Things to Do in October in Southern California

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is an interesting month in Southern California.

Autumn seduces you. It says, “It might be cool, it might be sweater-weather, it might be lovely, it might be Pumpkin Spice Latte weather but it might not be.” Bam. All of a sudden it’s 100 degrees again and we are all sweating through our boots again. We go to the pumpkin patch or apple picking and our kids are yelling because it’s 105 degrees in the shade. Yes. This is SoCal.

But we manage. We make it work. We say things like “December will be better.”

And it usually is.

But I digress.  We still live in the warmest, most summer-like part of the country whilst all our friends on Instagram are sporting new Etsy scarves. So we must. Make. Do. We must make it feel like fall while battling the heat and Santa Anas at times.

So what do we do in October in Southern California?

Conffession. October has always been my favorite month because I like to write the number 10. I know. I’m odd. I remember in high school October is always the best because I can write “10” for an entire month. The perfect, evenness, and squatty personality of the number surely can’t be beat. I hate January for this reason alone.

October. What to do?

1. Pumpkins. Yes. Of course. But you don’t have to do the normal, circus-y pumpkin patch. You can head east out to Oak Glen and instead of the Apple Picking, which they are known for, you can pick your favorite pumpkin. Our favorite is Riley’s Farm. Please get the apple pie. Please. For me. In case I can’t go this year.

2. Wine tasting. All year round. But autumn is the perfect time to hit the local wineries you avoid in the spring and summer because of the heat. Our favorite Temecula winery is Wiens Family Cellars. They are known for their bold reds. Take advantage of the cooler evenings and hit them up for a tasting. On October 24th they are hosting a Refugio Vertical Wine Dinner. Click here for details. The local wineries often have festivals or live music on the weekends so call around and see what’s happening.

3. Explore new beverages. And I’m not just talking wine. I’m serious. There are a lot of snobby new ways to do coffee and tea and because we live in such a great place to explore that, take advantage of it. Pour-over coffee isn’t new, but I’m guessing some of you don’t know what I’m talking about. Figure it out. Coffee from a beer-style tap? Yes and yes. You’ll thank me. There are many in our area. Portola is one in Orange County as well as AoSA in Huntington Beach (hint: they serve Stumptown). Also my friends in LA love Intelligentsia in Silver Lake and Pasadena as well as Cafecito Ogranico both in OC and LA (they have several locations – click here).

4. While we’re talking beverages, how about some beer. Okotberfest is happening everywhere this month. Grab your favorite people and head over to a local beer garden. And I mean everywhere. Here are a few to choose from. Los Angeles: LA Oktoberfest, The Wirsthaus, The Red Lion Tavern. In Orange County: The Phoenix Club, Old World Village.

5. Halloween Type Things. I didn’t grow up really making a big deal out of Halloween, but as an adult, I’ve come to a place where I really am fascinated and intrigued by Halloween and all things October. Why not try the Day of the Dead celebration at Hollywood Forever? It’s actually on November 1 so it’s technically not in October, but by the time I post my November post it will be said and done. If you go, let me know how it is. I’m thinking about steeling myself to do it next year.

I hope you have a great October. What are you going to be doing this month?


  1. This weekend I'm going to the Orange County Night Market at the Orange County Fairgrounds. It's only the second one they've had but it's such a fun event. Kind of a carnival, swap meet atmosphere, and the food! Oh the food! It's happening all weekend :)

    1. i've heard about that and its actually on my list to do. Waiting to hear if there will be another one scheduled?!


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