How To Celebrate Fall In Los Angeles
Fall in Los Angeles is a bit different than in other places. The temperatures stay pretty high, and people continue to enjoy weekends at the beach. If you’ve spent any time in LA, you’ll know that the people that live here love their warm weather but enjoy the idea of changing seasons. And, if you pay attention, you’ll notice differences all around the city. You won’t see the trees light up with the blazing colors of fall foliage, enjoy the crisp cool air when you walk outside or hear the crunch of dry leaves on your morning walks.
In LA, the changes that take place during the transition into the Autumn season are much more subtle. Squash pies begin to appear on every menu. Mini pumpkin patches pop up on every third corner lot throughout the city. And people try and forget that the temperature is still well into the 70s while they walk around in boots, and sweaters while drinking a pumpkin spice latte.
Even though it’s not as traditional as other parts of the country, there are still plenty of fun ways to celebrate fall in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with friends or family this year, I just made it a little easier for you. Here is a roundup of the best things to do this fall in Los Angeles
Things To Do to Celebrate Fall In Los Angeles
Most apple picking happens in Oak Glen. This small agricultural community is located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains and is a 60-90 minute drive from LA. Because this little mountain town sits at 4000-5000 feet elevation, they experience all four seasons. Once you’re up there, you can spend the day picking apples, and visiting shops, restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. As well as exploring nature trails, and drinking cider. Los Rios Rancho is the area’s largest apple farm. They offer tractor rides, horse-drawn wagon tours, petting zoos, kids’ crafts, and plenty more. This is a day trip that the entire family will enjoy!
Oktoberfest is the celebration of Bavarian history which includes lots of beer drinking and eating traditional foods. Although there are lots of smaller Octoberfest celebrations throughout Los Angeles, the #1 Oktoberfest in Southern California takes place in Big Bear Lake. If you’re not interested in the 3-hour drive up to the mountains, here are some local places you can take part in the festivities.
- Oktoberfest at Fairplex
- Oktoberfest at Wurstküche Venice
- Craftober Fest (all ages welcome)
Visit A Pumpkin Patch
Not all pumpkin patches in LA are created equal. Sure you could easily stop by the local grocery store and pick out a pumpkin or two. Or even at one of the small corner lots that have a larger selection and possibly a bounce house for the kids to play in. Or you do it the fun way and go to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Culver City. Besides providing a day of fun for the kids, there are plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities for everyone. You’re even likely to spot some celebrities wandering around. This is definitely the biggest and best pumpkin patch you can go to without having to drive out of the city.
Get Lost In A Corn Maze
After apple picking season begins, one of the next signs that we’re truly in the fall season is the opening of corn mazes. With walls of corn taller than most adults, it’s easy to lose your way. Here are some of the best corn mazes LA has to offer.
- Big Horse Corn Maze This maze is considered to be the largest in southern California with over 13 acres of corn.
- Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho Although this Oak Glen orchard is best known for its apple picking, it also has a corn maze at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio Mountains.
- Tapia Brothers Farm’s corn maze comes with a map and a sheet of trivia questions. As you make your way through the maze, search for all the answers. Once you have them all, submit your name and answers into a drawing for a chance to win $100! You can also enjoy the roasted corn, pony rides, hey wagon rides, bounce houses, and kids’ play area.
Although most people probably think summer is the best time for camping, the fall can actually be more enjoyable. The slightly cooler temperatures tend to be more pleasant while sleeping in a tent. And campgrounds are less crowded. Whether you prefer proper camping in a tent, glamping, taking an RV, or renting a cabin, there are plenty of places you can easily escape into nature within a relatively short amount of time.
Search For Fall Foliage
LA definitely suffers from a lack of beautiful fall foliage. Although it can be hard to find in this city, it’s not impossible. There are in fact a few places you can visit where you can enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the changing leaves. Here are a few of the best locations.
- Descanso Gardens The beautiful Descanso Gardens have something new to enjoy every month. During the fall season, you can look forward to seeing the sasanqua camellias, roses, toyon berries, annuals, ginkgo, and fall foliage.
- Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden This is another Botanical Gaden you can walk around and enjoy natures beauty. Along with the blooming perennials, the golden yellow and copper leaves of the Gingko and sweetgum trees put on a spectacular show.
- The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens The Botanical Gardens of the Huntington Library are beautiful all year round. And although most people visit during the spring months, they’re missing out on something special. In particular, the golden leaves of Weeping Willow and Ginkgo trees in the Japanese Garden.
Horseback Riding In The Santa Monica Mountains
Images of horseback riding probably don’t come to mind when you think of Los Angeles. But there are actually ranches in the Santa Monica mountains that offer trail rides. These guided rides will take you up into the mountains to enjoy beautiful ocean views, and is a fun, adventurous way to spend a beautiful fall day outside.
Go To A Haunted Theme Park
The biggest and scariest Halloween events take place at the amusement parks. Halloween Time at Disneyland is the only one on this list suitable for younger children. And Univeral’s Halloween Horror Nights is usually considered the scariest. That being said, Knott’s Scary Farm has always been my personal favorite. Even though it adds to the cost of admission, I do recommend purchasing the fast pass tickets, as the regular admission lines can be quite long.
Go To A Rooftop Cinema
Some of LA’s chicest rooftops offer a lot more than just good food, drinks, and amazing views. You can watch cult classics as well as new releases under the stars. Headsets and a giant bean bag are provided to each guest. And if you’re in the mood you can kick back and relax with a cocktail from the bar.
Enjoy A Fall Festival
There are many different autumn festivals throughout the city to learn from and enjoy. Some of the best ones to consider going to are:
- Underwood Family Farms’ annual fall harvest festival is one I’ve been taking my kids to for the last 16 years. They have a huge pumpkin patch, tractor-drawn carriage rides, an animal center and petting zoo, face painting, a corn maze, live music, and plenty more.
- Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest has something different, a beautiful maze filled with sunflowers. They also have live country and bluegrass music, craft vendors, pumpkin picking, snacks, and plenty of photo opportunities.
- The Calabasas Pumpkin Festival is a fun family event. You can pick out pumpkins, shop, eat, listen to live music, and dance. Plus unlimited inflatable rides and games for the kids.
- The Autumn Festival at the Aquarium Of The Pacific highlights the traditions of Asian and Asian-American cultures. The festival will feature traditional craft demonstrations, music, dance, and cultural arts exhibits.
- The Original Farmers Market Fall Festival this weekend-long event includes lives music, a petting zoo, arts, and craft, as well as a pie-eating contest!