Decorative gourd season, etc.

It’s officially been fall for about a month now, but that’s hardly enough time to have gotten your fill of pumpkin spice everything and sufficiently lose your mind over the colors of the changing leaves. (I mean that nonsarcastically—it’s freaking beautiful.) This week, the city is offering up a multitude of activities to really get in there with the local foliage and produce before stupid winter arrives and it turns to cruddy sludge.

Bone up on your decorative gourd dominance with the Gifts from the Garden: A Fall Decorating Workshop on Saturday, October 22, from 8 a.m. to noon at the UC Cooperative Extension Auditorium (4145 Branch Center Road). This workshop will focus on personalizing your pumpkin centerpiece with succulents (I know, I know, it’s almost too much Instagram-worthy goodness), plus hankie sachets with lavender and lemon verbena. Admission is $25; visit for more information.

Alternatively, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale is going down, wherein the public will have a crack at making their yards more regionally appropriate and easy to take care of. Stock up on plants (including picks from the “Arboretum All-Star” collection!) that will survive the cooler weather to come and be more drought-friendly while you’re at it. Visit or call (530) 752-4880 for more information.

On Saturday, October 22, Sunday, October 23, and Saturday, October 29, hop on the West Sacramento Pumpkin Express Train and travel along the riverfront as you make your way to a pumpkin patch and carnival. Passengers will get to pick out a pumpkin, get their faces painted, hang out with a friendly scarecrow and play carnival games. Tickets are $32 for children and $42 for adults. The trip lasts from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and boards at 400 North Harbor Boulevard in West Sacramento. Visit for more information and to book your fare.

Lastly, take the driving hazard out of your tree admiring by joining in on the McKinley Park Tree Tour on Thursday, October 27. Master Gardener Anne Fenkner will lead the way, dropping knowledge on the park’s diverse and historic trees presently in prime color-change mode. The tour is free, but registration is required; go to to do so.