The best part of fall? Pumpkins, of course! One of the largest pumpkin patches in the state is right here in SoCal, situated on more than 20 acres of farmland in Pomona. The rare pumpkin patch with academic credentials, it’s located at the Cal Poly Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. In the spirit of the season, it’s open free of charge every October during the college’s Pumpkin Festival.
As you climb over the rolling hills covered in vines in search of the perfect pumpkin, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Each year Cal Poly students grow more than 40,000 of them. It’s a sea of orange all around you. But there’s more to this pumpkin patch than just pumpkins. Get lost in the corn maze, a labyrinth of corn stalks over 12 feet tall. Kids will love the maze treasure hunt, seeking all the checkpoints throughout the maze, and successful explorers will be awarded a Maze Magician button.
You can also take a hayride through the Cal Poly farmland and visit furry friends at the petting zoo, including goats, sheep, rabbits, and a dairy calf. Before heading home, be sure to stop in at the Cal Poly Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch, where you can buy produce grown on campus, fresh honey, snacks, drinks (try the fresh lemonade!), and novelty gift items. Visit the campus nursery if you’re tempted to try becoming a farmer yourself. Maybe you can raise a giant pumpkin, but you’re unlikely to top the one just outside the farm store near the picnic area—it weighs nearly 1,000 pounds!
The Cal Poly Pumpkin Patch is located at 3801 W. Temple Ave. in Pomona. From the I-10, take CA-57 south toward Santa Ana, exit on Temple Ave., and turn right. Park in any available campus parking lot, but obey all posted signage. Admission is free; activities and pumpkins priced per item. Open Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 6 p.m. (pumpkin patch and corn maze only); Thursday and Friday noon to 8 p.m. (pumpkin patch and corn maze only); and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., when everything is running. Closed on Mondays. Farm Store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No dogs.