The leaves are turning and the morning air is crisp, so grab a sweater, pack the kids, and spend a few days experiencing Autumn Harvest on some very special farms. Whether you prefer hunting the perfect pumpkin, going for hayrides, or picking your own apples, here’s one thing we can all agree on: Exploring together is how memories are made. Here are some ideas for how you can enjoy the abundance of the season.
Breakfast at Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe
Start your pumpkin-hunting weekend off with a quick stop at Upper Crust Bakery. Located in the heart of downtown Chico, the bakery offers an abundance of wholesome handmade baked goods from cinnamon rolls and cookies to quiches and scrambles.
Pick the Perfect Pumpkin at The Peterson Sisters Pumpkin Patch
Your first pumpkin stop should be at Peterson Sisters Pumpkin Patch, where you can enjoy fresh baked pumpkin goods and a trip through the hay maze. Originally the project of the sisters while they were in high school, they now operate this land with volunteers from the Future Farmers of America. They grow an assortment of pumpkins, including Giant Pumpkins – which aren’t for the faint of heart. Make sure you check their operating hours; the sisters’ pumpkin patch kicks off the season on September 29 and is only open Friday from 3:00pm to sunset and Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to sunset.
Enjoy Farm Animals and Hayrides at TJ Farms
Each year, TJ Farms and the Moss family opens their farm to the public for the Fall Pumpkin Patch, which opens on October 6 this year. Grab a wagon and take a stroll among the over 14 varieties of pumpkins in the pumpkin field. There are also hay rides, a hay bale obstacle course, and a country store with gourmet products available for purchase. The entire farm experience is enhanced with the opportunity to pet and feed the farm animals.
Lunch at Woodstock's
For lunch, spend some time at Chico favorite Woodstock’s Pizza for a couple of slices. With a wide menu that includes gluten-free and dairy-free opens and a fun-filled atmosphere (complete with arcade games!), it’s a great place to relax and have fun.
Pick Some Apples at Noble Orchards
Start the day at the popular Noble Orchards in Paradise. First established in 1921, Noble Orchards is one of the last remaining apple orchards in Butte County. While the November 2018 Camp Fire destroyed their cold storage facility, the trees survived and are now laden with delicious, fresh apples. This fall, take a trip to the orchard on Tuesday, Saturday, or Sunday from 7:30am-10am to pick as many as you can right off the trees. You’ll get to enjoy different varieties as they ripen throughout the season.
Discover Pumpkins and Animals at Book Family Farm
In addition to their Fall Pumpkin Patch, the Book Family Farm is passionate about growing healthy food and use their farm to inform both children and adults about real food. They teach that “it matters what you eat and what you eat, eats too!” They grow grass fed beef, pastured pork, and pastured poultry. All of their products are only sold on the farm.
Learn at the Patrick Ranch Museum
Step back in time at the Patrick Ranch Autumn Fest. Every weekend in October the historic ranch offers house tours, pony cart and tractor rides, and plenty of pumpkins. The museum is dedicated to enhancing people’s understanding and appreciation of the community’s rich agricultural heritage. It is also a great place to bring a picnic!
Discover the Annual Migration
Head out to the Oroville Feather River Fish Hatchery to witness to the annual salmon spawn starting in mid-September through mid-November. Enjoy an up-close view through the underwater viewing window or watch as they swim up the fish ladder. The viewing window is open at all times, while the main hatchery is open daily from 7am-3pm--stop in for a tour!
Stay at a Kid-Friendly Hotel
Butte County offers a variety of lodging options that welcome your kiddos and your fur babies.