Pumpkin Patches Are Starting to Sprout Around SoCal

Both Tanaka Farms and Irvine Park Railroad are welcoming fall fans with activities, wagon or train rides, and lots of squashery to behold or buy.


What to Know

  • The pumpkin patch at Tanaka Farms in Irvine opened on Sept. 18; general entry is $6, activities are additional
  • The Irvine Park Railroad pumpkin patch in Orange opened on Sept. 18; entry is free, while parking and activities are additional
  • More big SoCal patches are coming up in late September and early October, including Mr. Bones in Culver City and Tapia Bros. in Encino

Before you can open the top of a pumpkin, in order to remove all of those ready-to-be-baked seeds and goopy-gooey pumpkin guts, you need to keep an eye out for other types of pumpkin-related openings.

Specifically, you'll want to watch for when some of Southern California's largest pumpkin patches will open, those long-running, gourd-glorious larks that pop up at local farms, attractions, and spacious corner lots.

And the popping up of regional pumpkin patches truly begins when the first half of September ends.

Which means that two of the titans of supreme SoCal squashery have now opened their gates to visitors seeking the perfect pumpkin-adjacent photo opportunity, alfresco wagon rides or train rides, and old-timey outdoor activities, too.

In Irvine?

It's all happening at Tanaka Farms, that bountiful bastion of pumpkins. The historic farm opened its popular patch on Sept. 18, 2021, but calling upon this vast field of orange orbs isn't solely about choosing your straight-off-the-vine specimen.

There are arts and crafts, too, and the chance to join a fresh-air'd wagon ride.

Before you go? You'll want to read up on visiting, when parking passes will be required, and the additional fees for activities (general entry is $6, while tots 2 and under and members of the military may enter for free).

And at Irvine Park Railroad in Orange?

That super-picturesque train is choo-choo-ing, and the pumpkin ring toss and pumpkin decorating station are both ready to charm families, while other activities are adorably afoot, too.

The nostalgic nexus of autumn cute-a-tude unveiled its patch on Sept. 18.

Getting into the Irvine Park Railroad patch is free, but vehicles are additional ($3 on weekdays, $5 on weekends).

Also? Activities have a fee, so roll like a pumpkin by this page to check up on prices now.

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