The World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

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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.

Getting There

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

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

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
The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

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.

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

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.

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

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!

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A Music Lover’s Tour of Austria

If your appreciation for the arts is heavy in the music department; then a tour of Austria is the perfect vacation destination. Surrounded by the creative inspiration of the Alps you can find a rich history of music and culture going back centuries. Have espresso at Mozart’s Cafe, see the palace rooms that were once full of young composers, sing “The Hills Are Alive” right where Julie Andrews did. Austria will fill your heart with song and set your taste buds on fire!

A Mozart Tour of Austria

Beginning your time in Austria with the Western part of the country will give you the best timeline for Mozart’s life. Because the composer was born and raised in Salzburg, Austria you should start your journey there! Salzburg is incredibly proud of their famous prior resident. Mozart’s childhood home has been completely preserved and remains very much the same as when the family inhabited it. The childhood home has been turned into a museum that IS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. The home has the original “doorbell” on its exterior. Little details like the doorbell and door knocker are absolutely incredible and give such depth to the aesthetic design of the time period.

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I was able to stand in the room that Mozart’s mother gave birth to him in. If you are a classical music, music theory lover (joke, no one is a music theory lover), you understand the magnitude of a space like that. The genius that was Mozart is truly paradigm shifting. As you tour Mozart’s humble beginnings you may find it hard to imagine the rise to fame that would follow. Therefore, you have great food for thought while you sip on your Composer Cappuccino next door at the Mozart Cafe. They serve you chocolates with Mozart’s face on them. I mean it doesn’t get any better than that.

If time permits, continue your tour to the other side of the country to Vienna, where you will find Mozart’s adult home. His home post fame is definitely more elaborate and really shows the shear amount of wealth acquired by his family. He would eventually leave the family home and the control of his parents to lead his own short adult life.

The Sound of Music

Millions of people have fallen in love with the Sound of Music musical. So much so that an entire tour industry has been developed around the films production. In Salzburg, Austria you can book a Sound of Music tour that will take you to all of the major filming spots. Along the way you will visit Mirabell Gardens where most of the Doe-Ra-Me scenes were filmed. Yes, there are dozens of people at any given time hopping up and down the exterior stairs. You will stop to see the famous glass gazebo where Lisle sings I Am 16 Going On 17.

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The Sound of Music tour is an all day affair that will take you way out of the city of Salzburg to the Lake District of Austria. Here you will see where Julie Andrews sang The Hills Are Alive, you will also see the beautiful church that the wedding scene was filmed in. Throughout the time on the tour bus you will be participating in soundtrack sing along as well as Sound of Music trivia and behind the scenes details. The tour is absolutely amazing, worth every cent and then some if you are a true Sound of Music fan.

The Hills Fill my Heart with the Sound of Music

The lyrics in the Sound of Music describe Austria best. The Alpine landscapes and views are stunning. They bring to life creative juices and inspiration that you didn’t know you were capable of. The beautiful surroundings also had this effect on my children. As a family we adopted some wonderful habits from our time in Austria. For example, we have “afternoon coffee” now because of the relaxed ambience we experienced around the 2pm hour in Austria. So much about the Austrian culture should be implemented in our lives, especially so in regards to the Austrian love of music and film.

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If you find yourself considering a trip to Austria please heed my advice and schedule in a whole lot of unscheduled time. Allowing yourself and your family to sip the afternoon away discussing the beauty you have witnessed will bring the experience to its fullest potential. Get out there and enjoy.

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