Grab a sweater and hot beverage of choice because fall is here! In sunny Southern California it’s easy to forget we have seasons, too. But the temperature has started to drop, and the leaves are changing colors, so it’s time for some seasonal fun. Whether it’s visiting a pumpkin patch or heading to the mountains, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to get into the fall spirit.
Visit a pumpkin patch
Pumpkin patches have popped up all over town. Whether you’re looking for a convenient place to grab a pumpkin or two, like at a shopping mall, or you want the whole fall festival complete with haystacks and corn mazes, there is a pumpkin patch for everyone. We’ve highlighted our favorite pumpkin patches here.
Pick some apples
Nothing says fall like hot apple cider or fresh baked apple pie. You don’t have to venture too far from L.A. to pick your own apples for your homemade treats. Oak Glen, a little town nestled in the mountains between San Bernardino and Palm Springs, has a cluster of apple-producing farms.
Stone Soup Farm offers apple picking for $3.75 per pound with $5 general admission (children ages 3 and under are free).
Los Rios Rancho offers apple picking for $3.75 – $5 per pound and free admission. They also have a petting zoo, nature trails and farm store open daily.
Snow-Line Orchard doesn’t offer apple picking, but they do have a wide variety of fresh picked apples for sale and beautiful picnic grounds with views of fall foliage.
Go on a hayride
Another fall tradition is the hayride. L.A.’s most famous one returns to Griffith Park. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, recommended for ages 13 and up, includes mazes, scare zones and trick-or-treating through Oct. 31.
Irvine Park Railroad offers a more kid-friendly option at their pumpkin patch. Entrance to the park is free and rides are $6 per person. They also have a hay maze and a hay pyramid, perfect for fall photos.
Welcome the season with beer for the parents and brats for all. Catalina Island Museum hosts their version of the Bavarian festival Oct. 15 with live music, art projects for kids and bratwursts with all the fixings.
The Biergarten at Old World Huntington Beach is hosting Oktoberfest through Oct. 31. Wednesday and Thursday nights are free family days featuring German food and live entertainment.
If you want to make a little road trip around it, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake are each hosting their own family-friendly Oktoberfests.
Autumn arts & crafts
Now is the perfect time to get cozy with some autumn themed arts and crafts, while creating seasonal décor to decorate your space. We loved DIY expert Sandy Sandler’s autumn acorn pom-pom mobile and PBS KIDS’ pumpkin spice play dough recipe.
Pumpkin spice play dough
- Orange play dough (or make your own)
- Ground cloves
- Grab some orange play dough (or make your own)
- Knead in shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves to get a pumpkin spice scent.
- Use the play dough as you normally would, to make pumpkin spice scented shapes and decorations!
For more fall activity ideas, check out PBS Kids.
Autumn acorn pom-pom
For a visual step-by-step guide, click here.
- 10 acorn caps
- 10 pom-poms in fall colors
- Five 20″ lengths of thread, twine, or yarn
- One 24″ length of thread, twine, or yarn
- Large sharp needle
- Small branch 9″ to 12″ in length
- Liquid glue
- Gather acorn caps and small branch. Store these in the freezer for a couple days to kill any beasties.
- Pierce a small hole in the center of the acorn cap. You can use a small hand drill, an awl, an ice pick, a large sharp needle, or a slender nail and hammer.
- If you can’t find the color pom-poms you want, color white pom-poms with markers to get fall colors.
- Thread the needle with a 20″ length of yarn. Thread an acorn cap onto the yarn.
- Tie a knot on the inside of the acorn cap.
- Repeat with another acorn cap at the other end of the yarn.
- Repeat Steps 5 and 6 with the remaining 20″ lengths of yarn.
- Add glue to the inside of the acorn caps.
- Glue a pom-pom to the inside of the acorn caps.
- Attach the acorn pom-poms to the branch. Either wrap the yarn around the branch a couple times or tie in place.
- Tie the ends of the 24″ length of yarn to the ends of the branch for hanging the acorn pom-pom mobile.
- Enjoy autumn!
For more DIY project ideas, check out Sandy’s blog.