Fall Vibes! Your Guide To The Best Pumpkin Patches In and Around San Diego!Best of SD
With the arrival of October, you may have noticed that pumpkins have begun to arrive at your local grocery store. While it may be easy to choose your pumpkin while picking up your weekly supplies, it’s surely not as much fun as visiting a real pumpkin patch!
Set aside a day to visit one of the San Diego area’s incredible farms to get a true taste of fall. As you may expect, most of these farms require you to drive away from the city and head east to the country to get an authentic autumn experience but you can also visit one of the more centrally located Pumpkin Stations if you want to avoid a long drive.
Perhaps the most iconic pumpkin farm on this list, Bates Nut Farm is located in Valley Center and its worth the drive. Every fall, the farm is transformed into an autumn paradise with acres of pumpkins and a country store that is open daily through Halloween.
Visit on the weekend to get the full experience, including food trucks, hay rides and more, but be aware that this is a popular destination and the roads leading to the farm have been known to be congested. Avoid the traffic and be sure to head to the farm early in the day. Don’t forget to bring your dog too! Bates is the main farms that allows dogs to visit.
If you prefer your pumpkin patches to be more basic, check out Lavender Hills’ acres of pumpkins, pumpkins and just pumpkins. The Fallbrook farm skips the bells and whistles of other pumpkin patches and focuses solely on growing three dozen varieties of pumpkins. You’ll find uniquely shaped pumpkins ranging from miniature to a 300 pound giant as well as pumpkins in a rainbow of colors.
The farm is open Friday through Sunday through October as well as October 30th and 31st for the late Halloween rush.
Unlike most of the pumpkin patches on this list, Oma’s does charge an admission fee of $5 per adult and $10 per child. However, the kid’s admission does include unlimited access to the farms activities, like the hay ride and hay bale maze as well as a water bottle and a kid-sized pumpkin so it’s actually a pretty good deal. Adults can purchase pumpkins up to 100 pounds for an additional fee.
Plan your visit to the Lakeside farm for any Tuesday through Saturday until Halloween.
Head to Ramona to visit the Mountain Valley Ranch and pick out an array of fall decor, like pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. There’s also a corn maze, corn cannon and petting zoo that are open everyday, hay rides on the weekend and pony rides during select times.
Admission is free and the farm is open daily through Halloween.
Located in Flinn Springs near El Cajon, Summers Past Farms offers lots of pumpkins as well as special entertainment on the weekends. Stop by on select days for opportunities to pet some animals too.
Visit one of the two Pumpkin Station farms in Rancho Bernardo or Bonita for an authentic pumpkin patch experience. Choose a pumpkin fresh off the vine, explore a corn maze or take a hay ride at these real working farms. Both locations are open daily through Halloween.
Admission to the farm is free but bring some cash for the maze, hay ride or if you’d like to bring a pumpkin home.
Looking to stay a little closer to home? There are four Pumpkin Stations located throughout San Diego County –Del Mar, Mission Valley, El Cajon, and National City — so chances are there’s one in your neck of the woods. Each location features a similar carnival-like set-up, including an assortment of kiddie rides, inflatables and petting zoos. Of course, you’ll also have your pick of pumpkins too.
The stations are open through Halloween except for Del Mar, which closes on October 29th.
Here’s another ‘close to home’ option in La Jolla that we had a great time visiting. Located in La Jolla, you’ll find a petting zoo, bounce house, carnival games, costumes for sale – and yes, lots and lots of pumpkins. And it’s got that nice, ‘locally-owned’ feel to it!
Happy pumpkin hunting!