Special offer

Halloween in North County San Diego @ Bates Nut Farm

Real Estate Agent with Winderemere Homes & Estates: waterfront condos, second homes

Halloween in North County San Diego @ Bates Nut Farm

pumpkin patch with mother and son


For many families, Halloween in North County San Diego is not complete without a trip to Bates Nut Farm. While the store sells nuts and candy all year, Bates Nut Farm takes on new life every fall. Beginning in late September, the pumpkin patch is open daily.  With the arrival of the pumpkins comes a carnival like atmosphere. In addition to the opportunity to find your future jack-o-lanterns, there are tractor hayrides, a straw maze, pony rides a petting corral, an much more.


     petting corralfeeding pig



Located in Valley Center, Bates Nut Farm is about 45 minutes from Carlsbad or Oceanside.  While anyone can find a pumpkin at their local mega-mart, that pumpkin won't come with the experience of spending a day in the country. A visit to Bates Nut Farm is a departure from our drive-through culture and a journey into nostalgia. Take your time; I promise you they'll still have plenty of pumpkins when you get there.


boy on horseGoing to Bates Nut Farm combines your favorite elements of Halloween with the charm of a country fair. The increased traffic in October brings a variety of exhibitors and vendors--everything from inflatable ghosts to hand made wooden toys.  And the food! I could probably make kettle corn in my own kitchen, but there's something about eating outside accompanied by all the colors of fall.  If you're going with small children, there will probably be some necessary investments in the available entertainment. We go on the obligatory pony ride; we feed the animals.  No Matsumoto outing is complete without some time in an inflatable bouncy house. For older kids, there's rock climbing and the straw maze.  There's a charge for these activities, but as family outings go, Bates Nut Farm is fairly reasonable. According to their website, $9.00 gets you a one pumpkin, one hayride, and a trip through the straw maze.

For lunch, there's hamburgers and hot dogs.  There's also a BBQ beef sandwich that's very good. As you sit down to dine at the picnic tables or the grass, you'll be entertained by live music with a high probability of fiddle. Lunch is also a good time to stroll through some of the arts and craft exhibitors that usually set up camp in front of the store. 

And then, of course, there's the store itself.  It'll be packed in October, but well worth fighting the crowds. Inside the store, you'll find row upon row of delicious treats and gifts. Bates Nut Farm sells raw and roasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, candies, chocolates, candy corn, and fudge.


At some point before the day is over, you should probably pick a pumpkin. The pumpkin fields are large and expansive with pumpkins as far as the eye can see.  Surrounded by cornstalks and guarded by a legion of scarecrows, you'll find a numerous arrays of pumpkins sorted by size.  The setting is perfect of a number of photo opportunities:  families on bales of of hay, small children intermixed between a bunch of pumpkins, and everyone's favorite--infant next to ridiculously big pumpkin.  In addition to pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, there's also a number of decorative squashes and gourds for sale. Anything you need to complete your Thanksgiving cornucopia. 

       Ryan selects pumpkin throwing straw

A trip to Bates Nut Farm is wonderful way to spend a October afternoon.  You'll be sure to return from Valley Center with pumpkins, a full belly, and warm memories.



Lori & Scott Mitchell
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate - Breckenridge Colorado Luxury Homes - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge Colorado Real Estate

What a wonderful story, looks like so much fun for all involved.  Thanks for sharing.  Laura

Oct 19, 2011 11:56 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Steve, Bates Farm sounds like a great fun place for the whole family. I would love to have some of those roasted nuts.

BTW, Missed seeing you in the Rain! Welcome Back!

Oct 21, 2011 05:27 AM
Steve Matsumoto
Winderemere Homes & Estates: waterfront condos, second homes - Oceanside, CA
First Time Home Buyers - Oceanside, CA

Jerry, Trying to get back into the AR swing.

Oct 21, 2011 03:04 PM
Sherrie Bates Ness
Thank you for the nice blog on Bates Nut Farm. We are so grateful we can share our farm with families all over the county. It truly is a special experience fir all who visit and make it an annual tradition. Glad to hear your family enjoyed the farm.
Oct 25, 2011 03:46 AM