As crisp sweater weather returns, Gilroy is your weekend destination to delight in the season’s offerings and ring in the fall and winter holidays. From pumpkin-hunting to fall and holiday festivals, a bounty of autumnal and winter activities for the entire family awaits you!
Fall Fruits, Pumpkins & More
While winding through South County’s scenic backroads, stock up on farm-fresh fruits and veggies at our popular roadside stands. Local produce is also abundant at family-owned LJB Farms, which has grown vine-ripened produce in Gilroy for more than 100 years.
From now until Halloween, choose pumpkins for decorating or baking from nearly 30 different varieties at LJB’s two-acre sunflower-studded pumpkin patch. And inside the farm’s 40-year-old red barn, shop for locally grown produce and browse home décor and specialty food items, including jams and jellies, dried fruits and nuts, sauces and rubs, herbs and spices, and pies from Gizdich Ranch. With the colder weather approaching, apples, persimmons, and pomegranates also will become available. For even more family fun, return to LJB on December 9 for visits with Santa, shopping, and food, including baked goods from Greenlee’s Bakery.
A trip to Gilroy wouldn’t be complete without stopping at Casa de Fruta, a California landmark on nearby Pacheco Pass for more than 115 years. While you’re there, pick out a pumpkin, take a spin on the Casa de Carousel, ride the Casa de Choo Choo Train, and check out farm-fresh produce, dried fruits and nuts, jams and jellies, wines, and an assortment of sweets.
Harvest Season on the Wine Trail
With harvest season winding down, our more than 30 family-owned wineries and tasting rooms along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail are celebrating with artisan markets, fall festivals, and Halloween parties. Take in views of the brilliant, gold, orange, and red leaves of the vineyards while enjoying award-winning wines and live music.
The Great Big BOO at Gilroy Gardens
Your trick-or-treaters will delight in a spooky time at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park from now through Halloween. Experience fun tricks and treats around every corner during the Great Big BOO! on Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sundays. This immersive experience is fun for all ages, and Halloween costumes are encouraged. The park is also open on weekends in November.
Holiday Magic in December
In December, savor the magic of the season in downtown Gilroy during our Holiday Festival and Parade on December 2. Santa Claus will help light our downtown tree following our holiday parade through downtown, with an appearance from the Grinch, singing and musical performances, Santa’s Village, and our Trail of Treats, featuring hot cocoa, donuts from Bay Area favorite Psycho Donuts, and other yummy seasonal goodies.
Extend your visit for an extra day and stay at one of our hotels to see Gilroy Gardens transformed into a glittery winter wonderland. The brand-new North Pole Nights holiday celebration will feature festive lights, family activities, visits from Santa, ice skating under the stars, and a New Year’s Eve dance party and fireworks show.
With the holidays around the corner, shop for everyone on your list at our specialty boutiques and shops in downtown Gilroy and more than 145 stores at the Gilroy Premium Outlets. And while you’re at the Outlets, be sure to visit our California Welcome Center Gilroy for free Visitor’s Guides and brochures and fun souvenirs.
When you’re ready to refuel, stop at one of Gilroy’s restaurants for appetizing dishes to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds — from tacos and double-decker burgers to Brazilian barbecue, Mediterranean cuisine, and sushi. Or try a pint of hand-crafted beer at one of our downtown breweries and taprooms.
Hope to See You Soon
We look forward to welcoming you to experience Gilroy’s small-town charm during the fall and winter holidays!
Kelly Barbazette is a freelance writer who has lived in Gilroy for more than 20 years. Fall is her favorite season.