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. There's also a new location at the Pacific View Mall in the Trader Joe's parking lot (new in 2016). 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 1-31, 2016, 7 days a week, 10am to 7pm (9pm Fri/Sat). Daytime hayrides on Sat/Sun 11am to 5pm. Free hay maze for the kids. Visit www.boccalis.com/PumpkinPatch.html or call 805.646.6116. ALSO: Haunted Hay Rides 10/14-15, 21-22, 28-29 from 7-9pm.
Bennett's Best Pumpkin Patch once again has locations at the corner of Kanan and Agoura Road and at 28900 Roadside Drive (near Do It Center) in Agoura Hills as well as at 24439 Calabasas Road in Calabasas).
Lil' Tommy's Pumpkin Patch is located at 4800 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura, just half a mile west of the McGrath Brothers Great Pacific Pumpkin Patch.
Malibu Funny Farm is located 28517 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, a few miles east of Kanan Dume Road on the north side of PCH. Free admission and parking. Offers pumpkins, snacks and treats, pony rides, petting zoo, games and activities.
McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch is located at 5156 McGrath Street, Ventura (south of the 101 between Telephone Road and Victoria). Opens October 1st. There will be hay rides, pony rides and plenty of pumpkins! Call 805.658.9972 or visit www.mcgrathstreetpumpkinpatch.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. Open the entire month of October.
Prancer's Pumpkin Village is open the entire month of October from 9am to 8pm daily at 3075 Johnson Drive in Ventura (adjacent to the 101 freeway). In addition to an array of pumpkins, they offer pony rides, bouncers, hay maze, petting zoo and other activities. Visit prancersvillage.com.
The Santa Paula Rotary is BAAAACCCKKK! this October after a hiatus with a bigger than ever Pumpkin Patch at the Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula, open every weekend from 10am to 5pm. Gigantic corn MaiZe, hay wagon rides, the infamous "Pumpkin Chucker," and more on hand. $5 admission (Corn MaiZe is an additional $5). Visit www.PumpkinPatchAtLimoneiraRanch.com to learn more.
Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch in October will be located at Simi Valley Town Center on Erringer Road and in Thousand Oaks at 450 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Pumpkins, petting zoo, rides, inflatable attractions and more (no admission cost; activities vary in cost). www.seasonaladventures.com/location.htm
The 19th Annual Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival in Moorpark is open October 1-31 with themed events each weekend, massive pumpkin patch and lots of fun activities.