The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches in Southern California!

The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches in Southern California

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It’s pumpkin season!  Better yet, it’s PUMPKIN PATCH season!

It is time to load up your kiddies and head out to one of Southern California’s 20+ pumpkin patches in the southland!

What is your favorite pumpkin patch in the area?

My family ventured out last Sunday to visit the Irvine Park Railroad’s Annual Pumpkin Patch and we had a great time.  Especially Field Trip Girl.  She enjoyed the face painting, taking a tractor ride and playing carnival games.  The Irvine Park Railroad does a great job at creating a classic pumpkin patch feeling, with a twist of adding a few games and activities.

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This season we also plan to visit Peltzers Farms in Temecula to go through their gigantic corn maze.  Field Trip Boy loves mazes!  He enjoys building, creating and solving anything related to them.  This summer he even built two mazes out of Legos after simply watching a YouTube video.  Field Trip Boy is going to be stoked when he finds out where we are actually going!

Recently, I surveyed my friends in the homeschool community to find out where were the best pumpkin patches in Southern California.  The main feedback I received was that they preferred more old-fashioned type pumpkin patches.  However, my family enjoys all types so I listed a variety of pumpkin patches that are sure to please everyone in your family too!

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By the way, if you know of a pumpkin patch in your area that you love and should be included in this list, please send us an email to jilleen@jilleen.com and we will gladly add it.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, West Hollywood

Halloween Harvest Festival @ Pierce College, Woodland Hills

Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch, Torrance

Cotton and Sons PCH, Torrance

Farm Lot 59, Long Beach (local urban farm)

Pa’s Pumpkin Patch, Long Beach

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ORANGE COUNTY

Orange County Great Park, Irvine (we are going next Saturday!)

The Pumpkin Patch, Placentia (founded in 1977)

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch, Irvine

Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch @ Irvine Valley College, Irvine (has smaller rides which are great for preschoolers)

South Coast Farms, San Juan Capistrano (a small, but charming pumpkin patch)

Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Tours, Irvine (offers pumpkin tours / school field trips)

The Pumpkin Factory @ Westminster Mall, Westminster

The Pumpkin Factory @ Westfield Main Place Mall, Santa Ana

Pumpkin City’s Pumpkin Farm, Anaheim

Pumpkin City’s Pumpkin Farm, Laguna Hills (we enjoy this one a lot too.)

http://pumpkincity.com/pumpkin-farm/location/

Pumpkin City’s Pumpkin Farm, Rancho Santa Margarita

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RIVERSIDE / SAN BERNARDINO COUNTIES

Riley’s Farm, Oak Glen (classic style – they grow the pumpkins and you pick them)

The Pumpkin Patch @ Live Oak Canyon, Redlands (classic style – over 5 people recommended this one!)

Greenspot Farms, Mentone (classic and beautiful farm)

Cal Poly Ponoma’s Pumpkin Festival, Pomona (a classic pumpkin farm with a few games and activities)

The Pumpkin Factory, Corona

Tom’s Farms, Corona

Peltzer Farms, Temecula (pumpkin patch and corn maze)

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Summers Past Farms, San Diego (classic)

Bates Nut Farm, Valley Center (classic and comes highly recommended by several people)

Lavender Hill Pumpkins, Fallbrook (a beautiful hidden gem)

Oma’s Pumpkin Patch, Lakeside

VENTURA COUNTY & SURROUNDING AREAS

Pete’s Pumpkin Patch, Camarillo

Underwood Family Farms, Moorepark (amazingly fun!)

Underwood Family Farms, Somas (amazingly fun!)

The Painted Pony, Santa Paula (small, but fun a friend shared)

Avila Valley Barn, San Luis Obispo (a bit far, but worth the drive I have been told)

Happy Field Tripping,

Jilleen

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  All opinions and points of view are our own.

B Toffee review, located right here in Orange County!

B Toffee Review!

Located right here in Orange County

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Earlier in the week, my children’s Papa and Nana came down from Northern California to visit.  Since my father is a big fan of toffee, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for us to try B Toffee together.

B Toffee is a homegrown toffee company located right here in Orange County, specifically in Newport Beach.

After years of passionate experimenting with layers of premier ingredients, Betsy Thagard launched B. toffee in 2009.  Betsy uses a combination of savory butters, fine domestic sugars, premium Guittard and Callebaut chocolates topped with superior quality pecan nuts to make her toffee.

