Halloween Event Has Treated Families to Frighteningly Good Time for 27 Years
Guest post by Stephanie Houfek
If you love Halloween and live in LA, then surely you have heard of Mr. Bones, the skeleton king who has reigned over the pumpkin patch in West Hollywood since 1986. The Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch has become nearly as famous as some of his neighbors in Hollywood, as each year paparazzi snap photos of celebrities and their kids at the patch. But glamour aside, this delightful pumpkin patch has earned its fame for its fun kid activities, frighteningly big and scary decorations, and fabulous assortment of big and beautiful pumpkins, gourds and squash.
Kids can pull along a wagon and pick their own pumpkin from the piles of pumpkins in the patch. Cute signs instruct kids (and parents) on how to handle, or not handle the pumpkins – no throwing, dropping, picking up by the stem, sitting on pumpkins, etc., Pumpkin prices range from $1 for baby pumpkins to $60 for jumbos, and up to $100 for Big Mac Organic pumpkins.
The Mr. Bones slide, pumpkin bounce house, hay maze, petting zoo and pony rides are some of the most popular attractions for kids. The food offerings, including gourmet Kosher hotdogs, gourmet chicken sausages, fantastic carne mignon tacos, grilled Tillamook cheese sandwiches, hand-dipped carmel apples, Porch Pie pies, and gourmet flavored snow cones are pretty appealing for kids of all ages. If $5 hotdogs are beyond your budget, no worries, visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks. All rides cost $1-$7. Face painting costs $10-$15. All attractions and food are payable in tickets purchased on site.
Despite the immense popularity of this pumpkin patch, it still feels intimate, partly due to the fact that the space itself is rather small – on about a city block, and because it is family owned. The focus is on providing a fun and friendly atmosphere for families to enjoy. To this end, the professional photographers who come to get pictures of the celebrity patrons are cordoned off in a pen and monitored by security so they do not intrude upon guests.
Since fall temperatures can still reach into the 80s, Mr. Bones added a shade tent and more umbrellas in past years where patrons can retreat from the heat, and there’s also a pumpkin house and two teepees where kids can play out of the sun. Best advice is to wear light clothes during the warmest day hours or visit after 5 pm, and if kids wear costumes (optional), dress them in clothes underneath or bring other clothes for a quick change if they get overheated.
While the pumpkins may be pricier than the local supermarket, the weekend admission of $4 for adults and $2 for kids can be used as credit to buy pumpkins or other merchandise in the Mr. Bones boutique, which also sells costumes, decorations, pumpkin carving kits and other Halloween goodies. Weekday admission is free, and groups are welcome before 2 pm on weekdays. This year, Pillsbury is a partner with Mr. Bones, and the company will be donating $5,000 to support the LA Regional Food Bank as part of their partnership.
The patch is open weekdays 9am to 7 pm, 9 am to 8pm Friday through Sunday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Halloween. Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch is located at 702 N. Doheny Drive in West Hollywood, where the owners also operate Mr, Greentrees at the same location during the Christmas season; but that will change next year as the property has been sold. The new site has not yet been determined, but you can join Mr. Bone’s mailing list on the website for updates.