Although the change of seasons is subtle in Los Angeles, we know that fall is here. The city’s seasonal menus are now featuring fare like butternut squash soup, our farmers markets are stocked with yams, potatoes, apples and asparagus and fall harvest celebrations and festivals are cropping up all over the greater LA area. Celebrate pumpkin carving season at these local harvest events.
Fall Festival at the LA Farmers Market
Los Angeles’ landmark farmers market will celebrate fall with a weekend festival featuring a bounty of live music, art, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo, carnival games and a pie eating contest. Spend the day at this free family friendly event before designing your own seasonal dinner with all the fall produce available in Market Plaza.
Saturday and Sunday, October 15 – 16, 11am, free
6333 West 3rd Street, at South Fairfax Avenue, (323-933-9211 or farmersmarketla.com)
Halloween Harvest Festival
The largest harvest festival in southern California can be found over the ridge in Woodland Hills. Located on the very pretty Pierce College campus, this event features a six acre corn maze, a pick your own pumpkin patch, hay rides, a petting zoo, a giant slide and pony rides. After night falls, Harvest Festival becomes Frightfair Scream Park, which features the foreboding sounding “factory of nightmares” haunted house and “creatures of the corn” haunted trail.
10am-1pm Sunday through Thursday, 10am – midnight Friday and Saturday, $5-$14
Through October 31
20800 Victory Boulevard, at De Soto Avenue, Woodland Hills, (818-999-6300 or halloweenharvestfestival.com)
Calabasas Pumpkin Festival
If the promise of inflatable rides and a giant slide aren’t enough to get you driving north on the 101 to charming Calabasas, consider that this weekend festival also includes live music, carnival games, a craft marketplace, food and beer vendors and a classic car show on Sunday. There will also be a pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, pumpkin eating, a pumpkin seed spitting contest and, of course, plenty of pumpkin pie.
October 15 and 16, 10am-5pm, $5
Juan Bautista De Anza Park, 3701 Lost Hills Road, at Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas
Kidspace Pumpkin Festival
A prime fall event for kids and families, this festival in Pasadena’s Brookside Park features a petting zoo, pony rides, carnival games, a costume parade, face painting and train rides. A slew of child-friendly bands will perform and kids can pick up both a pumpkin and a costume at this one stop shop for Halloween.
October 22-23, 9:30am – 5pm, free
Kidspace Children’s Museum, 480 North Arroyo Boulevard in Brookside Park, Pasadena (kidspacemuseum.org/pumpkin)
Fall Harvest Festival at Forneris Farms
Make like a farmer for the day at this fall festival in the Valley. Forneris is a third generation, family-owned farm that’s celebrating their harvest with a corn maze, tractor tours around the farm, pony rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment and, of course, hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins. After you’re done jumping around in the giant hay mound, stock up on corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash and other fresh fall fare from Forneris’ market.
Through October 31, weekdays 2pm – 5pm, weekends 9am – 5pm, free
15200 Rinaldi Street, at Alemany Drive, Mission Hills (818-361-0714 or fornerisfarms.com)