Charlie Brown would have loved this pumpkin patch. I visited the Pumpkin Festival at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield today. I've never been before, and it rocked. It's a winding outdoor festival, with vendors selling corn on the cob, caramel apples, kettle corn, and turkey legs. Kiddie-friendly activities ran the gamut from make-your-own costumes to magic shows and pony rides, and the adjacent Corn Maze looked immense and intriguing, though my 7-month-old is a bit too young for getting lost. But the pumpkin patch! Think acres and acres of the roly-poly veggies, ripe for the picking. And though we arrived today at 1 p.m. to see a parking lot full of early birds already scavenging the fields for the perfect pumpkin, they had only started picking the best of the patch, at the closest edge of the field. (Granted, the smart folks knew to bring a little red wagon or other wheeled vehicle for transporting the biggest specimens over acres of land.) We trekked way out into the back patch and spent an hour picking out our three favorite soon-to-be jack-o-lanterns. Sure, you can pick one up at any grocery store. But the fun of bundling up on a fall weekend and tromping through the field to find just the right one is well worth the trip. Better hurry, though. The festival only runs through tomorrow (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). After that, you'll have to wait until next year.