Autumn magic: Try pumpkin carving and Quidditch at a Renaissance castle outside of Prague

Nelahozeves Castle has hosted a pumpkin-themed autumn festival for families for seven years running – this year it adds a Harry Potter twist

Katrina Modrá

Written by Katrina Modrá Published on 04.10.2019 14:39:37 (updated on 04.10.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

One of the longest-running pumpkin festivals in the Czech Republic celebrates its lucky seventh anniversary this autumn. The pumpkin festival (dýňobraní) at Nelahozeves Castle is a fall tradition for foreign and Czech families alike, says Veronika Graulíková, communications department, House of Lobkowicz.

“We wanted to come up with activities to bring families and children together to enjoy Nelahozeves Castle and its surrounding autumn colors. Festivals are also a great way to engage with the community and open up the castle to lots of fun activities,” she says of the October 12th festivities.

Nelahozeves Castle courtyard

Nelahozeves, a Renaissance-era castle located 25 km north of Prague is certainly an idyllic place to spend an autumn afternoon. And the castle comes by its pumpkin-carving roots honestly: the property was reclaimed after the Velvet Revolution by American William Lobkowicz, whose ancestors lost the castle under the communist regime.

This year’s celebration will also have somewhat of a British bent, one that’s sure to unite families of all generations and nationalities in the name of wizardry and make-believe: kids can try out a specially designed Quidditch pitch obstacle course, inspired by the Harry Potter series of novels, on handmade brooms.

Additional activities will take place in the castle courtyard including a magical garden maze while craft stands and food from local chefs will appeal to grown-ups. A program of puppet shows (performed in Czech) are scheduled throughout the celebration, which takes place from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Nelahozeves Castle dýňobraní

“We typically welcome a mix of Czechs and foreigners,” says Graulikova who adds that the event is mainly for families with children though harvest enthusiasts of all ages are welcome. “Having fun with games and crafts is a truly international activity.”

For additional information or to purchase tickets see here. Castle tours will be available during the event; the castle is currently exhibiting how nobility lived in 19th-century Bohemia.

Pumpkin season kicks off this weekend in Prague with several popular pumpkin-themed events at local garden centers, while a number of pumpkin patches have opened their doors for the season:

2019 Pumpkin celebrations in Prague and the Czech Republic

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