Have you heard? The fall season is here and pumpkin madness has officially invaded Irvine. Though Irvine may not feel the chill associated with traditional fall weather, we still know how to celebrate the season with the best of them! There are several spots around Irvine to enjoy the harvest season, but three pumpkin-themed events around town especially stand out.
Orange County Great Park Pumpkin Harvest
Saturday, October 20
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
October 20th marks the fifth annual Pumpkin Harvest at Orange County Regional Park. This free event is geared towards families eager to celebrate the harvest season with games, a hay maze, a petting zoo, train rides, puppet show, and cooking demos. Kids under 12 will be thrilled to pick a free pumpkin from the Great Park pumpkin patch and then learn how to carve it from one of the master carvers on site. Attendees who show up in costume can enter to win a family four pack of tickets to the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular at the Honda Center. Kids under 12 will be thrilled to pick a free pumpkin from the Great Park pumpkin patch and then learn how to carve it from one of the master carvers on site. Good to know: Parking is $10, so fill up all those seats in your car to get the most bang for your buck.
Tanaka Farms U-Pick Pumpkin Patch
Open daily, September 28- October 31
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
It wasn't so long ago that farms and ranchland dominated Irvine. These days, suburbia may dominate the landscape but Tanaka Farms, a 30-acre organic farm in the heart of Irvine, gives locals and visitors the opportunity to experience farm fun no matter the season. During October, the farm still features its popular wagon ride tour and u-pick vegetable fields along with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and petting zoo. I suggest avoiding weekday mornings when hoards of children from Orange County preschools take over the farm and instead visit on the weekends when game and craft booths are set up and food is available for purchase. Before you leave the farm, be sure to stop by their farm stand to pick up fresh produce and delicious baked goods.
Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch
Open daily, September 22- October 31
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekends
I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love the Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch. This park has been making children smile for over 100 years. The 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. After your kids have had their fill of pumpkin patch fun (if that is even possible), make time to visit the Orange County Zoo inside the park, play on the playground, and rent either a surrey bike or paddle boat.