Pumpkins, colorful gourds and winter squash – this season promises a cornucopia of color, flavors and fun! Autumn is a perfect time to begin or continue a traditional visit to Harvest Happenings in our region. Visit a farm or take part in other autumn activities with your family – there’s something for everyone – many grandparents will enjoy the adventures too!
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Nash Ranch in Redding is a family tradition, featuring a 15-acre pumpkin patch, haunted house, giant corn maze, kiddie corn maze, train rides, bounce house, pony rides, farm-animal petting zoo and more! Open daily October 1st-31st, 10am-6pm. Friday and Saturday nights the haunted house and night corn maze are open until 11pm. Located 1 mile south of Shasta College on Old Oregon Trail. Cost, events and info: http://www.nashranch.com; (530) 241-0763.
Driving on Highway 99 near Los Molinos, amid beautiful orchards, is a special place called Julia’s Fruit Stand. The hard-working Brandt family offers fantastic fresh fruits and produce, grown on their family farm and the farms of neighbors. With their children at their side, Kathy and James Brandt share the bounty of the season’s harvest with you. Taste fresh-picked apple varieties like Somerset, Granny Smith and Fuji. Pumpkins weighing up to 100 pounds and an array of produce is available, including Purple Russian and Mr. Stripy tomatoes. Join them October 6th, 11am-3pm, for their Annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring live music, local vendors, face painting, and of course, pumpkins! It’s affordable fun for the whole family. Open 8am-6pm daily in October. Info: (530)354-4775.
Historic Hawes Farms in Anderson is open until November 2nd, and offers “Fall Farmtastic Fun” and weekend festivals throughout October. Don’t miss their giant 20-acre u-pick pumpkin patch featuring 50+ pumpkin and gourd varieties – look for the pink pumpkins. Attractions include zip lines, kiddie play area, a pumpkin blaster, kids’ moooo-vie nights, gemstone mining, pony rides, haunted attractions and much more! Ride the quarter-scale Hawes Farms Express Railroad! There’s fun and food for everyone, with many special events to look forward to: Oktoberfest, Western Days, the Fall Finale Pumpkin Smash Weekend, and more! Located at the intersection of Dersch and Deschutes Roads in Anderson. Info: http://www.HistoricHawesFarms.com; (530) 365-8488.
For some real country fun visit the Dairyville Orchard Festival at Lassen View Elementary School, Highway 99E in Los Molinos on October 19th, from 10am-4pm. Sample and purchase fresh, locally grown walnuts, almonds, pecans, the festival’s famous chocolate-covered prunes, olives and much more! Enjoy live entertainment, arts and crafts (over 60 vendors), children’s activities, antique farming equipment displays, and, new this year, a giant pumpkin contest. Find treasures at a silent auction too; to date the festival has raised and awarded over $142,000 in scholarship monies. Free admission. Info: http://www.dairyvillefestival.org.
Butte County’s Johnny Appleseed Days in Paradise is the oldest harvest festival in the state and a family tradition of celebrating local apple history. The fun includes children’s games, face painting, live entertainment and a variety of artisans, and features over 800 apple pies lovingly made by enthusiastic volunteer bakers. Open October 5th, from 10am-5pm, and October 6th, from 10am-4pm. Free admission. Held at Paradise Intermediate School, 5665 Recreation Dr., Paradise. Info:
http://www.paradisechamber.com/johnny-appleseed-days; (530) 877-9356.
Visit Country Pumpkins in Orland! Open daily October 1st-31st, from 10am-6pm. Features 21 varieties of pumpkins, and interesting gourds. Walk the 10-acre corn maze during the day for just $3 to benefit 4-H programs. Attractions include: hay pyramid, corn tire, hay slide, baby animals and more! Get spooked at six haunted maze nights: October 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th & 26th, $8 per person. Easy-to-find location, at 7152 Highway 32, east of Orland between Road P and Stoney Creek; watch for signs. Info: http://www.countrypumpkins.net.
