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Spook-tacular festivities: 5 fun activities to do for fall

Photo credit: Melinda Wang
My jack-o’-lantern is lit up in the dark. Jack-o’-lantern faces can be silly, scary or even sad. Along with carving pumpkins, baking fun treats, watching scary movies and picking apples are some of my favorite activities to in the fall. 

Southern California may not have “proper” seasons, but that doesn’t mean its residents can’t properly celebrate fall. From drinking pumpkin cream chai tea lattes at Starbucks to watching scary movies around Halloween, there are a multitude of ways to get involved with this year’s autumn festivities. If you’re still not sure what to do for fall, here are five ideas to get you started: 

1) Travel to an apple orchard

While apple orchards are not common in Los Angeles, there are many great orchards in Oak Glen, a small agricultural community known for its apple farms and apple-themed products. Here, you can visit Los Rios Rancho, which is the largest and oldest apple orchard in Southern California, and Willowbrook Apple Farm, a small and cozy family-run farm. Every year, Oak Glen also hosts an apple butter festival. I especially recommend going to Riley’s Farm, not only for their apples, but also for their delicious apple butter and freshly baked apple pies.

2) Carve pumpkins

Pumpkins are now in season and can be carved into jack-o’-lanterns. Apple orchards like Los Rios Rancho and Riley’s Farm are often also home to pumpkin patches, so picking these fruits can be a fun activity to do with family and friends. If you don’t want to drive an hour-and-a-half to an orchard, your local Ralphs or Whole Foods is bound to have a perfectly good pumpkin. Pick a pumpkin, turn on “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and learn to carve a jack-o’-lantern by first sketching out a design and then carving with simple rough cuts. Also, pay special care to the cleanliness of your carved pumpkin, as it can rot fairly quickly.

4) Bake fall-themed treats

My home-baked pumpkin bread rests on tin foil. I used a pumpkin bread recipe from Once Upon a Chef to make it. (Photo credit: Melinda Wang)

Have you ever wanted to bake something for a Halloween party but didn’t know what to make? Or even wondered what dessert would match the vibe of fall? If so, check out Delish, a website dedicated to providing tasty recipes for all seasons, but especially fall. I love baking and eating pumpkin bread, and I recommend this recipe from Once Upon a Chef. After you have finished baking your treat, be sure to share the love by having your friends try your baked goods.

4) Watch scary movies

Anyone can watch horror movies year-round, but there’s something special about watching one with a side of freshly collected candy from trick-or-treating. For those new to horror, here is a list of movies to get you started. For long-time watchers, new movies like “The Nun II” or “Saw X” might be worth checking out, but note that both are rated R. Watching horror movies isn’t only limited to Halloween night, so a scary movie marathon could become a weekend plan.

5) Go to a Halloween-themed amusement park

Strobe lights from a concert flash behind a crowd of people and numerous Halloween decorations. Knott’s Scary Farm is known for being the longest Halloween-themed amusement park in Southern California. (Photo credit: Melinda Wang)

Halloween-themed amusement parks are a thrilling way to have fun with friends. Southern California is home to theme parks, such as Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm, which each put their own spin on Halloween.

Ticket prices for the Halloween version of each theme park differ, but the experience is worth it. I went with my friend to Knott’s Scary Farm in 2022, and I enjoyed how every aspect of the park was completely transformed, including the music. I also enjoyed how interactive the park was, as there were actors stationed around the park dedicated to scaring visitors. If you enjoy going on rollercoaster rides in the dark and interacting with actors wearing terrifying costumes, be sure to buy tickets soon.

Fall is the perfect time to experience the seasonal festivities different areas have to offer. It’s also the perfect season to spend time with family and friends, so if you want to spend time with a loved one and don’t know what to do, check out some of these fun fall activities!

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About the Contributor
Melinda Wang
Melinda Wang, Senior Reporter
Melinda Wang joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now a senior reporter. She takes art classes and is invested in community service outside of Archer. When she isn't doing homework, you can find her reading, sketching or taking photos.

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