Source: Valley Roadrunner

Starry nights at Bates Nut Farm

by Kim Harris

October 03, 2013

This weekend at Bates Nut Farm should be a fun-filled adventure for anyone visiting the popular Valley Center attraction.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 4 at dusk, Bates will present Starry Nights, a new program, featuring astronomer Bob Karl, formerly of Lompoc Observatory, who will share his knowledge of the night sky, pointing out constellations, planets and other interesting phenomena in the cosmos.

A second night of stargazing featuring Karl will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 beginning at dusk. Saturday’s new moon combined with a location far away from city lights should provide a great opportunity for stargazing.

Guests are allowed to bring their own telescopes to the event and instruction is available for those who may need it. For those without a telescope, Karl will have several onsite so no one need miss a thing during this enlightening and enthralling program.

“This is just an event for the community free of charge, Bob is very interested in teaching people in the community about the heavens and this should be a fun, family-oriented event,” said Linda Gluckman, a spokesperson for the farm. “Bob really wants to share his knowledge and plans on staying as late as people want him to.”

Admission to the event is free and will be held in the East Field, near the Farm Zoo.

For those who prefer to visit during the daytime, over 80 artisans will be on hand for the weekend’s annual Pumpkin Festival Arts ‘n’ Crafts fair featuring a variety of handmade crafts and fine art.

See beautiful jewelry, woodworking, candles, toys, and many other one-of-a kind items. The Craft Fair is held in conjunction with the farm’s famous pumpkin patch which offers a variety of family friendly activities including hay rides, a straw maze, pony rides, petting zoo, kids’ zone, farm zoo, and numerous food vendors.

A stage will feature live music both days from noon to 3 p.m. On Saturday, talented young musicians from Valley Center’s middle school jazz band, high school jazz band, and high school marching band will be performing upbeat rock, jazz, and pop music. The popular bluegrass band, Ash Street Ramblers, takes the stage on Sunday.

The Valley Center Lions Club will serve their famous pancake breakfast both days from 7 to 10 a.m. where guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and orange juice for just $6 for adults or $5 for kids. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit local charities. The Valley Center Optimists will also be serving food from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with What’s Cooking BBQ. Gourmet Food Truck Crepes Bonaparte will be serving on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Pumpkin Festival Arts ‘n’ Crafts Fair will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pumpkin patch is open daily from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31.

Admission to both events is free and all are welcome. Bates Nut Farm is located 20 minutes east of I-15 through Escondido at 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082. Hours for the pumpkin patch and store are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information, guests may contact Bates Nut Farm at 760-749-3333, email, or visit