Outdoor dining

Join This Irvine Cookout and Savor Farm Life After Sunset

The airy and appetizing evening celebrates the dining side of the historical destination.

Tanaka Farms

What to Know

  • Tanaka Farms; Saturday, July 30 from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • A wagon ride around the farm will stop to gather produce and meet barnyard animals; the farm-to-table cookout follows
  • $49 adult, $29 children ages 3 to 12

What time is "farm time," if you, a longtime fan of farms, had to guess?

We'll guess that your guess would fall near dawn, or at least during the morning hours, when the barnyard animals are stretching and plant tendrils are unfurling and the field work is getting done before the sun is high and hot.

But some farms are truly around-the-clock spots, or at least locations that stay lively throughout the day, thanks to a host of interesting alfresco events, produce-packed happenings, and goings-on that draw those looking to learn more about a life lived among the growing things.

Tanaka Farms, that Irvine favorite that's been germinating all sorts of juicy, delicious, and healthy fruits and vegetables for decades, is one of our region's most vibrant morning-noon-and-night destinations.

True, the nexus of nummy goodies isn't always open at night — you're more likely to find daytime to-dos, with seasonal events like the popular Melon Tours now rolling — but an intriguing evening affair does flower now and then.

And that is just what is set to happen, as the sun sets, on Saturday, July 30. It's the Sunset Wagon Tour & Farm-to-Table Cookout, an educational and appetizing chance to enjoy farm life when the stars are out.

There are a few different components to this occasional offering, including a sunset wagon tour (yep, you'll be stopping to gather fresh produce) and a barnyard stop-by, so you can say "hey" to the cute critters that call Tanaka Farms home.

As for the cookout, which is the evening's centerpiece? Beef or chicken will be the filling main dish, but vegetables (they're grilled, and seasonal, of course), salads, cobs of roasted corn, and a sweet are part of the meal, too.

It's a supper that happens outside on the farm, an unusual and beautiful setting for a special dinner.

Reserving your spot ahead of time?

You should "goat" for it, as booking in advance is a must. (Yep, goats are one of the residents you may encounter on the wagon tour, along with chicks, pigs, and other adorable animals.)

Good to know about the final weekend of July 2022?

It's your last chance, for this season, to pick sunflowers at Hana Field in Costa Mesa, which is overseen by the Tanaka Farms staff. You'll need to make reservations for your Hana Field visit, too, and while you don't need to pick the flowers while there, you can walk among the tall blossoms and snap photos.

To check out fees, details, and more, visit this page now.

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