Fall Family Traditions at Irvine Park Railroad (plus Giveaway)

I have heard about the famous Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch for a while now. This year, as they celebrate their 10th anniversary, I am excited to take my family for our first visit and even more excited to share a giveaway with one of my lucky readers. 

Irvine Park Railroad’s 10th annual Pumpkin Patch is fun for the entire family! Children and adults are invited to the Pumpkin Patch which is open daily at 10:00 am, beginning September 19th through October 31st. Admission into the Pumpkin Patch is free and ticket prices for all other activities vary, you can visit 


 for additional information and costs.

If you have never been to Irvine Park Railroad, it is located inside Irvine Regional Park in the foothills of Orange, California. The Pumpkin Patch is located in Locomotive Loop and Miner's Meadow just behind the train station where thousands of pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, fill the areas behind the train station.

All visitors are sure to find the perfect pumpkin! This year’s Pumpkin Patch activities include: Train rides, hay rides, panning for gold, a child-friendly haunted house, a hay maze, a moon bounce, pumpkin ring toss, carnival games, cookie decorating, John Deere tractor racers, face painting, picture stands, great food, and a lot more!

The Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch is open daily from  

September 19th through October 31st

Weekdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Weekends 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

The parking fee for Irvine Regional Park is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays and $5.00 per vehicle 

on weekends. Important parking information: As Halloween nears, we encourage visitors to plan to arrive early to help avoid crowds, particularly on the weekend.

While you're there, make sure to check out all the fun Irvine Regional Park offers: 

Irvine Regional Park’s other activities include Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park — fun and unique bike rentals that can be enjoyed by single riders or an entire family — paddle boat rentals, the Orange County Zoo and pony rides. Bike and paddle boat rentals are open daily at 10:00 am.

I can't wait to add this to our Fall family traditions, are you ready to win tickets? Enter below for your chance to win:

· 4 Tickets (which can be used to ride the train OR participate in Pumpkin Patch activities)

· 1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park deuce coupe bike rental

· 1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park paddle boat rental



Halloween 2013 round up!

Another Halloween has come and gone and another month long celebration has come to an end. This year, although it was a little more low-key than the past years, it was still quite busy. This year, we unfortunately did not go to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, which I was not too happy about. But we did get to go to Boo at the Zoo at the Los Angeles Zoo. We also maintained our tradition of going to the Halloween Treats in the Street in Old Town Orange, CA. 
I love this event, although it has gotten busier over the last few years, it is still a lot of fun. We like to go early enough to pick a complimentary book from the Orange Community Council and have our hand prints done courtesy of the Orange Police Department. 
Another adjustment for us was trying to find a "good" pumpkin patch. Growing up, we just picked up a pumpkin from the grocery store, but when I married Mark, and was introduced to country living (Norco, CA) I discovered the massive pumpkin patches with rides and games and petting zoos! I was unable to get out that way in time and had to hunt down a decent patch! Luckily I found one some 15 miles away (all street). After some chaos on a slide that was too big for my littles, we found a slide they were happy to climb and slide down again and again. Their faces while coming down the slide seem so genuinely happy, and they make my heart happy. :) 
Pumpkin carving is a fun tradition, I let them draw their faces, unless they ask for help, they scoop and I carve. Maybe next year, we will try to get a little more creative. 
This year I had a new challenge at hand. My girls are both in preschool, not the same preschool, but two different preschools! With 18 kids in one class, 27 kids and 27 student teachers in another class, I had to come up with something quick and easy. The cups were $1.50 for 20 at Target, I glued googly eyes that I had on hand, and green tissue paper that I cut to resemble hair. I bought a couple packs of Halloween pencils for $1 each, a bulk box of fruit snacks, and a bag of candy. About $20 for 72 Classroom Halloween Treats! 
The littlest was allowed to wear her costume to school and trick or treat with her classmates and student teacher throughout the high school. Her teacher (Pocahontas) gave a little Halloween gift basket and posed for pictures with my little red riding hood. My oldest had fun at school and passed out treats but will have a Fall Festival at her school the following day. 
They could not wait for it to get dark enough to go trick or treating, and since it was getting a little chilly, I took them out as the sun was setting. Our neighborhood is such a wild place for trick or treating, families come from all around the surrounding area and travel in groups of 6-10 kids each. We easily go through 20 lbs of candy each year.
This is probably their first year of really remembering Halloween and Trick or Treating and I think they had a blast. A really fun part of this year's Halloween for me, was noticing the girls as they recognize the Halloween theme in their cartoons and books. This year we read Curious George goes to a Costume Party and watched Curious George a Halloween Boofest over and over again. We also read The Monster of the Woods by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian and Max and Ruby's Spooky Bunny TalesThe holidays are starting to get fun with these two! I can't wait until they have more input on their costumes, activities and decorations. Well, until next year!