There are many Fall activities in and around the Orange County area to enjoy with the whole family. From apple picking and pumpkin patches to haunted houses and hay rides, here are some of the highlights you won’t want to miss this fall.
Grand Park/Town Center Amphitheater
6101 City Lights Drive, Aliso Viejo
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cancelled for 2020
Come out and enjoy the annual Fall Harvest Festival and Food Drive hosted by the Aliso Viejo Community Association on October 20th. Guests will enjoy crafts for kids, fun carnival games, balloon twisters, entertainment, and more. Participants are invited to dress up and join the costume parade at 10:30 a.m. Guests who donate five or more canned food items or pet food, or make a donation to South County Outreach will receive a wristband for a free pony ride for their child. Pony rides will only be available to those who bring a donation.
The Commons Aliso Viejo
26501 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo
October 16, 2020
5:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Come out for a viewing of Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus. Bring five non-perishable food items to donate to the food pantry and be entered in the raffle. Purchase food from businesses at The Commons or bring your own snacks as concessions will not be available at this event.
Broadway & Clementine, Anaheim, CA
Drive-thru parade on October 24, 2020
*For 2020, the Anaheim Fall Festival will be held primarily online for the month of October and a drive-thru parade will be held on October 24th. Details will be announced via social media.
The community of Anaheim has taken to the streets for nearly 100 years, celebrating the season with a Fall Festival and Halloween Parade. Guests 12 and under are invited to dress up in their best Halloween attire and take part in the Kiddie Costume Contest. The best-dressed pets can take part in the Halloween Pooch Pawrade. The parade travels down Center Street Promenade through Downtown and ends at the Anaheim Packing House. The first Anaheim Halloween parade was held in 1924, and led by baseball legends Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson. At the peak of popularity, the Anaheim parade drew nearly 150,000 spectators into the streets, and the event was televised in Los Angeles and Orange County.
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12201 S. Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
Labor Day – Thanksgiving Weekend
Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Not in Orange County, but so close you can almost smell the cider. About an hour’s drive takes you to Oak Glen where you can enjoy one of the best fall traditions – apple picking. Riley’s Apple Farm is the original SoCal destination for this outing and they have more than just apples. Visitors can participate in a variety of activities (for a fee) including tomahawk and knife throwing, cider pressing, and archery. Enjoy a delicious lunch on weekends at the snack bar with BBQ chicken apple sausage, apple pie, sub sandwiches, cider floats, and raspberry shakes. Riley’s also features a gift shop and native wood for sale so you can stock up on logs for cozy fall evenings by the fireplace. There are several other ranches, orchards, and restaurants in the area to explore including Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho with picnic grounds and nature trails to explore.
Cal State Fullerton – 800 N. State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Every year, Discovery Cube OC teams up with Cal State Fullerton for a smashing STEM event. Pumpkin Launch contestants use their engineering skills to build trebuchet machines that send the pumpkins sky-bound at the Cal State Fullerton Athletic Field. In addition to watching pumpkins launch and smash into targets, spectators will enjoy a variety of fun challenges and hands-on activities. Food trucks will be on site for visitors to purchase food and drinks at this fun annual event suitable for the whole family.
Environmental Nature Center
1601 East 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
October 18, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Environmental Nature Center will be hosting the annual Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch on October 18th. The 2020 event is going online with a virtual Craft Crawl and Story Walk. There will be online nature games and performances, Savor OC cooking demonstrations, a costume contest, and more. The full schedule events can be found here. Fall Faire To Go bags can be purchased and include a pumpkin, goodies and recipes from Savor OC Restaurant Showcase sponsors, ENC bandana, native plant seeds, a nature tattoo, a children’s nature book, materials for a science experiment, and supplies to make a fall craft. First 200 bags purchased will include a $20 gift card to Avila’s El Ranchito Restaurant (valid at Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Corona del Mar), a $10 off $25 purchase to Descanso Mexican Restaurant, and a free #1 combo from Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.
Fall Faire bags must be ordered online and can be picked up October 15 & 16 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
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Fairhaven Memorial Park
1702 Fairhaven Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705
October 29, 2020
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Fairhaven Memorial Park is hosting a family friendly fall festival with 10 holiday-themed stations for guests to walk through. The event is free but registration is required.
6950 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618
Guests are invited to the Orange County Great Park to see the big orange balloon transformed into a giant jack-o-lantern. Every year a large crane lifts balloon pilots up into the air to attach the black vinyl tarp to the side of the balloon. “Jack,” as the Great Park Pumpkin is affectionately known as, will remain in the park until November 1st.
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2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
August 30-October 31, 2020
Roger’s Gardens in Corona Del Mar is transforming the Halloween Boutique into a Pirate’s paradise with nautical novelties, creatures from the deep, trinkets and treasure, and the bones of dead men who’ve walked the plank. There will be plenty to explore, so come see the peculiar characters lurking on the grounds and get into the Halloween Spirit at Roger’s Gardens.
Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
October 1-October 31, 2020
Weekdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Weekends 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
*The 2020 event has been modified. Patrons may purchase pumpkins from a staff member, but free-roaming the pumpkin patch will not be allowed. The train and hay wagon rides will be available and some game booths that will be sanitized after use. Photo op areas will also be available.
Every year, the Irvine Park Railroad transforms into the Great Pumpkin Patch. This popular family event draws crowds from all over Southern California. There are a variety of free activities including a (not so) Haunted House and a Hay Maze. Wander the huge pumpkin patch and pick your favorite pumpkin to turn into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. Prices for pumpkins vary based on size. Purchase tickets for $5 each or a book of 15 tickets for $60 to use for a variety of exciting paid activities including the train ride, moon bounce, face painting, ring toss, carnival games, hay ride, panning for gold, cookie decorating, and John Deere races. Capture the moment at one of the many fall and Halloween-themed photo stands throughout the area. Don’t miss the Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Saturday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m. to see who has the biggest pumpkin!
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8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine, CA 92618
September 21 – October 10, 2020
Online, Plus drive in events.
*The 2020 event includes online programming and two drive-in events.
- September 25: True Willie and the Boys
- October 2: Irvine Global Village Festival: Food + Family Friday
- October 10: Mariachi Divas
The Orange County Great Park has merged the annual fall event, Spooktacular Fun Days, with the Irvine Global Village Festival to offer two full days of family fun and activities. The new and improved Irvine Global Village Festival will include a seek-a-treat area, petting zoo, Bubble Zone with STEAM activities, live entertainment, crafts, inflatables, face painting, community booths, carnival games, multicultural food concessions and global tasting menus, an artisans marketplace and much more. The Irvine Global Village Festival includes activities that represent over fifty cultures, offering the Orange County Community a taste of music, food, and traditions from all around the world. Now in it’s 18th year, the Irvine Global Village Festival has grown to become the City of Irvine’s signature event. Tickets are $5 per person per day, or purchase a one-day family pass for $20 for a family of up to six people.
Irvine Valley College
5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
November 26, 2020
The OC Turkey Trot 5K is coming to Irvine Valley College. Bring the whole family to kick off Thanksgiving Day. There will be a Diaper Dash for kids 2 and under, and a Tot Trot for kids 3-12. Turkey Trot medals will be given to all race participants. The Turkey Trot is a great way to work up your appetite for your Thanksgiving celebration. See our list of 5Ks and Fun Runs for more races.
Taste of Fall-O-Ween
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620
September 25 – November 1, 2020
12-9PM Friday & Saturday
Regular Tasting Card (12+) – $35 plus tax
Junior Tasting Card (3-11) – $20 plus tax
Knott’s Berry Farm continues with the family-friendly theme park experience with the Taste of Fall-O-Ween. Come enjoy the flavors of Fall and the Harvest and Halloween decor throughout the park. Come in costume, and take the kids through Camp Snoopy’s Trick-or-Treat Trail with treat stations and socially-distanced family activities. Check out the Into The Fog art show and browse goods from local artisans. The event runs Friday through Sunday and tickets must be purchased in advance. Regular tasting cards include 5 tastings and junior cards include 3 tastings plus the Camp Snoopy Trick-or-Treat Trail.
5380 3/4 University Drive, Irvine, CA
September 19th-October 31st, 2020
Reservations are required for 2020
*The 2020 Pumpkin Patch has been modified. Please see the Tanaka Farms page for full details.
Come out to the biggest Pumpkin Patch in town at Tanaka Farms. Visitors can wander the fields and choose their own pumpkin from acres of pumpkins. Visitors can also enjoy wagon rides; a petting zoo with goats, sheep, and an alpaca; a corn maze; and a u-pick vegetable patch. After the Halloween festivities are over, the fun continues here on weekends during November with the Fall Harvest Festival. In addition to the regular weekday activities, guests will also have access to additional games, crafts, face painting, and food to purchase and enjoy. Tickets are required for the activities and may be purchased for $5 each, or 5 for $20. Weekends are busy during the month of October and parking passes are required.
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2000 East Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806
Thursday, November 26, 2020
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and Fun Run is brought to you by Caren Ware Events and is fun for the whole family. The race starts and finishes under the Big A at Angel’s Stadium. All racers will receive a medal. In addition to the race, pumpkin pancakes will be served, aid stations will be available, and there will be awards handed out to those with the most festive costume. There will be a raffle with prizes from Angel’s Stadium and all 5K racers will receive a t-shirt. The 5K begins at 8:00 a.m. and the Kids Dash begins at 9:00.
Irvine Regional Park and Santiago Oaks Regional Park
1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange, CA 92869
Check In begins at 7:00 a.m.
*No 2020 events
The Turkeys on Trails event by Rock It Racing will include a 5K, 10k, and a Lil’ Turkeys 1 mile kids run. All participants will receive a medal and the event includes t-shirts, race photos, aid stations and post-race snacks. Racers must bring their own container or pack for water/drinks as this is a cupless event. Racers will enjoy running on the beautiful trails of Irvine and Santiago Oaks Regional parks. The 10K begins at 8:00 a.m., 5K at 8:15, and the Lil Turkeys one mile kids run at 9:45.
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|Knott’s Scary Farm||Best Places To Go Apple Picking|
|Oktoberfests in Orange County||Orange County 5Ks and Fun Runs|
Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, an expert at exploring all that Orange County has to offer, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.