The crisp autumn air gives the feeling of anticipation and excitement that only fall can bring. How do you make family memories that turn into traditions year after year? How about a visit to a pumpkin patch and corn maze? Orange County is full of pumpkin patches complete with petting zoos, crafts, games, pony rides, hay bales, corn mazes, bounce houses, and yes… even pumpkins. Try a few and find your favorite. You are sure to find activities and entertainment your whole family will enjoy.
5380 3/4 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
With free admission and parking, Tanaka Farms is a great place to visit this fall. Visit the giant one-acre corn maze and have fun figuring out which way to go. For additional fees, you can take wagon rides, visit the petting zoo, pick vegetables and choose your perfect pumpkin right off the vine. On weekends, there are also games, food and arts and crafts. The produce stand is open daily and has a wide selection of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. If you want to see a real working farm that prides itself on growing organic produce, Tanaka Farms is a must this fall.
Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
Come to Irvine Park and enjoy fall activities including a giant hay maze, pony rides, face painting, panning for gold, moon bounce, haunted house and pick-your-own pumpkins. While parking and some of the activities cost a small fee, admission to the giant hay maze is free. Have fun getting lost (and finding your way out) through the bales of hay stacked at different heights, a sure way to kick off a great day of giggles and silliness. Enjoy the farm house setting and great backdrops for those “must-have” fall photos. While you’re there, take a ride on the popular Irvine Park Railroad train or cruise the park on a bike rented from Wheel Fun Rentals. If you have time, stop by and visit the animals at the Orange County Zoo.
31791 Los Rios St.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Zoomars is a popular local hangout for kids who enjoy petting pint-sized animals as well as the more traditional goats and ponies and more exotic animals like alpaca and emu. The new Miner’s Gulch offers panning for gemstones, fossils and gold. If that’s not enough, this fall you can also experience Pumpkinpalooza featuring Spookley’s pumpkin patch, a hay maze, crafts and games. Kids love the kid-sized train, so don’t forget your conductor’s hat.
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15500 Jeffrey Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Are you tired of the same old pumpkin patches with the same old hay bales and corn mazes? Why not spend some time with some monster pumpkins in “Land of the Giant Pumpkins?” Johnson Brothers pumpkin patch in Irvine offers some fun, original activities like the Bungie Jumping Spider of Doom and a visit to the Pumpkin Graveyard with the Sonic Crypt. There is an Indian Village with authentic teepees and corn grinders. Come see goats, ducks, geese, piglets, chickens and a turkey in the barnyard area. There are pony rides as well as a kiddy play area. Johnson Brothers also offers free face painting.
Mountain Pines Christmas Tree Farm
29932 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Mountain Pines Christmas Tree Farm is a popular pumpkin patch in the fall. With pumpkins and carving accessories available for purchase, there is plenty to choose from to get your jack-o-lantern party started. With a 25-foot rock climbing double-slide, jumpers and obstacle courses for the kids, they may want to stay all day. Petting zoo and pony rides are available on weekends. There are also silly cut-outs and lots of fun backdrops for great photo ops.
Related: Best Fall Festivals In Orange County
Erin Johnson is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.