Poinciana pumpkin bread and pumpkin pies. The patch is next to the Miami Springs Farmers Market open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, until March 2017. Call 786-473-5900.
Through Oct. 31: Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Pumpkin Patch, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days, 2805 SW 32nd Ave., Miami. Take fun photos at this historic pumpkin patch where visitors can choose from 2,500 Michigan pumpkins of all sizes. Prices start at $5 per pumpkin. Also available are carving kits and pie-making instructions. Photo opportunities include a wooden pumpkin, hay, scarecrows and more. There is ample free parking. Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, which serves thousands of children with positive programs year-round. More at www.bgcmia.org.
Through Oct. 31: Pumpkin Patch at The Little Farm, 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 13401 SW 224th St., Goulds. This pumpkin patch is great for little children. Free admission, but parking fee is $5 cash only. Pumpkins are $7 to $30. There also are pony rides for $3, a petting farm for $4, and scarecrow kits and harvest décor for $2 to $25. Cash and credit cards accepted for purchases and one free pony ride with each pumpkin purchased. Proceeds go toward research into Prader-Willi Syndrome. Call 305-258-3186 or visit www.thelittlefarm.us.
Through Oct. 31: The 19th annual Pumpkin Patch at Miami Lakes United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 14800 NW 67th Ave., Miami Lakes. Take photos at this pumpkin patch. Free, but donations are welcome. The Craft Show, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Fall Festival, from noon to 6 p.m., will be on Oct. 29. Crafters, a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables and a maze are the highlights. Park at the church or in the town of Miami Lakes parking lot at 6601 Main St. More at www.miamilakesumc.net.
Through Oct. 31: Pumpkin Patch at Central Presbyterian Church, noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends, 12455 SW 104th St., Miami. Visitors can choose from thousands of pumpkins of all sizes. Prices are $1 to $35. Proceeds go toward Habitat for Humanity, Hope for Haiti, Miami Rescue Mission and various other charities. More at www.cpcmiami.org.
Oct. 30: Owl-o-ween at The Barnacle Historic State Park, noon to 4 p.m., 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Learn all about owls and celebrate these feathered friends with crafts, story time and games. Face painting with the 2016 Jr. Orange Bowl Royal Court. There will be a prize for the best bird costume and owl call during the costume parade and hooting contest. Event is included with the $2 park entry fee. Free admission for kids ages 5 and under. Bring a picnic. More at www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/The-Barnacle. Call 305-442-6866.
Nov. 5: Fall Arts & Crafts Festival at Country Walk, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 14601 Country Walk Dr., Miami. Enjoy a kids’ fun zone, music, food trucks and arts and crafts. Home décor, sweet treats, handmade jewelry and one-of-a-kind items perfect for holiday gift giving will be for sale. Vendor applications at www.countrywalkhoa.org. Farmers market vendors wanted. Admission is free. Call 305-238-9336, ext. 12.
Nov. 11-12: Palm Springs United Methodist Church Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 5700 W. 12th Ave., Hialeah. Visit this big bazaar for craft items, Christmas decorations, gift items, silver dishes, paintings, crystalware, fall items, linens, and new electrical appliances. The Spaghetti Dinner, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad bar, garlic bread, drinks and a dessert bar. Dinner cost for adults $9, children $4. Call 305-821-3232.
Nov. 12: The Downtown Miami Riverwalk Festival and Boat Parade, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the Miami Riverwalk between 315-335 S. Biscayne Blvd. This free, friendly, multicultural event is fun for the whole family. There will be folklore music and dance, children’s activities, authentic arts and crafts, cultural food and beverages for purchase, raffle prizes, a boat parade and more. Street and garage parking are nearby. More at www.miamiriverwalkfestival.com.
Nov. 12: Fall Bazaar At Fulford United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1900 NE 164th St., North Miami Beach. Everyone is welcome to this free bazaar. Shoppers will find home-baked goods, unique gifts, handmade holiday decor, plants, a Country Store, massages, kids’ corner, “trash and treasures” and lunch for purchase. Proceeds benefit local and worldwide mission outreach projects. Call 305-945-3505 or email email@example.com for more.
Nov. 15: Miami Country Day School 21st annual Holiday Bazaar, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the school gym at 601 NE 107th St., Miami. Everyone is invited to this popular event hosted by the Parents’ Association. More than 40 vendors, including 13 new ones, will feature jewelry, women’s clothing, home accessories and kitchenware, stationery, sports memorabilia, kid’s clothing, personalized items and much more. Food court includes homemade delicacies and desserts. Free entrance. For more, or to volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-779-6773. Proceeds benefit the school’s students and teachers.
Nov. 16: Temple Beth Am 16th annual Chanukah Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 5950 N. Kendall Dr., Pinecrest. Everyone can shop at this popular holiday bazaar where you can find gifts, home décor, jewelry, Judaica items, clothes for all ages, fashion accessories and personalized and one-of-a-kind gifts. There will be a wide range of more than 40 vendors under one roof. Admission is free. Call 786-364-9417 for more.
Nov. 19: Holy Rosary St. Richard’s International Food and Art Festival, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7500 SW 152nd St., Palmetto Bay. Go around the world in a day and experience food from America, the Caribbean, Europe and South America. In addition to international cuisines there will be arts and crafts, specialty vendors, children’s fun, music, exotic plants, amusement rides and pony rides. Call 305-233-8711 for more.
Dec. 2: Holiday in Losner Park, 5 to 10 p.m., 104 N. Krome Ave., Homestead. The free annual Historic District of Homestead holiday celebration for the children of South Florida will feature dance presentations by Expressions Dance Studio, Paramount Dance Academy and Homestead City Ballet. There will be a free movie in the park and a surprise visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus who will stay to greet the children. Call 305-323-6564 for more or visit www.homesteadmainst.org.
Dec. 11: Bet Shira Sisterhood Annual Holiday Bazaar, noon to 6 p.m., 7500 SW 120th St., Miami. Visit to find gifts of jewelry, cosmetics, Judaica, art, clothing, toys, ceramics, home accessories and more. Admission is free. Vendors can inquire by email to email@example.com or call 786-387-2585.