The largest pumpkin festival in Germany is home to family-friendly (and generally dog friendly) pumpkin related activities and plenty of food. The festival is located at Ludwigsburg Palace at Blühenden Barock park, about two hours away from Wiesbaden. This year’s theme is “Pumpkins Taking Flight,” and more than 450,000 pumpkins are displayed as giant sculptures around the park. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and gourmet food, souvenirs, and decorative pumpkins are for sale throughout the day. On the last day of the festival, Nov. 8, there will be a pumpkin-smashing event.
Tickets for children ages 4-15 are €4.20 and tickets for adults are €8.50 and are sold on location at kiosks around the enclosed garden. Family ticket packages are also available for between €16-23. Visit http://www.kuerbisausstellung-ludwigsburg.de/en#blueba for more information about the fest, and http://www.blueba.de/anfahrt-parken.html for directions and parking information.
Fifteen minutes from Wiesbaden’s city center, the VDP, the world’s oldest association of wine estates, has dedicated over 35 events in a week to wine tasting and auctioning. Taste over 200 wines, served with mineral water and bread at their event in Keidrich Nov. 7. Tickets are €32 a person. For more information go to http://www.vdp-rheingau.de/.
The Hochheimer Market, with its over 500 years of tradition, attracts more than 600,000 visitors from Nov. 6-10 and is one of the largest fairs in Germany every year. The whole city will be blocked and set up extensive parking zones in an open field, and shuttle buses transport visitors to and from the market premises. Five gun salutes will officially open the market each year on Friday. Final fireworks are on Tuesday night. Visit http://www.rheingau.de/veranstaltungen/feste/hochheimer-markt for more information.
Idstein Lantern Parade
Take part in a parade through the old streets of Idstein, led by St. Martin himself and and his horse starting at 5 p.m. on Nov. 7. Music and a live theatre performance will be presented at the König Adolf Platz beforehand. Free chocolate and mulled wine is available for purchase. Visit www.idstein.de for more information in German.
Wiesbaden Wine Fair
Taste wines from around Wiesbaden at the Wiesbadener Weinmesse (Wiesbaden’s Wine Fair) Nov. 6-7 from 5-10 p.m. at the Rathaus (City Hall). The theme is “Wein trifft Gebäck” (wine meets pastries). Admission is €15. Visit www.wiesbaden.de for more information.
The Rhein-Main USO offers trips to London Express Nov. 6, Luxembourg Nov. 7, Bargain Hunters: Home, Kitchen & Fashion Nov. 13, The American Army in World War I: The Final Campaigns Sept. – Nov. 1918 Nov. 14-15, Hidden Heidelberg by Train Nov. 14, Special: Traditional German Christmas Deco Nov. 21, Cars: Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museums Nov. 21, Riesling Route Nov. 22 and Black Forest Thanksgiving Nov. 26, Valkenburg Caves Christmas Markets Nov. 27 and Paris Express: Christmas Markets Nov. 28. Stop by a USO or visit www.uso.org/rheinmain for more information.
FMWR trips and tours
Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation offers trips to London Overnight Nov. 6-8, Krakow, Poland Nov. 11-15, Venice Pre-Holiday Shopping and Sightseeing Nov. 13-15, Prague Overnight Nov. 21-22, Thanksgiving Ski Trip to Zermatt Nov. 25-29 and the Paris Express – Holiday Shopping Special Dec. 5-6. Call civ (0611) 143-548-9801 for more information.