Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Toddler X's Fall Planner

Fall is my favorite season, and I've decided it's Toddler X's too (he can make his own decisions when he's 18). As our "treat" to you, Toddler X and I have done the research so that you and your toddler can have a wonderful season of harvests and hoe-downs and Halloween hijinks without a lot of hassle. (Disclaimer: there are no hoe-downs on the calendar...I just liked the alliterative effect.)

Because these are special occasions and once-a-year events, I've expanded the geographic reach of "Silicon Valley" a bit (who knows what it really encompasses anyway?) to pull in cool things like pumpkin patches in cemeteries and steam railroad harvest fests. I've included dates, times and links to every single one (that was the tough part). I hope you find this helpful.

Please let me know if there are some events or locales that I've left off the list. Have a WONDERFUL fall season with your little ones!

Fall, Harvest and Halloween Events and Activities 
(Note: Events that are not fall-specific are not listed here -- check the SV Toddler main calendar.)

Saturday, 9/21
  • Silicon Valley Fall Festival, Memorial Park in Cupertino, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Admission is free -- there's a coupon on the website for free rides.)
Saturday, 9/28
Sunday, 9/29
Friday, 10/4
Saturday, 10/5
Sunday, 10/6
Tuesday, 10/8
  • Pumpkin Picking at the Park, Almaden Community Center/Prusch Farm Park, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ($20 per child, ages 18 months-7 years. Registration required through Almaden Community Center - call 408-268-1133.)
Thursday, 10/10
  • Halloween Story Time and Craft at Evergreen Branch Library, San Jose, 11:30 a.m. (Free.)
  • Toddlers on the Farm series begins at Hidden Villa, Los Altos, 3:00-4:00 p.m. (Ages 1.5-3.5 years. $65 for adult and first child. Registration required, last series sold out.)
Friday, 10/11
Saturday, 10/12
Sunday, 10/13
Friday, 10/18
Saturday, 10/19
Sunday, 10/20
  • Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Main Street in Half Moon Bay (Free.)
  • Goblin Jamboree at Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. ($15 admission, all activities are included.) 
  • Campbell Oktoberfest, Downtown Campbell, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Free. Go early if you're taking your toddler to avoid rowdiness.)
  • Fall Fun at Happy Hollow, San Jose, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Free with park admission.)
  • Boo at the Zoo at the San Francisco Zoo, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Free with zoo admission. Kids in costume get $1 off admission.) 
  • Diwali Festival of Lights at the Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose, 12:00-4:00 p.m. (Free with museum admission.)
  • Goblyn's Glen at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (See above.)
 Tuesday, 10/22
Wednesday, 10/23
Thursday, 10/24
Friday, 10/25
Saturday, 10/26
Sunday, 10/27
  • Boo at the Zoo, Oakland Zoo, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Free with zoo admission.)
  • Den of Ghoulish Delights at the Exploratorium, SF, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Activities included with admission price.)
  • Boo at the Zoo at the San Francisco Zoo, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Free with zoo admission. Kids in costume get $1 off admission.) 
  • Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Gardens, SF, 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Children's Garden (Free.)
  • Haunt the Hollow at Happy Hollow, San Jose, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Halloween activities 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) (Free with park admission.)
  • Little Pumpkins Party at Hidden Villa Farm, Los Altos, 1:00-4:30 p.m. (Registration required. $12 per person.)
  • Haunt History Park, San Jose, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ($5 per person admission.)
  • Halloween Haunt at Ed Levin County Park, Milpitas, 4:00-8:00 p.m. (Free; bring a canned item to donate.)
  • Goblyn's Glen at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (See above.)
Monday, 10/28
  • Harvest Party at the Duck Pond, Gateway Community Center, San Jose, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ($25/family pre-sale, which includes 30 tickets, or $15/family at the door, with tickets costing $1 each.)
Tuesday, 10/29
Wednesday, 10/30
Thursday, 10/31

Pumpkin Patches and Ongoing Events

10/12 update: Toddler X and I spent the first full week of October on a pumpkin spree, visiting six patches in five days, ranging from Morgan Hill to Half Moon Bay. We (okay, I) planned to do nice, detailed reviews on each one, but in the interest of saving time for more patching, I instead came up with Toddler X's Two Sentence Pumpkin Patch Reviews. It's everything you need to know to make your pumpkin patch decisions in two (albeit, very long) sentences. I also have more detailed reviews up for Spina Farms and Lemos Farm, and a guide to patching in Half Moon Bay, so check those out as well.

For just the basics and website links, here are the top picks from Toddler X and/or his pals (in alphabetical order):
  • Arata's Farm: Located on Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay. Open daily, 9:00 a.m. - sunset. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Giordano Farms: Located at Snell and Chenowyth in South San Jose. Open Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Lemos Farm: Located on Highway 92 in Half Moon Bay. Open daily, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Perry Organic Farms: Located in Fremont, adjacent to Ardenwood. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Rodoni Farms: Located on Highway 1 in Santa Cruz. Open daily, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Free parking and admission. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Spina Farms: Located at Santa Teresa Blvd. at Bailey Ave. in South San Jose. Open 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.on Friday and Saturday. Free parking and admission. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Swank Farms: Located in Hollister. Open 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., with "haunted attractions" open 6:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights (in case your toddler is a night owl).
  • Uesugi Farms: Located in Morgan Hill. Open throughout October -- click here for hours. Parking is free during the week and $3/car on weekends. See my Two Sentence Review.
  • Webb Ranch: Located in Portola Valley. Open daily 10:00 a.m.-sunset. See my Two Sentence Review.
For information on other pumpkin patches throughout the South Bay, visit the Haunted Bay website for their searchable database. You can search for patches in the South Bay, Peninsula, East Bay, North Bay and beyond, so regardless of how far you're willing to drive for the perfect pumpkin, they've got a patch for you. They even have a nifty map with little pumpkin faces representing patches. If only I had those technical skills...

Finally, several other South Bay mainstays have their own Halloween-theme activities going on throughout the month of October:

Well, there you have it -- Toddler X's Fall Planner! I know I don't have every possible thing going on in the South Bay, but I'll gladly take suggestions and make additions as the fall season goes on.

Happy toddling, my friends!


  1. This is awesome. Thanks for all the hard work. This will be our go-to list for the next two months!

    1. Thanks Karie! Now it's time for me to start work on the Winter Planner!

  2. omg, this must have taken forever! Thanks for taking the time out for this. It's just what I was looking for!

    1. Ash, it's my pleasure. Glad it will be useful to you!

  3. The city of Santa Clara has a Halloween event on Halloween at the YAC.


Hmm...what to do today?