Need a Great Fall Activity for a Family Member with Dementia in Southern California? Try Bates Nut Farm


Individuals with early or middle-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s are still curious and enjoy going out into the world to explore and experience new things. As a caregiver, field trips can be a great way for you to spend time and have an adventure with your loved one as long as you choose the right type of activity. Not every outing is right for someone with dementia. You won’t want to take them to places that are loud, crowded, or that require a lot of focus and concentration. Instead, choose outings that are peaceful and relaxing but that can also offer interesting sights, sounds, and tastes. If you live in the San Diego or Southern California area, one great field trip option this fall is Bates Nut Farm.

Introducing Bates Nut Farm

Bates Nut Farm is a San Diego treasure that has existed since 1921 when Gilbert and Beatrice Bates started up a small walnut farm in beautiful Valley Center. Today, Bates Nut Farm attracts thousands of visitors to its sprawling farm and shopping center every year. Fall is a particularly great time to come, as the pumpkins will be ready for picking.

What to Do at Bates Nut Farm

You and your loved one can find plenty to do at Bates Nut Farm. First, you might want to visit the general store and buy a package of nuts. Though the family originally only grew walnuts, the farm now sells pistachios, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pangolins, and sunflower seeds. The nuts are roasted and packaged right on the farm, so you know they’re fresh. If you’re already in the general store, then you definitely need to buy some sweets too, as well as the farm’s famous homemade fudge.

Your next stop is to the farm zoo, where you can meet mini-donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, emus, chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese, pigs, tortoise, and more. While a full scale zoo might be a lot for your loved one to handle, this charming little zoo of friendly barnyard animals is the perfect size to provide lots of delight without the risk of overwhelming your family member. Did we mention that you can buy a bag of feed, and the animals will munch it up right from your hand?

Bates Farm stretches over 5,000 square feet, and you’ll find plenty of shops selling all kinds of knickknacks. Now might be a good time to stock up on candles, find some great antiques for your home, or even start scoping out holiday presents. When your loved one needs a little rest, you can always take a break in the vast swatch of shady picnic area that is also part of the farm. Sit back, relax, and watch children playing nearby as families enjoy a picnic.

One of the reasons Bates Nut Farm is such a great outing for someone with dementia is that you can pace your adventure to suit the needs of your loved one. You can also take plenty of breaks throughout the day.

Here at Sunshine Care, we are planning a group outing with our residents to Bates Nut Farm this October. Our residents have a great time on this trip every year. Check out some pictures from previous trips!

As long as you stay aware of your loved one’s mood and energy level, we bet you’ll all have a great time at Bates Nut Farm. Maybe we’ll see you there!



Categories: Memory Care

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