Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good Times at the Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch

Every year since Big B could walk, we've taken him to a pumpkin patch. It's one of our fall family traditions. As he gets older and able to remember events, he recognizes certain symbols and images that are characteristic of a pumpkin patch. He'll ask when we'll pick pumpkins, ride a tractor, or go through a maze. We'll drive by somewhere and he'll see a gigantic inflated pumpkin and he'll ask if we can stop by. We've been to several different pumpkin patches in SoCal and have had good memories in each one.

This year, we went to the pumpkin patch at Irvine Park Railroad. Big B had so much fun. We went on a weekday, when it wasn't busy, and it still took us about three hours to get through everything. The first thing we noticed when we got there was the tractor-pulled hay ride. Of course we just had to ride it. The tractor took us on a scenic drive around the park. This is probably something that I would do after walking around for a while, since it's a nice quiet ride away from the hullabaloo.

pumpkin patch

Next, he went straight for the bounce house. While he was jumping around, I looked around and marveled at how much the entire area had been transformed. We've been to the Irvine Park Railroad before. In fact, we celebrated Big B's 2nd birthday there, but it looks so different. I just love all the little details they put to create a truly Halloween-y environment.

pumpkin patch

His next activity was panning for gold. Any activity that  allows him to play with water is a winner. Apparently, gold panning is one of the most popular things to do; kids just love it. We took a break for lunch and waited for the train. We couldn't possibly leave Irvine Park Railroad without riding the train. And yes, even the train was nicely decorated with a purple bat garland.

pumpkin patch

After the train ride, we went through the maze. And went through it again. And yet again. I think Big B would have wanted another turn if I had not mentioned the games. There were two games available for play. Parents, don't worry if your kids don't get the sack through the hole or the hoop on the witches hat, every ticket is a winner.

Finally, we picked pumpkins. I think if we didn't do anything else at the park, Big B would have been happy just picking pumpkins and pulling them on the wagon.

pumpkin patch

As soon as we got home, Big B asked when we can go back. Three days later, he still asks when we can go back. To me, that is a sign of one very satisfied customer. The Pumpkin Patch is open until October 31, seven days a week. Tickets for activities are on sale for $4 each or a booklet of 15 tickets for $50.

A little about Irvine Park Railroad
Irvine Park Railroad is nestled inside historic Irvine Regional Park. In addition to the 1/3 scale train, there are plenty of rides and attractions for the entire family, from pony rides, to bike and paddle boat rentals, to the OC Zoo. Guests can enjoy seasonal events throughout the year such as the Pumpkin Patch, Christmas Train, and Easter Eggstravaganza. Visitors can also host parties and school field trips at the park. Coupons for a variety of activities are offered online.

Connect with Irvine Park Railroad on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I was provided free tickets to facilitate a review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own.