Pumpkin Picking Near El Monte, California

by Alane Michaelson

El Monte, the hub of the San Gabriel Valley, is located in southern California, near Los Angeles. The city has a population of about 120,000 and has little rural land within the city limits. In the areas surrounding El Monte, though, ther are many pumpkin patches where customers can purchase freshly-picked gourds.

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Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch (www.mrbonespumpkinpatch.com) is located in West Hollywood, about 22 miles from El Monte. The patch is open seven days a week each October, with opening and closing dates varying each year. Activities include a petting zoo, bounce house, pony rides, face painting, a straw maze and pumpkin decorating. At time of publication, the entrance fee was $2 for children and $4 for adults, and the entrance fee is applied to purchases at the end of your visit. Prices are based on pumpkin weight and organic pumpkins are available. The patch also offers delivery.

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch

The Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch (www.irvineparkrailroad.com/content/pumpkin-patch) is located in Orange, about 42 miles from El Monte. The pumpkin patch is part of Irvine Regional Park, which includes a railroad, pony rides, paddle boating and horse rentals. The pumpkin patch also includes a haunted house, a hay maze and a bounce house. Admission is $4 and the patch is open daily from Sept. 17 to Oct. 31. Costs of pumpkins are based on size and the patch features thousands of pumpkins. Group pricing is available.

Forneris Farms

Forneris Farms (www.fornerisfarms.com) is located in Mission Hills, about 34 miles from El Monte. The farm features a pumpkin patch during its Harvest Festival each fall, which includes a corn maze, tractor-pulled train rides and a play area. Admission is free for the harvest festival, and the costs for attractions like the corn maze or play are range from $4 to $7. Pumpkin prices at Forneris Farms are based on weight. The Harvest Festival runs from early October to early November each year, but the exact dates for the 2011 festival were not yet finalized by mid August this year.

Lombardi Ranch

The Lombardi Ranch (www.lombardiranch.com) is located in Saugus, about 53 miles from El Monte. The farm opens to the public in August each year, and features a Pumpkin Festival that starts in early October. In addition to pumpkin picking, the Pumpkin Festival includes a bake sale, scarecrow contests and a craft fair. For children, the festival includes a tour of a working farm and visits with cows, sheep, goats and llamas. Pumpkins prices are based on eight, and there is no admission cost for the Pumpkin Festival.

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