Since 2009, B Toffee has rapidly expanded and is now featured at several boutique shops, restaurants and Whole Foods Markets throughout California and the Midwest.

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When my family sampled B Toffee around the dinner table these were their remarks:

“Hmm, good!  Can I have some more?” – Field Trip Boy (his feedback was simple and to the point)

“I want some.  I want some.” – Field Trip Girl (forgetting that she already eaten an entire piece by herself)

“I like their classic toffee the best.  It would be even better refrigerated and served extra crispy.” – Papa (point well taken dad.  I’ll get right on that!)

Personally, I enjoyed B Toffee’s milk chocolate flavor the best.  It was sweet with a rich flavored aroma.

Now that I have sampled B Toffee and know that my dad enjoys it, I plan to pick up a few gift bags for him at Whole Foods Market or place a custom order of their handcrafted toffee on their website.

Either way, my dad  is going to be one happy birthday boy this year!

Happy Field Tripping,

Jilleen

Disclosure: We received complimentary samples of B Toffee to help facilitate this post.  All points of view and opinions are our own.

Label Daddy Labels are great to use on all back-to-school supplies!

Label Daddy Labels are great to use on all Back-to-School Supplies!

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So how did back-to-school go for you and your family this year?  Are your children’s school supplies still intact?  Have they lost anything yet?

In our household, everything is safe and sound thanks to Label Daddy Labels.  We have not lost a single item to date.  However, compared to this same time last year, we had already collectively lost a water bottle and a jacket.

But not this year!  Label Daddy Labels have helped our family save both time and money.  We no longer have to search for and replace lost backpacks, lunch boxes, folders, pencil boxes and more.

With Label Daddy Labels children can design their own labels too!  Your child can pick from Label Daddy’s selection of colors, sizes and logos, including Disney and Marvel characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more.   They are super cute too!

Field Trip Girl picked out Label Daddy’s Minnie Mouse themed labels for her school supplies.  I quickly placed her order and we received our labels in less than a week.

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What I personally like most about Label Daddy Labels is that they are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels.  They are also washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant!

Furthermore, Label Daddy sends customers this handy “helpful hints” sheet with your order.

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I wanted to share with you a special discount Label Daddy is offering my readers – 20% off your entire Label Daddy order!  This is the best discount available anywhere.

To take advantage of this offer, visit http://www.usfamily20.labeldaddy.com and enter code USFAMILY20 at checkout to receive 20% of your entire order.

Happy Fall!

Jilleen

Disclosure: We received complimentary Label Daddy Labels to help facilitate this post.  All points of view and opinions are our own.  Images used by permission from Label Daddy Labels.

Giveaway Alert: A Mommy Field Trip to Burke Williams Spa!

A Mommy Field Trip

to Burke Williams Spa

in Mission Viejo!

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Every mom needs a personal field trip!  A day off from all of life’s responsibilities including work, carpooling, caring for the kids, washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the house, etc.

According to www.salary.com the average 2014 salary for a stay-at-home-mom is $118,905 and for a working mom it is $70,107 (add in a working mom’s salary for total compensation).  Moms work hard!  Everyday, all day.  Therefore, we need a field trip too.

Two weeks ago, my friend Leo and I were invited by Burke Williams Spa in Mission Viejo to experience a full day of relaxation and serenity.

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Upon arrival, we received a personal tour of the spa and its amenities.  My friend Leo decided to try the sauna first and told me later that it brought back fond memories of when she traveled to Finland, where many families have saunas in their homes.

Next we sipped fruit flavored refreshing water and relaxed in the indoor jacuzzi.  It was nice to have adult conversation without the constant interruption of cell phones and children asking for things.

After relaxing in the jacuzzi, I met with my personal Burke Williams’ esthetician to experience one of Burke Williams’ new facials called The Nourishing Facial. 

