Pumpkin Patch at Limoneira Ranch - NBC Southern California
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Pumpkin Patch at Limoneira Ranch

Spend a sweet day among the squashes in Santa Paula.

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    Pumpkin Patch at Limoneira Ranch
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    A maze, a Pumpkin Chucker, and pony rides: It's all happening in Santa Paula, every Saturday and Sunday through October 2017. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    FINDING THAT PERFECT PUMPKIN, the kind of orange orb you want to put in the window, or in the middle of the kitchen table, or on the front step, isn't too difficult when the second half of October arrives. It can, in fact, be as easy as swinging by your grocery store and heading for the produce section. But if you're looking for a few more bells and whistles and mazes and hay rides with your pumpkin search, plus some country-fied air, plus a weekend drive, turn your gaze to places outside of the city, the kind of roomy spots that have fields for roaming. Up around Santa Paula there's such a location, and while its name — Limoneira Ranch — might bring citrusy thoughts to mind, understandably, there is a definite pumpkin vibe as Halloween draws near. That's right: A nexus known for its tart lemons and oranges and limes is going full fall every weekend in October, thanks to its on-site...

    PUMPKIN PATCH:Pick any weekend day in October 2017 and the patch'll be open, offering a cornucopia of activities and sights. One of the a-maize-ing sights is the Corn MaiZe, which offers five acres of get-a-little-lost-a-tude. There's a Pumpkin Chucker, too, a device that has a very explanatory name, and pony rides for the tots. Vittles'll be for sale, live music will be adding atmosphere, and a hay ride and hay pyramid will be upping the general autumnal pleasures of the outing. Of course, you still can buy your pumpkin at the grocery store, if you spy the perfect specimen near the bananas and lettuce. But finding a hay pyramid, and sweet ponies, and a Pumpkin Chucker on a fall weekend outing? Best plan a mini weekend day road trip to Santa Paula before October makes its last bow. Admission is five bucks, the Corn MaiZe is ten, and activities and foodstuffs'll vary in price.