Field of pumpkins

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15 Best Pumpkin Patches In San Diego, California Fall Guide

Want to know where the best pumpkin patches in San Diego are? Look no further! With the arrival of fall, a popular activity is visiting a pumpkin farm to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve.

Of course, you could buy one from the store but that’s no fun! Instead, make a day of it and use this fall guide to visit one of the top San Diego pumpkin patches throughout the county.

As fall approaches, the evenings are starting to cool off (somewhat), pumpkin spice lattes are back, and choosing a pumpkin to carve a Jack O’ Lantern is something to look forward to!

What makes visiting a pumpkin patch even more fun is that there are other activities varying from corn mazes, pumpkin themed games, apple cider, hayrides, photo opportunities, and petting zoos.

And you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy it as there is something that sparks that feeling of autumn’s arrival and the upcoming holidays for everyone. Do you have a favorite pumpkin patch in San Diego County you like visiting the most?

Note: Don’t miss out on these other fun fall activities in San Diego County!

There are pumpkins of all sizes at the best pumpkin patches in San Diego like this small white pumpkin
There are pumpkins of all sizes!

“Oh my gourdness, it’s autumn!” – unknown

Pumpkin Patches In San Diego

1. Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

As far back as I can remember, my parents took me to Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch every year as a child. Picking out a pumpkin to carve a jack o’ lantern for Halloween was an exciting day.

There is a bit of nostalgia from my childhood which is why Bates Nut Farm has been one of my favorite San Diego pumpkin patches. It has been around for over 50 years and is the place to be every October.

The tractor ride goes around the pumpkin patch

A section of large pumpkins against the corn field

Although the highlight of visiting is the pumpkin patch, there are numerous activities such as hayrides, a corn maze, petting corral, pony rides, food trucks, and music on the weekends.

You can grab a wheelbarrow and go off in search of a pumpkin of your choice! There are several varieties such as Big Macs, Cinderella, Ghost, minis, and squash.

And before you leave, walk over to the farm store where you will be greeted by all kinds of nuts…

I love the rainbow colored stripes against the white on this pumpkin

The Bates Nut Farm store has all kinds of goodies you can take home with you!

The farm started out with walnuts, but you can now buy pistachios, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, and peanuts to name a few. You can take home not only nuts but dried fruit, fudge, jams, salsa, teas, and an assortment of gifts.

Season: The farm is open from September 16th through October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Friday from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

Cost: Weekdays admission is free but, on the weekends, parking is $10.00.

Address: 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082

2. Carlsbad Strawberry Company

I know what you are thinking, you are in the pursuit of a pumpkin, not strawberries!

The Carlsbad Strawberry Company might be known for strawberries in the spring and summer months but in the fall, you can find a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and tractor rides here.

Ever felt like shooting apples out of a cannon? Well, you can at this Carlsbad pumpkin patch where you can buy a bucket of apples to shoot out of an Apple Cannon or air compressor in hopes of hitting a target.

A stand to sell pumpkins with decorations

A scarescrow and pumpkins look inviting to the pumpkin patch

Sign with the various activities listed and arrows directing

Entrance to the corn maze

If you are looking to relax a bit then hop on and take a tractor ride that makes a loop around the fields, past the lagoon and freeway.

And lastly, you can have fun wandering the corn maze in the hopes of not getting lost! Even though they are open daily, more activities and food can be found on the weekends.

There is a bouncy area for kids, a ton of tables, some food stand/trucks, and restrooms available. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a leash.

Season: Pumpkin Patch is open from September 16th – November 4th, 2023.

Hours: Open daily Sunday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Cost: Admission is $5 and there is a fee for the various activities such as the Apple Cannon (12 apples for $20), Tractor Ride ($10 for adults and $7 for kids), and Corn Maze ($10 per person).

On Friday and Saturday evenings you can enter the haunted Field of Screams in the corn maze for $25.

Address: 1050 Cannon Road, Carlsbad, CA 92008

3. Julian Farm & Orchard

If you are in search of crisp mountain air and fall foliage head up to the adorable town of Julian. Located a little over an hour east of San Diego is an old gold mining town that has become the mecca of apple picking and apple pies!

