In the beautiful village of Ludwigsburg, Germany you can find the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival. The quiet, unsuspecting town gives a wonderful view of streets lined with pumpkins. Numerous artist stalls, food vendors that only serve pumpkin flavored items, and fall festivities litter the acreage that surrounds the Ludwigsburg Schloss. A fabulous dose of fall creativity and flavor can be found here and enjoyed by the whole family.
Getting To the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival
The town of Ludwigsburg is north of Stuttgart, Germany, approximately a 45-minute drive. Easily accessible by car and bus, the town offers a variety of things to do, and—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 grew they expanded beyond the walls and the modern city was born. In modern times, these spaces are now used for cultural enrichment, historical conversations, and festivals. The Ludwigsburg 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 doing a great deal of walking. (Good, sturdy shoes are a must here, for adults and kids alike. The terrain is not rough and the paths are pretty flat, but if you are doing the festival with kids a stroller would be handy.
Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!
You could visit the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival every day for a month and experience something new each and every day. The artistic thought and creativity that goes into making this festival an 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
- Pumpkin Catapulting/Trebuchet Contests
- Food Eating Contests
- Art installations everywhere built with pumpkins
Pumpkin Festival Food
As with many German festivals, the food is often the most interesting part. There are many food vendors at the festival, and they only serve pumpkin or apple flavored items. It’s pretty incredible. The food options are wonderful and extensive, but if you do not like pumpkin you will struggle to eat here. Culturally, food was the most distinct thing on our visit. We all ordered something different so we could try many different options. From strudels and puddings to pumpkin flavored Wiener schnitzel and soups it was all so very 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.
This plate is so beautiful, and delicious. The pumpkin risotto made my heart sing. Most of the drinks are pumpkin flavored as well. From pumpkin-flavored beers to moscatos, sodas and juices, you really need to go with a trusted group so everyone can try each other’s food and drinks!
Family Friendly Festival
The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is an extremely kid-friendly event. Throughout the festival there are different speakers offering tips for growing pumpkins, discussing the different varieties of pumpkins, and even how to make crafts out of gourds. The kids can participate in numerous pumpkin-based activities and races as well as pumpkin painting and rolling.
The art areas are meant to be enjoyed by everyone and it is common to see kids climbing amongst the piles of pumpkins for photos. There is also pumpkin picking in an open field, hayrides, and pumpkin gift shops everywhere. Just like when you visit an American pumpkin patch, you will definitely go home with a pumpkin or souvenir.
Our children’s favorite thing was the art scavenger hunt. In an effort to draw more attention to the great details the artists put into their work, the festival created a scavenger hunt. The kids get to enjoy the festival while finding the animals and scenes created by the artists.
With the fall season comes this beautiful tribute to pumpkins—and pumpkin spice lattes. No one pays tribute to the fall quite like the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival. 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, the festival spans a month each fall. It is a truly incredible experience.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Pumpkin Patches Near Military Installations!
Photo Credit: Lydia Bradbury