For those unfamiliar, Over the Garden Wall is an American animated television series created by Patrick McHale and it first aired in 2014. Since its original broadcast on Cartoon Network, the show has continued to be an autumn staple for many families and lovers of fall. Why? Because while it has a fairytale atmosphere, it balances out the spookiness of the fall season without being overtly scary. It makes homages to the nostalgic art of the 19th and 20th century.
“Over the Garden Wall tells the story of two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who find themselves lost in a strange forest. With the help of a bluebird named Beatrice, they must travel across this strange land in hope of finding their way home.”
Over the Garden Wall won an Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Animated Program. With a cast of memorable actors voicing the characters such as Elijah Wood, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, Shirley Jones, John Cleese, and many others.
While we can’t live in a fairytale or wander the Unknown, we can find plenty of magic around us that is reminiscent of the show — right here in the Merrimack Valley!
Pilgrim Congregational Church and Pumpkin Patch
The steeple, the autumn trees, the rows and rows of pumpkins…it’s not Pottsfield, but actually Lexington! Lexington’s Pilgrim Congregational Church annually has a pumpkin patch. Until October 31st, this is your chance to cobble up a costume, take a few photos, and take home a pumpkin (instead of just stepping in it).
deCordova Sculpture Park
While the deCordova Sculpture Park wasn’t built with the same Georgian sensibilities as Quincy Endicott’s massive mansion in Over the Garden Wall — its stately presence and hundreds of unique structures will be just as entrancing and captivating. With over 30 acres to explore and outdoor activities to enjoy, heading to deCordova for an autumn afternoon sounds delightful.
Concord River Cruises
If you have any sense at all (wink, wink this is a joke from OTGW), you’ll head to Concord River Cruises for a relaxing ride. While it’s not the steam powered cruise ship full of posh frogs, this cruise aboard a pontoon boat will give you the same feeling. Gaze out and view homes built in the 1800s, places where Thoreau and Hawthorne spent time from the banks as they wrote. Another bonus is that there won’t be any mosquitoes.
Nashua River Rail Trail
Hike through Nashua River Rail Trail and enjoy the trails and historic landmarks. Unlike wandering the Unknown, the trail is straightforward and areas are clearly marked.
You can reach the trail access from a number of places along the trail and can plan your trip accordingly. This 11 mile stretch through Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable will be much easier to navigate than the characters in Over the Garden Wall, so you can simply enjoy the season and falling leaves.