Just because apple picking season is coming to an end, there are still plenty of reasons to visit Julian in the fall.

Could this huge pumpkin be Charlie Brown's the Great Pumpkin?

Even the small pumpkins have interesting patterns and colors

Head to Julian Farm & Orchard for a fun experience of picking out a pumpkin, going on a hayride, axe throwing, sipping cider, and more at one of the best Julian pumpkin patches.

Plus, you can enjoy some apple pie after picking your pumpkin which makes for an awesome day trip to one of the best pumpkin patches in San Diego.

There are also picnic tables to enjoy a packed lunch at too.

Season: Late September through October 31st, 2023

Hours: Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Cost: General admission is $5.00 for everyone over 4 years old. For full access to all activities including the hayride, axe throwing, animal sanctuary, crafts, and the rock-climbing wall, the cost is $25 per person 4 years and older.

Address: 4381 Highway 78, Santa Isabel, CA 92070

4. Pumpkin Station Rancho Bernardo

You can find multiple Pumpkin Station locations in San Diego, with this one is on the border of Rancho Bernardo and Escondido.

It is considered a top favorite Rancho Bernardo pumpkin farm with its corn maze and sunflower fields on top of a pumpkin patch!

The Pumpkin Station has plenty of fun cut out photo boards to take pictures with

So many pumpkins to choose from...

There are a lot of activities to keep both kids and adults busy with a corn maze, hayride, animals, sunflower fields, and many painted boards that make for fun photos opportunities.

I’m a sucker for beautiful flowers so when I heard that there are acres of sunflower fields, I knew I had to go.

Cut sunflowers fresh from the field and take home a beautiful bouquet along with your prized pumpkin!

Entrance of corn maze field

Wandering the corn maze...

The flowers are as tall as I am if not taller and wandering the rows of flowers makes for lovely photos. To see the sunflowers at full bloom visit around the middle or later part of October.

The corn maze wasn’t too long but it is fun to make it to the end after a few wrong turns! This San Diego pumpkin farm truly encompasses everything fall-related.

Season: This Rancho Bernardo pumpkin patch is open from October 1st and runs through October 31st, 2023.

Hours: You can visit from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm through the 14th and to 7:00 pm until the 31st.

Cost: Parking and admission are free to roam the pumpkin fields. But if you want to explore the corn maze ($4), take a hayride ($4), petting zoo ($4), or cut your own sunflowers ($2 per stem) there is a small fee.

Address: 13421 Highland Valley Road, Escondido CA 92128

5. Pumpkin Polar Palooza

Another popular Carlsbad pumpkin patch is Pumpkin Polar Palooza where the emphasis is on fun!

You may have come to pick out a pumpkin, but there are several activities to enjoy while you are here.

From pumpkin carnival games to a pumpkin sling shot, a hayride, a petting zoo and an inflatable fun zone there is a good time to be had.

Bates Nut Farm has been a favorite to pick out a pumpkin for years...

For those that enjoy getting into the Halloween spirit, bring your chairs and blankets for Movie Night at Pumpkin Polar Palooza!

Watch top Halloween movie favorites each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening starting at sunset.

If you find yourself a little hungry, grab a treat at the snack shack or at the taco truck on the weekends!

Season: TBD through October 31st, 2023

Hours: Open Monday – Thursday from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Cost: The pumpkin patch is free but for all other ticketed activities (1 ticket each), $5 per ticket or $20 for 5 tickets.

Address:1200 Laurel Tree Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011

6. Oma’s Family Farm

In the city of Lakeside is Oma’s Family Farm, which is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year but especially in the fall.

Tickets are required to be purchased ahead of time for a specific day and time entry.

Once you are in, you get access to the pumpkin patch, wagon rides, a petting zoo, a corn pit, and a play zone including huge slides and a jumping pad.

A huge pile of bright orange pumpkins

There is even a café onsite serving up seasonal food and drinks! This is not a dog-friendly pumpkin patch likely due to the number of animals at the farm already.

Season: The Oma pumpkin patch is open from September 27th through October 29th, 2023.

Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, closed on Sunday and Monday.

Cost: All tickets must be purchased online for a select day and time.

Address: 14950 El Monte Road, Lakeside, CA 92040

7. Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch has been a local favorite each fall for over 25 years in the town of Ramona.

East of San Diego and minutes from Julian, this Ramona pumpkin patch has a wide selection of pumpkins including gourds and Indian corn.

This large pumpkin has the prettiest pattern speckled with white and peach color

Corn on the stalk

For some added fun you can get lost in a corn maze and shoot corn out of a cannon!

Kids can enjoy interacting with animals in the petting zoo or going on a pony ride. Food and drink options are only available on the weekends.

Season: Open from September 23rd through October 31st, 2023

Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Cost: Free Admission

Address: 842 Highway 78, Ramona, CA 92065

8. Liberty Station Pumpkin Patch

The Goff Family pumpkin patch at Liberty Station is the premier place to pick out a pumpkin in the Point Loma region of San Diego.

Located on the wide-open grassy area directly across from The Presley restaurant, visitors can select pumpkins and create memories with lots of great Halloween photo backdrops.

The Liberty Station pumpkin patch is surrounded by many fantastic eateries all within walking distance or you can bring in your own food for a picnic.

So many varieties of pumpkins big and small...

On Friday and Saturday adults can enjoy sipping beer and wine while their kids pick out their favorite pumpkin!

The best place to park is a few blocks away in the lot next to Slaters 50/50 restaurant and dogs are allowed if they stay on a leash.

Season: September 23rd through October 31st, 2023

Hours: Open Sunday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and Friday/Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Cost: Free admission to visit.

Address: 2830 Perry Road, San Diego, CA 92106

 

 

9. Mr. Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Patch

Come autumn, the best La Jolla pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin is at Mr. Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Patch.

Tucked in the quaint neighborhood of Windansea, visitors can find not only pumpkins but a ton of Halloween games and activities.

After you carve your pumpkin, save the seeds and roast them!

From pumpkin decorating, photo stations, a pumpkin bounce house, pumpkin bounce with a slide, candy corn hole, and more!

Many of the activities do require tickets which can be purchased once you arrive and depend on what games you want to play. Parking is free across the street from the Holiday Inn on La Jolla Blvd.

Season: October 1st through October 31st, 2023

Hours: Open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, Friday/Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Cost: No entrance fee and dogs are allowed on a leash.

Address: 6710 La Jolla Blvd, CA 92037

10. Summer Past Farms

The lovely Summer Past Farms is a small family-owned farm in El Cajon about 30 minutes east of downtown San Diego.

It is a wonderful place to visit year-round to see various flowers in bloom in the gardens. And they have an herbal soap shop where you can get aromatic soaps made with herbs from their garden!

But as fall arrives, they have a fantastic pumpkin patch which is the main draw for those seeking to find the best pumpkin to carve.

In addition, there is a small corn maze that kids will enjoy, a hay fort, and a scenic field of pumpkins for photos.

Season: This El Cajon pumpkin patch is open from October 1st to October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and closed on Monday – Wednesday.

Cost: Free Admission

Address: 15602 Olde Hwy 80, El Cajon, CA 92021

11. Julian Mining Company

Another great Julian pumpkin patch is the Julian Mining Company, a well-known apple orchard, farm, pumpkin patch, and place to mine for gold.

Here guests can come to pick out their pumpkin and give panning for gold and gems a try. Mining for gold is year-round and apple picking in late August through September.

Slice of original apple pie with a scoop of ice cream

Starting in late September, the pumpkin patch is in full swing welcoming guests with fall festivities, hayrides, fresh apple cider, animal encounters, a mini train ride, and tomahawk throwing.

A visit here is another great excuse to explore other fun activities in the town of Julian and get a slice of apple pie!

Season: Late September – October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Cost: TBD. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

Address: 4444 Julian Highway, Julian, CA 92036

12. Farm Stand West

Farm Stand West has been a family-owned farm in Escondido since 1924 expanding acreage and crops over the decades.