At TJ Farms in Chico, families enjoy the farm’s popular u-pick pumpkin patch, hay-bale obstacle course, picnic area, rain or shine pumpkin-decorated barn, and old-fashioned corn shellers. Weekends include hayrides and a bounce house (small fee). View an old farm tractor, and visit with farm animals to feed and pet. In the farm’s country store, sample tasty jams, vinegars, exceptional dressings, and pickles. Open rain or shine October 6th-31st, weekdays from 2-6pm and weekends from 10am-6pm. Group tours available by appointment. Free admission. 3600 Chico Ave. Info: http://www.tjfarmsestates.com; (530) 343-2294. [/sws_2_column]
[sws_2_columns_last title=””]Those who appreciate local foods and wines will enjoy the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend taking place in and around Butte County October 12th and 13th. Whether a romantic getaway or a family educational adventure, visit local farms, orchards & wineries on a self-guided tour in the beautiful Butte County countryside – it’s a grand weekend of farm-fresh food sampling and wine tasting. Passport tickets are $25 presale or $30 on day of event. Purchase tickets at the Chico Chamber office or find more info at: http://www.sierraoro.org; (530) 891-5556.
A drive out on Highway 97 just north of downtown Weed in Siskiyou County brings you to Papa’s Pumpkin Patch, where there’s “a little bit of everything.” This is their 10th year anniversary, and special things are planned. The pounds and pounds of pumpkins to choose from, ornamental corn, gourds, a gift shop, photo murals and activities all promise a wonderful outdoor adventure for your family! Open daily in October from 10am-sunset. Located 3.8 miles outside of Weed at 4916 Solus Dr.; look for signs on the left side of Highway 97. Info: (530) 938-2755.
Come celebrate everything apple at the 22nd anniversary Manton Apple Festival in Northeastern Tehama County on October 5th from 9am-4pm. 100+ craft & food booths, live music on two stages, kids’ arts & craft activities, carriage rides and games – it’s a day of fun for the whole family! Enter in the apple pie contest (junior and adult divisions) and have your pie judged by local TV personalities. Free admission; event proceeds support community projects & scholarships. The festival requests no pets or smoking. Manton Elementary School, 31345 Forward Rd. Info: (530) 474-1113.
Max’s Miracle Ranch Pumpkin Patch in Butte County offers a corn maze, vintage train rides ($2.50), a petting zoo, face painting ($1), horseback rides ($3), u-pick in-the-field fruit, pumpkins ($2 & up), apples, pears, pomegranates and persimmons, hay wagon rides, gold panning, snack shack and school field trips. Saturday evening fun includes a haunted corn maze from 7-9pm. Funds raised at the Miracle Ranch benefit Max’s Miracles. Open daily through October 31st, from 9am-6pm. Free entry. 3476 Smith Ave. in Biggs. Info: http://www.maxsmiracles.org; (530) 354-7168.
Located in central Siskiyou County just west of I-5 is Hunter Orchards in Gazelle. The farm is a favorite fall adventure for North State families. Enjoy their u-pick organic pumpkin patch, children’s hay maze, picnic area (bring a blanket) and open-air store. Also features unique winter squash, gourds, garlic, apples and pears, all certified organically grown. Open daily October 1st-31st, from 10am to 6pm. Large group tours offered by appointment. Located between Gazelle and Grenada at 14431 Old Westside Rd. From the south, take the Gazelle-Edgewood exit towards Gazelle and follow the pumpkin signs. Info: http://www.hunterorchards.com; (530) 436-2532.
Visit Henshaw Farms Pumpkin Patch in Chico. All pumpkins are locally grown by Chico High School’s Future Farmers of America students. You’ll find pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, gourds, cranberry beans, zinnias and several varieties of squash. Open October 1st-31st, Saturdays & Sundays from 11am-4pm, and Monday-Friday from 2:30-6pm. Located at the corner of Guynn and Henshaw (just off East Ave.). Info: (530) 891-3026 x383.
Celebrate autumn at the Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham. Take a glimpse back in time while enjoying newer traditions at the second annual AutumnFest held October 12th-27th. The ranch is open Saturdays & Sundays, 10am-4pm. Features an animal exhibit, ranch & farm house tours, hayrides, a pumpkin patch ($5 entry), free children’s activities, and a country store. Located at 10381 Midway. School classroom tours available, call Tuesday-Thursday 10am-2pm to reserve your spot or for more information: http://www.patrickranchmuseum.org; (530) 342-4359.[/sws_2_columns_last]