15 Family-Friendly Activities to Enjoy this Fall in Orange County

15 Family-Friendly Activities to Enjoy this Fall in Orange County

Orange County is known for its sunny beaches and endless summer vibes, but the fall season brings a unique charm to this region. 

With pleasant temperatures and a host of autumnal activities, it's an ideal time to explore the area with your family. From pumpkin patches and scenic hikes to spooky fun and cultural experiences, here's a guide to the best fall family activities in Orange County.

Pumpkin Picking at Tanaka Farms

Kick off the fall season with a visit to Tanaka Farms in Irvine. This working farm transforms into a pumpkin wonderland in October, offering families the chance to pick their own pumpkins right from the vine. 

The Pumpkin Patch Tour includes a wagon ride, a guided pumpkin-picking experience, and the opportunity to explore the farm's corn maze. It's a great way to get into the fall spirit and create lasting memories with your kids.

Fall Hikes in the Cleveland National Forest

Enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Orange County in the fall by going on a family hike. 

The Cleveland National Forest, which stretches through parts of the county, offers various hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. In the fall, the landscape comes alive with vibrant colors, making it an ideal time for a leisurely hike or a picnic among the changing leaves. Some popular trails to consider are Holy Jim Falls, Black Star Canyon, and Santiago Oaks Regional Park.

Boo at the Zoo

Head to the Santa Ana Zoo for the annual "Boo at the Zoo" event, where your little ones can enjoy a family-friendly Halloween experience. This event features trick-or-treating, a scavenger hunt, animal presentations, and even a pumpkin patch. 

Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes, adding to the festive atmosphere. It's a safe and fun way to celebrate Halloween with your family.

Visit the OC Great Park Balloon

Take your family to the Great Park in Irvine for a ride on the iconic Orange County Great Park Balloon. Soar 400 feet above the ground and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including the colorful fall foliage. The park often hosts special events and activities during the fall season, making it a great spot for family outings.

Explore the Heritage Hill Historical Park

Experience the rich history of Orange County by visiting the Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. 

This park features four historic buildings dating back to the 19th century, providing a glimpse into the area's past. In the fall, the park hosts events like "Harvest Festival" where families can enjoy activities such as pumpkin decorating, games, and guided tours of the historical structures.

Haunted Attractions

For those seeking some spooky thrills, Orange County has several haunted attractions suitable for families with older children. 

The "Knott's Scary Farm" at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park transforms the amusement park into a Halloween wonderland with mazes, scare zones, and shows. While some of the attractions are not suitable for young kids, there are family-friendly options like the "Trick or Treat: Lights Out" maze.

Fall Festivals

Orange County hosts a variety of fall festivals throughout the season. These festivals often feature live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, and family-friendly activities. Some notable festivals include the Tustin Tiller Days, San Clemente Seafest, and the Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade.

Attend a Local Pumpkin Patch

Besides Tanaka Farms, you can explore other pumpkin patches in Orange County, each offering its unique experience. 

Irvine Park Railroad's Pumpkin Patch in Orange, for instance, has a train ride, hay maze, and other attractions that will delight kids. 

Other notable pumpkin patches include Pumpkin City in Laguna Hills and Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, which is a bit further away but worth the drive for its extensive fall activities.

Enjoy Fall Flavors

Fall is synonymous with pumpkin-spiced everything and apple-themed treats. 

Explore local bakeries and cafes that embrace the season by offering pumpkin lattes, apple pies, and other fall-inspired delicacies. Some must-visit spots for seasonal treats include Cream Pan in Tustin and Blackmarket Bakery in Santa Ana.

Experience Dia de los Muertos

Celebrate the vibrant Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the annual Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. This family-friendly event includes traditional music and dance performances, art exhibits, sugar skull decorating, and a procession. It's a fantastic opportunity for your family to learn about and participate in this beautiful cultural celebration.

Outdoor Movie Nights

Many communities in Orange County host outdoor movie nights during the fall season. Pack some blankets and snacks, and enjoy a family movie night under the stars. Check the event calendars of local parks and community centers to find screenings near you.
Attend a Local Farmers' Market

Fall is harvest season, and Orange County's farmers' markets are brimming with fresh produce, artisanal goods, and homemade treats. Take your family to a nearby farmers' market to sample seasonal fruits and vegetables, indulge in baked goods, and support local farmers and artisans.

Fall Arts and Crafts

Get creative with your kids by organizing fall-themed arts and crafts sessions. You can make leaf art, pumpkin decorations, and even carve or decorate pumpkins together. These activities are not only fun but also a great way to bond and embrace the season.

Plan a Beach Picnic

While Orange County's beaches are popular summer destinations, the fall season offers more comfortable temperatures for a beach picnic. Pack a picnic basket with your family's favorite snacks and enjoy a day by the ocean. Some popular beaches for picnicking include Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Crystal Cove State Park.

Day Trip to Oak Glen

If you're willing to venture a bit beyond Orange County, consider taking a day trip to Oak Glen in nearby San Bernardino County. 

This charming mountain town is famous for its apple orchards, making it a perfect fall destination. You can go apple picking, enjoy freshly baked apple pies, and explore the scenic beauty of the San Bernardino Mountains.


Orange County, California, offers a diverse range of fall activities that the whole family can enjoy. From pumpkin picking and hikes in picturesque natural settings to cultural celebrations and seasonal festivals, there's no shortage of ways to embrace the season and create lasting memories with your loved ones. 

So, grab your scarves and cozy sweaters, and make the most of autumn in Orange County!

Work With Us

We offer ultimate privacy and security, speed, and efficiency. Our years of full-time experience have given us a clear understanding of the mindset of home buyers and sellers and a thorough understanding of the regional marketplace. Contact us today!

Follow Us on Instagram

.google-map { padding-bottom: 50%; position: relative; } .google-map iframe { height: 100%; width: 100%; left: 0; top: 0; position: absolute; }