Pumpkin patches might look a bit different this year, but rest assured, there are still places to go to get that fall feel (or at least the requisite pic of your little pumpkin surrounded by all things autumn). Keep reading for where to go for pumpkins along with plenty of adorable photo ops, plus wagon rides, animal encounters, hay pyramids, and even virtual fun!
Underwood Family Farms - Moorpark
With more than 40 acres of scenic farmland, Underwood is the place to go for safe pumpkin picking! While their traditional Fall Harvest Festival will be postponed until 2021, the farm is still open for business and will offer acres of pumpkins, fall harvest decor, multiple photo opportunities, a Country Store, wagon rides to and from the fields, produce picking, and animal viewings. Weekends will also include roaming entertainment at a distance.
Schedule: Open daily, 9a.m.-6p.m., from Oct. 1 - Oct. 31.
Cost: Admission is $8, Mon.-Fri., and $15 on the weekends. The best time to go is on a weekday but if you can only swing a Saturday or Sunday visit, it is strongly encouraged to purchase online tickets to secure your admission as they may limit walk-ins to maintain a safe experience! Heads-up - online ticket purchases are for weekends only and come with an additional $2.50 fee (but worth it to not have to wait for hours in a giant line!).
3370 Sunset Valley Rd.
Shawn's Pumpkin Patch - Mar Vista/Palms
Shawn's will be open with a few modifications in place. This year, there will be only one location and attractions are going to be a bit downsized from previous years. To maintain strict social distancing, they will limit the number of people admitted (so expect lines and potentially long wait times). Activities like inflatables and mechanical rides won't be there this year but Shawn's will still have a petting zoo, train rides, sand art, a few game booths, a mini straw maze, and of course - pumpkins! Masks are required to be worn at all times and those visiting will need to apply hand sanitizer before entering the patch. They will also be disinfecting all commonly touched surfaces throughout their hours of operation each day.
Schedule: Open Oct. 3 - Oct. 31. Operating times/dates vary depending on the day and week so best to go to the website, social media, or contact them to confirm before your visit!
Cost: Admission is free; individual activities are $3/per person and up. Pumpkin prices vary according to size and type.
3443 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Gilchrist Farms - Santa Clarita
If pumpkins and photo ops are what you're after, then a trip to Gilchrist Farms is a must. They have expanded their free-to-enter pumpkin patch to make it even more spacious and easy to spread out, plus you're surrounded by a backdrop of mountain vistas which makes for very festive photos. Win/win! It's best to visit the pumpkin patch either early in the day on weekends or during the week as entry is first-come, first served. Gilchrist Farm is following state mandates for distancing and crowd control so there certainly can be a long wait depending on when you arrive! If you're looking to experience all the Fall farm feels, however, it's best to make a reservation to enter their actual farm and take part in activities such as pony rides, archery, goat milking, petting zoo, and wagon rides (no mazes, slides or pig races this year). These visits are by appointment only and come at an added cost to enter with add-on pricing for each activity/event. There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the property, employees cleaning each station in between activities, and masks are required at all times!
Schedule: Open daily, 9a.m.-6 p.m, from Sept. 26-Nov. 1.
Cost: Pumpkin patch is free to enter. Farm visits are $5 per person (kids under 2 are free). Activities such as pony rides, wagon rides, the farm train, and the like are additional costs starting at $5/per person and up.
30116 Bouquet Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita 91390
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch - Virtual
This well-loved pumpkin patch will not be opening for the 2020 season (boo-hoo!), but beginning October 3rd, they will be launching Mr. Bones @ Home: offering pumpkins and Halloween goodies for pick-up or delivery, and bringing you carving and interactive painting classes, live music, and more on their social media channels!
Tina's Pumpkin Patch - Sherman Oaks
Located right behind the Sherman Oaks Galleria (just off the 405), this is a convenient spot for Valley residents and Westsiders. With a petting zoo, pony rides, and mini train, it's got plenty to entertain little ones. This year, the activities here will be limited to only those that are easy to clean and/or socially distance (read: no bounce houses or mazes) and the fine folks at Tina's will be making sure all safety protocols are upheld.
Schedule: Open Sun.-Thurs., 10a.m.-8p.m, and Fri. & Sat., 10a.m.-9p.m., from Oct. 2 - Oct. 31.
Cost: Free admission, including parking. Activities cost extra, from $3-$6.
