Archives For Halloween

boo-at-the-zoo-santa-ana-zooBoo at the Zoo is the perfect combination of trick-or-treating, Halloween activities, decorations, animals, carousel/train rides, crafts, photo ops, and lots of great prizes. It is such a great relaxing family outing with no big lines, no stress, just lots of fun for everyone. Below are some of the great activities we got to experience in the past. 

What to expect:

  • Trick-or-treating: they have 10 trick or treat stations scattered around the zoo. So while you leisurely walk and check out some of their nocturnal animals, you get to stop at their stations and get some fun prizes. I have to say that the treats/prizes were great, not the usual sugary candy. In the past, we got lemonade, Noosa yoghurt, Disney bracelets, books, small toys, some candies, and more!
  • Food Allergies: Santa Ana Zoo is participating in the OC Teal Pumpkin project and offer allergy-friendly takeaways for kids with food allergies! 
  • Animals: you won’t be able to see all the animals which are normally at the zoo…which is good because you wouldn’t have time to do everything :). But you will get to see several animals including camels, an eagle, pigs, birds, and many monkeys. 
  • Storytime is normally offered between 6pm at 8pm at the farm. You can stop by at any time.
  • Animal presentations: you get to see several animals up close and learn about them. Don’t miss those because they are super fun for everyone. 
  • Carousel and train rides (not included in the price of admission)
  • Games: they vary every year, but they are normally very cute and give the kids the opportunity to win great prizes. One of the game is normally located next to the train station which is easy to miss.
  • Costume parade: The parade is normally at 7:30pm in front of the entrance.
  • Teen scream hunted house: sorry, I get scared easily so I didn’t dare but I watched several adults and teenagers going in and heard them screaming and then running out giggling. So if you dare, it is probably fun. Recommended for ages 13+.
  • Bug House:  also really fun. You get to see and even pet lots of little creepy critters and learn about them.
  • Food: if you don’t want to bring a picnic your can purchase Hot Dogs, chips, and drinks!



  • Buy tickets online in advance to avoid to stand in line on the night of the event.
  • All the kids and also many parents wore costumes. So if you have a costume, wear it!
  • Visit the monkeys first before you stop at the bug house or at the farm. You will find several trick-or-treat stations on the trails and you get to see the monkeys and other animals before it gets too dark. The bug house and the farm are nicely lit up so you can visit those later.



$19.95 for non-members.
$9.95 for members.
Free for children under 2.

IMPORTANT: I was told that if you go to this event with someone who is a member you also pay $9.95. So as long as one member is present, everyone in their party will get the discount.

A family membership is $89 for unlimited admission for 2 adults and 4 children. 

Parking is free

Click here to purchase tickets.


Saturday October 21, 2017: 5:30pm – 8pm
Sunday October 22, 2017: 5:30pm – 8 pm
Saturday October 28, 2017:  5:30pm – 8pm
Sunday October 29, 2017: 5:30pm – 8pm


Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E. Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana, CA, 92701


Information on PlanADayOut:

Click here for the Boo at the Zoo listing on PlanADayOut.

Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch

Maruska —  September 25, 2017
Tanaka Farm Pumpkin Patch

Click on image to enlarge

The Tanaka Farm pumpkin patch is opening this coming weekend and to celebrate they will be offering free wagon rides to everyone (normally $6)! In addition to getting the perfect pumpkin, you can also visit their petting zoo, run through the corn maze, take beautiful family pictures or pick your own vegetables. On weekends, they also hold a Fall Harvest Festival with fun games, ATV rides, face painting, crafts, rides, and more! Lastly, this Saturday only, Hello Kitty and her friends will make their debut at the Pumpkin Patch with a special appearance!

For details, click here. 

irvine-park-railroad-pumpkin-patch-2016The Irvine Park Railroad’s pumpkin patch is now open and we were so excited to go visit. I have to say, this pumpkin patch is definitely one of the best in Orange County. The setting is just stunning, the activities are endless,and this year, the pumpkins are just amazing. And it doesn’t matter if you are on a budget or not, I promise, you will have a fantastic family outing. Check out all the fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Activities at the pumpkin patch:

Thousands of pumpkins to choose from. Cost: $4-$27.


The train ride is definitely a favorite of most toddlers and preschoolers. The train is a one-third scale train that takes both children and adults on a scenic, 12-minute ride through the 477-acre park. Cost: $5/person, 12 months and younger are free.


Panning for gold. Children will have 5 minutes to find “gold”. This is one of my kids favorite activities. Cost: $10.


Hay Ride: 20-minutes hay wagon ride through the park. Cost: $5.


Pumpkin Ring Toss: everyone wins a prize. Cost: $5.

John Deere Tractor Racers. Drive a motorized tractor for 5 minutes. Ages 5-8. Cost: $5.


Pumpkin Moonbounce. Cost: $5 for 10 minutes.img_3654

Cookie Decorating. I like this activity because the cookie is giant and you can decorate it with as much frosting and sprinkles that you want. So you don’t have to worry about taking a snack with you :). Cost: $5.


Face Painting. They do an incredible job! Cost: $10.


Carnival Games. I also like this activity. It doesn’t last long since the kids only play two carnival games, but everyone wins a prize which the kids love! Cost: $5.

Bank a Ball. Everyone wins a prize! Cost: $5.

For the activities above, you need to purchase tickets ($5 each ticket). If you buy a book of 15 tickets you get $15 off. Also make sure to subscribe to their newsletter here to get lots of exclusive offers. 

Free Activities at the pumpkin patch:

  • Walk through the pumpkin patch. If you have a toddler, they will probably just love to run around, touch the pumpkins, and look at the Halloween displays.
  • Run through a giant hay maze. I am a pro in getting my kids to enjoy free activities like this!
  • Check out lots of great picture stands and rustic spots for fun family pictures.
  • Walk through the haunted house.  If you can, check it out first before sending your kids in there. My kids were really scared when they were younger :).
  • Download and color a Halloween coloring page before your visit. Bring it to the train station to receive a sweet treat!

Free Activities within walking distance from the pumpkin patch:

  • Look at the horses on the right side of the train station.
  • Feed the ducks at the lake.
  • Visit the interpretive center which has lots of neat stuff to explore. Open weekends only.
  • Go for a peacock “hunt”. There are tons of peacocks walking around the park. My kids and I love to go search for them.
  • What else? Bring a picnic, enjoy one of the four playgrounds in the park, bring bikes and ride around the park, or go for a hike.

More activities within walking distance from the pumpkin patch:

  • Visit the OC Zoo which is fantastic and really economical. Cost: $2 (children 2 and under are free). 
  • Ride a horse or a pony. Cost: $5.
  • Rent bicycles (you know those that fit 6 people): Cost:$10 (kids bike) to $35 (for 4-5 people). Prices are per hour. 
  • Rent paddle boats: Cost: $15 for 1/2 hour (it fits two adults and one child or one adult and two children).


Parking is $5 on weekends and $3 on weekdays (Tuesdays parking is free if you tell them you are going to the Farmer’s market, 9am-1pm).


Open 7 days a week until October 31st, 2017.
Weekdays: 10am-5pm
Weekends: 10am – 6pm


1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA, 92869