Orange Ojai Orbs: Boccali Ranch

Halloween draws near, so day trip to this popular destination and pick out your pumpkin.

IF EVER THERE WAS A SEASON... custom-made for the weekend drive, the sort of toodle that has a general end point but it basically "no rush, no fuss" at its heart, it is autumn. There's a reason the descriptive word "mellow" is so often trucked out to paint a picture of fall: It is mellow, from the tawny turning of the leaves to the shorter days (an event which sends us to our couches to chill out). Such vibes have "weekend drive" written all over them, but the vibe of Halloween cannot be fully ignored during the season, either. Nor should it be: It's a festive holiday, and one that is observed in myriad merry ways, with "pumpkin carving" being way, way up there. If you're looking to combine your mellow weekend-drivery with a pumpkin or two being at the end point, point your attention to Ojai, where Boccali Ranch Pumpkin Patch is in full, bucolic, come and have an autumnal experience swing. That swing of things is lasting through...

MONDAY, OCT. 31... so there's still time to pick out your perfect gourd at the 30-year-old property. You'll also want to hop onto a hayride, if you visit on Saturday, Oct. 29 or Sunday, Oct. 30, or send your young'uns to the Children's Hay Maze. That's free, while hay rides are two bucks, and the pumpkins? Stow some money for the perfect oblong orb you spy, the one sitting regally across the patch. Some haunted doings'll fill the area on Oct. 28 and 29, should you be there on a Friday or Saturday evening. True, weekend drives usually don't officially kick off before Saturday morning — that's just tradition — but making your weekend drive to Ojai on a Friday night might just expand what is an exceedingly pleasant pursuit. For hours and such, pop by Boccali Ranch's online headquarters now.

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