Tapia Bros Farm Stand and Pumpkin Patch - Encino
This farm-fresh market stand is known for corn, tomatoes and strawberries throughout the year. Come Oct. 1, there's also pumpkin patch filled to the brim with a great selection of pumpkins, gourds, squash, hay bales, corn stalks, and other decorations for sale. The patch itself will also be carefully decorated so it's perfect for snapping a few festive photos before picking up some homegrown produce at their fruit and veggie stand! This year, they will be limiting the number of people allowed in the patch at once so best to prepare the kiddos for waiting patiently in lines at the entrance.
Schedule: Open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., from Oct. 1-Oct. 30.
Cost: Free admission and parking.
5251 Hayvenhurst Ave.
Descanso Gardens - La Cañada Flintridge
Throughout the month of October, take your fall-loving-family to experience Halloween at Descanso, a pumpkin-filled extravaganza that invites guests to safely wind their way through socially-distanced, pumpkin-themed displays in the most popular sections of Descanso Gardens. With 150 acres to explore, there are plenty of ways to spread out, and advance ticketing is required so you can rest assured crowds will not be a problem! Kids 14 and under are invited to wear their costumes (and masks of course!) as they explore all things autumn like pumpkin houses, hay mazes, pumpkin arches, and scarecrows. When your little ghouls' bellies start grumbling, head over to The Kitchen at Descanso where you can choose from a variety of fall-inspired snacks to go like soups, caramel corn, and churros.
Schedule: Tickets go on sale Sept. 28; event runs from Oct. 1-Oct. 31. Hours: Oct. 1-25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Oct. 26-31, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. It's always a good idea, however, to check the website for up-to-date times before making the trip!
Cost: $15/adult, $5/children ages 5-12, Free, children under 5.
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Cañada Flintridge
Tanaka Farms - Irvine
This year, in order to comply with current Covid protocols, Tanaka will be offering two incredibly fun and safe pumpkin patch options!
Option #1: The first is a U-Pick option on Monday - Friday only that involves a wagon ride (limited capacity and spaced out seating) around their beautiful 30-acre farm! It also includes a pumpkin cannon launch, a ride through the barnyard educational exhibit with farm animals, a scarecrow contest, sunflower viewing (currently growing, should be in peak bloom in late October), U-Pick veggies, and a pumpkin you pick yourself! This option lasts an hour and you do not exit the wagon until it's time to pick.
Option #2: The second is a drive-through option only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead of a wagon ride, you will stay in your own car and take a leisurely 1.5 mile drive around the farm. The cost per person includes a pumpkin for each paid ticket, food samples, a barnyard educational exhibit with farm animals, a scarecrow contest, sunflower viewing, and more!
More Fun: If you've got a bunch of hungry scarecrows in the car, the Tanaka Grill will be open for drive-thru service on Saturdays and Sundays only with all the yummy farm favorites! Also, the produce market stand will offer drive-thru service daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all your pumpkin accessories, fall decor, snacks, and delish farm-fresh produce!
Schedule: Open daily, 9a.m.-6p.m., from Sept. 19-Oct. 31.
Cost: U-Pick option is $25 per person ages 3 and up. The Drive-Thru option is $20 per person ages 3 and up. Kids 2 and under are free in both options but do not receive items included with paid admission.
5380 3/4 University Dr.
Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Farm - Redlands
If you’re looking for an escape from the city (and are up for a 60-90 minute drive), this destination is a must—plus, it's close to the best apple picking around. There are plenty of oak trees that provide shade and great picnic spots, along with countless photo ops, a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, and more. This year they won't have mechanical rides, pig races, or inflatables but there will be plenty o'pumpkins to choose from as well as more seasonal charm than you can shake a corn cob at! Live Oak Pumpkin Patch will be limiting attendance and will have to cut off admission at any time once they reach safe capacity (so if you can't avoid a weekend visit, then plan to get there early!. They also will be implementing social distancing markers around the patch, will have hand sanitizer stations scattered all over, and will be encouraging masks to be worn at all times.
Schedule: Pumpkin patch season runs from Sept. 25 - Oct. 31 and is open Saturdays 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. and Fridays from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. See the farm's ticket calendar for exact hours as they are subject to change. Be sure to buy your tickets online as well as they most likely won't be selling them at the door!
Cost: During the week, admission is $5 for kids, ages 3 -10; $10 for adults. Weekend admission is $7 for kids, $12 for adults. Prices for individual activities start at $4.
32335 Live Oak Canyon Rd.
–Christina Fiedler, Andie Huber, Shannan Rouss, & Jenifer Scott
featured photo: Emily Williams