We found the sweetest family operation this last weekend in a little mountain town called Wynola, just short of Julian. You HAVE to go check it out if you're looking for a family fall adventure & don't mind a short drive up the windy mountain roads to Julian.
This mini-fall festival is at "Fort Cross" Old Timey Adventures, 4425 Hwy 78
Santa Ysabel, CA 92070 and open on weekends in October Saturdays 10am-5pm & Sundays 12-5pm. Doreen & Jesee Cross live on the property that has 700 year old Oak Trees and land for days. Their fall festival consists of a hay wagon ride (with sing-along), tomahawk throwing (my 5 year old son was in heaven), a petting zoo (with the cutest baby chicks you've ever seen!), candle making, a hoedown dance, and plenty of space for the kids to run wild. They also had pumpkins for sale as well as other rad, little country, home made knick-nacks. The cost was $15/adult & $12/child & we were there for a good two hours just enjoying all the activities, beautiful space & company. We also just happened to hit it at the golden hour making for some really pretty photos.
We felt so lucky to stumble upon this cool little "off the beaten path" festival after years of doing the traditional "pumpkin patch" in Ramona. These popular patches are great too, just usually super crowded and HOT! Before we found Fort Cross, we picked apples at Sentenac Ranch, another amazing spot, that unfortunately is closed now for apple picking. But next year, check them out. Be sure to call ahead of time to find out when the apple season will be as they close with out notice (once the apples run thin) and don't really keep their website updated. Isn't that the beauty of Julian? Websites & communication with big city folk is not their top priority and that makes them really cool! (I've heard there are still some great apple picking spots still open, just be sure to try and call and get confirmation first before you visit).
So definitely head out for an adventure if you're up for it one of these pretty October weekends. Time the drive just right with nap hour & you have a wonderful "date drive" on your hands! I swear some of my best conversations with my hubby have been over long drives. And of course, alot time to have apple pie afterwards. Mom's Pie is right across the street from Fort Cross.
Happy Fall & adventure hunting!