There’s no sweeter way to celebrate the season than by picking and eating a bounty of delicious berries. Take your little sprouts to one of the following nearby farms to pick their own strawberries and blueberries and to meet local farmers, learn how food grows and is harvested, take a farm tour and have some fun in the sun! Read on for the details!
Fun, organized, and educational, Tanaka Farm’s strawberry tours are a sweet way to spend the afternoon. Cruise the 30-acres on the farm wagon. Stop to pick, wash and eat fresh produce, learn about farm methods, the farm’s history and finish the tour by picking a pound of fresh, ripe juicy strawberries. There are plenty of tour times to choose from and for some you can just show up and walk-on.
Good to know: Arrive 15 min. before the tour.
Upcoming Strawberry Festival Days in May are: May 12th & 13th, 19th & 20, 26th & 27th.
Strawberry season: Feb.-June
Tours: Check their website for current tour times before your visit.
Cost: $18/person; free for kids under age 2
5380 3/4 University Dr.
Kenny's Strawberry Farm
Looking for fields of juicy red strawberries? Then this is your farm! We are berry pleased to say that Farmer Kenny’s main crop is strawberries. Hunt for the biggest red berries your littles can find. Bring a picnic lunch and you’ll find shaded tables where you can relax and eat after picking berries in the fields.
Strawberry season: Feb.-July
Hours: Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
953 Rainbow Valley Blvd.
Fallbrook, Ca 92028
Carlsbad Strawberry Company
Located in Carlsbad, this third generation, family run U-pick farm is one of the oldest in San Diego County––they've been growing strawberries here for over half a century. Go for the ocean view, cool breezes and bountiful strawberries. If you walk a little further down the row, you may find even juicier red ones. Littles will have a good time and when you're finished picking, head to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets for shopping and good eats.
Good to know: Picking strawberries here is on the pricier side. They charge by the bucket and for each person picking.
Strawberry season: Apr.-July; check website
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Small bucket $10/person; big bucket $20/two people; $5/addt'l. person; free for children under 6
1000 Cannon Rd.
South Coast Farms
This local, certified organic family farm in San Juan Capistrano has been growing food for over 20 years and it's a beautiful place to pick your own strawberries. Find the farm, then grab a basket and pick ripe strawberries to your heart’s delight. Farmer George checks the fields after each U-pick day to ensure there’s plenty of strawberries left for future visitors. When done, stock your kitchen with fresh organic produce and yummies from the farm stand.
Good to know: This organic farm is worth the drive.
Strawberry season: March-June
Hours: Check website for U-pick days.
32701 Alipaz St.
San Juan Capistrano, Ca
Temecula Berry Company
Like a bolt from the blue, 9-acres of blueberries will be ripe for the picking the third or fourth week of May (check the website for the exact date, which is still TBD). This family-owned and operated farm in Temecula is a berry gorgeous destination. Pick a bucket full of blueberries, check out the farm animals and you’ve got a memorable afternoon. The blueberry-picking season is short, so the earlier in the season you get there, the better the pickings. Come early or later in the day, as it gets hot in the valley.
Good to know: Farm accepts cash or checks only.
Blueberry season: mid-May-June; check website
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (last entrance to the farm is at 5:30 p.m.)
Cost: $6/pint (container is included)
39700 Cantrell Rd.
Tips to Have a Sweet Berry Picking Experience:
- Wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Wear close-toed, comfortable shoes (you’ll be walking through dirt paths on the farms).
- Always call the farm before you visit to confirm their hours and whether there are enough berries left for picking.
- Arrive when the farm opens to get the cream of the crop and to pick the fruit in cooler temps.
- Only pick strawberries that are fully red and ripe, and pick them by pulling on the stem, not the berry.
- Take along some baby wipes to clean sticky hands and faces.
- Take your camera for plenty of cute photo ops.
- Once you’re home, don’t wash the berries until you’re ready to eat them (otherwise they spoil more quickly).
Where do you take your kiddos to pick berries? Share in the comments!
––Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea