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Pumpkin patching

Where fall is fun

Posted: October 14, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: October 14, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Pumpkin patches and harvest festivals are popping up everywhere.

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Sure, you can purchase your pumpkins at the supermarket or at the corner lot. But there is so much more fun and atmosphere awaiting you. There are large pumpkin patches and "harvest festivals" to be found in the Santa Clarita Valley, and more within an hour's drive - and the PumpkinLiner Train out of Fillmore offers its own unique slant on the season. Corn mazes, pony rides, petting zoos, face painting, live music and more, seasonal good times are calling. So take the kids and make a day of it.

Lombardi Ranch
29527 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91390
(661) 296-8697  
Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lombardi Ranch has been selling pumpkins and other produce since 1968, but its Halloween Pumpkin Festival began in 1989. October weekends have evolved into something special, with bands, a petting zoo, bake sales, wagon rides, face painting, pony rides, train rides and lots of things to see and climb on.
Scarecrow Alley presents a wide trail winding through towering sunflowers. Around every turn are "scarecrows," interpretations of Halloween themes entered into the scarecrow contest by local individuals, families, school and scouting groups.
Visit the web site for Saturday and Sunday activities through Oct. 30. For example, this Saturday there will be performances by the Saugus High School Marching Band, and Floyd & the Fly Boys, a bake sale will benefit the Marching Band and caramel apples sold by Delta Lambda Omicron will benefit breast cancer research.

Nancy's Ranch
25039 Magic Mountain Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
(661) 255-6943  
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
A wide variety of pumpkins, plus squash and other goodies await you in a convenient, straw-strewn, seasonal setting just up Magic Mountain Parkway near the 5 freeway. This year the Santa Clarita Runners will host their annual Monster Dash Kids K and 5K Race/Walk at Nancy's Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kids K starts at 6:45 p.m. and 5K starts at 7 p.m. Kids K registration $10, 5K registration $30. Proceeds benefit the Santa Clarita Assistance League. Runners and onlookers are encouraged to come in costume. This moonlight run will be a flat, fast and spooky course through Nancy's Ranch, across the Trestle Bridge and long the new river trail. Supplies are limited but 5K participants will receive a high quality, long sleeved tech shirt, a stocked trick or treat bag and a flashlight. Kids K participants receive a finishing medal, a stocked trick or treat bag and a flashlight. Visit for more information on the Monster Dash.

F&W Railway
250 Central Ave.
Fillmore, CA 93015
(800) 773-8724  
Train departs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through October
Fillmore & Western Railway locomotives and railcars are always decorated with tender ghoulish care to reflect the haunting season. The PumpkinLiner travels to a private pumpkin patch at Loose Caboose Garden Center and Gift Emporium. Besides enjoying the pumpkins, kids can bounce in the Jolly Jumps, ride the carousel, have their faces painted and much more. Barbecue tri-tip sandwiches, hot dogs, roasted corn on the cob and other edibles are available. Seasonal arts and craft vendors are also onsite.
Fillmore & Western Railway Co. is located in the Heritage Valley, 20 minutes west of Six Flags Magic Mountain and 20 minutes east of Ventura. The vintage train travels through the pristine orange, lemon and avocado groves between the historic communities of Piru, Fillmore and Santa Paula. Ticket prices are adults, $19, youth 4-12 $12 and children 2-3 $10. Infants, carried on laps, are free.

Faulkner Farm
Pumpkin Patch
at the University of California
Hansen Agricultural Center
14292 Telegraph Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060
(888) 522-1884  
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October
A Ventura County tradition continues with the Santa Paula Rotary Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival at Faulkner Farm at the University of California Hansen Agricultural Center. Enjoy great autumn weekends with acres of bright orange pumpkins, a red corn maze, towering hay pyramids, farm animals, mini train rides, a country store, delicious food and great entertainment. Admission $4.

McGrath Street
Pumpkin Patch
5156 McGrath St.
Ventura, CA 93003
(805) 658-9972  
9 a.m. to dusk through October
Directly off Highway 101 is McGrath Brothers Pumpkin Farm, with rides, games and plenty of bright, orange pumpkins ripe for picking. On select days there are hayrides, face painting, pumpkin sculpting and pony rides. You'll find a variety of pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and farm animals.

Fall Harvest Festival
Underwood Family Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021
(805) 529-3690  
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31
Acres and acres of pumpkins, plus live music, pig races, animal shows, wagon rides, train rides, corn maze, games and more. Admission is $12 on Fall Harvest Festival Saturdays and Sundays. $3 Monday through Friday.

Forneris Farms
15200 Rinaldi St.
Mission Hills, CA 91345
(818) 361-0714  
Weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 31 (Pumpkin Patch and Farm Market open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor-pulled train ride, giant hay pyramid, Great Pumpkin Jumper, face painting, pony rides and petting zoo (weekends), food, refreshments and musical entertainment. Charges for some activities.



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