16 charming L.A. and O.C. pumpkin experiences that celebrate fall
A breezy 82 degrees is the Southern California signal that autumn is here — and so are pumpkin patches. From decades-old family endeavors to budding businesses, local patches celebrate the season with a personal touch. And if you ask their owners, they’re all looking forward to the same thing: the joy of the people who visit.
“A lot of Halloween is spooky, spooky, scary, but this is that really heartwarming, cherished time where the family can come together and just create these lasting memories,” said Lyra Marble, owner of Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Culver City. “That’s what pumpkin patches do.”
Fall is here. Try these road trips around California with destinations for picking pumpkins, peeping leaves, seeing spooky sights and more.
Most patches expand beyond pumpkins to offer a bounty of fall activities like hayrides and corn mazes. Below are pleasant patches, innovative festivities and sprawling farms for your pumpkin fix in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Pricing and hours may change throughout the season.
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Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday nights through Oct. 29. Also, from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 30-31. Additional hours will be added on certain nights.
Admission: $25 per person; $20 for members; kids under 2 enter free but still need a ticket. Advanced reservations are encouraged, but limited tickets will be available on-site during museum hours and at the gate on event night.
Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Oct. 30.
Admission: On weekends, adult tickets are $10, while children 3-12, seniors, military, or those with a Cal Poly Pomona Bronco ID pay $8. On Fridays, tickets cost $6 for adults, $4 for children, and $5 for seniors, military, and those with a Cal Poly Pomona Bronco ID. Kids under 3 are free with a paid adult. Tickets are sold online.
Calabasas Pumpkin Festival
Bennett’s Best sets up the patch with prices from $2 to $30, while vendors sell everything from pumpkin pie to pumpkin beer. There is no ATM on-site, so remember to bring cash.
Free shuttles will run from parking lots on Agoura Road and Malibu Hills Road from 9:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dogs are permitted at the festival but prohibited on the shuttles. Keep in mind that the event is primarily on asphalt, which can burn your pup’s paws if it’s a hot day.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22.
Admission: $10 if bought online in advance; $15 if bought the day of, both online and in person. A $1.50 processing fee applies. Children under 2 enter free.
Carved at Descanso Gardens
One of the more recent Descanso Gardens additions is the Belgian art installation “Rhizome,” composed of overhead neon ropes that mimic a tree’s roots, which is stationed in the Rose Garden Labyrinth. It debuted last year.
Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 6-29. Admission is staggered every 30 minutes, and visitors can stay until closing regardless of entry time.
Admission: Depending on the day, ticket prices are $30 to $40 for members and $35 to $45 for nonmembers. Children 2-12 entry costs $20 to $25 for members and $25 to $30 for nonmembers. Children under 2 enter free. Admission is only sold online in advance.
Admission: $5, which can be put toward a $10 or more pumpkin from the patch. The additional train ride is $15 per person. Children under 2 are free with a paid adult. Farm market entry is free. Cash only.
Hours: Oct. 7-31. The pumpkin patch and farm market are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The train ride is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch
Hours: Through Oct. 31. Weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Patch entry is free, but the park’s gate entry is $3 per vehicle on weekdays, $5 per vehicle on weekends and $7 per vehicle on holidays.
Magic of the Jack-o’-Lanterns
Pro tip: Oct. 8 is Sensory Night. Lights and music will be dimmed to create a more comfortable environment for guests with sensory needs.
Hours: Evenings through Oct. 31. Hours vary by day, but visitors must choose an arrival time when they buy their ticket.
Admission: $24.99 per adult, $19.99 per child. Alternatively, a $39.99 “anytime” ticket waives the arrival time.
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
Food and drink are sold on-site, while activity tickets are $1 each. Bundle pricing is also available. Activities include pumpkin decorating ($12) and a petting zoo ($5).
Tip: Owner Lyra Marble recommends arriving during the late afternoon when the light is at its best, then staying past sunset for the perfect spooky vibes.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 5-29. Activities close at 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 to $30, depending on date and arrival time. Tickets aren’t guaranteed at the door, so buy in advance online to secure a spot.
Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkin Patch
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 31.
Nights of the Jack
Hours: Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 as well as Oct. 4-16, Oct. 18-31. Runs 6 to 10 p.m., and time slots must be reserved with online admission.
Admission: Entry ranges from $29.99 to $49.99, depending on the day. Kids 2 years and under are free. On-site parking is $9.99 and can be bought with online admission.
Pa’s Pumpkin Patch
Hours: 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends through Oct. 31. Hours may vary.
Admission: On weekdays, it’s $5 per adult, $2.50 per child aged 2 to 5 and free for children under 2. On weekends and Oct. 30-31, it’s $10 per adult and $5 per child. Reserve a spot online in advance.
Robles Pumpkin Festival
Hours: 1 to 9 p.m. on weekdays, weekends 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Oct. 31
Admission: $1 for children, $2 for adults.
Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch
Pro tip: While a $4 petting zoo ticket lasts about six minutes, you can stay as long as you like if there’s no line — usually during the week.
Hours: Sept. 30-Oct. 31, hours vary by day. Closed Oct. 2-5.
Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31. Starting Oct. 6, Friday and Saturday hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Halloween hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: $20 Monday through Friday morning, $22 starting Friday at noon through Sunday. Admission includes unlimited wagon rides, corn maze, barnyard educational exhibit, and access to the patch. Children under 2 and military with valid ID are free. A $10 parking fee applies from Friday at noon through Sunday. Paid parking must be reserved in advance and can be bought online with tickets.
For added fun, hop over to the family’s flower field at Hana Field in Costa Mesa, where you can pick your own sunflowers and scour four acres of pumpkins. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 29, weekends only. Admission is $10 per person; parking is free.
Tapia Bros. Farm
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 9 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday from Oct. 1-31. Weekend activities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The corn maze is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Admission: $3, which can be put toward a pumpkin purchase.
Whittier Pumpkin Patch
This patch is dog-friendly, as long as pets are leashed or in carriers.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Oct. 31.
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