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A drawing of screaming pumpkins.
(Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Sept. 28, 2023

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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People walk in front of colorfully lit scary houses with fountains of green light in front of them
(Boney Island)

Boney Island

Exposition Park Event
This Halloween playground has been resurrected for the first time since 2019. Originally created by Rick Polizzi, a former producer for “The Simpsons,” more than 20 years ago, Boney Island went from a front-yard display to a Griffith Park celebration. This year, it’s stationed near USC at Exposition Park, where the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s Nature Gardens have been transformed into a whimsical light-up experience. You’ll see skeletons levitating through hoops, shadow puppetry and live animal presentations. Don’t miss trick-or-treating and the cauldron water show. Although the event is themed as Boney Island, you’ll spot pumpkins on the grounds!

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.
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A man spins a young girl among the pumpkins at Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest.
(Tom Zasadzinski / Cal Poly Pomona)

Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest

Pomona Event
At Cal Poly Pomona’s 20-acre AGRIscapes Center, 35,000 university-grown pumpkins swarm the grounds. The sprawling Pumpkin Hill is the main attraction, but visitors should also stop by the sunflower patch, corn maze and over 20-goat petting farm. Most activities cost $2 to $4. Check out the Farm Store for ghost pumpkins, warty gourds and seasonal decor. All sales are cashless except for on-site food and craft vendors. Though open on Fridays, live music and agricultural demonstrations are weekend exclusives.

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.
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A bald man paints a large pumpkin to look like a goblin.
(City of Calabasas)

Calabasas Pumpkin Festival

Calabasas Festival
For a one-day celebration, you and a few thousand others can go to De Anza Park for the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival. Admission includes unlimited inflatable rides and games, live music, contests and bug and reptile shows. Kids under 12 are encouraged to wear their best costume for an 11 a.m. dance party, where the first 200 participants receive a pumpkin to paint.

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.
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The "Carved" event at Descanso Gardens where the night is lit by hundreds of carved pumpkins.
(Jake Fabricius)

Carved at Descanso Gardens

La Cañada Flintridge Event
The annual Carved event at Descanso Gardens offers a mile-long tribute to autumn’s best mascot. This walk takes about an hour as visitors stroll past elaborately carved pumpkins. It also includes a chance to explore a little house crafted out of pumpkins, corn and other natural materials. Don’t forget to walk through the hay maze, which is at no extra charge.

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.
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Children sit on pumpkins at Forneris Farms.
(Forneris Farms)

Forneris Farms

Mission Hills Pumpkin Patch
Third-generation farmer John Forneris opens his farm for a homegrown pumpkin patch and tractor-pulled train ride. Visitors will board the train for a narrated journey through the farm, including a stop at the pick-your-own pumpkin field. After, venture to the property’s farm market for fresh produce and seasonal decor.

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.
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A man in overalls surrounded by pumpkins at Irvine Park Railroad's Pumpkin Patch.
(Irvine Park Railroad)

Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch

Irvine Pumpkin Patch
Nestled on the sprawling grounds of Irvine Regional Park, this festive pumpkin patch offers a small hay maze, painted picture stands and a not-so-scary haunted house that’s free with admission. The train ride, hayride and cookie decorating cost $7 each, while face painting and panning for gold cost $14 each. As for the main event, pumpkins start at $3 but can be more than $29. Decorate your own for $14.

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.
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A wooded area at night filled with glowing carved jack-o'-lanterns
(Magic of the Jack O’ Lanterns)

Magic of the Jack-o’-Lanterns

South El Monte Event
Seven thousand hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns illuminate the foliage of Whittier Narrows Park. It takes 30 to 45 minutes to walk the half-mile trail, which transforms pumpkins into nautical seascapes and soaring dragons. The path is stroller-friendly, though there may be a few grassy spots. This venue welcomes photo opportunities, so make sure your phone is fully charged.

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.
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Two houses built out of hay and pumpkins at Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
(Pascal Shirley)

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

Culver City Pumpkin Patch
This family-owned patch enters its 36th year with musicians, giant rocking horses and — of course — overwhelming amounts of pumpkins. Prices range from $1.49 to $1.79 per pound, but what’s not for sale is the elaborate Pumpkin Village. Artists spent two weeks crafting small “houses” with intricate pumpkin walls, which visitors can walk through at the patch. Past sunset, the village lights up in the Halloween spirit.

