Tanaka Farms, a family-run farm in Orange County, Calif., has teamed up with Sanrio for the second year in a row to host a Hello Kitty-themed pumpkin patch.
By Melanie Gable
It’s a case of cuteness overload at Tanaka Farms, where the faces of Hello Kitty, My Melody, Keroppi, and other Sanrio characters peek out over the expansive pumpkin patch, petting zoo, corn maze, vegetable garden, and sunflower field on the 30-acre farm.
Not your typical urban pumpkin patch plunked down in a mall parking lot, Tanaka Farms is a real, working agricultural business that offers an immersive autumnal experience for families and Hello Kitty fans alike.
For those drawn to the farm by the world’s most famous kitty, there are adorable photo ops galore, with displays and signs featuring Sanrio characters stationed throughout the property.
Guests are given cardboard Hello Kitty “crowns” at check-in to add to the fun, and exclusive Sanrio x Tanaka Farms merchandise is available for purchase at the produce stand, including t-shirts, plush toys, pins, stickers, and more.
In addition to the Hello Kitty cuteness, there’s plenty of countrified fun to be had for farm guests. They can take a journey into the corn maze, frolic in the sunflower field, make friends with the goats and sheep in the petting zoo, choose their own vegetables in the “U-Pick” veggie garden, sit in the driver’s seat of a real tractor, or take a rustic wagon ride tour of the farm.
On weekends, guests can enjoy the Fall Harvest Festival, which offers carnival games, food booths, face painting, arts & crafts, and ATV rides for the kids. Not to be missed is the pumpkin cannon located at the rear of the patch, where Tanaka employees – and guests, for a fee – launch gourds high into the hills behind the farm.
And if you’re looking for pumpkins? Tanaka Farms has a bounty of choices, including picture-perfect Cinderella pumpkins (great for desserts), Fairytale pumpkins, pink Porcelain Doll pumpkins, silvery-grey Jarrahdale pumpkins (used for baking), and bright white Polar Bear pumpkins. Guests can fill up a wheelbarrow full of squash to buy and bring home, or just pick up a mini pumpkin or two at the produce stand.
In operation since 1940 and located in Irvine since 1998, Tanaka Farms takes pride in providing responsibly and sustainably farmed produce to Orange County and beyond, as well as hosting community events that offer wholesome and educational fun for local families and school groups.
Visitors are welcome to return for more seasonal festivities on Nov. 23, when the farm opens their Christmas tree lot, as well as for the strawberry season in spring 2019 and melon season in summer 2019.
The Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch featuring Hello Kitty and Sanrio friends is open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM through October 31. For more information or to purchase parking passes (required on weekends), go to www.tanakafarms.com.