Fall is here, which means the harvest is in full swing. Though you may not need your jackets and sweaters just yet, you can get into the autumn spirit with a visit to a local pumpkin patch, hay rides, apple pie, and a hike through a forest of turning leaves.

Farmland Pumpkin Patches

The Farmstand Pumpkin Patches and Fall Harvest Festival

All throughout the month of October The Farmstand is hosting two you-pick pumpkin patches at  2115 Miller Avenue and 1980 Summit Drive in Escondido. Don't miss the annual Fall Harvest Festival & Boutique, Saturday October 20th and Sunday October 21st from 10am to 5pm.

Lavender Hills Pumpkins

The fair will be at Farm Stand West (2115 Miller Avenue, Escondido) and will include local arts and crafts, baked goods, jams and jellies, clothing, yard art, and more. There will also be an afternoon BBQ lunch available from local food truck “Up in Smoke”, hayrides, you-pick pumpkin patch and fresh, local produce.

Free admission for visitors.

Konyn Dairy Pumpkin Tours

Konyn, the last operational dairy in San Diego, has teamed up San Pasqual Valley Soils for their first Annual Konyn Kids Pumpkin Patch at 16111 Old Milky Way in Escondido. Open to the public on October 13th and 14th and 20th and 21st, from 10am to 4pm, as well as mid-week for Class Field Trips and Small Group Tours, their special holiday tours offer visitors the opportunity to visit the Konyn kid's pumpkin patch, explore the farm, play in the commodities bin, and hand pick a personal, cannon ball-sized pumpkin. Larger and special varieties of pumpkins will also be available for purchase. Also included is a guided tour of the family farm on an open air tractor wagon, playtime at the pumpkin patch, and a special dairy treat.

Price is $10 per person.

Bates Nut Farm Dog-Friendly Pumpkin Patch

For over 50 years, memories have been created at the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch at 15954 Woods Valley Road in Valley Center. Enjoy tractor hayrides, a straw maze, petting corral and Snows Pony Rides (starting October 9th), and the main event: grabbing a wheelbarrow and picking from variety of pumpkins including Big Macs, Ghost, Cinderella, Jack O’ Lantern, minis, squash, gourds and other fall décor. On the weekends, enjoy live entertainment from 12pm to 3pm, BBQ, kettle corn, food trucks, rock climbing, bouncey house, slides, and other family friendly events. Open daily, see their calendar for details and schedule. This is the only patch where dogs on a leash are welcome.

$5.00 parking on weekends (cash only), packages for activities and pumkins available

Organic Oversized Pumpkins at Lavender Hill

Lavender Hills Pumpkins at 1509 E. Mission Road in Fallbrook, is a family-operated farm that keeps it simple. It's all about the pumpkins here, which are all organically-grown varieties that come in crazy shapes and sizes, including tiny Jack B. Little pumpkins that you can pluck straight from the vine.

Julian Pie Co.
Betty's Pie Whole
Julian Pie Co.
Betty's Pie Whole

Julian Mining Company Pumpkins and Hand-Pressed Cider

This historic landmark at 4444 State Highway 78 in Julian is hosting a you-pick pumpkin patch, tractor-drawn hayrides, you-press apple cider, and a petting zoo this month. Grab lunch and some cider donuts in town before visiting the patch and make a day of it with a picnic in the vines.

Wine and Pumpkins at Harbour Farm & Vineyard

Harbour Farm and Vineyard at 3326 Highway 67 in Ramona, has something for kids and grown-ups, from wine tastings and sangria slushies for the adult crowd, as well as bounce houses and snow cones for the kids. Everyone can enjoy the corn maze, you-pick pumpkins, live music, falconry and hay rides, and BBQ is available for purchase so you can plan to spend the entire afternoon.

Price: $3 for children and $2 for adults.

Pick Old School at Oma’s Pumpkin Patch

This patch at 14950 El Monte Road in Lakeside, opened back in the 1960s, so if you're a native, you might have your own memories of pumpkin picking, hay rides, the hay bale maze, and the petting zoo. Admission for adults is $5, and $12 for kids. Children's admission includes all farm activities, from cotton seed slides to cow milking, and a Jack Patch pumpkin.

Summers Past Farms Pumpkins and Holiday Shopping

Summers Past at 15602 Olde Highway 80 in Flinn Springs is the place to go if you want to indulge in your country cottage fantasies while you pick your pumpkins. Head to their Barn Shoppe and Herbal Soap Shoppe to get a jump on your Christmas shopping and to find locally-made Fall décor.

Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin and Corn Harvest

Mountain Valley Ranch at 842 Highway 78 in Ramona, has as many corn activies as pumpkins. Choose from a variety of pumpkins, pick-out some decorative corn, explore the corn maze, corn cannon, or petting zoo, and take part in a weekend hayrides or pony ride.

Julian Mining Company

Seasonal Pies

Julian Main Street Pie Tour

Julian is perhaps most famous for its pies, and nothing says fall like their infamous apple and pumpkin creations. There is no consensus on which local pie company does it best, so we suggest you hit main street and do a pie slice tasting of your own before choosing which whole one to serve at your holiday feast. Three of the biggest condenders that you won't want to miss are the Julian Pie. Co., Mom’s Pie House, Apple Alley Bakery, which also offers gluten-free options.

Mama's Kitchen's 14th Annual Mama's Pies Thanksgiving Bake Sale

Every autumn, Mama's Kitchen hosts a seasonal bake sale to help raise essential funds for the organization's nutrition services to help support our neighbors in need that are battling critical illnesses. From October 8th to November 19th, order pumpkin, traditional apple, pecan and Dutch apple pies for $25 each online via www.mamaspies.org or by calling 619-233-6262. For those who would like to participate in Mama’s Pies Thanksgiving Bake Sale outside of purchasing a pie, donations can be made directly to Mama’s Kitchen. All proceeds from pie sales go directly to funding thousands of free and nutritious Mama’s Kitchen meals, which help ensure no one living with HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses will go hungry in the San Diego community.

Betty's Pie Whole Holiday Pies

Sure, you can order your pumpkin crumble pie or apple double crust at Betty's place in Encinitas, but this is also the only spot in town where you can indulge in savory holiday pies, like her formitable Thanksgiving Pie stuffed with roasted turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing, served with a side of cranberry chipotle sauce.

Get Outside

Julian Cider Mill Cider Pressing

During apple season from September to December, watch the pros at this mill on Julian's Main Street as they press cider using an antique cider press. They are truely local, using only fresh Julian apples, so the supply is limited and highly seasonal. Their old fashioned shop is a great place to look for holiday gifts like local raw honey and preserves, caramel apples, fresh pears, and homemade apple and pumpkin butters. While you're in town, have a slice of pie and visit the nearby wineries.

Credit: Cindy Chow

Celebrate the Season at San Diego Botanic Garden's Fall Festival

Enjoy the changing colors of fall as you explore the botanical gardens in Encinitas. During the festival on October 27th from 10am to 2pm, let the kids show off their best Halloween costume for a chance to win the costume contest, paint a pumpkin, and create Halloween crafts (a small fee may apply).  Entry costs $18 for adults and $10 for children, with kids under 2 years old free.

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