Pumpkins, cider, fresh apples, maple candies, crimson leaves and of course – the bitter chill of October. These were the memories and the experiences we went searching for last weekend in southern California. Our desire to experience fall festivities brought us to Irvine. After some serious (and hilarious “fall colors and weather experiences in LA”) Google searches, we located Orange County’s largest U-Pick farm.
Tanaka Farms is nestled in the heart of Irvine just a short stint off the 405 freeway. [Take the 405 South and get off at University Drive and follow the signs for Strawberry Farm Road!]
We were a bit hesitant to settle for Hollywood’s hay-in-a-parking-lot approach to the Pumpkin Patch so we were elated to see that Tanaka was an actual working farm.
Covering 30 acres Tanaka is known for its fresh organic produce – namely Strawberries – as well as their U-Pick options all year round.
Their Pumpkin tours and fall festiveness include wagon rides around the farm with a stop for the Pumpkin Canon! (the boys favorite part of the tour), a decent sized Corn Maze, family Petting Zoo (we opted out) and giant U-Pick pumpkin patch.
They have built a ton of great photo ops including a giant pumpkin pile – who doesn’t want to scale a mound of Pumpkins and take pictures? We did realize later that there were stairs in the back – oops!
The wagon ride didn’t offer as much information but was a cool chance to sit down and see the farm at a glance. As we picked a day that was in the 80s (so fall-like right?) we were happy to have a bit of a rest from all the walking. The corn maze was fun – although pretty easy to solve lol. This place would be perfect if you have small children. And if you love pumpkins, the possibilities were endless – they even had pretty white pumpkins if you’re going for that shabby chic but still cute and pumpkiny look in your home. At $3.50/lb. we didn’t come home with any pumpkins or gourds but the store at the patch had a ton of farm fresh products, jams, and breads. With a line out the tent, we figured they must all be delicious.
All in all – we are happy we drove down and got to experience a fall time tradition in a SoCal way. It was nice to escape the city and be out in nature for a bit. Seeing palm trees and avocados growing by hay bales and pumpkins will take a few years to get used to – but we got to celebrate fall California style.
Here’s our vlog to document the day!
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