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There is a chill in the air and the leaves on the trees are finally starting to change from a summer green to fire red or golden yellow. Fall has arrived in the Valley, which means Halloween is just around the corner. Children are already dreaming of the candy and fun to come.

The Dowd family of Turlock began their Halloween celebrations early with a trip to the Resendiz Farms Fruit Barn in Hughson last Saturday. There Isabella Dowd, 20 months, spent her time picking out the perfect pumpkin to take home.

The Sarkis family of Modesto was also at Resendiz Farms picking out pumpkins for everyone to carve.

"We carve the pumpkins, bake the seeds and make a big mess," said Olivia Sarkis, who was there with her daughter Gracie, (almost) 2, and niece, Sofia Martinez, 20 months.

Resendiz Farms has a variety of holiday activities that are geared for younger children. They have a hay maze, a playground, a koi pond where visitors are encouraged to feed the fish, farm animals, a small haunted house inside the store and of course a pumpkin patch. They have big pumpkins and small pumpkins. They have white pumpkins and green pumpkins. They have mini pumpkins and all colors of gourds that are perfect for harvest table decoration.

When choosing a pumpkin, Melodie Santos of Resendiz Farms recommends one that is large and round, with no flat side for carving. But she said the smaller pumpkins yield the most seeds for baking.

"Pumpkins are only good for one week once carved," Santos said. "So it's best not to carve them until the week before (Halloween)."

Resendiz Farms is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday and is located at 4342 Geer Road, southeast of Hughson. During the week they also offer tours for school field trips. The children take a tour of the farm and bakery, then they plant some strawberries, feed the fish and take home a pumpkin.

Cipponeri Farms, located at 5743 Geer Rd., has a cornucopia of in-season fruits and vegetables for sale. They have apples, pomegranates, peaches, plums and of course - pumpkins. They are open 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday until Halloween, when they close for the season.