PUMPKIN TIME IS BACK: First things first: The Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad at Irvine Regional Park is back open and ready to fill those fall fans looking for some Halloween-cute liveliness with autumnal joy. The railroad, and all of its kid-ready activities, have shuttered twice in recent weeks, due to the Canyon Fire and Canyon Fire 2 (aside from the fires' proximity to the attraction, first responders also set up a base at Irvine Regional Park). But as of Tuesday, Oct. 17, the patch is back, there are pumpkin pictures to be snapped, and the sweet, not-at-all-spooky train is toot-tooting again. Need hours and such? Toot-toot in this direction, pronto, for Halloween is just two weeks away. Keep in mind that nearby hiking trails are shuttered "indefinitely" and the OC Zoo is slated to reopen on Saturday, Oct. 21.
ALSO NOT TOO FAR OFF? Halloween is quite close, it's true, but so is Christmas, which starts on the early side at the popular attraction. That popularity stems from the fact that Santa puts in an appearance, and the lights and decorations add to the general spirit of cheer at the alfresco location. As for tickets? Those go on sale just hours after All Hallows Eve wraps up, on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The Christmas Train runs from the first day of December right up to Christmas Eve Eve, or Saturday, Dec. 23, if you prefer. When will you and the tots ride through the sparkly "Tunnel of Lights" at the Orange destination? Best choose your date, and alight on some tickets, sooner than later, as the Christmas Train remains a merry must-do for families around Southern California.