Nothing says fall like a pumpkin patch in 90 degree heat – at least that’s how we roll in Los Angeles. There are many things this East Coast girl misses on the left coast, and fall is definitely top of the list. The first crisp in the air, the smell of winter around the corner (and yes, it has a smell), picking apples, the list goes on.
We have been in Los Angeles for 5 years now, and I’ve managed to find ways to have a hint of my East Coast seasons in this perpetually sunny state. At the top of my fall must-do list is a trip to the pumpkin patch – or two.
If I’m really missing my East Coast fall, I will make the trek out to Underwood Family Farms to get my fix of rows and rows of pumpkins, hay rides, and dirt. But, the very first pumpkin patch we ever hit up here is the same one we always go to every year – usually a couple of times – Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch.
The first time we set foot in Mr. Bones was at its old location in a discrete West Hollywood vacant parking lot, and my first thought was – “of course.”
Of course this is where all the celebrities go. Tucked away in a vacant parking lot is a fall wonderland that is inexplicably “so L.A.” in all the best of ways. And over the years, Mr. Bones has become a permanent fixture in our family fall traditions.
We had the chance to go check it out this year opening weekend with VIP tickets and an all access wristband for our son. I took Avery by myself for a special mommy-Avery day and it was awesome. Having the all access wristband is worth the price of not having to count tickets and ration out your fun. Instead your little one can freely roam about from activity to activity.
We started at the hay bale maze, which (warning) may give you a panic attack as you watch your little one disappear under bales of hay with no idea where they are going to pop up. But once you figure out where the entrances and exits are, you can relax a bit and watch your kiddo run around climbing in, out, over and under secret tunnels.
Up next was the obligatory bouncy house. My favorite part of this is how incredibly organized it is. They kids go in a group of about 8 kids, have 5 minutes EXACTLY, then the exit and the next bunch goes in. Occasionally a parent has to drag an unwilling child out, but stragglers aside, it runs like a well oiled machine.
The next on our adventure was the petting zoo – which I will be honest is not my favorite. Petting zoos in general make me sad, especially when the animals look overfed and depressed. But Avery loved petting the animals, so we went in and did our time, then washed our hands and our consciences.
After the petting zoo we skipped the pony rides because they aren’t included in the all access pass, AND it makes me even sadder than petting zoos to see ponies hitched to a metal bar and forced to walk around in circles over and over and over and over.
After some hide and go seek in the teepees and a ride on one of the many GIANT rocking horses, we stopped at Avery’s favorite venture of the day, the giant inflatable slide, which he rode at least 10 times. It’s amazing how he will calmly stand in line and wait 5 minutes for a ride, but if I’m on a phone call he can’t wait for 30 seconds. Selective patience?
At this point we were incredibly HOT, so we snuck away to the VIP lounge to get some complimentary water and snacks before hitting up the bouncing pumpkin, grabbing a wagon and roaming around in search of pumpkins and perfectly imperfect gourds.