As the air turns crisper and the colors warmer, fall’s arrival signals a magical season in Orange County that beckons us outdoors. The promise of cozy sweaters, the subtle scent of fallen leaves, and the anticipation of pumpkin-spiced everything – it’s a time of year that stirs excitement in the hearts of all. So, without further ado, let’s dive headfirst into the cornucopia of fall activities that Orange County has laid out for us.
#1 Have Fun at the Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade
When: October 28, 2023, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Where: Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, CA 92805
The Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade, celebrating its 100th year, is a beloved event that promises a day full of ghoulish delights. With its themed food booths and trucks, a hair-raising haunted house, and live entertainment, the event screams the spirit of Halloween.
The Halloween Parade, the highlight of the day, commences at 7 PM where movie-quality costumes and elaborate floats abound, paying tribute to the spooky season and the rich history of the event. Don your most enchanting costume and join the fun! Moreover, don’t miss the Downtown Anaheim Community Center’s free art show which features original works from festival artists, open from August 24th to October 3rd.
With activities such as costume contests for both kids and dogs, pumpkin patches, marionette shows, and a variety of delectable foods, this event has something for everyone. This year’s Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade is set to be a spectacular extravaganza of creativity, spooky fun, and community.
#2 Prost! To Oktoberfest at Old World Huntington Beach!
When: September 17 to November 5, 2023
Where: 7561 Center Ave #49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Wednesdays & Thursdays: Free admission
Fridays: $10 – $30 *Wear a dirndl or lederhosen and get free admission
Saturdays: free admission (daytime/family day fun); $15 – $40 (evening)
Sundays: $10 – 12
Oktoberfest at the Old World Huntington Beach is more than just a celebration of beer; it’s a weeks-long festivity of delicious cuisine, music, dancing, family fun, and a whole lot more. This festival is a must-visit for anyone looking to savor a day or a weekend of Oktoberfest in Orange County.
Now let’s talk about the real stars of the show: the food and the beer. Quench your thirst with traditional German-style beers and local brews from the finest breweries in the state. Food offerings include Brat On A Roll, sauerkraut, German potato salad, Bavarian pretzel, and more.
There’s also a plethora of live entertainment including Blue Birds, MC Tommy Kazoo, and DJ at the Biergarten. So buy your tickets in advance online to snag the best deals. Details on the Oktoberfest’s tickets, age policy, and package deals can be found here.
#3 Have a Spook-tacular Time at Knott’s Spooky Farm
When: Daytime Thursday-Sundays, September 28 to October 29, 2023, plus Halloween
Where: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Admission: starts at $59.99
Taking place during selected days in fall, Knott’s Spooky Farm is a daytime Halloween event at Knott’s Berry Farm. This event is geared toward ages 3 to 11 and is part of normal operating theme park hours. Families can join in some slightly wicked fun with not-so-scary surprises and spooky décor around every corner.
This event features several activities and attractions including Creepy Critters, Pumpkin Patch, Trick or Treating, Costume Cavalcade, Calico Candy Mine Rides, and Halloween Hootenanny at Timber Mountain Log Ride. In addition to these thrilling activities, be sure not to miss out on the captivating shows and experiences like the peculiar puppeteers and their spooky puppet show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.
This event is the best fall activity for families seeking a hauntingly good time full of entertaining shows, thrilling rides, and sweet treats. Details on tickets and passes can be found here.
#4 Join Aliso Viejo’s Fall Harvest Festival
When: October 21, 2023, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where: 6101 City Lights Dr, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Fall Harvest Festival, presented by the Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA), promises a day full of community spirit and fall fun at Grand Park. This festivity is for all the little goblins and ghosts out there, as well as folks of all ages. The event features an array of delightful entertainment, carnival games, community booths, and a children’s costume parade.
Don’t forget your trick-or-treat bag because goodies await! The Canned Food Drive for a Pony Ride is the cherry on top. By making a donation or bringing 5 canned food items not only can your child earn a wristband for a memorable pony ride experience but you’ll also be helping South County Outreach provide essential assistance to the less fortunate in Orange County. The list of much-needed food items can be found here.
Keep in mind that while a wristband is your ticket to pony paradise, they may need to close the line early due to the popularity of the event. So, arrive early to ensure your kids have a howling good time. This special event is a great way to celebrate the season while making a difference in our community.
#5 Enjoy the Pumpkin Patch and Hayrides at Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch
When: September 16 – October 31, 2023
Where: 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869
Admission: Free; activity tickets are $7 each; book of 15 tickets are $90
Celebrate Halloween and the bountiful joys of October at Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch. Emphasizing fun over terror, this festive event promises a fun-filled, wholesome experience for the entire family.
Free activities during the event include the Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off, where you can witness growers compete for various awards and win hefty prizes. For a dash of adventure and spookiness, venture through the haunted houses, navigate the twists and turns of the hay maze, and conquer the hay pyramid. Moreover, there’s a myriad of paid activities that offer a whirlwind of excitement, including train rides, moon bounce, face painting, John Deere racers, mini diggers, and pumpkin decorating.
Note that some activities require more than 1 ticket per person. Aside from being a must-visit fall extravaganza, the event is also a Southern California family tradition you’ll surely cherish for years to come.
#6 Indulge in Sweet Fall Delights
As fall sweeps across Orange County, savor a delectable lineup of seasonal treats. The Autumn Toast of High Tide Coffee is a symphony of goat cheese, honey, fig jam, dried figs, and pumpkin seeds—a perfect fusion of savory and sweet. On the other hand, Duck Donuts’ Spooky Box, a Halloween-themed assortment, features hauntingly delicious treats like the Dirt ‘N Worm with OREO(R) cookie pieces & gummy worm and some eerie creations like the Werewolf with raspberry drizzle, maple icing, and bacon.
For a taste of fall in a scoop, head to Bruster’s Real Ice Cream for the Caramel Apple Crunch, a harmonious blend of fresh apple ice cream, caramel ribbons, and shortbread pieces. Or opt for the Fall Season Mini Doughnuts from Small Batch Doughnuts which features an array of season-inspired flavors, from pumpkin caramel to cinnamon spice.
Coffee Dose Cafe presents an enticing twist on the classic PSL with their Basic Witch brew. Made with oat milk, pumpkin puree, espresso, and a blend of spices, it’s a spellbinding concoction that is even better when topped with pumpkin sweet cream. With each treat bursting with seasonal flavors and autumnal bliss, embracing the fall spirit with these delights truly captures the essence of the season.
Now, it’s your turn to share your excitement. What’s your most anticipated fall activity or event in Orange County? Drop a comment below, and let’s come together to revel in the beauty and joy of this bewitching season!