Dates: September 22-October 31
This 30-acre working farm in the OC boasts squash diversity in spades (white, green, pink, speckled, flat, round!), in addition to old-fashioned orange varieties. Visit on the weekend for extra-special activities, like a pumpkin cannon (exactly what it sounds like), ATV rides, face painting, and tons of kid-friendly eats like shaved ice, churros, and nachos. Can’t make it Saturday or Sunday? Weekdays still offer a petting zoo, corn maze, sunflower field, and wagon rides, in addition to some pretty amazing food from Tanaka Grill (think deep-fried tornado potatoes, pulled pork sammies, and sweet roasted corn). Also, thanks to a partnership with Sanrio, you might find kawaii (that’s Japanese for cute) Hello Kitty- and Keroppi-themed photo ops throughout the place.
Price of a pumpkin: 99 cents per pound; $4 admission (children ages 2 and under free)
Dates: October 5-30
Visiting Mr. Bones (a celeb haunt entering its 31st season) is practically a Halloween rite of passage in LA. With paid admission, kids receive $5 in Pumpkin Bucks and five activity tickets -- which disappear quickly thanks to a straw maze, high-rise plank walk, pony rides, multiple bounce houses, and about a gazillion other activities. You can also splurge on VIP passes for expedited entry, access to an exclusive area, and more special perks. In fact, there’s so much going on at this Culver City patch, you might forget the real reason you showed up: the pumpkins. Thankfully, they’ve got plenty to choose from with an on-site master carver (select days only) to design your take-home masterpiece. Pro tip: Check the live entertainment and food truck schedules before you go.
Price of a pumpkin: $1-$600, depending on the size of the pumpkin; free admission on weekdays, $15 admission on Saturdays and Sundays (children ages 2 and under get in free)
Dates: October 13-14
This open-to-the-public fall festival got its start in 1934, only a few months after The Original Farmers Market first opened. In the old days, merchants decorated fall-themed floats to promote their businesses and parade through the market. Although vendors don’t do that anymore (bring back the parade!), there’s still plenty to see and do, most notably the rockabilly and country live bands, pig races, and a delightfully messy, no-hands, pie-eating contest hosted by Du-par’s. Kids will head straight for the game zone, which features pumpkin bowling, candy corn hole, and the patch itself.
Price of a pumpkin: $3-20; free admission