Is that a nip of fall in the air? Not really, but the nights are cooling down, and hot air balloons are once again dotting the crystal clear blue morning skies.
Here are eight great ways to embrace autumn in Southwest Riverside:
32720 Rancho California Road, Temecula
Presented by the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association and hosted at Callaway Vineyard and Winery, this event promises tastings from at least 30 wineries, allowing you to meet the winery owners, chat with the winemakers and enjoy the culinary creations of both winery and local restaurants. Blue Sutra will provide entertainment for the evening in a celebration of the Fall Crush. The event is planned from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 Tickets range from $75 to $100, and are available through the TVWG website.
33320 Temecula Parkway, Temecula
Pumpkin bowling, hayrides and the annual military-themed corn maze are a favorite annual tradition for many Temecula residents. The Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival runs Oct. 6-31.
Hot Air Ballooning
Skies over Temecula wine country
If seeing wine country from above is more up your alley, the balloons are launching again, allowing you to soar over vineyards and see the glory of Southwest Riverside in the fall. Visit local hot air balloon companies, such as: Balloon Adventure, California Dreaming, D and D Ballooning, or Temecula Balloon Tours, many of which offer frequent flyer discounts.
The mountains are calling as apple harvest has finally arrived in Julian and Oak Glen. It is almost time once again for apple pies, harvest festivals and more at these mountain locations. Visit Julian and Oak Glen for apple picking information for a favorite family or scouting activity.
15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center
Bates Nut Farm will open its pumpkin patch doors on Sept. 28. Visit the pumpkin patch and stay to learn more about: early American tractors and engines, bee keeping, bat rescue, snakes, wool spinning and more.
19835 Gavilan Rd., Perris
CJs Corona Pumpkin Patch also opens Sept. 28. This pumpkin patch allows school groups or individuals to pick their own pumpkins, pet baby chicks that will produce farm fresh eggs in the spring, enjoy the huge bounce slides and get lost in a corn maze. Take home a farm fresh pie, honey, or jams and jellies made from produce grown on the farm. Call 951-229-0725 for more information.
39925 Calle Contento, Temecula
A local Temecula favorite, this year’s grand opening is planned for Sept. 22. There are several new activities, including the Peltzer Mining Company, as well as tried and true favorites like the pig races, train rides, and challenging corn maze. Schools and scout troops are encouraged to schedule tours early. Call 951-695-1115 for reservations or more information.
Finally, there is no time like the present to start training to race for the cure. This is the largest series of 5K/fitness runs in the world, according to their web site. With one month to prepare, it’s time to get in shape to race, walk, fundraise or volunteer for this annual event. Visit the website for more information on Southwest Riverside races.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.