Free: Watermelon Festival at Tanaka Farms

It's a summery to-do in Irvine, with tours, games, crafts, and a petting zoo.

In a matter of weeks, the harvest festivals will roll into town, with all the color and excitement of a tumbling pile of pumpkins falling off the back of a cart.

Surely that's exciting? You'd say "whoa" if you saw it.

And when we say "into town" we mean that these quintessential fall parties will alight at various farms and agricultural destinations around Southern California, just outside of the cities, giving autumn fans a chance to carve pumpkins, pet goats, and devour kettle corn.

But summer trucks on, and so do the sweet summer celebrations, like the Watermelon Festival at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. If you know this venerable destination, then you know that melons are a major part of what they do, and Melon Tours have been on the schedule in recent weeks.

The melon mania, though, will go wider, and juicier, over the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13. Games themed to the green-and-red fruit are on the roster, and crafts, too, and can you hop on a Melon Tour, should you want to know more about how watermelons begin on the vine and grow, grow, grow?

You can join a tour, yes. A Puppy Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday will bring some sweetness, but several other sweetness-delivering animals will be around and ready for petting, including rabbits and a miniature cow.

Admission is free. You'll want, of course, cash for any activities or food you might purchase.

The Scene

Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.

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Oh, and those vittles? They're not all centered around the star melon. In fact, there's a touch of heartier fall in the air at Tanaka Farms, in the form of the Roasted Corn Bar.

There's a Baked Potato Bar, too, if that floats your particular boat, or butters your tater, if you prefer.

Call it a summer's-still-here, fall's-on-the-way weekend on a treasure of a Southern California farm, with cow petting, puppies, and watermelon-based pursuits in the happy mix.

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