Autumn in the Tri-Valley cities of Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon holds a special allure for many visitors and residents. The natural beauty of the area is easy to explore in the cooler yet still-warm days leading to winter. In addition to outdoor adventures, there are plenty of autumnal events to enjoy during this season. As the days grow shorter and winter draws near, the Hacienda community has many opportunities to enjoy this special season.
The City of Pleasanton's Fall Festival takes place on Saturday, September 21. The free family event at Alviso Adobe features arts and crafts, music, and hands-on demonstrations at this historic site. Meadowlark Dairy, Alameda County's first certified dairy, was established 100 years ago. People of all ages are encouraged to celebrate that anniversary at the Alviso Adobe interpretive park.
The Livermore Valley Wine Auction will also take place on September 21. This annual fundraiser supports underserved children in the East Bay by offering a wonderful evening that features the best of Livermore Valley Wine Country. Attendees will enjoy a wine tasting of local wines paired with delicious appetizers, dozens of exclusive silent auction lots, a fabulous dinner, and dancing to live music all in service to improving the lives of local children.
Visiting a local pumpkin patch has become an annual tradition for some Tri-Valley families. During the month of October, Livermore's G&M Farms offers free admission to its huge pumpkin patch and sells fresh produce, decorative gourds, and Indian corn. Weekends feature pony rides, pedal carts, and a Cow Train. The farm's corn maze, which charges admission, offers six green acres of maze that twists, turns, and dead-ends at surprising places. Brave visitors may especially enjoy exploring the haunted corn maze, which takes place on October 19 and 26 after dark.
Joan's Farm & Pumpkin Patch is also open all October. The working cattle ranch raises Angus and Hereford Cattle and was established in 1990 amid a grove of centuries-old Sycamore trees four miles south of downtown Livermore. The ranch comes to life in October when guests are invited to enjoy and feed the animals, find their way through a maze, pan for gemstones, play in the play area, walk around an old western town, and envision living 100 years ago. Of course there are a variety of many pumpkins to choose from as well as different types of winter squash, Indian Corn, gourds, and more. There are admission fees for various activities.
The Downtown Pleasanton Antiques & Collectibles Faire on October 13 features a wide variety of antiques and collectibles, providing attendees with the opportunity to shop for repurposed and rustic items, collectibles, antiques, furniture, clothing, jewelry, toys, ephemera, home decor objects, and more. This family friendly event allows well-behaved dogs to attend along with their families. The Faire includes free admission and free parking. Moreover, it offers a free appraisal of one item only, per person, between 10 am and 1 pm.
Halloween is a popular holiday for families in the Tri-Valley. The City of Pleasanton will host its annual Halloween Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, October 19 from 10 am to 12 pm. On this scavenger hunt, children must solve a clue to find downtown locations, where they will be given a small goodie or treat while supplies last. Parents will be given the clue and answer sheet to help children find the locations. On Saturday, October 26 the City of Livermore hosts Kidz Town Halloween Hay Day. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event, which features Halloween activities for families with young children up to fifth grade. The fun includes a costume contest, Halloween themed activities, business trick-or-treat, and more in downtown Livermore.
The Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest festival in the world. Oktoberfest began with a royal wedding in October 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend festivities, including horse races, that were held in front of the city gates to celebrate the wedding. The horse races were repeated in later years, creating the Oktoberfest tradition that is celebrated the world over.
On Saturday, October 5 the San Ramon Historic Foundation will host a local version of this event. The Oktoberfest will feature four breweries, the Olympia Fields Brass Band, Golden Gate Bavarian Dancers, dachshund races, and a delicious German themed lunch. The entry fee includes lunch, a beer stein, and a beer tasting at Forest Home Farms Historic Park in San Ramon. Livermore's Shadow Puppet Brewing Company will also host an Oktoberfest on that date featuring two live bands, a costume contest, German beers on tap, special Shadow Puppet beer steins, and more. Buying tickets in advance are recommended for both events.
Adults can also celebrate Halloween at the Halloween Brew Crawl in Downtown Pleasanton. The ninth annual Brew Crawl on Saturday, October 26 gives adults a fun reason to stroll through Downtown Pleasanton from 5 to 8 pm. Participants will have the opportunity to sip on craft brews and cider, enjoy tasty bites, and experience live music along the way at more than 25 locations.
The Pleasanton Harvest Festival is the West Coast's largest indoor arts and crafts show and is ranked as one of the top craft shows in the country. From October 25 to October 27, more than 250 artisans, crafters, and makers will fill the Alameda County Fairgrounds with original art, jewelry, ceramics, woodturnings, clothing, photography, specialty foods, toys, and more. The festival will feature live music and entertainment, food, and a hands-on KidZone. Bring a non-perishable food donation to benefit Open Heart Kitchen and Tri-Valley Haven to receive $2 off any adult or senior admission.
Thanksgiving is a cherished time to celebrate family, friends, and community. For the eighth year running, the annual Tri-Valley Community Outreach Thanksgiving Dinner will serve families, seniors, members of the military, singles, and others at the St. Raymond Catholic Church in Dublin. A coalition of businesses, Tri-Valley cities, and community organizations sponsor this traditional holiday sit-down dinner, which will be served from noon to 4 pm on Thursday, November 28. There is no charge for the meal and reservations are not required. Transportation may be available to Dublin and Pleasanton residents. Volunteers are always welcome to help by donating food or supplies; cooking or serving; or providing entertainment.
Autumn also brings seasonal activities to the East Bay Regional Park District and the park and recreation areas located near Hacienda. At the Sunol Visitor Center in the Sunol Regional Wilderness, for example, free drop-in nature crafts will be explored from 10 am to noon on Saturdays during the fall. The changing leaves and cooler temperatures make the coming autumn a wonderful time for the Hacienda community to hike, cycle, and enjoy other outdoor activities in beautiful natural settings close to home.
To register for the City of Pleasanton's Fall Festival, please visit www.cityofpleasantonca.gov/gov/depts/cs/activities.asp.
For more information about the Livermore Valley Wine Auction, please visit vwf.org/auction-overview.
For more information about G&M Farms, please visit www.gmfarms.com.
For more information about Joan's Farm & Pumpkin Patch, please visit www.joansfarm.com.
For more information about Pleasanton's Halloween Scavenger Hunt, please visit www.pleasantondowntown.net/event/details/476.
For more information about Livermore's Kidz Town Halloween Hay Day, please visit www.livermoredowntown.com/do/kidz-town-halloween-hay-day.
For more information about the San Ramon Historic Foundation's Oktoberfest, please visit www.srhf.org/index.php/oktoberfest.
For more information about Shadow Puppet Brewing Company's Oktoberfest, please visit www.shadowpuppetbrewing.com.
For more information about the Halloween Brew Crawl in downtown Pleasanton, please visit www.pleasantondowntown.net/event/details/477.
For more information about the Pleasanton Harvest Festival, please visit www.harvestfestival.com/pleasanton.
For more information about the Tri-Valley Community Outreach Thanksgiving Dinner, please visit www.tvc-thanksgiving.com.
For more information about the East Bay Regional Park District and its activities, please visit www.ebparks.org.