You may think you’ve taken your kid to every pumpkin patch in San Diego. But if you haven’t visited Bates Nut Farm yet, then you haven’t seen a pumpkin patch! From Big Macs to jack-o-lantern varieties, to gourds, the 100-acre pumpkin patch is the hallmark of this local treasure.

Bates Nut Farm has been a family tradition for more than 40 years. Located in Valley Center, the pumpkin patch is known for more that just pumpkins. The farm features tractor hayrides, farm animals, a petting zoo, country store, and lots more family fun.

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Weekends on the Farm
Every day at Bates Nut Farm features the signature straw maze, petting coral and hayrides. But the farm really comes to life on weekends as families enjoy face painting, rock climbing, BBQ, ice cream, kettle corn, entertainment, jumpies and lots more. Participate in a scarecrow decorating contest on Sat., Oct. 13, and bring the dogs to the farm for the “Howl ‘O Ween” Doggie Costume Contest on Sun., Oct. 21. And yes, the pups are welcome any day of the week.

Tips for Your Trip
Are you ready to make your way to Bates Nut Farm? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your visit.

Sample the signature fudge. Visit the Bates Nut Farm store to find countless barrels of candy and dozens of nut varieties. But don’t just stop there. Make your way to the fudge counter located at the back of the store to sample a piece of homemade fudge. Ask for the pumpkin fudge for a fall treat.

Bring your camera. There are so many breathtaking colors, funny scarecrows and rows of pumpkins that are the perfect backdrops for photo opportunities. It’s the perfect place to snap your holiday card photo.

Arrive early and wear sunscreen. Plan to arrive early to get a close parking space. But don’t worry if you can’t; Bates provides wheelbarrows to transport your pumpkins to the car. And just because it’s fall doesn’t mean the weather is cold. Wear sunscreen and dress in layers for comfort.

Consider bringing a picnic. There is plenty of picnic space and tables available for visitors. While Bates offers a selection of BBQ, hamburgeres and farm treats, you can save a few dollars by bringing a picnic lunch.

Take advantage of the Pumpkin Package. For only $9 per person, you will get one jack-o-lantern pumpkin, admission to the straw maze, and a turn on the tractor hayride.

Bates Nut Farm
15954 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center, Ca
760-749-3333
Online: batesnutfarm.biz

Open Daily through Halloween
Weekdays: 9:00 am – 5:20 pm
Weekends: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

What’s your family’s choice pumpkin patch in the San Diego/OC area? Are you a fan of Bates Nut Farm? Let us know in the comment section below!

— Leah R. Singer

photos courtesy of Bates Nut Farm Facebook page