Technically, it’s still Fall, but we mostly crammed all of our main Fall activities into late September and all of October, so that’s what this blog post is going to be focused on. Every year we do a few fun favorite Fall activities and a few new ones.
Dan’s parents and his sister and her family flew into Orange County in September to spend some time at Disneyland. We joined up with them one day to ride the rides, eat the treats, and make some special family memories. You can read more about our day on Dan’s mom’s blog. The park was already decorated for Halloween and so we, of course, had to take some iconic and festive pictures there during our visit.
We’ve been trying to get as much use as possible out of our annual SeaWorld passes and so I visited once with my sister, niece, and the girls in September, and we visited once as a family with the Turners in November. Our trip there with Anna and Ava was especially nice as it wasn’t crowded and the girls got to participate in some Halloween activities at the park (and us adults got to drink some seasonal beers that were on tap!).
Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch
On September 30, we went on our our first seasonal trip to one of our favorite pumpkin patches. My sister and niece were in town visiting us and we took just the littles with us, since Vivian is required to be in school now. We had a lovely afternoon and William even got to ride his first pony!
The girls started wearing their wardrobe of Halloween dresses on October 1 and didn’t stop until October 31.
For the second year in a row, we went to Acorn Day at O’Neill Regional Park. Last year, we had a really great time at Acorn Day and I was excited to repeat that this year. Unfortunately, it was very hot this year, more crowded, and Lillian was being especially incorrigible. You can’t win them all!
Home Depot Pumpkins
Every year since Vivian was 6 months old, we’ve done a Home Depot run in October and propped or sat the kids next to their pumpkin and straw display for a photo. Now it’s an established tradition!
Another one of our favorite pumpkin patches is Pumpkin City. This year, I took all three kids by myself while Dan was in Phoenix at a conference for his work. Vivian’s school’s PTA was having a fundraiser at the pumpkin patch and so we also went on this specific day to support the PTA.
Vivian was lucky to be invited to visit a local farm’s pumpkin patch with her BFF. The girls went on a wagon ride, watched the pumpkin cannon, ran around the patch, and got their face painted.
Zoomars Petting Zoo
While Vivian was at Tanaka Farms, we took the littles to the pumpkin patch at Zoomars. We’ve taken the kids here many times before, but never during their pumpkin patch. William was not at all into it, but Lil had fun riding the train and horse, petting the guinea pigs, and playing with the goats.
Boo at the Zoo
For the first time ever, we went to a “Boo at the Zoo” event. We are members at the Santa Ana Zoo and attended their event one warm Sunday evening. We really enjoyed this new activity! We couldn’t see many animals since it was already dark out, but the kids had a ton of fun walking the trick-or-treat trail and we were happy to be somewhere that wasn’t overcrowded.
To support another fundraiser for the PTA at Vivian’s school, we attended the school’s Fall Festival. The kids ate, bounced, played games, danced, and walked a small trick-or-treat trail. I even won a gift card to a restaurant in a raffle!
Our community hosted a carnival at our clubhouse and I took Vivian and William while Lillian and Dan napped. The kids rode rides, jumped in the bounce house, and picked out small pumpkins.
Just like every other year that we’ve carved pumpkins (we skipped this activity last year), Dan and I carved the pumpkins while the kids played around us. The girls still won’t touch the pumpkin guts. This year they did draw faces on the pumpkins and Dan carved what they drew.
As per another tradition, we got together with we our wonderful neighbors for our annual potluck and chili cookoff. This year, Dan and I even dressed up in costumes. I was told that I was dressed as “Unikitty!”
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
We recorded this classic 30-minute show and, just like in years’ past, watched it over and over and over. We generally only let the girls watch TV some on the weekends, but for this show, we made an exception. By the end of the month, Vivian had memorized most of the lines from the show! William even sat still every now and then to watch a few minutes of it (as long as he was also simultaneously occupied stuffing food into his face).
Preschool Parades & Parties
For the past two years, Vivian participated in Halloween parades and parties at preschool. This year, it was Lillian’s turn! (Vivian’s school hosted a STEAM-o-ween for the kindergartners during the day, which I volunteered at, but other than that, the school didn’t host any Halloween events.)
Finally, on October 31, we celebrated the BIG day by dressing up and trick-or-treating. William briefly put on a duck costume that Vivian wore four years ago, but he switched back into his bat outfit for the rest of the night. Lillian dressed as Rapunzel, but one street over from our house, she said that her costume was too itchy and she abruptly took it off and spent the rest of the night trick-or-treating in her panties, pink cowgirl boots, and pink John Deere hooded sweatshirt. Vivian dressed as a butterfly princess. And once again, Dan and I dressed as LEGO characters.
In between all of the activities, we listened to a lot of kids Halloween music in the car and on Alexa. Dan bought and put up a lot of new outdoor Halloween decorations. I hosted my annual Pumpkin Dinner with a group of girlfriends where I cooked and served pumpkin lasagne. And I baked all sorts of pumpkin and Halloween goodies – cake, cheesecake, cookies, cutouts, pumpkin energy balls, bread, bark, and more. I think it really is safe to say – we did it all this Fall!