This Season’s Harvest Happenings


Autumn is the perfect time to begin or continue a tradition of visiting the Harvest Happenings in our region. Pumpkins, colorful gourds and winter squash – this season promises a cornucopia of color, flavors and fun. 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! Be sure to look through our Going Places events calendar for even more exciting October events.

Celebrating its 128th anniversary, Butte County’s Johnny Appleseed Days in Paradise is California’s oldest harvest festival and a family tradition celebrating local apple history. Two days of fun include children’s games, face painting, live entertainment, and items from a variety of artisans. “Johnny Appleseed” will visit and share stories in the children’s area, and more than 1,000 apple pies lovingly made by enthusiastic volunteer bakers will be available for purchase – whole and by the slice. The festival is held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on October 1st, and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on October 2nd at Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway in Paradise. Admission is free. Info: (530) 877–9356;

Max’s Miracle Ranch Pumpkin Patch in Butte County offers vintage train rides ($3), a petting zoo, face painting ($1), pony rides ($5), u–pick in–the–field pumpkins ($2 and up), apples, pears, pomegranates and persimmons, hay wagon rides, gold panning, a scarecrow contest, a snack shack and school field trips. Funds raised at Miracle Ranch benefit Max’s Miracles. Open daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. throughout October at 3476 Smith Ave. in Biggs. Admission is free. Info: (530) 354–7168; .

Celebrate the season’s harvest with Maisie Jane’s Pun’kin Patch Corner! Pick your favorite pumpkin right off the vine; choose from more than 10 varieties including giant, blue, white, terra-cotta and traditional jack–o–lantern varieties. Receive a free bag of Maisie Jane’s famous almonds and gift basket drawing entry with pumpkin purchase. Meet Queenie the pony, paint pumpkins and play all sorts of fun, agriculture games. Open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk on weekdays, and noon until dusk Saturdays and Sundays in October at 3764 Hegan Lane. Admission is free. Info:
(530) 899–7909;

Experience farm life throughout October at Butte County’s Book Family Farm. The farm offers tours and a pumpkin patch featuring pumpkins in an array of sizes, colors and varieties. Gather eggs and feed chickens, help give the pigs a bath (they love it!) and meet horses. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a child–friendly area where kids can play. Pumpkin picking happens 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and public tours are 10 a.m. and noon on Saturdays at 153 Heavy Horse Lane in Durham. Private and school group tours are available on weekdays. Call to schedule. Info: (530) 342-4375;

Driving on Highway 99 near Los Molinos amid beautiful orchards, you will find 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 neighboring farms. Taste freshly picked apple varieties such as Somerset, Granny Smith and Fuji. Twenty varieties of Pumpkins (weighing up to 100 pounds) and an array of produce are also available. Join them from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. October 2nd for their 10th annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring live music by Chad Bushnell, local vendors, face painting, a giant hay mountain, and pumpkins! Open 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily in October. Info: (530) 354-4775.

For authentic country fun visit the 19th annual Dairyville Orchard Festival in Los Molinos from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on October 15th at Lassen View Elementary School on Hwy 99 East. Sample and purchase fresh, locally grown walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans and the festival’s famous chocolate-dipped prunes. There will be a tri–tip BBQ, other delicious food and much more! Enjoy live entertainment, children’s activities, silent auction, antique farm equipment displays, a diaper derby at noon and a giant-pumpkin contest. The festival has raised and awarded more than $198,400 in scholarships to date. Admission is free. Info: (530) 840-6223;

Visit Country Pumpkins in Orland! Open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. October 1 through 31 at 7152 Highway 32, east of Orland between Road P and Stony Creek; look for signs. See interesting gourds and five acres of pumpkins in 21 varieties. Walk the 10–acre corn maze during the day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. ($3) to benefit 4-H programs and other local non-profits. Attractions include a hay pyramid, hay slide, baby animals, observation bee hive and more. Get spooked at six haunted maze nights: October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 ($10). Info:

