There is nothing better than grabbing your children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren and head to one of your favorite local pumpkin patches to select your own pumpkin for the Halloween and Thanksgiving season.

My motto: the bigger, the better. It was my nephews’ motto, too.

Picking a pumpkin out of a cardboard box at a local grocery or retail store just doesn’t hold the charm and romance of picking your own. There are no memories to be made from what is otherwise a routine trip to the store.

All you need is that one special place and you’ll have a lifetime of memories to say nothing of some great carving and eating.

In the Inland Empire, here are two of my favorites:

Peltzer Pumpkin Farm

39925 Calle Contento
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 695-1115
Dates: Through October 31, 2017

Peltzer Pumpkin Farm is a mecca for Halloween enthusiasts and those who simply love autumn. Located in the Temecula wine country, it is a family destination for pumpkin picking. Some pumpkins have weighed at more than 100 pounds.

The Farm is rich with activities for the children and offers lots of goodies, including Kettle Korn on the Food Truck. The Farm offers pony rides, old-fashioned train rides, pig races, petting zoo, and much more.
The Pumpkin Farm is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Riley’s Farm

12261 South Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, California 92399
(909) 797-7534

If you can’t find the pumpkin you’re looking for here, you won’t find it anywhere. Riley’s experiments with new varieties every year but makes sure it maintains customer favorites.

The farm is located in the foothills of historic Oak Glen. It is a working apple orchard and living history farm featuring pick-your-own fruit, living history education, and more.

The fields span several acres and you are free to hike out and select the largest pumpkin possible. And, if you need help getting it back to your vehicle, Riley’s has a tractor to load it for you. While they offer every size of pumpkin imaginable, Riley’s also offers a variety of colored pumpkins, including white, green and orange.

Remember when selecting your pumpkin that they are sold by the pound.
When you and the family are done pumpkin hunting, do not forget to stop by the bakery for a piece of the Farm’s to-die-for apple pie.