Halloween celebrations are now in full swing! We headed over to Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch last week to pick pumpkins and get a wagon ride tour of the 30-acre farm. Read on for details about what you will experience on the tours on now through October 31st!
Thank you to Tanaka Farms for hosting this blog post. We received tickets to attend this event. However, all opinions expressed here are honest and my own.
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How safe are the wagon rides?
I will admit that I am a germophobe by nature and the pandemic has not helped matters. Before deciding to head out on the wagon ride, I immediately looked at the Tanaka Farms website for details about Covid-19 safety protocols. I was worried that people would be sitting close to us in a wagon no matter how much they limited the numbers.
Per the website, Tanaka Farms has reduced the capacity of it’s wagons by 80%. Additionally, people not in your party are placed at an opposite corner of the wagon from you, and wagons are limited to no more than 10 people.
Why is this important? Each wagon measures 12 feet long by 8 feet wide. There is a substantial space between you and other parties. When we got on the wagon, there were four in my group in one corner, and another party of four placed on the opposite end and corner. Add in that we were all wearing masks and it was open air…I felt very comfortable being there with my family.
What will we experience during the wagon tour?
Wagon tours are available Monday through Friday. The first car enters at 9 a.m., while the last car enters at 5 p.m. For $25 per person age 3 and older, your wagon tour will be packed with plenty of learning, sight-seeing, and time in the fields.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the extent of what was included in the wagon tour. There was a farm employee delivering information about the farm and its inner workings while we were driven around. We saw hydroponic strawberry growing areas, as well as regular fields with standard crops of various fruits and vegetables.
There was a Pumpkin Lane with several decorated pumpkins. The kids on tour loved calling out the different characters they saw while passing the pumpkins.
There were your typical scarecrows, and then there were your showstopper scarecrows! There were scarecrows dressed up and decorated for a contest by different groups posted along the wagon ride and the kids were all delighted by the variety. Our personal favorites were Coraline and the minion.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin cannon in action? We had never seen a pumpkin cannon before and were blown away (pun intended)! It was so fun to watch and the only complaint I had was that I only got to watch the guy shoot one pumpkin. I could have sat there the entire tour just watching those pumpkins shoot far in the air!
There were some farm animals on one part of the tour. The animals were in their own enclosed area on either side of the wagons towards the end of the tour. My absolute favorite was the piglets. I would love to take one home because they are just that adorable.
We all picked carrots, radishes, and cilantro. We each received a single-use bag to place vegetables we picked into our bags. Each group is asked to stay six feet apart and await instructions on where specifically to pick. I’m mentioning this to you because we unknowingly picked from the wrong section (oops). There are signs that tell you how many of each vegetable each ticket holder can pick, and the benefits of each vegetable. Please note: Although children 2 and under are free, only people that have a ticket are allowed to pick vegetables and a pumpkin.
Each person with a paid ticket will receive a sticker. Hold on to this sticker until you get to the pumpkin patch. You are allowed to pick any pumpkin you want…as long as you can carry it to a wheelbarrow! My oldest was very excited by this rule and picked one of the biggest pumpkins she could find. That alone was a very memorable experience for my family!
Once you pick a pumpkin, place your sticker on it when you’re ready to leave. Upon checkout, farm employees will know that pumpkin is free because it has a sticker on it.
Can I tour Tanaka Farms from my car?
Tanaka Farms offers a Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm for those unable to attend weekday tours or needing to stay away from others. The tickets for the Drive-Thru tour are $20 per person age 3 and up. Drive-Thru participants will remain in their car through the entire 1.5 mile tour of the 30 acre farm, with the option to get out and pick a pumpkin. Otherwise, here is some of what you’ll get during the Drive-Thru Pumpkin Tour:
- A pumpkin
- Barnyard exhibit
- Scarecrow contest
- Sunflowers (expected to be at peak in late October)
Please note: There is a 9 1/2 foot vehicle height clearance.
You can purchase tickets at the Tanka Farms website HERE.
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Wagon Ride: $25 per person (age 2 and under is free, but do not receive items), Active and retired military are FREE (ID required at check-in) Monday through Friday, 9 AM-5PM
- Drive-Thru experience: $20 per person (age 2 and under is free, but do not receive items), Active and retired military are FREE (ID required at check-in), Saturday and Sunday, 9AM-5PM
- Cancellations and exchanges require 48 hours advance notice.
- Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm Experience: Saturdays and Sundays, September 19 through October 31
- U-Pick Pumpkin Wagon Ride: Monday through Friday, September 21 through October 30
- EVERYONE AGE 3 AND OVER MUST WEAR A MASK. You must bring your own mask with you.
- You must wear a mask when interacting with farm employees, even if you are in the Drive-Thru experience.
- Tanaka Farms requires social distancing of 6 feet from others not in your group.
- No eating in the fields, and you must pick what you touch.
- If Tanaka Farms has to cancel due to bad weather, crop loss, or Covid-19 regulations changes, Tanaka Farms will email you and refund your money as soon as possible.
5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine, CA 92612
Please share your pics with us!
We would love to see pictures of your experience at the Tanaka Farms Wagon and Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm! Please be sure to head to Instagram and tag @asocalwayoflife and@tanakafarms so that we can enjoy!
Check out these fall posts!