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.
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People gather at Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkin Patch
(Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch)

Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkin Patch

Sawtelle Pumpkin Patch
Carving pumpkins is one thing; bowling with them is another. Find creative games like pumpkin putting and pumpkin smash at Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch. Each activity costs about $3. Along with carving kits and Halloween decorations, the patch sells custom carved or painted pumpkins; or you can test your artistic skills by decorating your own at the patch. You can also summon the pumpkins to you with Mr. Jack O’Lanterns’ porch decorating service. This patch has two other L.A. County locations anyone can visit: 6333 W. 3rd St. at the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles and 17520 Prairie Ave. in Torrance.

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.

Admission: Free
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Scarecrows stand beneath orange lights at Nights of the Jack.
(Nights of the Jack)

Nights of the Jack

Calabasas Event
Flanked by large oak trees in the Santa Monica Mountains, a two-thirds-of-a-mile trail of glowing jack-o’-lanterns twists through King Gillette Ranch. This spooky, sophisticated pumpkin celebration is self-guided, so take as long as you want. Beyond the main attraction, visitors navigate the central grounds to watch live pumpkin carvings, buy Halloween gifts at the souvenir shop and stop by the Spookeasy for $9 beers or $15 specialty cocktails. From barbecue to dumplings, the 24-strong food-truck lineup is eclectic, with food prices ranging from $7 to $22.

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.
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Customers gather at Pa's Pumpkin Patch.
(Pa’s Pumpkin Patch)

Pa’s Pumpkin Patch

Long Beach Pumpkin Patch
With the smell of funnel cake and ’60s tunes drifting through the air, Pa’s Pumpkin Patch is an autumn carnival. Fifty years ago, the main attraction was “a goat tied to a pole.” Now, attractions include a (greatly expanded) petting zoo, inflatables, games and rides like the merry-go-round. Activities cost $2.50 to $12.50, with discounts for bundled activities. The patch includes 24 types of pumpkins, many of them edible.

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.
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Patrons walk through Robles Pumpkin Festival.
(Plaza West Covina)

Robles Pumpkin Festival

West Covina Pumpkin Patch
“The uglier the pumpkin, the better,” jokes owner Gabriel Robles — and his patch has both warty and pretty pumpkins alike. Outside the Plaza West Covina, it’s a festive spot that aims to keep family tradition alive through games, animals and a slew of pumpkins. Among the activities are 12 inflatables, ranging from a toddler’s dream ball pit to mega slides for more daring kids. A wristband earns access to all; $25 for 30 minutes and $30 for a full hour.

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.
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A sign that reads "Shawn's Pumpkin Patch."
(Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch)

Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch

Sawtelle Pumpkin Patch
Three acres in West L.A. turn into a “pumpkin patch amusement park” with carnival games, a play land and a 12-person train chugging through it all. The petting zoo of pigs, goats and llamas brings the farm to the city, as do the plentiful baskets of gourds and pumpkins. Most activities cost $4, but the rock wall and pony rides are $8 each.

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.

Admission: Free
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A view of the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch.
(Tanaka Farms)

Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch

Irvine Pumpkin Patch
This working family farm has pumpkins, a wagon ride, barnyard educational exhibit and vegetable patch, where you can harvest your own carrots, cilantro, radishes and onions (four of each for $6). From noon on Fridays through Sundays, the Weekend Fall Harvest Festival offers arts and crafts, games and mini ATV rides. If picking a pumpkin isn’t enough ($1.39 per pound), watch one shoot into the sky out of an air-compressed cannon.

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.
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A giant jack-o'-lantern looms over a scarecrow and bales of hay.
(Tapia Bros. Farm)

Tapia Bros. Farm

Encino Pumpkin Patch
It’s no wonder this family-owned farm has repeat customers with its 4-acre corn maze, lively petting zoo and friendly staff. The farm encompasses 50 acres — with another 50 a few miles down the road — and has been an Encino fixture for more than 50 years. The sprawling pumpkin patch is open daily, while those wanting to cuddle baby goats, rabbits and chickens should visit its weekend-only petting zoo ($5). A festive train ($3.50-$5, depending on date) and pony rides ($8) also run weekends only. The corn maze ($7-$10, depending on date) is open daily except Monday. Parking is on-site but limited, so consider carpooling.

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.
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Pumpkins at Whittier Pumpkin Patch.
(Whittier Pumpkin Patch)

Whittier Pumpkin Patch

West Whittier-Los Nietos Pumpkin Patch
Patrol the pumpkins at this cozy Whittier patch, then paint one after for $12. Younger kids can drive their own mini tractors for $6 or sift through the dirt for gemstones during gem mining for $12. At the jumping area, $17 all-day wristbands are available. Sales are cash only.

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.

Admission: Free
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