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Monday, October 07, 2013

The Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch? Meh

I attended the Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival this weekend and for the most part, I enjoyed it. And the event did bring a lot of people out.
I did feel that the event was overpriced for families. $8 for a gyro, $3 for water and $10 for a baby pumpkin, the size of a cantaloupe was a bit much, especially after paying $15 per child and $10 per adult to enter. Rides were promised but there were none. The reason given was that the company that provides the rides is on some sort of circuit and they didn't reach our area yet, I am assuming that this was known way in advance and wasn't a last minute thing, so this should not have been part of the advertising which was, "Pay at the gate and all rides are free."

And about the gate, $15 per child is a bit much for a family, the entry maybe could have been free and it could then be pay as you go. Give people a fighting chance, once they are in, let them decide if they choose to partake and pay for various things. Parents told me that they felt ripped off, but the kids were happy, so they were happy; sort of a passive aggressive response.

Oh, and the photos. They would not allow us to take photos using our cell phones unless we paid $5 for a photo by the professionals they had on hand. The one guy told us we could take all the pictures we want, once we paid him $5! They of course didn't stop us from taking general photos as you can see here, but in the pumpkin patch, they gave us a hard time about photos. 

Now this is not the impression we want people to have as they leave the Grove after spending the day here. That is the last impression they have of our village. Between $10 and $20 parking fees and the $15 per child entrance fee and the price of everything else a la carte, it was an expensive day.

What did you think? Is this on par with a day at the movies or other places you take the kids on the weekends?
I personally would go to the Boys & Girls Clubs or even Publix and get a large pumpkin for a fraction of the price and I don't have to pay an entrance fee to do it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents had to pay to get in as well! There were rides but they were only for little under 4 children. Pumpkins overpriced and not worth the price at all. Feeling ripped off not fun! We will not be back in the Grove for these events. Boo!

October 07, 2013 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree. The Pumpkin Patch was a ripoff. Afterwards, we went to Fresh Market and got two big pumpkins for the price of a medium at the event. Pretty bad when Fresh Market crushes your prices, especially after the exorbitant entrance fees.

October 07, 2013 7:35 AM  
Blogger okolowicz said...

We went both last year and this year. I don't recall last year being the ripoff this year was. That said, we were thoroughly turned off by this year's event. Nothing about the event that warranted the cost. It was nothing more than a money grab for whomever set it up.

And, considering the event was also sponsored by a number of organizations (in addition to the high prices) I imagine the organizers made out quite well. Needless to say we will be much more selective about the grove events we attend.

October 07, 2013 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. So glad I didn't go. Just the thought of paying $20 for two adults get in had me on the fence. No rides for kids either? That stinks. I assume the rides were the reason children were charged $15. And to not have them seems like poor planning!

October 07, 2013 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the kids on Sunday AM and they had managed to get some rides up, but they were mostly for the toddlers and pre-schoolers. And yes, it was very pricy if you actually wanted to buy anything. However, most sponsors had freebies like balloons and sunglasses, and even chocolate milk. So you could keep the kids happy without spending more if you worked hard.

How does it work with a for profit event taking over a city park for the entire weekend? Does the city get a flat fee? A percentage of the gross? Does the contract require any kind of reasonable prices? Does anyone know?

October 07, 2013 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is actually very expensive to rent out the Park. You have to pay the City of Miami for a few departments: Parks, Fire, Police, zoning etc and then 25% of whatever you pay the City of Miami gets you pay additionally to the Coconut Grove BID. There no discounts for non-profit.

So you may think this event was pricey but to put it on is pricey.

Your kids aren't going to remember carving the pumpkins - they are going to remember running around a looking for the pumpkins. We're a small Village trying to spend more time as a community - and this event is a great way to spend time with your neighbors and friends. You're not calling anyone up to say "Let's go to Publix and get pumpkins." There is a bigger picture here.

October 07, 2013 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want my money back and i have actualy hired a lawyer.this event was a total rip off.there was a time where i actualy sat outside the gate and told parents to go spend there money somewhere else they were so happy i did and the ones that didnt believe me and paid were out in an hour and said i was right.they actualy sat there with me and told others not to go was the best part of my day to be honest with you.never again will i go to the grove ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.The worst part is i was told the parks are contaminated!!!!!!!!! WOW tis is so sad

October 07, 2013 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the last anon, let people see for themselves if they like it or not. to stand there and deliberately tell people not to go is ridiculous! don't you have something better to do?

October 07, 2013 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah i do,its called helping lucky money is not a problem for me but from many told me times are tough and spending 50 to 100 for a crappy event is a crime.why dont you mind your own and shut up!!!!!!!!

October 07, 2013 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a ripoff! My 5 year old told me that the rides are boring! Parents and kids are in line in full sun! Who would love to meet a new friend in such a crappy event and in the middle of the sun? No one will comeback next year! Keep that in your mind people!

October 08, 2013 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely a rip off. $50 for a family of 4; can't believe I fell for it.

October 09, 2013 8:29 AM  

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