Welcome to “Field Trip Friday” where I share an idea for a fun outing in nature. The setting is specific, but the advice is intended for use wherever you might call home.
Avoid huge weekend crowds by trying a mid-week visit to the pumpkin patch at Lombardi Ranch.
To try this adventure outside of the Los Angeles area … Sneak in a weekday visit to a pumpkin patch near you. If you’re looking for a patch in your neck of the woods, start your search here.
Last year, our weekend visit to the very popular Underwood Family Farms’ Fall Festival was hot, exhausting and frankly not worth the cost. I swore then to take a different approach this year.
Upon the recommendation of several friends, we headed out this week to Lombardi Ranch, which promised to be a smaller venue with less hoopla and more simple outdoor fun.
Our midweek visit didn’t disappoint. Not only did we avoid traffic to and from the Ranch – we also had the place practically to ourselves.
Insider tip: To beat the crowds during local fall farm festivals, a weekday visit is a must. Just be prepared for fewer activities, extras and special events than you might find on weekends.
Lack of crowds meant it was okay for me to let the kids run freely (important for keeping my wild child happy). The kids enjoyed running through the rows of pumpkins, playing hide-and-seek inside large pumpkin structures and climbing to the top of a haystack.
After quite a bit of free play, we decided to try some of the “extras” the place had to offer, namely the petting zoo, train ride and corn maze. All three were big hits – in spite of the fact that we got lost in the maze and settled on backtracking out the way we came.
Insider tip: Bring plenty of cash. Everything from food, activities and the pumpkins themselves are available for purchase with cash only. (There is an ATM on site in case you need it.)
Before calling it an afternoon, we chose a wagon full of pumpkins to take home. There were plenty to choose from in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors. Making our selections turned out to be half the fun – which is just the way I like it.
5 Ways to Connect With Nature at Lombardi Ranch
- Stop by the garden to see what’s growing.
- Get up close and personal with goats in the petting zoo.
- See corn growing on the stalk in the corn maze.
- Find out how you & your little ones size up against the sunflowers in Scarecrow Alley.
- Check out all the cool looking gourds sprinkled around the Ranch.
- Lombardi Ranch’s Pumpkin Festival is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Admission to the Ranch is FREE
- Weekday for-fee activities include a petting zoo, train ride & corn maze; on weekends, there are also pony rides, wagon rides & face painting
- Food is available for purchase
- All purchases are CASH ONLY
- Weekend events include live entertainment & bake sales
- Parking is free
- No flush toilets, though several portable potties are available
- In addition to pumpkins, Lombardi also sells a variety of seasonal vegetables
- Terrain is uneven dirt, so strollers might get tricky to maneuver
- Expect large crowds on weekends
- Weather can get quite hot, so come prepared with sunscreen, hats & plenty of water
Lombardi Ranch is located at:
29527 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91390