Escondido, CA
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Costume contests for kids, families and dogs at Bates Nut Farm

Bates Nut Farm will hold its annual costume contests for kids, families, and dogs this Saturday, October 20. 

Prizes will be awarded in four age group categories so that everyone has a chance to win.  On Sunday, October 21, proud dog owners can compete for prizes and bragging rights in the annual Howl-o-ween Doggie Costume Contest and Parade. 

Registration for both events will be held on contest day from 9 – 10:30 a.m., with the parades and judging beginning at 11 a.m.  Entry forms are available at  Each participant receives a certificate of participation, trick or treat bag and a $2.50 ticket to use for a hayride, straw maze or bounce or slide. The pumpkin patch and all the activities, food and live entertainment will continue throughout weekend. 

Bates’ Friday Nights on the Farm will continue on October 19. The farm will be open until 8 p.m. so that families can come after school or work to enjoy the tractor hayride, straw maze, kids ‘n paint, bounce, slide, pony rides and petting corral.  

Guests are encouraged to bring flashlights to play flashlight tag in the straw maze.  There are a number of dinner options including BBQ tri tip, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs from What’s Cooking, and tacos from the Valley Center Optimist Club.  4

Sherrie Bates Ness expressed her excitement about Friday Nights on the Farm.  “This will be the perfect time for all the locals to visit the farm without all the weekend craziness”, she said.  “Come ready to kick up your heels with the Blue Creek Band playing from 4:30 -7: 30 p.m.  Make it a Friday date night with the family for a lot of fall fun!”

Calico Ridge appears on the Bates Stage Saturday, October 20, with Steal Dawn rounding out the weekend entertainment on Sunday October 21.  The live music both days happens from noon – 3 p.m.  Gourmet food trucks will be at the farm along with What’s Cooking BBQ, VC Optimist tacos and other food offerings.  

The regular pumpkin patch events and family friendly entertainment continue throughout this weekend.   A variety of pumpkins are available for purchase in the pumpkin patch.  The pick-your-own Big Mac pumpkins are extremely popular and are sold by the pound.  Other colorful pumpkins, squash, gourds and fall decorations are also available.  Two retail stores are on the property offering an assortment of gifts, gourmet food, clothing, jewelry, home decor and holiday items.

Bates Nut Farm is located at 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center.  Pumpkin Patch and store hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and weekends from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Special late night hours on Fridays October 12 & 19 are 3 – 8 p.m. Free weekday parking. $5 cash parking on October weekends.  For more information and directions call 760-749-3333 or visit

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