With Halloween only a few days away, pumpkin patches are on almost every vacant corner and crates of pumpkins decorate grocery storefronts. This is the season to carve that jack-o-lantern! It’s also the perfect time to feature my visit to a first-class pumpkin patch, Tanaka Farms in Irvine, California. As usual, I set out with little idea as to what the farm would be like. I did expect a certain amount of chaos, which I’m pleased to say never appeared. Instead, there were fields and fields of pumpkins!
One of the things I really liked about this pumpkin patch was the variety of pumpkins. There were the usual orange type but also some white, some knobbly, and some old-fashioned looking varieties.
The textures differed as well. Some were so smooth they seemed to be made of porcelain. In fact, that’s what they were called. Surely, one could find the right pumpkin somewhere in this patch! And to assist you with your purchase, the farm provided wheelbarrows. Just load one up!
In addition to pumpkin shopping, one can spend some time at the other attractions. These include a petting zoo, some carnival rides, and a wagon ride. There is a charge for these which I’ll talk about later. One of the free attractions is the Corn Maze. Don’t worry, it isn’t complicated. Anyone could do it.
The Pumpkin Cannon has to be the best thing yet and is certainly something one won’t find at the pumpkin patch on the corner. The wagon ride stops here to watch the show so make sure you have your camera ready.
This was very popular. I’m sure there must be a charge for the ticket. Usually, a child was the one who pushed the button or lever to fire the cannon. I suppose anyone could do it. You may want to try it yourself.
My visit was on a hot October Sunday. Weekends in October are the best times to go because that’s when most of the added features are available. In addition to the things mentioned above, there is also a place to buy fresh vegetables. I tried just about everything except the carnival rides for the little kids. I just couldn’t quite see myself doing that.
This is a well-organized operation. I met my first employee before I even turned into the farm. He was on the meridian in the street, checking parking passes. I have the feeling I would have been turned away if my pass wasn’t in order. That pass was checked again once I was at the entrance to the farm. After that, I was met by other orange-shirted employees who directed me to a parking place. Nothing was left to chance. There was always someone about who could assist me, answer a question, or point the way.
- Wear sunscreen. October sounds like a lovely month but in Southern California, it can be scorchingly hot.
- If going on the last weekends before Halloween, you will need to reserve and print a parking pass.
- There is an admission fee for this pumpkin patch. Prices vary depending on the type of admission. I purchased admission plus the wagon ride and petting zoo. It was $10.00.
- Food is available, but this is basically snack food. I did see a sign for baked potatoes and roasted corn. That sounds a bit more seasonal. There are also soft drinks.
- While the fields are very sunny, there are also many areas where one can find a shady place to rest.
- Staff is always on hand to take a photo of you and your family. Just pose and smile.
As with so many other places, one exits through the gift shop.
To see more of my images from Tanaka Farms, please click here.