October is my favorite month for families in Orange County! I made my picks of the best outdoor fall family traditions in OC based on the family outdoor experience and if it’s low or no-cost.
Wait! Almost forgot. Before you read any further, think about your fall. Think about how you want to spend your time. If you want to snuggle at home with a cup of soup and a good book, that’s okay! If you want to be out under the trees with the leaves falling all around – you don’t necessarily need the excuse of an event. Just find a park and hang out. The kids will love it. Better yet – come up with your own family fall tradition:
- a pilgrimage to a special far away restaurant
- an overnight stay at a certain favorite hotel
- making sandcastles on an empty beach
- cooking a family recipe together
It doesn’t have to be a big deal at a crowded place to be special!
Outdoor Fall Family Traditions in OC (2017)
Make sure you pay attention to the weather and check all the OFFICIAL details for fees and suggested ages. Click on the bold green titles to link to official information.
- U-Pick Pumpkin Patch at Tanaka Farms is perfect if you want to take a wagon ride on the farm. September 30th through October 31st. Themed with Sanrio Hello Kitty this year.
- Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch. Open from September 16th to October 31st. (It’s free if you just wander around the patch.) NOTE: Unfortunately, this location has been subject to closure due to the wildfires in the area. Please visit their website to determine whether they are open.
1st weekend in October
- Acorn Day at O’Neill Regional Park. October 7th from 10am-2pm.
- Autumn Harvest Festival at Heritage Hill Historic Park. Super sweet family event at an amazing location on October 7th from 4pm to 8pm.
2nd weekend in October
- Environmental Nature Center Fall Faire. October 15, 2017 from 10am to 3pm. Proceeds benefit their environmental education programs.
3rd weekend in October
- Bat Night Fundraiser at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Tucked away in Modjeska Canyon on October 21st from 4pm to 8pm. No strollers, though. (Visit this awesome place anytime during fall and you’ll enjoy.)
- Halloween OC Zoo-tacular is on October 28th (Halloween) from 10am-4pm. It’s awesome – the animals get pumpkins filled with treats.
Harvest Faire at Journey School in Aliso Viejo (Nov 4th). A true family event that’s like a “nature-themed maker’s faire for kids” with food trucks and live entertainment.
*Not OC, but as my daughter reminded me — it’s tradition so we have to go!
Remember, you don’t have to wait for someone else to plan fall fun! You can always take your kids outside to play anywhere in this beautiful weather (even if it’s just the front yard!).