While fall in Los Angeles isn’t as prominent as in other parts of the country, we Angelinos find ways to celebrate. What are some Los Angeles fall activities?
What is autumn in Los Angeles like?
Subtle. Sometimes, you don’t realize it’s fall until you see people wearing sweaters and boots on a 70-degree day while holding an iced pumpkin spiced latte.
It does get cooler, mainly in the mornings and nights.
We love the Spring and Summer but appreciate certain things about the Fall season. For example, apple cider donuts, Thanksgiving dinner, apple pie, and hot chocolate. And, no one can deny that the pretty colors of fall foliage aren’t beautiful.
Also, Halloween in Los Angeles is pretty fun. You must start planning immediately if you haven’t been terrified at the famous Haunted Hay Ride or chased down at one of Universal Horror Night’s mazes.
Not into being scared? No worries. Carved at Descanso Gardens is a wonderful display of carved pumpkins and other fall displays for the entire family. It takes place every year.
And fall at Disneyland is guaranteed to be fun. You can visit it to enjoy all the fall decor or buy tickets to its infamous Halloween Party.
Go apple picking at one of the many apple orchards in Oak Glen is a must every fall season. And don’t forget to stop by SnowLine Orchards for mini-apple cider donuts – our favorites.
Last year, we attended Carved at Descanso Gardens. Hopefully, we can make it to Disneyland for the fall festivities this year.
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In the beginning years of living in the City of Angels, we never thought much about fall in Los Angeles until my sister-in-law moved here. As an East Coaster who loves the fall season, she sought all of Los Angeles’ fall activities nearby.
We had no idea we could go apple picking in Los Angeles. To clarify, apple picking is a short drive from Los Angeles, not exactly within the county of Los Angeles – worth the day trip from Los Angeles.
This article is inspired by my sister-in-law’s love for fall and everyone who seeks things to do in the fall in Los Angeles. She may have introduced us to Oak Glen and other fall fun, but we fell in love and have made it our fall tradition.
We haven’t experienced fall until we’ve made it to Oak Glen to have mini cider donuts, go to Disneyland, or take a day trip to experience the changing colors of falls.
You’ll also find many things to do in LA in October.
While Los Angeles may not be the epicenter of autumn, there is no shortage of fall activities.
What do you do to celebrate autumn in Los Angeles? What is one of your favorite Los Angeles Fall activities?
Things to Do in the Fall in Los Angeles
Take a Day Trip or Weekend Trip to Experience Autumn
If you’re a Los Angeles local or know someone who is, you’ve likely heard the familiar refrain: “Let’s drive to the snow.” That’s what we do in the winter here when we feel the need to see or experience snow.
The same holds true for autumn.
To truly experience the magic of fall, it’s worth venturing beyond the city limits. Picture it: the vibrant hues of fall foliage, the crisp chill in the air, the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot, and the cozy comfort of a warm scarf and a steaming cup of cocoa.
Luckily, just an hour or two outside of the city, you’ll find destinations that embody the essence of fall and fulfill your seasonal cravings.
Here are five fall day trips and weekend trips from Los Angeles to inspire your next autumn getaway from Los Angeles.
1. Oak Glen, CA
For the fun autumn experience, add a day trip to Oak Glen, California, to your itinerary. This charming town embodies the spirit of fall, offering abundant fall activities and attractions.
From admiring the stunning colors of the changing leaves to indulging in apple picking and savoring homemade pies and jams, Oak Glen has everything your fall-loving heart desires.
Check out all the incredible fall things to do in Oak Glen in this delightful destination:
- Enjoy the quintessential fall activity of apple picking at Los Rios Rancho.
- Indulge in the delicious treats from Mom’s Country Orchards, including their mouth-watering homemade pies, jams, and the must-try pumpkin pie butter – our favorite spread. Bring it home to spread over some graham crackers with whipped cream to satisfy an instant pumpkin pie craving.
- Treat yourself to freshly made just-out-of-the-fryer mini-cider donuts from Snow-Line Orchard.
- Take home one of Apple Annie’s famous 5-lb high-mile apple pies and savor every bite.
- Explore The Village of Oak Glen, now known as Oak Mountain, a sprawling 14-acre area filled with family-friendly activities, including charming shops, a petting zoo, pony rides, bakeries, and more.
