1. Willow Brook Apple Farm
Apples are part of a longstanding tradition at Willow Brook Apple Farm, where the first Stayman Winesap trees were planted back in 1910 and have delivered their precious bounty since. The apples are just one of the great legacies of the farm, where owner Cheryl Swanson personally cares for the trees, pumpkins, corn, and sunflower seeds. This no doubt explains why word of mouth says they’re the “best-reviewed farm in Oak Glen”; but, of course, it’s up to you to try it for yourself! It’s a lovely destination for weddings and romantic getaways (and they offer special packages for both). For a normal family outing, try a farm tour, where kids can make friends with the animals, take a tractor ride, try the apples (including a freshly dipped caramel apple), and press a gallon of cider themselves! Tour prices are $12 for children and $7 for adults. Private groups with a minimum of 25 people. Inquire for details.
Hours: Weekends 10 am – 4 pm others, call to inquire (based on apple availability).
Contact: (909) 797-9484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located on the slopes of Yucaipa is Riley’s Apple Farm, an offshoot of Riley’s Farm dedicated exclusively to the best produce of the fall. Here you can find great variety, like the Winesap, Arkansas Black, Fuji, and Jonagold apples, which go for $3.25 a pound. Make sure you get in early to try the cider press—it fills up quickly—and take home your own handmade craft drink for $20 a gallon. You-pick pumpkins run $0.75 per pound. The farm also hosts kids’ hunting and weapons activities, like archery and tomahawk and knife throwing. Looking for a new home? The farm also sells custom- and pre-built log cabins, which you can fully furnish with findings from their handmade artisan’s store. The fun is waiting! Call for details.
Hours: Weekdays (private tours, by appointment);
Saturdays and Sundays 10 am – 4 pm.
Contact: (909) 797-4061 (or toll free (866) 585-6407)
Take your kids from the urban jungle back to the real thing, or at least the real pumpkin patch. Check out McGrath Street, where your kids become artists by sculpting pumpkins or become the artwork themselves at the face painting station. Pony rides and making friends at the petting zoo are just a few more examples of the featured fun to be had at McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch. Bring home a dried gourd or two, sold year-round, or pick up some pumpkins at wholesale prices. Inquire for details.
Hours: October 1st – 31st, 2016 9 am to dusk.
Contact: (805) 658-9972
4. Tanaka Farms
Things are really happening at Tanaka Farms. From melon tours this summer to farm-to-fork dinner festivals this fall, there is always something going on here. Kids will love roaming around the expansive pumpkin patch in search of the perfect one. The trip to get there is just as memorable: Hop on board the wagon and ride in style to the pumpkin and you-pick specialty veggie patch for some tasty travel! Later, stop by the market stand for other decorating accessories—wall art, carving tools, and kitchen décor, to name a few choices—plus chips and salsa, honey, and more. Take a rest at the Tanaka Farms Eats food shack, where you can sample the fresh daily specials. (They’re strawberry lemonade is a hit!) Guests are recommended to bring their own drinking water, plus clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Make your way to the corn maze and petting zoo, too, before collecting your goodies and heading home. It’s sure to brighten up your fall adventures! Call for details. CSA subscriptions also available.
Hours: Open daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm through Halloween (Gates close at 5:30 pm).
Underwood Family Farms stretches to two locations and numerous Ventura farmers’ markets, but to really stick to the fall family fun classics, head to the Moorpark location for you-pick pumpkins. Choose from a large selection of your favorite autumn varieties, no reservation required, and tote your treasures back in style on a personal pull-wagon, the perfect accessory for a classic photo op with your kids. Be sure to stay for an educational farm tour, featuring a picnic and stop by the farm animal center. If you can’t get enough of the great produce, ask about the CSA program and how you can subscribe to get your weekly dose of seasonal farm fresh fruits and veggies. Make sure you mark your calendars for events like Christmas On the Farm, Civil War reenactments, and the famous Fall Festival (also at Moorpark). Tours can be booked online.
Contact: (805) 529-3690 or email email@example.com
Contact: (805) 386-4660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Forneris Farms opened in 1966 and immediately became a prime location for pumpkin-seekers. It is currently a popular destination due to its Fall Festival, where you can explore the corn maze, get a face paint tattoo, dig into the pumpkin patch, and sit first class in the tractor train ride. Bursting with energy, the festival also features a family area with a hay pyramid, haybale mini maze, Giant Pumpkin Jumper, and more. Cool off (or warm up) with refreshments, relax to the sounds of live entertainment and snap some pics at the pony rides and a petting zoo. You might even win a prize or two! Don’t forget to come by to check out the farm market, and stick around for more Wild Wednesdays fun!
Hours: October 1st – 31st 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (PUMPKIN PATCH).
This October, take a walk on the wild side and visit the Toluca Lake Pumpkin Festival, hosted at the Toluca Lake Pumpkin Patch. It features all manner of kid-friendly excitement, from a pumpkin patch to a petting zoo, and more. The pumpkins are wacky and wonderful, appearing in all shapes, sizes, and colors, some as big as 150 pounds! If taking a monstrous squash home with you is too much adventure, relax a little with some barnyard friends at the petting zoo. Check the NoHo Arts District website (www.nohoartsdistrict.com/spotlight/item/3129-toluca-lake-pumpkin-festival) for a 50% off coupon for the festival and bring the whole family along. Kids can try the haunted maze, which gets scarier at night for visiting adults. Check online for details.