It is one of the best places in North County to buy fresh produce with selections changing based on what is in season.

These beautiful pumpkins are Blue Delights for their bluish color

In October each year, this is one of the top San Diego pumpkin patches to visit where you can pick out the ideal pumpkin to carve. Farm Stand West even has a Fall Festival to attend mid-October.

Another one of my favorite fall fruits is the persimmon which you can use to make the tastiest cookies! October is usually a great month to pick up some persimmons too.

Season: The farm stand is open year-round, but the pumpkin patch is open from October 1st – October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00pm.

Cost: Free admission

Address: 2115 Miller Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025

13. Pumpkin Express Train

The Pumpkin Express is a unique Halloween experience as you can dress up in your favorite costume and ride a historic train!

Hop aboard a vintage train car at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum that will take you on an hour train ride. You’ll pass through mountains and by historic sections of the San Diego and Arizona Railway.

Make a day of it in Julian picking out a pumpkin!

Before or after your spooky fun train ride, get a pumpkin, and take pictures with painted Halloween displays.

The Pumpkin Express train takes off at 10:30 am, 11:45 am, 1:45 pm, and 3:00 pm. Your ticket also includes access to the museum.

Season: The pumpkin patch and the Pumpkin Express train are on weekends in October.

Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Cost: Free to visit the pumpkin patch, but there is a fee for the train ride. Kids get a free pumpkin with Pumpkin Express train ticket.

Address: 750 Depot Street, Campo, CA 91906.

14. Bonita Pumpkin Farm San Diego

About 20 minutes southeast of downtown San Diego is a popular Pumpkin Station in Bonita.

At this pumpkin farm you can expect lots of activities to get you into the spooky Halloween spirit.

Enter the corn maze and see if you don’t get lost, go on a hayride, a train, and pet adorable animals.

These pumpkins have an unusual pattern and a tan color

Another appeal to visiting Bonita Pumpkin Station is walking through fields of sunflowers which you can cut and take home!

Season: The pumpkin patch and festivities are from the end of September – October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm for the first part of the season and 9:00 am to 9:00 pm the last few weeks of October.

Cost: It is free to visit the pumpkin patch but there are additional fees for activities such as the hayride, train, and corn maze.

Address: 5354 Sweetwater Road, Bonita, CA 91902.

15. Del Mar Pumpkin Station

The Del Mar Pumpkin Station has a wide assortment of pumpkins to choose from including a ton of entertainment for the whole family.

Activities range from pumpkin inspired games, a petting zoo, going down two huge bouncy slides, going on a mini train ride, and other kid-friendly rides.

Season: Late September through October 31st, 2023.

Hours: Open Sunday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Friday/Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Cost: Free admission but fall activities do require tickets that can be purchased once you arrive.

Address: 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014 (San Diego Fairgrounds).

A decorative photo booth covered with pumpkins

Tips For Visiting Pumpkin Patches In San Diego

  • Even though it is October, the weather in San Diego can get high temperatures that feel closer to summer. Wear layers so that you are ready for hot or cold.
  • For those warm days make sure to bring water, sunscreen, and a hat as you walk through the fields.
  • Bring your camera as there are several fun photo opportunities.
  • After you carve your pumpkin, save the seeds, and roast them in the oven with olive oil and garlic salt for a tasty snack! Bake at 325 F for 20-30 minutes.
  • Bring cash as it might come in handy.
  • When picking a pumpkin to carve, look for one with a stem of 1-2 inches and a flat bottom.
  • Press your fingernail into the pumpkin and if it makes a scratch, it isn’t the one!
Can you believe the biggest pumpkin on record is over 2500 pounds?!
Can you believe the biggest pumpkin on record is over 2700 pounds?!

Map Of San Diego Pumpkin Patches

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android

 

A scarecrow among stacks of hay and pumpkins

Fun Pumpkin Facts

  • The largest pumpkin in the world weighed over 2,700 pounds!
  • Pumpkins are 90% water, so pretty healthy… And no not the form you have in your latte!
  • You can find over 45 different types of pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins contain a good source of potassium and vitamin A. Oh and it is a fruit!
  • You can find pumpkins grown on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • Every part of the pumpkin can be eaten, even the stem!
  • Pumpkin pie comes in at second place as America’s favorite pie behind apple pie.
  • Did you know that the pumpkin capital of the world is Morton, Illinois?
These pumpkins are called bunch of warts for the wart like appearance on them!
These pumpkins are called bunch of warts for the wart-like appearance on them!
 

