This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website. This post may also contain items gifted for consideration.
On a hunt for the best pumpkin patch san diego has to offer? This is the ultimate guide to the best pumpkin patches in America's Finest City.
Here we go! Tis the season. For tractor hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn maze exploring, and then planning the best family halloween costumes. The weather is finally cooling down (or as cool as it gets here in San Diego). Finally it's time to move into fun Fall activities and fun Halloween Outfits. There are so many pumpkin patches here in San Diego, and I can guarantee there are great options for EVERYONE.
A few things to consider when looking at Pumpkin Patches – San Diego or otherwise:
what are your priorities? Are you looking to get a pumpkin and head home? Then something local to you is probably best. If you want an EXPERIENCE with activities, it's worth a drive.
How old are your kids? Certain pumpkin patches are better for younger kids with playgrounds or tricycles. Others have apple canons and haunted corn mazes (definitely suited for older kids).
Would you rather pay admission and have some things included? Or just pay by activity? I think this is pretty dependent on how much time you plan to spend at the patch. For me? It's worth admission if I'm staying for a decent amount of time!
what time of day are you planning to visit? Some of the local pumpkin patches close earlier (around 5 pm) and some are open with evening hours. If you are planning to take pumpkin patch photos…..I highly recommend either morning (before 10 am if you can) or early evening when the light is golden and soft (usually around 5 pm this time of year).
Each of these things to consider is addressed below within the info about all of the best san diego pumpkin patches………
The Best Pumpkin Patches in San Diego
The great news? San Diego has a TON of options for pumpkin patch visits, you could spend the entire month of october visiting different options and I guarantee you'll find something for the entire family.
Carlsbad Strawberry Company: the carlsbad pumpkin patch at Carlsbad Strawberry Company is one of my favorite pumpkin patches. It can be a COMPLETE day of family fun and fall activities. They have tractor rides, a corn and straw maze, apple cannons, and also an area called bounceland (for an additional entry fee). Bounceland is filled with bounce houses and giant slides.
/ free parking / there is an admission fee to visit, $5 for ages 5 and up / September 23, 2023 – November 5, 2023 /
Oma's Pumpkin Patch: This san diego county favorite is a seasonal offering at Oma's family farm in lakeside. This adorable local gem offers year round fun, always has food trucks nights (check their calendar and schedule on their website), and also is GREAT for younger kids. It has a playground on site, a tricycle race track, a petting zoo, farm animals, and hay rides options (additional fee that gives a tour of the farm itself and then oma's pumpkin patch ).
Looking for the perfect pumpkin experience? Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center is a ton of fun for the whole family, and a totally classic San Diego experience (when we first moved to San Diego from Los Angeles, it was the most recommended to us that first fall in our then new city). The farm has done a pumpkin patch for over fifty years, and additionally hosts a ton of really cool activities along with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. In addition to plenty of pumpkins, they also have a picnic area, tractor hayrides, and a straw maze. They also have a farm animal petting zoo and pony rides.
/ admission $8 per vehicle / open September 16, 2023 to October 31, 2023 /
Rancho Bernardo Pumpkin Station: if you are looking for an option with free parking and admission, any of the pumpkin station locations are perfect! There are 5 locations (del mar, rancho bernardo, mission valley, national city and bonita). Some are more traditional farms with a corn maze and hay ride option (rancho bernardo and bonita) and the others are pumpkin stations with a game zone, petting corral and activities. Outside food and drink are allowed at all pumpkin station locations…..so this is a great picnic option!
/ admission free and parking free / open September 29, 2023 to October 31, 2023 /
mr jack o lanterns: this family owned business has San Diego locations, Los Angeles locations, and a Palm Beach location. San Diego pumpkin patch locations are in La Jolla and at Belmont Park. Mr Jack o Lanterns has a ton of fun activities including pumpkin bowling, candy corn hole, on site pumpkin carving, and more. Parking and admission are free. This is a perfect option for a soup and nuts day, you can also pick your own pumpkin and carve and then decorate it right on site.
/ admission free and parking free / open October 1, 2023 to October 31, 2023 /
julian mining company: heading out to julian in the fall is a san diego MUST do activity. In early fall, the julian mining company is set up for apple picking, is also one of the best places free apple cider samples and gem mining. Once the apple season is over, then the mining company transitions to a really fun local san diego pumpkin patch. It's the perfect escape from san diego proper location and basically is just far enough away from most parts of san diego for a true day trip. This is a truly unique pumpkin patch experience and also is one that I highly recommend!
/ admission and parking are free, then the activities have individual fees / open year round, check website for pumpkin season opening (usually october 1)
peltzer farms: Peltzer Farms in Temecula is another san diego pumpkin patch classic. They have a winery on property, as well as an ice rink (it opens in November each year). Then of course, Peltzer Farms has a seriously epic pumpkin patch. There are live entertainment options throughout the season. This is a stellar place to spend october weekend nights with a glass of wine and a view of the pumpkin patch. The farm has a train ride, a petting farm, carnival games, a tractor garden and also a gem mining area. If you live close by and would like to visit regularly, they offer a pumpkin pass for weekdays. It costs $50 for unlimited entries throughout the season.
/ admission $2 per person over the age of 2 (weekdays) and $3 per person over the age of 2 (weekends) / usually opens October 1 /
location: 39925 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591
The truth is, you can't go wrong. There is something about Fall, cooler weather (or as cool as we get here in San Diego), and the tradition of a pumpkin patch visit that is just……nostalgic. For us? We love to visit in the later part of the day and to try to catch the sunset over the pumpkins. This works especially well if we are taking fall family photos. I usually plan a visit earlier during pumpkin season (end of September or early October) for Halloween carving and decorations. Then we plan another RIGHT before Halloween or right after for Thanksgiving.
I hope that this guide to the best pumpkin patch san diego locations helps you to enjoy fall and spooky season!