2. Big Bear Lake, CA
Big Bear Lake, CA, is another great place for a day trip or overnight stay. You’ll want to visit Big Bear before it is all covered in snow. Last winter, Big Bear saw up to 8 inches of snow as early as November.
It’s a two-hour drive from Downtown Los Angeles. You’ll be treated to stunning views of the mountains, evergreen trees, and winding roads, with plenty of opportunities to stop and capture some amazing photos.
The fall colors will welcome you once you reach Big Bear Lake, making the drive even more worthwhile. The peak of the fall season in Big Bear is in October, so plan your trip accordingly.
Many activities are available in Big Bear, and you will want to plan for them:
- Enjoy the fall foliage of The Village of Big Bear Lake, where colorful leaves adorn the town’s charming streets.
- Experience Big Bear Lake’s Oktober Fest 2023, a lively celebration from September 9th to November 4th.
- Embark on a scenic hike along the picturesque Town Trail.
- Cozy up with your special someone in a charming cabin or vacation rental, available through Airbnb or Vrbo, complete with a cozy fireplace to warm your hearts.
- Indulge in a delightful picnic by the lake, surrounded by the lovely scenery and the crisp autumn air.
Read more: Tips for a Day Trip to Big Bear Lake
3. Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Arrowhead is an ideal fall day trip destination from Los Angeles, just an hour and a half away. This charming mountain town offers the perfect getaway experience.
As autumn sets in, the temperatures at Lake Arrowhead drop just enough to make outdoor activities a true delight. The stunning foliage also begins to transform, painting the landscape with vibrant colors that will fill your fall-loving cup.
Please note: The lake itself is on private property.
- Soak up the fall foliage surrounding Lake Arrowhead with a scenic boat tour. You can purchase tickets at LeRoy’s Boardshop.
- Hike a trail. Perhaps the Will Abell Memorial Trail in the San Bernardino National Forest.
- Experience the charming European-style architecture of Lake Arrowhead Village, transporting you to the Swiss Alps.
- Make it a weekend getaway to remember by booking a cozy cabin or vacation rental through Airbnb or Vrbo. It is a plus if you can find a location with lake access.
- Mark your calendar for the 2023 Lake Arrowhead Oktober Fest, taking place every Saturday and Sunday from September 17th to October 29th. Be sure to make reservations in advance.
- Keep an eye out for the Sky Park at Santa’s Village Pumpkins in the Pines 2023 event, which promises to be an unforgettable fall experience.
4. Ojai, CA
Looking for another great fall day trip destination? Consider Ojai, a charming town with beautiful scenery and plenty of seasonal activities. During our visit in October, we were treated to glimpses of fall foliage, making the experience more magical than we expected.
One of the highlights of our trip was discovering Boccali’s Pumpkin Patch. We highly recommend checking out this fun spot, where you can pick a pumpkin and enjoy a hayride on the weekends. For an extra dose of Halloween fun, mark your calendar for the Haunted Hayrides at Boccali’s, returning in October 2023 on Fridays and Saturdays only.
While in Ojai, don’t miss the opportunity to taste olive oil at Ojai Olive Oil, a local favorite. For a peaceful nature walk, take a stroll through the Ojai Meadow Preserve, where you can soak up the area’s natural beauty.
Ojai, CA | Google Map it
5. Julian, CA
Nestled in San Diego, the charming town of Julian is approximately three hours from Los Angeles. While it was once famous for gold mining, it is now famous for its delectable apples and pies.
Savor the town’s signature apple pies, starting at Julian Pie Company, during your visit. You can also enjoy a variety of other apple-related treats, including cider, donuts, and fritters.
In addition to apple-themed activities, Julian offers plenty of other attractions to fill your weekend. Stroll through its historic district, where you’ll find quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants. To taste local history, visit the Julian Pioneer Museum, which showcases the town’s fascinating past.
- Treat yourself to Julian Pie Company’s famous apple pies.
- Visit one of the many U-pick apple orchards in Julian.
- Enjoy a fun and unique experience at the Julian Mining Company, where you can pick your apples and take a tractor-drawn hayride.
- Stop by mom-and-pop shops like Julian Candy Basket.
- Embark on an adventure and discover the stunning views of the mountains and valleys at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
The optimal time to visit Julian is during September and October when the weather is mild, and the apple trees are in full bloom.
Julian, CA | Google Map It
Go Apple Picking Near Los Angeles
As the weather cools and the leaves transform into a vibrant array of colors, few things scream “fall” more than a day of apple picking. Not only is it a fun activity for the entire family, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to get your hands on fresh, juicy apples.
And what could be more delightful than using those apples to whip up a mouthwatering apple pie or apple crisp? The combination of cinnamon and sugar, mixed with the aroma of fresh apples, will undoubtedly get you in the fall spirit.
So, why not add apple picking to your list of things to do in the fall in Los Angeles?
While apple picking may not be possible within the city limits, several top-notch apple orchards are nearby. Here are a few favorites:
Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, CA
Riley’s Apple Farm, located in Oak Glen, CA, is one of the largest orchards in the area, boasting over 760 acres. In addition to producing 30 varieties of apples, they offer an array of delicious berries.
Starting in late August, visitors can pick apples from the orchard, and you can stay up to date on the harvesting schedule by checking their website.
For those craving something sweet, Riley’s also offers fresh apple pies that can be ordered online to guarantee availability.
Families with children will love the variety of farm activities available.
Snow-Line Orchard and Winery in Oak Glen, CA
Snow-Line Orchard is a fantastic, family-friendly apple farm with a winery and cidery. While they don’t offer u-pick apples, you can easily purchase them inside their store.
But they make up for what they lack in apple-picking with MINI-CIDER DONUTS. We visit them yearly. These delectable treats are a must-try and alone worth a visit to Snow-Line. Enjoy your donuts and other treats under an enormous Italian walnut tree in their picnic area.
While there, pair your donuts with fresh-pressed apple cider, available in traditional, cherry, or raspberry flavors. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a slice of their delicious apple pie?
On weekends during the fall, Snow-Line offers live music and flights of wine, making it a perfect destination for a fun-filled day trip or weekend getaway.
And before you leave, be sure to take home a bottle of their apple brandy as a boozy souvenir of your visit.
SLO Creek Farms in San Luis Obispo
Slow Creek Farms in San Luis Obispo features 40 acres of organic apple trees. While picking apples, enjoy the breathtaking views and a leisurely morning or afternoon on their beautiful farm.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste their delicious hard cider, aptly named Liquid Gold. And their Apple Brandy will hit the spot for those seeking something a little stronger.
Slow Creek Farms is open every day from September to November for u-pick apples, making it a perfect weekend getaway or day trip destination.
Looking for more places to go apple picking?
Find more: 6 Best Apple Orchards Near LA
Explore the Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
Autumn in Los Angeles or anywhere wouldn’t be complete without visiting a pumpkin patch. Don’t let the season pass you by without a visit to one of these popular pumpkin patches in Los Angeles. You should also check if there is a smaller one near your neighborhood.
Pumpkin patches are a quintessential fall activity, offering a range of festive fun for all ages. Pick the perfect pumpkin, enjoy a hayride, or navigate a corn maze.
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
If you’re searching for a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family, check out Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Culver City. This popular attraction offers much more than just a pumpkin patch, with various activities and attractions you and your little ones will enjoy. Decorate a pumpkin, explore a straw maze, visit the petting zoo, and more.
- Open from October 5 to 29. Purchase tickets in advance.
- 10100 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City | Google Map it
For a fun and popular fall activity in Los Angeles, head to Forneris Farms every October for their Farm-tastic Maze of Oz. This 4-acre corn maze in the middle of Los Angeles is a fun way to spend a fall day. Unlike haunted corn mazes, this one is perfect for families to take their kids. There is a pumpkin patch where you can choose your Halloween pumpkin.
- This farm is cash only.
- 115200 Rinaldi St, Mission Hills | Google Map It
Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch
Looking for one of the best pumpkin patches in Los Angeles? Look no further than Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch, open exclusively during fall in Los Angeles. This family-friendly destination offers a variety of activities, from pumpkin painting and crafts to pony rides, carnival games, tractor rides, and even a straw maze.
- Open October 7 to October 31. Free to enter on weekdays. $2.50 per person on Sat and Sundays. Activities are an extra cost.
- 11650 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles | Google Map It
Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch
With multiple pumpikin patches in Southern California, Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch has a variety of activities that differ from location to location. While all of their locations offer activities such as pumpkin decorating and pumpkin bowling, each location offers unique experiences.
For example, the West LA and Torrance locations feature animal viewings and bouncy houses, while the Farmer’s Market location does not. To ensure you have the best experience possible, be sure to visit their website and choose the location that best suits your interests.
- Open October 1-31. Free admission. Activities and pumpkins are extra.
- Open in multiple locations in Los Angeles: LA Farmer’s Market, West LA, and Torrance
Live Oak Canyon Farm
Although Live Oak Canyon Farm is located outside Los Angeles, it’s worth the hour-long trip to San Bernardino County for a day of fall fun. This farm boasts the largest pumpkin farm in Southern California, making it an ideal destination for pumpkin picking. So, if you only have one weekend in October to enjoy these fall activities, we suggest making it to this one.
In addition to these activities, the farm offers a train ride, a corn maze, a tractor pull, flower gardens, and other exciting experiences and photo opportunities.
- Open September 22 to October 31. Admission fee at the entrance. Free parking is available.
- 2335 Live Oak Canyon Rd, Redlands | Google Map It
Los Angeles Fall Activities: Halloween in Los Angeles
Halloween is a huge part of the fall season, and Los Angeles uses its Hollywood magic to celebrate.
Carved at Descanso Gardens
Step into a world of wonder at Descanso Garden’s spectacular Halloween and autumn event, CARVED. Over 200 intricately carved and illuminated pumpkins are scattered throughout a section of the gardens with illustrations of well-known faces, movies, and more.
Carved is one of our favorite events during fall in Los Angeles. Gather your loved ones and plan a magical night out at these gardens, where you’ll be mesmerized by the glowing pumpkins and art installations that adorn the park.
- Open from October 6 to 29. Tickets go on sale to non-members on Sept 6.
- 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge | Google Map It
Read more: Things to Do in the Descanso Gardens year-round.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is one of the most popular things to do in Los Angeles in the fall. The hayride takes place in Griffith Park. The ride takes you into a frightening world of Halloween fun. With spooky scenes and creepy characters, it’s sure to get you into the Halloween spirit.
- The Haunted Hay Ride 2023 is open from September 22 to October 31. Purchase tickets in advance.
- 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles | Google Map It
Nights of the Jacks
Prepare to be mesmerized by the hauntingly beautiful Nights of the Jacks, a one-of-a-kind Halloween experience for the entire family. Immerse yourself in a world of thousands of hand-carved and illuminated Jack-o-Lanterns, creating a spellbinding memory.
- Open from September 29th – October 31st. Tickets are on sale now.
- 26800 West, Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas | Google Map It
Celebrate Fall at Disneyland
Halloween time at Disneyland in Orange County is one of the best things about fall with it’s Main Street Pumpkin Festival. Now is the time to go if you’ve never visited the Happiest Place on Earth during this season. The park is adorned with enchanting autumn decorations, bringing the fall season to life.
For an extra dose of Halloween fun, don’t miss the Oogie Boogie Bash, one of Disneyland’s famous Halloween parties. Dress up in your favorite costume, mingle with Mickey and Minnie, and go trick-or-treating throughout the park. This event is perfect for kids and the young-at-heart, but grab your tickets early as they sell out quickly.
- Both parks celebrate fall and Halloween from Sept 1 to Oct 31. Advance tickets and reservations are required.
- Special event tickets for the Oogie Boogie Bash sell out quickly!
- 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim | Google Map It
Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights is a must-visit event for thrill-seekers who love a good scare. Each year, they promise to be even more intense than the last, with new mazes inspired by iconic films and TV shows.
Immerse yourself in a world of horror as you navigate through the backlot of Universal Hollywood. Experience the terror of a zombie apocalypse, Chucky, or come face-to-face with the Original Universal Monsters.
And when you need a break from the frights, indulge in some of your favorite Universal Studios eats. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable, spine-chilling experience.
- September 7 to October 31
- This event takes place on select nights, and it’s an extra cost: Halloween Horror Nights Tickets
- 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City | Google Map It
Check Your Local Neighborhood Events
Sometimes, your local neighborhood will have fall and Halloween activities and festivities planned within the community that you won’t find blasted online.
Join your local community Facebook group or check with your local library.
While this is not a complete list of Los Angeles fall activities, we hope these highlights excite you for autumn in Los Angeles.
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Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.