Happy pumpkin picking at one of these pumpkin patches in San Diego!

Large pumkins on a bale of hay
Have a fa-boo-lous time!

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Vanessa Shields

Vanessa Shields is the founder of Traveling Ness helping people with trip ideas, itineraries, travel planning, and boosting confidence for female travelers to take a solo trip. She has been a travel writer and content creator since 2019.

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26 Comments

  1. We just bought a bunch of pumpkins on a trip to Vermont so this post is very timely. Cool to see the different pumpkins. And nothing like a good corn maze too.

    1. Oh how fun! One year I need to do a road trip through Vermont in the fall to see those gorgeous colors and visit a pumpkin patch over there! 🙂

  2. You are really spoiled with the patches you have there. Trust me the ones in Ireland are nothing like this. Nowhere near so many pumpkins, no corn mazes. Don’t even remember any pie.

    1. That just means you have a great excuse to visit the U.S. during the fall one year to experience a big pumpkin patch! Halloween and pumpkin patches are pretty big here and a lot of fun. 🙂

  3. Your post inspired me to find a pumpkin patch near me and go pick my pumpkin personally. They look so charming, and make great photo opportunities 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Joanna! Have fun and yes there are so many great photo opportunities for the fall. 🙂

  4. Love pumpkins but never been on any patches, I guess they are not that common in Europe. But I hope to visit one of them someday. I like that you added fun facts about them. I would love to see the biggest one

    1. That is a shame you don’t have them but now a fun experience to add to your fall bucket list one day! Yes, it would be incredible to see the biggest! 🙂

  5. I am dying over these spots! I would love to visit one of these pumpkin patches with the mountains in the back, ugh! Thank you for the suggestions!

  6. Your post is making me wanna head to a Pumpkin farm right away. We had a short season this year in Canada. Hopefully, 2021 will be a great time to experience autumn!

  7. Honestly, I’d want to see any of them! There are no pumpkin farms like this in Italy, so this would be a great day trip (plus I love pumpkins!) That apple pie looks so good too!

    1. Yes, they are all pretty fun! You will have to visit the U.S. during the fall to experience a pumpkin patch. And it doesn’t hurt to add some delicious pie to your day! 🙂

  8. Love all those pumpkin facts! And the fall festival activities are so fun – especially the corn maze…although I make sure I go early in the day as I’m a bit directionally challenged…even with a map! 😂

    1. Pumpkin patches are so fun and yes especially the corn mazes! Haha, that is a good tip to go early that way you have plenty of time to find your way out of the maze! 🙂

    1. Pumpkin patches are a bunch of fun especially the more activities that they have like a corn maze! Haha, the apple pie is pretty amazing and worth trying one day! Hopefully, it didn’t make you too hungry! 🙂

  9. I love all these pumpkins and the Autumn scene! I’ve never even been to a pumpkin patch before,.. they didn’t have them where I grew up. Wonderful tips here Vanessa!

    1. Thanks Shannon! Ah that is a bummer you didn’t have these growing up or get to visit one when you lived here. Now you will have a new tradition to experience one day! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Visiting a pumpkin farm is fun as it gets you into the fall mood. 🙂 Do they have pumpkin farms near where you live?

  10. I love your introduction to these pumpkin patches. Who knew about the different kinds of pumpkins?!? Personally, I’d choose Julian farms. Especially if I can grab a pumpkin and an apple pie. (But no pumpkin pies??? It’s my favorite!!)

    1. It is amazing how many kinds of pumpkins there are with so many different colors and patterns. Haha yes, you can’t go wrong with the Julian pumpkin patch as you get apple pie too! They do serve pumpkin but it isn’t as common as the apple. Pumpkin is one of my all-time favorites too! 🙂

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