6 Family-Friendly Fall Attractions in California
Things to do with kids in Southern California in the fall. By Mimi Slawoff
Los Angeles (Flickr: Ben K Adams)
The transition from summer to fall may be subtle in Los Angeles, but it’s still noticeable. While the weather is still warm enough for the beach, leaves turn golden and carpet streets and sidewalks. Pumpkin patches pop up throughout the county, nearby farms welcome the public with a cornucopia of harvest activities, and theme parks transform into spooky yet still kid-friendly attractions.
Here are 6 ways to enjoy autumn in the Los Angeles area with kids.
Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles
This iconic LA attraction, which opened in 1934, has an abundance of food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors and produce markets. Shop, dine and enjoy the festive ambiance, especially during the holidays. The 80th annual Fall Festival, featuring a petting zoo, farm-related activities, pumpkin carvers, live music, a puppet show and more, takes place October 18 and 19. Good to know: Parking at Farmers Market is free for two hours with a validation from any merchant.
Halloween Harvest Festival, Woodland Hills
Halloween Harvest Festival at Pierce College (Pierce College)
A haunted trail, corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides and petting zoo are part of the annual fun at the Pierce College Farm Center through Nov. 2. Spooky the Square Pumpkin entertains little ones while brave souls can creep through haunted houses. More fun with kids includes a pumpkin maze and pony rides. General festival admission: $5 (kids under 3 admitted free). Separate fees for attractions.
Underwood Family Farms, Moorpark
Underwood Family Farms (Flickr: Robynne Blume)
Pick your own fruits, vegetables and pumpkins at this working farm in Moorpark, a stone’s throw from LA. The farm -- open year-round to the public -- celebrates its annual Fall Festival through October with a variety of activities, including a corn maze, wagon rides, animal shows, scarecrow booth, country music, cowboy entertainment and even pig races. Festival fees: $15 on weekends, $3 weekdays. Kids under age 2 admitted free. Parking is free. Good to know: Show up in full costume on Oct. 31 for free admission.
Oak Glen, San Bernardino County
Just outside Riley's Apple Farm (Flickr: Don Graham)
About 90 miles from Los Angeles, Oak Glen rivals the bold autumn colors of New England. Enjoy brilliant fall foliage while picking apples and pressing cider. Among the 30-plus orchards is Riley’s Apple Farm in Los Rios Rancho, a working farm where visitors can try their hand at rope making, stacking a log cabin and other pioneer-themed activities. Good to know: Riley’s Apple Farm offers horse-drawn wagon rides through the woods in fall.
Fillmore & Western Railway, Fillmore
All aboard the Pumpkinliner, a historic locomotive that brings families to a private pumpkin patch to find the perfect Jack-O-Lantern. Enjoy kid-friendly activities, attractions and a BBQ food booth. Themed train rides chug through citrus and avocado orchards year-round for holidays and special events.
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
Disneyland Resort (Flickr: Rain0975)
The resort’s annual Halloween Time is sure to get everyone in the spirit of the spooky holiday with costumed characters, tasty treats, a Halloween Carnival and Mickey’s Halloween Party. The Haunted Mansion Holiday combines Halloween and Christmas decorations, and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy brings riders to a haunted section of the universe. Pumpkin carvers, crafts and other kid-friendly activities take place at Thunder Ranch.