OKLA. CITY —
If you’re not feeling fallish yet, a trip to the Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Pumpkinville will set the stage for the season. Yes, it’s primarily for children but visitors of all ages will enjoy the clever creations and elaborate decorations.
You’ll find a plethora of pumpkins — 3,000 big ones and 2,000 tiny ones. Add 800 chrysanthemums — yellow, gold and lavender — and the permanent plantings in the Children’s Garden and you have a riot of color. Permanent installations like Laurie Spencer’s Philodendron Dome are complemented with temporary art like the “Guard of the Harvest” by Hugh Meade. The Guard is a giant owl with outstretched wings. Expect a growing nest and the hatching of little owlets.
One of my favorite areas was Max’s Bedroom — a leafy recreation of Max’s room from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” Large cut-outs of Max and some of the Wild Things surround the space and a marvelous storytelling chair by artist Don Narcomey offers the perfect perch for storytellers.
Scattered throughout the gardens are three giant candy corn-shaped huts with play stations inside. Permanent architecturally created hills and valleys give youngsters a chance to roll, slide, run and play. Added features during Pumpkinville include a hay bale maze, pumpkin bowling, a corn hole game, witch’s hat ring toss and an amazing candy corn castle.
Scarecrows — scary, funny, classy or casual — lurk around every curve of the paths through the gardens. Sixteen groups or individuals created these straw-stuffed sentinels. Overture, an organization affiliated with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, contributed a trio of black-suited musicians while Alice and Ron Page’s Vincent Van Crow displays his painting “Scary Night.”
Pumpkinville is full of picture opportunities but one of the favorite spots is a hanging picture frame with a box of costumes for creating classy compositions. For a small fee, little artists can paint a pumpkin to take home. And, in case of need, the Boos and Ghouls rooms are close by.
Pumpkinville will be open until Oct. 31 at the Myriad Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., in Oklahoma City. Cost to visit is $5 per child and $3 per adult for non-members. A special Halloween Party will be from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 26. The charge is $10 per child, $8 for adult non-members. There is no charge to members for either admission to Pumpkinville or the Halloween Party.
Go to http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com for information about location, parking and other garden attractions.
ELAINE WARNER is an Edmond-based travel writer.