Hours: 10 am – 9 pm
Contact: (818) 505-8039
The Tapia Bros. farm stand is becoming a more popular tradition among families in the Valley area who are looking to bring some spice to their fall fun. The stand is more than a stop for fresh fruits and veggies; it’s a gateway to an awesome autumn experience with pumpkin picking, hayrides, farm animals, and non-GMO crops. Year-round events, like March’s Tomatomania, are the perfect time to share some quality family time while exploring the best of each season. Stop by for something to eat, or make a day of it! Call to check available activities and events.
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
Contact: (818) 905-6155 or email email@example.com
No need to trek outside of the city for pumpkins; just check out your street corner! Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch is a great alternative for families looking for a local experience with stops in Santa Monica and West LA. Train rides, carnival games, pumpkin patches: It’s all here! Both locations are big enough to support several school field trips plus families, and reservations can be made for the lucky kids who can celebrate their birthdays in style. Playing with fluffy animals, winning prizes, cruising on the train, and picking the perfect pumpkin is just another day at Shawn’s pumpkin patch. Stop by for a great time!
La Cienega/Centinela: 6815 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Hours: Open from October 7th to 31st, 2017.
Contact: (424) 351-8575
Palms/Sepulveda: 3443 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Hours: Open from October 7th to 31st, 2017.
Contact: (310) 313-1050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina’s Pumpkin Patch is a rather new addition to the collection of patches around LA, but is quickly becoming a crowd favorite. The pumpkin patch boasts activities like straw mazes and a petting zoo, plus the cool train rides, pony rides, bouncers, and crafts. Children will love spending a birthday with one of the party packages Tina’s offers, and school groups can spend a fun field trip exploring the features. Call for details!
Hours: October 1st – 31st, 2016, 10 am – 8 pm.
Contact: (818) 495-8750 or email email@example.com
This pumpkin patch, part of the College of Agriculture at Cal Poly – Pomona, tends to attract large crowds, but it is worth the wait. One of the largest in California, the patch contains more than 70,000 pumpkins; and, best of all, each pumpkin—regardless of size—is only $5. It opens for the Festival and stays open for the rest of October to feature student booths, agricultural demonstrations, games, horseback riding, and food trucks. It’s worth stopping by to check it out before it’s gone!
Cal Poly Pomona: 4102 S. University Drive, Pomona, CA 91768
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday – Saturday 10 am to 8 pm.
Contact: (909) 869-2215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Formerly of West Hollywood, the Lopez Pumpkin Patch moved to Venice, bringing the same fall fun to a new crowd. Events abound: Coloring contests, dog costume contests, and grand opening parties are just a few of the offerings at the patch. Kids have an abundance of activities to explore, including pumpkin picking and painting, plus other crafts and games throughout the week. Call or “like” on Facebook to confirm the activities and learn about updates.
Contact: (323) 804-5618 or email email@example.com
A great destination for active families is Irvine Park, where the pumpkin patch is the fall favorite feature. During the year you can rent bikes, paddleboards, horses, volleyball sets, and horseshoes to boost your summer fun; or take a hike around the premises for some fresh air and natural surroundings. This fall, make sure you take a turn through the patch and pick a few to take home choice squash; or, if you’re an expert gold miner, try your hand at snagging some treasure at the gold panning station. Everyone will find something exciting to do at Irvine Park!
Hours: April 1st – October 31st from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm; November 1st – March 31st from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Contact: (714) 997-3968
Pa’s is a good down home parade of family fun. Complete with pony rides, photo booths, inflatable games, and carnival attractions, there’s no way you could leave here bored. Stop in the pumpkin patch, which features a variety of types to choose from. The patch also contains haystacks, corn stalks, and gourds for your craft needs. Meet the friendly animal pals of the farm at the petting zoo, and stop in for classic carnival fare at the snack bar. Birthday parties, school groups, and scout troops will be wowed by the display, so it’s definitely worth checking out! Deals available on Groupon.
Hours: Monday – Friday 10/3 – 10/7 3 pm to 9 pm, 10/10 – 10/14 12 pm – 9 pm, 10/17 – 10/31 10 am – 9 pm, All Saturdays & Sundays 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Contact: (562) 596-7741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Palisades YMCA Pumpkin Patch
A quieter invitation to intimate family time, the Palisades YMCA Pumpkin Patch offers you the chance to step back from it all and bring your family closer, all while supporting a good cause. Pumpkins are abundant in the patch, which is surrounded by trees and lined by a fence, great for families worried about little ones wandering. Kids are free to move through the bounce house, pumpkin patch, and swing sets, or play at the scarecrow competition (which doubles as a prime photo location). Free admission and parking philanthropy and fun equal a home run for your fall recreation plans.
Hours: October 1st – 31st, 2016, Weekdays 3 pm – 6 pm; Weekends 10 am – 6 pm.
Contact: (310) 454-5591 or email PalisadesMalibu@ymcala.org