Y’all know I love fall. It feels like there’s reason to celebrate from October through the New Year. And if you’re like us, the season is steeped in family traditions.
Like heading to the pumpkin patch to officially mark the beginning of the festivities.
Our Fall Harvest Festival of choice in recent years has been the one at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. This year’s visit was our third and featured more crowds than ever before and temperatures hovering in the high 80s.
Navigating your way around Underwood Family Farms’ Fall Harvest Festival can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot to see and do, much of which requires a fee on top of the price of admission. So I thought I’d walk you through it all in the hopes of ensuring not just your kids’ enjoyment, but yours as well.
Take advantage of what’s included with the price of your admission.
Underwood’s Fall Harvest Festival can get pricey quick – especially for a family of four on a weekend. First, there’s the entrance fee (kids 2 and under are free!). This price gets you in the gate and affords you access to several free with admission activities, some of which are available other times of the year and others which are unique to the Festival.
Among our highlights were the corn maze (which will definitely require some adult help with little ones) and touring the farm on the tractor-drawn wagon ride.
Younger kids will also have fun enjoying the simple things, like playing with trucks in the sandbox inside the kids corral picnic and play area, sliding down a combine harvester, “riding” on the wooden train, and meandering through huge tire tunnels.
Decide if you want to spend more.
In addition to the free activities, there are plenty of things you can do that cost a little extra. Understanding this ahead of time will help you deal with on-the-spot requests to try every activity in sight.
Paid activities include things like temporary tattoos, face painting, paint a pumpkin, cow train rides, make a scarecrow, horse-drawn wagon rides, gem mining, pony rides, a petting corral and more (yes, more!).
Bring your own lunch.
Yes, there is plenty of food for sale at the Festival. But it’ll cost you. And there will be lines.
I feel like a broken record with this one, but it’s just good advice. There are plenty of shady spots to enjoy your lunch, and a picnic just seems fitting for a day on the farm. If you prefer to buy food, there are plenty of vendors selling everything from hotdogs and hamburgers to roasted corn on the cob and pie.
How can you go to a farm and not enjoy what it’s all about – the animals and the fresh produce, of course! It costs you nothing to tour farmers’ market and peruse the animal stalls (though feed will cost you a little extra).
Tour the pumpkin patch.
No trip to the the Fall Harvest Festival is complete without some time in the pumpkin patch. Unlike your local grocery store, here you’ll find plenty of cool looking specimens, like white pumpkins, pumpkins with lumpy spots on them and huge pumpkins that kids can sit on. Don’t forget to take a picture!
- The Fall Harvest Festival runs through October 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
- Admission is $15 on weekends, $6 weekdays
- Themed weekend entertainment includes a Friends of the Farm Weekend, Farm Country Weekend, Antique Tractor Weekend and All About Pumpkins
- Parking is free and plentiful
- No flush toilets are available, though there are several portable potties
- Plenty of people bring strollers, but I’d advise against it – the crowds and terrain make a baby carrier preferable for little ones
This review is based on my family’s personal experience. I did not receive any compensation for sharing my opinions with you here. If you have any questions, read my full disclosure policy.