Did you know that the tradition of carving jack o’ lanterns started in Ireland by carving turnips, beets and potatoes? It wasn’t until the activity began in North America by settlers that the larger and easier to carve pumpkins came into use. October means Halloween and Halloween means pumpkin patches full of pumpkins. Here’s a guide to the best pumpkin patches in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.
Lombardi Ranch Pumpkin Festival
29527 Bouquet Canyon Road.
Saugus, CA 91390
The Lombardi Ranch has been selling pumpkins since 1968 and the Pumpkin Festival began in 1989. Each year more than 8,000 school children visit the ranch for a pumpkin tour. Every weekend in the month of October families flock to the ranch for fun, family-oriented activities such as petting zoo, wagon rides and live music (additional fees may apply). Don’t forget to check out the scarecrow contest entries while you’re there. Visit their website for a calendar of the ranches current amazing weekend events.
Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Festival
4102 S. University Drive
Pomona, CA 91768
On Oct. 19 and 20, you can choose from thousands of pumpkins right in the patch at the 21st annual Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Festival. Face painting, corn maze, petting zoo, horse rides and lots more activities for kids are also available (additional fees may apply). Head on over to the Insect Fair after picking this years pumpkin and see over 500,000 live and preserved insects.
Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival
3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021
Through Oct. 31, come down for the 16th annual Fall Harvest Festival at the Underwood Family Farms. Weekend admission includes Tractor-Drawn Wagon Rides, the Corn Maze, live entertainment, pumpkin patch (pumpkins not included), hay pyramids, animal exhibits & educational information, kid’s corral, pedal tractors and much more!
5380 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
You can pick your very own pumpkin right off the vine at Tanaka Farms. Take a wagon ride tour around the 30 acre farm where you get to taste vegetables, get lost in the corn maze, enjoy the petting zoo and take lots of pictures! Pumpkins are sold per pound and the wagon ride tour is $5 per person, children under 2 years old are free. Group rates are available for 10 or more people (call for reservations).
Irvine Railroad Pumpkin Patch
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
The Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch is located behind the train station and has the best quality selection of pumpkins available. Pumpkins are sold based on size. There are train rides, hay rides, bounce houses, carnival games, hay maze, haunted house, tractor races, picture stands and so much more (some additional fees may apply). Visit their website for money saving coupons and a kid’s printable coloring page.
39925 Calle Contento
Temecula, CA 92591
Located in the Temecula wine country, Peltzer Farms is a Halloween entertainment destination. There are pony rides, old fashioned train rides, pig races, petting zoo, a corn maze and much more. There are many types and varieties of squash and gourds there are even some pumpkins more than 100 pounds available.
12261 South Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, California 92399
Go back in time at Riley’s Farms to experience 19th century colonial life. Riley’s Farms stretches across 760 acres of beautiful Oak Glen land. Pumpkins are sold per pound and there is a limit of five per family. Riley’s Farms offers giant assortment of all types of pumpkins from white, green, orange, big and small you’ll have a blast looking at them all. Riley’s Farms is a gorgeous place to spend the day as a family. Don’t forget to stop by the bakery for the world’s best apple pie.
Desiree Eaglin looks forward to carving pumpkins with her kids every year.