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The Best Pumpkin Patch in Southern California

I know that Fall officially started a couple weeks ago back in September, but there's something about that moment the calendar changes to October that suddenly it officially feels like Fall. Granted, I live in Southern California and it really never feels like anything other than 75 and sunny but you know what, the air is changing a bit in the morning and evening. Maybe I'm forcing it, who knows.

Fall means Fall activities and this last weekend I did my personal favorite and visited a pumpkin patch. This is the second year in a row I've visited Tanaka Farms and it is without a doubt the best pumpkin patch I have ever been to.

If we're being honest it's really more of a pumpkin farm and that's part of it's charm (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). I discovered Tanaka Farms on Time Out Los Angeles last year when they started posting about the Hello Kitty Pumpkin Patch. I HAD to go. Little did I know that it would be such an incredible experience and part of my Fall tradition year after year.

Tanaka Farms is a bit of a drive but when I tell you it's every minute worth it, it's every minute worth it. Located in Irvine, Tanaka is a family run business that was first started by great-grandfather Teruo who immigrated from Hiroshima-ken, Japan, according to their website. Having grown up in a family-run business myself, I have such respect and admiration for other family-run establishments. There's something so special about a family coming together, working together, and producing something that is so beloved by the community.

During Fall, Tanaka Farms prepares for Halloween and is filled with a wide variety of pumpkins including orange, white, sparkle, mini, large and everything in between. It's the true pumpkin patch experience giving you the opportunity to walk out into the fields and pick your pumpkin right off the vine. Whether you're looking for something to put on the mantel to decorate the home for the Fall season or simply something to bake with, Tanaka has the pumpkin for you.

In addition to pumpkins, there's a sunflower patch with hundreds of beautiful sunflowers reaching up toward the sky as well as plenty of photo opps throughout the fields with Hello Kitty and friends.

Tanaka is the perfect pumpkin patch for adults and kids alike. Personally I love the overall experience of walking out into the fields, feeling so removed from the city and like you have to work to find your "perfect" pumpkin. Plus I don't mind the photo opps, surprise surprise. But really, I'm a big fan of pumpkins and Tanaka has the absolute best around.

This place is the full experience! There's carnival games for kids, a few food trucks to satisfy your cravings during your morning or afternoon of picking the best pumpkin, a pumpkin slinging machine, wagon rides as well as the most incredible gift shop of breads, nuts, Tanaka Farms x Sanrio merchandise, pumpkin carving tools and all the Fall decorations you could ever need.

Let me tell you it's extremely difficult to walk away with just pumpkins. And I mean extremely difficult. I will admit I did not succeed in that battle this year.

Outside of Halloween-time, Tanaka is a fully functioning farm with fresh seasonal produce and even Christmas trees. While I've only visited during pumpkin season, I definitely plan on checking it out later in the year.

I can't say enough about Tanaka Farms so enough of me rambling on and on, check it out for yourself now through Halloween!

(Originally Published October 2, 2018)

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