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Bates Nut Farm is located in Valley Center near Escondido off the 15 freeway. The Bates family, starting with Gilbert and Beatrice and their five boys, has been residing in Valley Center since 1921. 80 years later, Bates Nut Farm sprouted and has been a source not only of nuts but also other tasty treats and a plethora of activities for San Diegans to enjoy during the fall season.
Bates Nut Farm originated as a walnut farm, but now sources nuts from around the world, including pistachios, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pignolias, sunflower seeds, and more. The variety is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and the quality is top-notch. Bates also sells candies, dried fruit, chocolate fudge, and other delectable goodies.
But what do nuts have to do with fall? One of the incredible things about Bates comes in October with Bates’ annual pumpkin patch. Children and adults alike flock to Bates to select their favorite pumpkin to decorate their homes and prepare for Halloween. You can choose from pumpkins, gourds, and squash – all shapes and sizes! If that’s not enough fun for you and your energized children, take a hay ride, visit the straw maze, experience a pony ride, or have a picnic on the grounds. You can even bring the family dog as long as your furry friend stays on a leash.
Plan your trip to Bates around their annual Costume Contest and Parade which, this year, will take place on October 19 from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. with the parade occurring at 11 a.m. Prizes will be awarded! You can fill out an entry form on Bates’ website.
Alternatively, visit the farm the following weekend on October 26 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., during which time Crepes Bonaparte food truck will be whipping up fabulous crepes that will make you believe you are in Paris. Rated one of the top 20 Food Trucks in America, you won’t be disappointed.
Bates also has a Farm Zoo which is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The animals include mini-donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, emus, chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese, and more. Bags of feed are available for purchase, but admission is free and the zoo is open year-round. This is a great activity for families with young children.
So while you are enjoying everything that fall has to offer, consider adding “nuts” to your list and head on over to Bates Nut Farm.
A Wisconsin native, Darcie Czajkowski has resided in San Diego since she was eighteen. While she is an attorney by day, her fascination with relationships has led her to write women’s fiction at every change she gets. An avid reader since she was a child, she also writes book reviews for Book Mama Blog. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her in the kitchen, cooking up a healthy meal for friends and family, hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve, frequenting North County’s best happy hour spots, and traveling the world.