The star of the Halloween show is the pumpkin. According to my favorite resource Wikipedia, the name pumpkin originated from the Greek word pepon ("large melon"). The French called it pompom. The British changed it to pumpion. Then American colonists changed it to pumpkin. Why? Heck, I dunno.
Pumpkins are gourd-like squashes and technically are a fruit. They can range in size from 1 lb to 1,000 lbs.
But who cares about all that...what we REALLY want to know is, where are the pumpkin patches in Ventura County and surrounding areas!? Well, here are some choices...but make sure to call before you go for hours, etc.
Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch is located at 4075 Telegraph Road in Ventura (adjacent to Ventura College) with hours from 10am to 9pm in October. In addition to pumpkins, they offer free games and prizes for the kids. Visit bigwavedaveschristmastrees.com/pumpkin-patch.html or call 805.218.0282.
Boccali Ranch Pumpkin Patch located at 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, Ojai (Highway 150 - at the base of the Dennison grade). Open October 5-31, 7 days a week, 10am to dusk. Extended hours on Fridays/Saturdays starting 10/11 until 9pm. Daytime hayrides on Sat/Sun 11am to 5pm. Also a hay maze for the kids. Visit www.boccalis.com/PumpkinPatch.html or call 805.646.6116.
Calabasas Pumpkin Festival Weekend of October 19-20, 2013
McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch is located at 5156 McGrath Street, Ventura (south of the 101 between Telephone Road and Victoria). There will be hay rides, pony rides and plenty of pumpkins! Call 805.658.9972 or visit www.mcgrathstreetpumpkinpatch.com.
McGrath Family Farm is located at 1012 W. Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo. Visit their animals, run through their corn maze and pick your pumpkin right out of their field. These organic pumpkin patch tours are $4 per person. Book your tour at 805.485.4210. www.mcgrathfamilyfarm.com
Pete's Pumpkin Patch is located on the north side of the 101 freeway at Central Avenue in Camarillo. You can't miss it as it goes way up the hill! They anticipate opening by the first weekend of October. Admission is free and they generally are open from 9 am to dusk in October. Hay maze, hay pyramid, hay rides and more! www.petespumpkinpatch.com
McGrath Brothers Great Pacific Pumpkins is located at 5100 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura. Tractor hay rides, hay maze, horse drawn hay rides and farm animals on hand. More information at www.greatpacificpumpkins.com or call 805.644.1235.
Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch in October will be located at Simi Valley Town Center on the Erringer Road side 805.306.5925 and 450 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Thousand Oaks 805.379.0851. Pumpkins, petting zoo, rides, inflatable attractions and more (no admission cost; activities vary in cost). www.seasonaladventures.com/location.htm
Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival in Moorpark opened Sept 28th and runs the entire month of October. Quite a popular local destination.
Bethany Church on the Hill at 200 W. Bethany Court in Thousand Oaks has its own pumpkin patch and is now selling them to raise funds for a clean water charity in India. Open 3-5pm Mon-Fri and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. bethanyto.org/community/pumpkin-patch
Pumpkin Patch at Christ the King Church, 3947 W. Kimber Drive,, Newbury Park from October 14 to 31, Mon to Fri 11am to 7pm, Sat 10am to 7pm, Sun noon to 5pm. Plus a Pumpkin Fest on Saturday, October 26th from 2pm to 6pm. Free admission. Rock wall, bounce house, climbing spider with a giant slide, live music, face painting, games and activities for kids, prizes, pumpkin carving contest, food and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult.