[Updated] L.A.'s Best Pumpkin Patches and Halloween Events for Safe Spooks

From Halloween at Descanso to the 'Stranger Things' Drive-Into and more.

Descanso Gardens Halloween Pumpkin House

The coronavirus may have forced us to take rainchecks on our favorite spooky soirées and other local Halloween haunts this year (celeb-faved pumpkin patch Mr. Bones postponed its 2020 festivities), but there are still plenty of plein air pumpkin-filled happenings that Angelenos can enjoy safely.

Getting your Halloween fright fix will be different than in the Before Times. Instead of wandering through crowds of thrill-seekers and masked monsters, we'll be exploring spooky scenery from the comfort and safety of our own cars. Even better: Many of the masterminds behind of L.A.'s best Halloween events — which are now cancelled due to the pandemic — are now putting their spine-chilling skills towards those drive-thru experiences, ensuring equally an equally frightening adventure.

On that note, we've rounded up the best L.A.-area pumpkin patches, drive-through Halloween events, and other creative ways celebrate the scary season sans crowds. Read on below, don't forget your masks, and check back often as we'll be updating this list.

Ongoing Events & L.A. Pumpkin Patches

A Gentle Halloween Drive-Thru (Santa Clarita): The nonprofit animal sanctuary's family-friendly, Halloween-themed drive-thru offers a rare peek at its California property, including its Sun Chlorella Healing Center in Agua Dulce (located 10 miles up the road) and its main Gentle Barn grounds where you'll cast a wish in the wishing well. Guests are encouraged to dress up and lunch is included; staff will also be safely handing out candy to visitors. If you're looking to dial up the fear factor, Gentle Barn is also hosting the Haunted Barnyard Drive-Thru starting Oct. 22 (see below for more)
When: Now through Sunday, Nov. 1
Where: Gentle Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, 91390
Tickets: Suggested donation of $28 per person (min. two people per car); buy online here

Forneris Farms (Mission Hills): Pick up future jack o' lanterns at the family-owned farm's patch, which also includes train rides and a fun photo area. Note that there won't be a corn maze or pony rides this year; admission includes a $5 discount on all orange pumpkins.
When: Now through Sunday, Nov. 1; train rides Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 15200 Rinaldi St., Mission Hills, 91345
Parking: Free on-site
Tickets: Cash-only admission is $5 per person or $10 per person for train ride/U-pick; free for kids under 2 with paid adult. No admission required to shop the farm market

Halloween at Descanso (La Cañada-Flintridge): Halloween goes horticultural for the entire month of October at Descanso Gardens, where family-friendly (and crowd-free) al fresco activities include the Pumpkin House and a hay maze. There will also be socially-distanced gourd displays at the Hilltop Gardens and the Japanese Gardens, to name a few, and kids 14 and under are encouraged to wear costumes.
When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Halloween week hours from Oct. 26 to 31 are extended to 8 p.m.
Where: Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge, 91011
Tickets: Non-members $5 to $15; buy online here or become a member for free admission

Photo: Nights of the Jack

Nights of the Jack (Calabasas): Calabasas' premiere Halloween happening, Nights of the Jack, is back — only this time as a contactless drive-thru experience. Guests can travel down their new extended driving trail at the King Gillette Ranch, which will be covered with thousands of hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns.— Autumn Simon
When: Thursdays through Sundays now through Nov. 1
Where: King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas, 91302
Tickets: $69 to $89; buy online here.

Rendering: Courtesy of Haunt'oween L.A.

Haunt'Oween L.A. (Woodland Hills): Family-friendly spooks seekers can thank Hollywood's production halt for this new drive-through experience, which was created by Experiential Supply, a full-service event production house. The event promises "door-to-door" trick-or-treating (no need to get out of the car), an interactive pumpkin patch where each group will pick their own gourd, scenic paths, plenty of photo ops, and a tunnel featuring 1,000 jack-o-lanterns, to name a few. Note that no bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, trailers, RVs, limos, or vehicles over eight feet tall are allowed.
When: Friday, Oct. 9 to Saturday, Oct. 31 (3 to 9 p.m. daily)
Where: 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, 91367
Tickets: $70 per vehicle with up to eight people, $90 for vehicles with nine or more passengers; limited first-come, first-serve tickets are available, so buy them online in advance here

Shawn's Pumpkin Patch (Mar Vista): This year's gourd plot may be smaller than years past, but there's still plenty of safe fun to be had at the train, petting zoo, and well-sanitized game booths. Face masks are required for entry and staff will be monitoring capacity. Early arrival is suggested on weekends; otherwise, expect a line during peak hours.
When: Now through Oct. 31; Monday through Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 3443 South Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 90034
Parking: Free on-site
Tickets: Free entry, pumpkin prices vary

Tanaka Farms 2020 Pumpkin Farm (Orange County): Pick your gourds right off the vine at the family-owned farm in Irvine, which has played host to Hello Kitty in recent years. This year's festivities offers two social distancing-friendly options: the Drive-Thru Pumpkin Farm Experience (Saturdays and Sundays) and the U-Pick Pumpkin with Wagon Ride (Mondays through Fridays). The farm also offers drive-thru produce market shopping and curbside pickup; get more details here.
When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 31, times and days vary
Where: Tanaka Farms, 5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine, 92612
Tickets: $25 per person for wagon rides (ages 3+), $20 per person for drive-thru (ages 3+); book in advance online here

Tapio Bros. Farm (Encino): The family-owned farm will have "a great selection of pumpkins, gourds, squash, hay bales, corn stalks, and other decorations," as well as farm animals (note that guests won't be allowed to feed them). Staff will be limiting guests; those who prefer to avoid crowds will want to try visiting on weekdays and before the final weekend of Halloween.
When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: 5251 Hayvenhurst Ave., Encino, 91436
Parking: Free on-site
Tickets: Free entry, pumpkin prices vary

Tina's Pumpkin Patch (Sherman Oaks): In addition to picking pumpkins, expect train rides, a petting zoo, and pony rides for the kiddos. Masks are required for entry and social distancing will be in place.
When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 31; Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Westfield Fashion Square parking lot, 4725 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks, 91423
Parking: Free on-site
Tickets: Free entry, pumpkin prices vary; $6 for pony rides, $3 for petting zoo, and $3 for train rides

Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest (Ventura County): Pick up pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors as well as peppers, tomatoes, and more produce during the family-owned farm's Fall Harvest at its 50-acre Moorpark Farm Center. Note that masks must be worn at check-in and checkout, during wagon rides, at the animal center, and in store. We suggest arriving before noon on weekends to avoid lines.
When: Thursday, Oct. 1 to Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: Moorpark Farm Center, 3370 Sunset Valley Rd., Moorpark
Parking: Free on-site
Tickets: $8 per person on weekends and $15 per person on weekends, kids 2 and under free; buy weekend tickets online in advance here

Amber Benson and Hlaffler-Courcier House in LA
Actor and author Amber Benson and the Hlaffler-Courcier House in LA. Photos: Courtesy of Lindsey Byrnes and Michael Locke/Fort:LA

Fort: LA Witch House Tour (various locations): Buffy the Vampire Slayer star and L.A. author Amber Benson has teamed with nonprofit organization Fort: LA for a self-guided tour of the city's coolest Storybook houses.
When: Ongoing
Where: Multiple locations, including Culver City, Los Feliz, and Burbank
Tickets: Free

Weekend of Saturday, Oct. 10

Mr. Jack O'Lanterns Pumpkin Patch at the Original Farmers Market. Photo: Courtesy

Mr. Jack O'Lanterns Pumpkin Patch (Beverly Grove): Shop for pumpkins (and snap family photos while you're at it) this weekend at The Original Farmers Market, where Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkin Patch will be offering gourds of all sizes at the Market Plaza. Plus, score a take-home pumpkin decorating kit when you donate $5, which goes towards the Salvation Arm's COVID-19 relief fund in L.A. Note that six-foot social distancing and masks will be enforced.
When: Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Where: The Original Farmers Market, 6333 West 3rd St., L.A., 90036
Parking: On-site paid garage and nearby metered street parking

Starting Sunday, Oct. 18

Beverly Center Pumpkin Patch (Beverly Grove): The popular L.A. shopping center's first-ever pumpkin patch promises farm-fresh gourds, pumpkin carving demonstrations, socially-distanced 'grammable photo scenes, fall-inspired treats (like pumpkin spice lattes), and more. Pumpkins will be priced from $2 to $10 and sold through Saturday, Oct. 31; note that the patch is located on the parking garage between the La Cienega escalator and West 3rd Street entrance on level 1.
When: Sunday, Oct. 18 through Tuesday, Nov. 17; Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd. (3rd Street entrance), L.A., 90036
Parking: Paid on-site garage and nearby metered street parking