Here’s a description of the service that I received:

“Nourish your skin and your spirit. This extraordinary facial now has a customized application of unique skin serums combined with an ultra-nourishing and lifting facial massage to restore vital nutrients to the skin while stimulating collagen production. The restoring dermal-filling mask combines skin-plumping and collagen protecting hyaluronic acid with anti-wrinkle peptides designed to target and smooth out wrinkles. With its high content of Hyaluronic Acid, the skin’s moisture levels are raised to fill-in furrows, plump up tissues and tone-down age lines. Skin will become more firm and smooth and wrinkles will be diminished. This effective hyaluronic acid and peptide filler will make skin feel plumper while smoothing and hydrating skin for a more youthful look.”

Benefits:
* Restores skin density.
* Reinforces the elasticity of the skin for a firming effect.
* Visibly minimizes fine lines and the signs of aging.
* Skin is saturated with the extra hydration it craves.
* Skin will instantly feel more hydrated, nourished and firm.

My esthetician was very sweet and asked me if I had any allergies prior to starting.  Then she performed an extraordinary facial that left my skin feeling soft, supple and refreshed.  She also had the magic touch of a masseuse.

Burke Williams Spa offers a full line of spa treatments from healing facials to unique massages to beautiful nail care.  To see their complete list of spa services please visit here.

Burke Williams Spa has 7 Southern California  locations including Pasadena, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Orange, Torrance and the one I visited in Mission Viejo.

Burke Williams

Now for the fun part!  Burke Williams Spa is doing a giveaway for two lucky SoCal Field Trips fans!

This giveaway is good for one (1) Burke Williams Spa gift certificate that entitles the bearer to the use of Burke Williams Spa amenities (i.e. jacuzzi) for three non-consecutive days.  Spa services are not included in this giveaway.  Two winners will be selected. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Field Tripping,

Jilleen

Disclosure:  We received a complimentary facial from Burke Williams Spa to help facilitate this post.  All points of view and opinions are our own.  Images used by permission from Burke Williams Spa.

A field trip to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley!

A field trip to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley!

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Last year I set up a multigenerational field trip for families to visit The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.  At the time, our homeschool students were learning about U.S. History and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was hosting a limited engagement of Lincoln The Exhibition: The Life and Times.

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The Lincoln Exhibition (2013)

Lincoln The Exhibition: The Life and Times explored the life of Abraham Lincoln, commemorated the Civil War and marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.   The exhibition featured over 250 original artifacts on Abraham Lincoln and sets from the Steven Spielberg-directed movie Lincoln.

Items included President Lincoln’s famous stovepipe hat, a bloodied pillow from the night he died, a Lincoln-signed Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, an American flag that draped President Lincoln’s coffin and Mary Todd Lincoln’s Bible, jewelry and other personal items.  It was fascinating to see this historical memorabilia in person after reading about it in textbooks.

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After walking through the Lincoln exhibit, we went on a docent led tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. 

When I was a child, I remember watching several of President Ronald Reagan’s historical moments on television; including the day the Berlin Wall fell, the demise of Russian communism and the assignation attempt on his life.  I was able to relive all of these moments by walking through the library.

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A piece of the Berlin Wall at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

What I personally enjoyed the most though was walking through Air Force One and seeing the original Jelly Belly Ronald Reagan poster.

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Air Force One

Marine One at the Reagan Library

Marine One

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is also child friendly.  I brought my 6-year-old son at the time and he enjoyed crawling through the make shift Berlin Wall, horseback riding above the President and First Lady’s ranch in Santa Barbara and delivering a Presidential message from the podium.

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Taking a horseback ride with President Ronald Reagan.

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Field Trip Boy delivering his inaugural address.

After the docent tour, our older students went to the library’s Discovery Center where they were immersed in a historical crisis during President Reagan’s term in office.

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Celebration Education students at The Discovery Center.

The students role played various members of the oval office, military and press corp in a realistic setting that engaged and excited them from the moment they entered.

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The Discovery Center experience is appropriate for children in 5th grade and above.  The Library is very strict on this fact too.  Each child is assigned a role to play and homework is given ahead of time in order to prepare for their part.  If the child does not do their homework then they can not participate in the experience.   The Discovery Center experience is FREE for all students.

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President Ronald Reagan’s Memorial

At the end of the day, my family and I stopped by President Reagan’s memorial to pay our respects and say a little prayer.  It was a very humbling experience. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California.

To plan your next visit to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, please click here.

Happy Field Tripping,

Jilleen

Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All points of view are our own.  Images used by permission from Heather Martinson, Windi Eklund and Wikimedia Commons.