TJ Farms in Chico is having a banner year with the healthiest and most diverse pumpkin crops on record! Enjoy a u–pick pumpkin patch and u–pick veggie garden, a hay-bale obstacle course, picnic area, pumpkin- decorated barn and old -fashioned corn shellers and grinders. Feed and pet farm animals and have your picture taken on an old farm tractor. Hay rides and a bounce house ($3) are available on weekends. Sample tasty jams in the country store. Admission is free. Open rain or shine from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m weekdays and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. weekends October 1 through 30 at 3600 Chico Ave. Group tours available by appointment. Info: (530) 343-2294;

Enjoy delicious samples of local foods and wines at the 11th annual Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend in and around Butte County on October 8th and 9th. Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a family educational adventure, you will visit dozens of specialty farms, orchards and wineries on this self–guided tour through scenic country. It is a wonderful way to experience the bounty of the area’s farm-fresh foods and wines and to meet local farmers and winemakers. Passport tickets are available at the Chico Chamber office (530) 891-5556; early purchase is recommended. Cost is $28 presale or $33 at the event, subject to availability. Info:

Come celebrate everything about apples at the 24th annual Manton Apple Festival rain or shine from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Oct. 1 at Manton Elementary School, 31345 Forward Rd. The festival features more than 100 art, craft and food booths, live music on two stages, kids’ arts and craft activities, carriage rides, contests and games. Enter the apple pie contest (junior and adult divisions) and have your pie judged by local television personalities (deliver your 9 inch pie to the judges’ area by 9:30 a.m.). Festival proceeds support community projects and scholarships. Admission and parking are free. Please, no pets or smoking. Info: (530) 474-4709;

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, with three acres of u–pick organic pumpkins, a children’s hay maze, and a picnic area (bring a blanket). Their open–air store features certified organic wares such as jams, fresh cider, unique winter squash, gourds, garlic, apples and pears, as well as fall decorations. Open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily October 1 through 31 at 14431 Old Westside Rd. in Grenada. Look for and follow the pumpkin signs. Tours for large groups are offered by appointment. Info: (530) 436-2532;

Celebrate autumn at the Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham. Take a glimpse back in time while enjoying newer traditions at the 5th annual Autumn Fest held 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from October 1 through 23 at 10381 Midway. Features include ranch and farm-house tours, hay rides, a pumpkin patch, pony cart rides, and a bee exhibit. Enjoy different events and activities each weekend. Don’t miss North State Parent magazine’s 23rd Anniversary CelebrationKids’ Farm Day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. October 15 featuring Stick Horse-making & goodie bag giveaway for the 1st 50 children. Kids homemade costume parade at 1:pm, pony carriage rides,pumpkin fun, lots of hands on activities! Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. School classroom tours available, call to reserve your spot. Info: (530) 342-4359;

The 2nd Annual Apple Harvest Festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. October 8 in historic McCloud. Enjoy craft vendors, a scarecrow contest, music, freshly pressed apple juice, vendors, an apple pie contest, games, food and drinks. There will be dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. ($15) and a dance from 7 to 11 p.m. ($5). To participate in the scarecrow contest, create a family-friendly design and place it on Main Street by 9 a.m. Saturday October 8th. Please identify the scarecrow’s owner on the back of its right leg or arm. The winner will be notified. To enter the apple pie contest, bring your pie to Main Street by 10 a.m. with an envelope including your name and contact information. General admission is free. Info: (530) 964-3113;

Historic Hawes Farms, located at the intersection of Dersch and Deschutes Roads in Anderson, is open through November 5th and has acres of family fun. Don’t miss their giant 17-acre, u-pick pumpkin patch featuring more than 50 pumpkin and gourd varieties. Attractions include zip lines, kiddie play areas, a pumpkin blaster, gemstone mining, roller coaster, mechanical bull, pony rides, stagecoach rides, haunted attractions and much more. This year’s 6-acre daytime corn maze theme is “We Back the Blue!” There is fun and food for everyone with many special events to look forward to. Check the website for details. Info: (530) 365-8488;

North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.

Comment Policy: All viewpoints are welcome, but comments should remain relevant. Personal attacks, profanity, and aggressive behavior are not allowed. No spam, advertising, or promoting of products/services. Please, only use your real name and limit the amount of links submitted in your comment.

Leave a Reply