Get out and enjoy autumn in Irvine

Columnist Ellen Bell shares her top activities list for Fall

by ELLEN BELL

In Irvine, fall doesn’t arrive with chilly weather. The seasonal shift is subtler. Around here, fall is found in special experiences, like street corner pumpkin patches and empty parking spaces at the beach. Even though we live in the land of perpetual sunshine, there are plenty of places to celebrate the harvest season.

 

Tanaka Farms — U-Pick Pumpkin Patch

Irvine’s own Tanaka Farms gives families a chance to pick a pumpkin right out of the field where it grew! All through October, this popular seasonal destination will have wagon rides, a petting zoo and even a cannon that launches pumpkins into the hills. Visit early in the month for the best pictures before all the pumpkins are picked. Parking passes required on the weekends.

For more information visit: TanakaFarms.com

 

Irvine Park Railroad — Irvine Regional Park

There is no better place to get a sense of fall than historic Irvine Regional Park.

Take a ride on the Irvine Park Railroad under the canopy of changing leaves of ancient oak trees. During October, a festive pumpkin patch is set up behind the station, complete with a hay maze, a not-too-spooky haunted house and plenty of places to take the perfect pumpkin selfie!

For more information visit: IrvineParkRailroad.com

 

Holiday Cooking Classes — Irvine Fine Arts Center

Harvest season means that holiday treats are just around the corner, and family celebrations are most flavorful when everyone pitches in with the cooking. The Irvine Fine Arts Center offers a variety of culinary classes for adults and kids just in time for the holidays.

For more Information visit: cityofirvine.org/irvine-fine-arts-center

 

Halloween Costume Week — Oct. 21–27 — Pretend City Children’s Museum

Kids can get into the spooky spirit all week at Pretend City, the interactive children’s museum near Irvine Spectrum. On Frankenstein Friday, kids will dance to “Monster Mash” and make “Frankenprints.” The week ends with an OC Ghost Busters visit on Saturday and a chance to take pictures with the car from the movie.

For more information visit: PretendCity.org

 

Volunteer Day — 9–10:30 a.m., Oct. 6 —Mason Park Butterfly Garden

Every month, volunteers gather at the Mason Regional Park Butterfly Garden to learn more about gardening and maintain a beautiful butterfly sanctuary for all to enjoy.

No gardening experience is necessary, and those 12 and over are welcome to participate. Bring a hat and a pair of comfortable, covered shoes, and get your hands a little dirty for a great cause!

For more information visit: LetsGoOutside.org

 

The one-third scale Irvine Park Railroad takes children and adults on a ride through Irvine Regional Park, a 160-acre park that became Orange County’s first regional park in 1897.