Southern California: Best Corn Mazes & Fall Festival for Family Fun.
Create your own family day adventure and share time away with your kids. Hunt pumpkins or ride a pumpkin train, taste fresh apple cider or pan for gold. Run through a corn maze or jump in a hay stack - no prior training needed.
We have heard from readers about the best spots to relax and have fun. Checkout this year’s list and make plans to share more fun. Orange: Irvine Park Railroad Fall Festival
(09/22–10/31/2012). In addition to an awesome family-friendly pumpkin patch and an equally friendly haunted house you’ll find a clever hay bale maze, pumpkin bounce house, and carnival games. Many children enjoy panning for gold and driving a John Deere mini tractor. Best part:
Ride the pumpkin train and jump on the John Deere tractor hay wagon. Bonus points:
About a five-minute walk from the pumpkin patch is the Orange County Zoo home to more than 100 animals native to Southern California and it offers a petting zoo, perfect for young children. Also available within the park – pony rides, bike, surrey, and paddle boat rentals. Here’s the deal.
Entrance into the pumpkin patch is FREE and the website offers several discount coupons for additional activities within the park. (Irvine Park Railroad 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869. (714) 997-3968 or www.irvineparkrailroad.com
) Bakersfield: Murrays Family Farms October Fun
(daily 9/29-10/31/2012). Located at the beginning of the bountiful San Joaquin Valley Murrays provides visitors of all ages authentic ways to share the best Mother Nature has to offer. During the fall harvest season you will find plenty of pumpkins and gorgeous gourds plus a spider maze. Enjoy a hay wagon ride around the farm or sample seasonal fruits and vegetable grown “ripe” on the farm and maybe even pick your own. Best part:
Share time with the farms four-legged residents – friendly goats, docile llamas, fancy pigeons, woolly sheep, miniature horses, regal peacocks, and cute ducks. The star of the farmyard - Miss Piggy is everyone’s favorite. Bonus points:
The picnic area offers terrific views of the Tehachapi and Southern Sierra Mountain and a carefree "popcorn pool" for tykes. (Murray Family Farms Hwy. 58 at General Beal Road, 18 miles east of Bakersfield (661) 330-0100 or www.MurrayFamilyFarms.com
) Woodland Hills: Pierce College Farm Center Halloween Harvest Festival
(09/28–10/31/2012). The focus of this seasonal fall celebration is a six-acre corn maze and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Meet farm animals, ride on hay, and participate in daily organized fun for young children. Best part:
An entertaining stage show featuring "Spookley" the square pumpkin and his friend Jack the scarecrow. Bonus points:
For families seeking thrills and scary happenings there’s FrightFair Scream Park comes to life, featuring the "Factory of Nightmares" and "Creatures of the Corn." Here’s the deal.
Pierce Farm Center is located at the De Soto metro stop and visitors who arrive by metro and show their MTA ticket will and receive FREE admission to the festival event area. Or for Fright Fair use the online discount coupon. (The Halloween Harvest Festival is located at 20800 Victory Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367. (818) 999-6300 or www.HalloweenHarvestFestival.com
)Temecula: Big Horse Corn Maze and Fall Festival
(10/06-10/31/2012). Each year Big Horse provides families with extras reasons to enjoy a day out in the countryside. The annual fall celebration includes pick-your-own pumpkin as well as selections already gathered from the field. A corn maze provides traditional challenges and the authentic hay bale maze offers its own challenges. Enjoy a tractor-pulled hay ride, corn cannon, bounce house, pony rides and farm animal encounters. Best part:
Movie buffs will want to walk across a real baseball diamond in the corn stalks, just like the movie Field of Dreams. Bonus points:
Any time of year Big Horse Mercantile is worth a visit because the offer an exceptional shopping experience. The store inventory spans vintage gifts and comfortable country wear to high end jewelry and fashion with an extensive gift and book selection in the pet and small animal departments. (Big Horse Feed & Mercantile 33320 Temecula Parkway, Temecula, CA 92592. (951) 389-4621 or www.bighorsecornmaze.com
) Julian: Julian Mining Company Fall Celebration
(weekends September through December). This is the spot to wander through a pick-your-own pumpkin field or even pick-your-own apples plus a child-sized hay bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, and wagon rides. See apple cider making, and candle dipping. Expect to find a cozy petting zoo with friendly farm animals. Best part:
Julian Mining Company is open all year long and provides exceptional living history activities meant to be shared. The vintage fun includes tomahawk throwing, archery, square dancing, u-press cider making, fossil digs, gem mining, and gold panning. Bonus points:
If you want to enhance the gold panning experience just ask because premium-grade gold ore is available and can be added to your experience for an additional cost. (Julian Mining Company 4444 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. (951)313-0166 or www.julianminingcompany.com
)Ojai: Boccali Ranch Pumpkin Patch
(10/01–10/31/2012). Checkout the pumpkin patch populated with pumpkins already gathered from the field and ready to be adopted. Look for the child-sized hay bale maze and on weekends share a (free) tractor-pulled hay ride. Find a wide variety of gourds, squash, Indian corn, and seasonal farm-fresh produce. For extra thrills and frights stick around for the haunted hayride weekend events. Best part:
Listen to eerie fireside tales by Ventura County’s ghost stalker, Richard Senate. (Boccali Ranch 3277 Santa Paula Ojai Rd (Hwy 150 at Reeves Rd), Ojai, CA 93023. (805) 646-6116 or www.boccalis.com
We want to expand the list and need your help. If you have a favorite fall festival or know of an awesome corn maze please "Tell Mom" and we will add it to the list. Make sure to include the name of the festival or event and its location on the planet as well as why you like it or what makes it worth the trip. Our next round up will include family-friendly winter celebrations and enchanting Santa Trains. We are building the list right now and would love to have your feedback. So just "Tell Mom!"
. Content generated from reader’s comments and verified by FTF staff. Images provided by respective locations. Copyright 2012.