In the beautiful village of Ludwigsburg, Germany you can find the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival. The quiet, unsuspecting town gives a wonderful backdrop for rows upon rows of streets lined with pumpkins. Numerous artist installations, food vendors that only serve pumpkin flavored items and fall festivities litter the acreage that surrounds the Ludwigsburg Schloss (castle). A fabulous dose of fall creativity and flavor can be found here and enjoyed by the whole family.
North of Stuttgart, Germany, approximately 45 minutes, is the town of Ludwigsburg. Easily accessible by car and bus, the town offers a variety of amenities. Like many medieval towns the castle is the heart of the village. During its prime Ludwigsburg Schloss would have held the village within its walls. As these villages grow they expand beyond the walls and the modern city is born. In modern times these spaces are now used for cultural enrichment, historical conversations and festivals. The pumpkin festival does not disappoint and brings a lot of life to the beautifully preserved castle.
Once you locate the castle and find a place to park along the street, you will be undergoing a great deal of walking. No rough terrain, nice flat paths, but if you are doing the festival with kids a stroller would be handy.
The Creativity Overload
You could visit the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival every day for a month and experience something else entirely each and every day. The artist thought that goes into making this festival and annual success is tremendous. Just some of the events taking place at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival are:
- Pumpkin Carving Contests
- Ugliest Pumpkin Contests
- Largest Pumpkin Contests
- Sand Sculpting Contests (they also have sand pits for the kids to give it a try).
- Gourd Kayaking Contests (yes, yes).
- Pumpkin Catapulting/Trebuchet Contests
- Food Eating Contests
- Art installations everywhere built with pumpkins
AND I haven’t even mentioned the most interesting part, in my opinion. The FOOD! There are numerous food vendors on the grounds and they only serve pumpkin or apple flavored items! It’s rather incredible. The food options are wonderful and extensive, but if you do not like pumpkin you will struggle to eat here. Culturally, the food was the most distinct thing for me and our children. We all ordered something different so we could try many different options. From strudels and puddings to pumpkin flavored Wiener schnitzel and soups its all good!
If you’re going to go to the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, I highly recommend eating at least two full meals there as there is so much to choose from.
I know, it’s beautiful right? The pumpkin risotto made my heart sing. Most of the drinks are pumpkin flavored as well. From pumpkin bears to moscatos, sodas and juices, you really need to go in a sick free group so everyone can try the other’s food and drinks!
Family Friendly Festival
The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is an extremely kid friendly event as well. Throughout the duration of the festival there are different speakers offering growing tips for pumpkins, discussing the different varieties and making crafts out of Gourds. The kids can participate in numerous pumpkin based activities and races, as well as, pumpkin painting and rolling. The art installations are meant to be enjoyed by everyone and although, children are not destroying anything, it is common to see kids climbing amongst the piles of pumpkins for photo-ops. There is also pumpkin picking in an open field, hayrides, and pumpkin gift shops everywhere. You will, for sure, go home with a pumpkin or souvenir. Our children’s favorite thing was the art installation scavenger hunt. In an effort to draw more attention to the great details and depths the artists put into their work, the festival has created a scavenger hunt. The kids get to enjoy the festival while finding the animals and scenes created by the artists.
HOORAY For Fall!
With the fall season comes this beautiful tribute to pumpkins (pumpkin spice lattes ha)! No one does this tribute better than Ludwigsburg, Germany. Now home to the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival and happening for over a month. It is as incredible as it is unique. If you find yourself visiting Munich for Octoberfest, do yourself a huge favor by taking the train or car over to Ludwigsburg for a day or two. I would love to make it a yearly pilgrimage for us. Here’s to hoping and pumpkins!