Fall in Irvine is a wonderful time of year. Though we might not be experiencing sweater weather just yet, we still celebrate the season with festivals, harvest, and plenty of spooky fun. From picking pumpkins to frightful nights, here is your 2014 guide to Halloween fun around Orange County.
Tanaka Farms U-Pick Pumpkin Patch
Open daily through October 31
9 am - 6 pm
$2.00 entry fee per person
Tanaka Farms is a 30-acre organic farm in the heart of Irvine, giving locals and visitors the opportunity to experience farm fun no matter the season. During October, the farm features its popular wagon ride tour and u-pick vegetable fields along with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and petting zoo. Weekday mornings can get busy while hoards of children from Orange County preschools take over the farm but afternoons are quite pleasant. On weekends, game and craft booths join the mix. The biggest event of the season is Pumpkinmania which takes place from 8:30-1:00pm on October 26th, and features $1800 in cash and prizes awarded to local growers in categories such as heaviest giant pumpkin, best color, and funniest shape.
Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch
Open daily, September 21- October 31
10 am - 5 pm weekdays
11:30am - 6 pm Saturday
9 am 6 pm Sunday
Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch's oak-shaded location in the foothills sets an idyllic autumn scene, and it's no wonder a visit to this pumpkin patch has become a fall tradition for many families, including my own. This event seems to feature everything a child could desire- trains, horse rides, hay rides, bounce houses, face-painting, games, gold panning, a haunted house, and plenty of pumpkins. Peddle boats, playgrounds, bike rentals, and pony rides round out the fun. Before you go, be sure to print out an Irvine Park Railroad discount coupon.
Orange County Great Park's Spooktacular Saturdays
9 am - 1 pm
New for 2014! This event take place on four Saturdays in October and features all sorts of fall festivities such as kids crafts, a petting zoo, Harvest Walk, carnival games, entertainment, and gourmet food trucks. Children are encouraged to come in costume and kids under 12 who bring donated can goods will receive access to the free pumpkin patch and Trick-or-Treat Town. Ticket registration ahead of time is required.
Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland
Select dates in September and October
Mickey's Halloween Party is a special ticketed event that takes place on 14 special nights during the Halloween season. Tickets, which begin at $56, grant guests access to the park 3 hours before the party begins and include free parking. Once the party begins, trick or treating, costume parties with some festively-dressed characters, dance parties with live music, and a "Halloween Screams" firework show make a night at Disneyland extra special. Of course, all your favorite Disneyland rides will be open for business, including the spooktacular Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday decked out by Jack Skellington himself.
Knott's Scary Farm Haunt
Select nights September 26- November 2
If having the daylights scared out of you is your idea of fun, there is no better place to experience a night of fright then the Knott's Scary Farm Haunt is the place for you. This year 11 themed mazes with names such as "The Gunslinger's Grave" and "Dominion of the Damned" will keep your heart racing. Thrill rides, plenty of "atmosfear", and wild shows, including one starring Elvira Mistress of the Dark, round out the experience.
Spooky Science at Discovery Cube
Daily through November 2nd
10 am - 5 pm
Discovering Cube, Orange County's hands-on science museum, gets festive by offering its seasonal Spooky Science exhibit during the Halloween Season. Bugs of all colors and sizes will be explored through oversized hands-on exhibits. On weekends, young visitors can take part is a costume parade, 3D maze, and trick-or-treat stations.
Boot Hill, Irvine
Select evenings through November 1
7 pm - 10 pm
Orange County's most elaborate Halloween yard display has become the stuff of Irvine legends and is celebrating its 15th year of operation. Best for kids ages 8 and up, this spooky haunted house at 16 Goldenrod transforms into the old church and cemetery said to once occupy these very grounds. Entry is free but donations are appreciated and will go to help fund the Children's Hospital of Orange County.