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 22

Gentle Barn's Haunted Barnyard Drive-Thru (Santa Clarita): The animal sanctuary will be transformed into the Land of Nightmares drive-through experience, which was dreamed up by a film and theme park set designer alongside costume designers, set dressers, and makeup artists who've worked at Universal Studios Horror Nights, Six Flags Fight Fest, and Knott's Scary Farm. The hour-long tour features spooky scenes such as a funhouse, zombie graveyard, insane asylum, haunted woods, a ghostly maze, and more.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 23, Tuesday, Oct. 27 to Saturday, Oct. 31; Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6
Where: Gentle Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, 91390
Tickets: Standard entry is $28 per person, VIP entry is $60 per person (includes mystery box of swag, fast track line, snacks and a non-alcoholic drink, and a ticket for a future drive-through experience); buy online here

Starting Monday, Oct. 26

Fright Farms and Not-So-Spooky Farms (Inland Empire): From the team behind Candytopia comes two Halloween drive-through experiences, depending on your terror tolerance. Spanning five acres, the Choose between the family-friendly Not-So-Spooky Farms (where the cursed Stingy Jack is on a mission to find candy clues that will lead him to the treasure of pirate Bluebeard), or the decidedly more blood-pumping Fright Farms (where you'll embark on a terrifying journey through the town of Hilldale and its haunted Parker Family Farm).
When: Monday, Oct. 26 to TK, Nov. 29; Fright Farms runs from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily and Not-So-Spooky runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Where: Silverlakes Sports Complex, 5555 Hammer Ave., Norco, 92860
Tickets: $65 per vehicle for Not-So-Spooky, $75 for Fright Farms, or $100 for a combo ticket; book your visit online here

Starting Tuesday, Oct. 27

Gentle Barn's Haunted Barnyard Drive-Thru (Santa Clarita): The animal sanctuary will be transformed into the Land of Nightmares drive-through experience, which was dreamed up by a film and theme park set designer alongside costume designers, set dressers, and makeup artists who've worked at Universal Studios Horror Nights, Six Flags Fight Fest, and Knott's Scary Farm. The hour-long tour features spooky scenes such as a funhouse, zombie graveyard, insane asylum, haunted woods, a ghostly maze, and more.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 27 to Saturday, Oct. 31; Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6
Where: Gentle Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, 91390
Tickets: Standard entry is $28 per person, VIP entry is $60 per person (includes mystery box of swag, fast track line, snacks and a non-alcoholic drink, and a ticket for a future drive-through experience); buy online here

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 28

Stranger Things Drive-Into (Downtown): Angelenos will be transported through time and space to 1985-era Hawkins, Indiana at the popular Netflix sci-fi/horror series' drive-through immersive experience, which promises a multi-level landscape featuring Starcourt Mall, the Russians' secret sub-shopping center labs, and (of course) the Upside Down. There'll be plenty of reality-blurring special effects, unusual sights, and encounters with heroes and villains.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 to Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021
Where: Central location in Downtown L.A.
Tickets: Standard options include $59 for 2 people per car, $81 for 3 people per car, $125 for 5+ people per car; VIP options range from $199 to $239. See more options and book your visit online here

Starting Saturday, Nov. 6

Gentle Barn's Haunted Barnyard Drive-Thru (Santa Clarita): The animal sanctuary will be transformed into the Land of Nightmares drive-through experience, which was dreamed up by a film and theme park set designer alongside costume designers, set dressers, and makeup artists who've worked at Universal Studios Horror Nights, Six Flags Fight Fest, and Knott's Scary Farm. The hour-long tour features spooky scenes such as a funhouse, zombie graveyard, insane asylum, haunted woods, a ghostly maze, and more.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 27 to Saturday, Oct. 31; Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6
Where: Gentle Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, 91390
Tickets: Standard entry is $28 per person, VIP entry is $60 per person (includes mystery box of swag, fast track line, snacks and a non-alcoholic drink, and a ticket for a future drive-through experience); buy online here

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