TANAKA FARMS

It’s fall! That means a trip to Tanaka Farms for pumpkins is in order.

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For the Pumpkin Patch Field Trip, it’s a self-guided tour with an itinerary of activities. In a 1 to 1.5 hour time slot, students will experience a wagon ride, petting zoo, corn maze, u-pick vegetables, and of course, the pièce de résistance - the pumpkin patch where students pick out their pumpkin. BUT, and this is a big BUT - they must be able to carry it out on their own and it cannot weigh more than 20 pounds.

Tanaka Farms have been in business for almost 20 years which means their field trip program is a well-oiled machine. The guides are well-informed, the grounds are clean and upkept, the self-guided tours are self-explanatory and organized, and the itinerary allows just enough activities to keep students’ attention.

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Once we picked out our prized-pumpkin, we lovingly lugged them back to our classrooms so that we could conduct several experiments and art projects with them. When we returned back from our succinct field trip, my students created a grid from blocks to similate dirt and laid their pumpkins on top to resemble a pumpkin patch during free play. I thought that was pretty ingenious and clever. That’s what I love about free play time - their creative freedom to pick and choose their learning activity. In this instance, they didn’t know they were learning math!

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Did I mention? Part of their tour were picked root vegetables they could take home. This included radishes, green onions, and carrots.

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So, we did a quick art project where we made still-life pictures from our vegetables.

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Overall, our experience at Tanaka Farms is well-received. But the one downfall is the cost. For $14, students experience all five activities including picking out a pumpkin, but the price is a little steep for the 1 to 1.5 hour time spent. Therefore, because of the high price and short time, I rate this field trip 9/10 for content, organization, and price. If you live in Orange County, click here for more information on Tanaka Farms and perhaps setting up a field trip for your class or homeschool group.