Visit the Lovely Lavender Fields at 123 Farms
While the poppies were missing this year and the wildflowers didn't stick around very long, the blooms have not forsaken Los Angeles—the lavender fields are just about to burst into full bloom! I took my kids on a trip to 123 Farm just as the lavender was in the beginning stages of blossoming, and it's promising to be a bountiful and beautiful summer. 123 Farm is the largest organic lavender farm in California, growing over 90 varieties of lavender; on a visit to the farm you can see, taste, and discover all things lavender. (You can also meet a few adorable farm animals.) While the lavender is not to be picked, it is most certainly to be posed in, so come with a camera in hand because these fields are family photo and Instagram-worthy.
When Is Lavender Season?
Lavender season starts late in the spring (end of May) and goes through August. 123 Farm is open to the public for much of this time, however, there are specific days when it is not open, so be sure to double check the calendar on their website before hitting the highway!
Getting Tickets To Visit the Lavender Fields
Tickets are required to enter the Lavender fields. When purchased online, tickets cost $3 less than at the door. Entry fees vary, depending on peak dates for the lavender bloom. Varying price options ranging from $6-$15 can be found on the website. (Mark your calendar for next year, because visiting the farm is free before the fields are in full bloom.) Parking costs $10 per car.
Additionally, some add-on activities require the purchase of tickets online before arriving. If you’re interested in a tractor-pulled wagon ride through the fields, or if you wish to make a lavender wand, these activities will require an advance ticket purchase.
Ready, set, frolic!
Things To Do at 123 Farm and Lavender Fields
Take a Wagon Ride
See the grounds of 123 Farm aboard an antique tractor-pulled wagon. The ride lasts about 15 minutes and participants learn more about the farm and fields from their knowledgeable guide. Tickets are $50 per row, which seats up to 3 adults and 1 child. Note: Tickets must be purchased online, in advance of your visit.
Make a Craft
Lavender Wand Workshops are for big kids age 10 and up (and adults). These are small classes where participants learn how to make enchanted lavender wands that are woven with ribbon and will smell amazing for years to come. These workshops cost $15. Note: Tickets must be purchased online, in advance of your visit.
Stroll Through the Lavender Fields
Obviously, the lavender fields are the main attraction! The main pathways through the fields are large enough to accommodate strollers, and bigger kids will inevitably run through the narrower areas of the fields and peek around the arbors alongside the fields that are made by gorgeous trees and provide a shady respite. You can also venture just a tad farther out to the giant tree that is over a thousand years old.
Shabby chic decor moves outside the house to make cozy seating areas.
Strike a Pose
I saw many a photoshoot happening while we roamed the grounds, and it’s no wonder why. The grounds are gorgeous and uncommonly serene. 123 Farm has done a fantastic job of adding touches of shabby chic-inspired flare throughout the public spaces— from a chaise lounge to hanging chandeliers, everywhere you look is the perfect backdrop for a photo.
Stop and Eat the Flowers
One of the highlights of our trip was taste-testing the interesting ways that lavender can be integrated into various types of food. While there are some staples for a less adventurous palate (like hot dogs and corn on the cob), those who want to explore the culinary delight that lavender offers might order a Greek Salad with Lavender Vinaigrette or perhaps the Lavender Braised Beef Brisket Sandwich. Lavender has a mild flavor that mixes well with both savory and sweet. All of the lavender-laden desserts are delish: We especially loved the Lavender Cheesecake with berry compote and every single one of the lavender-flavored ice cream offerings.
Try the lavender cheesecake!
Or Drink Them...
With a list of signature drinks, the bar at 123 Farm is another fun way to taste lavender. Lavender Champagne makes a lovely midday weekend toast!
Play Some Games
Ping-pong and cornhole are both great options for the kids to entertain themselves with while you’re sipping on that glass of champagne or relaxing under the canopy of shady trees where the games are found.
Petting a piggy at the petting zoo.
Meet the Farm Animals
There is a small petting zoo with some adorably sweet farm animals to cozy up to. We grew especially fond of the piglets!
Learn About Lavender Distillation
Watch a free distillation demo. Sit in the shade of an ancient tree and watch as lavender plants become essential oil right before your eyes. Note the times of the demonstrations on the day you plan on attending; when we visited they were at 11am and 3pm daily, but that may be subject to change as the season goes on.
Learn how lavender essential oil is made.
Bring the Scent Home
Flowers stay in the fields, but if you want to take home a little of the healing and relaxing properties found in lavender plants, there's a very simple way—123 Farms has literally bottled the experience! Visitors can take home some of the essential oils made right on the farm along with many other products ranging from soaps and balms to pancake mixes. There is also a field for independent vendors to set up shop, so you can explore their handicrafts as well.
Just wandering through the fields and smelling the sweet scent makes for a gorgeous day.
Know Before You Go
- Bring water! The lavender fields themselves are in direct sun and the kids won’t be able to help but run through them. Make sure to have plenty of hydration on hand for your crew.
- The grounds are not small, but are manageable with young children in strollers. However the paths can be bumpy and dusty in some areas, so remember to wear cool and comfortable footwear.
- No outside alcohol or food is allowed. Food must be consumed in designated areas (not in the fields).
- No removal of any property is allowed, including picking lavender, but there is ample opportunity to purchase lavender in all its forms in the outdoor marketplace.
- These lavender fields near LA attract a lot of commuters! Be sure to check traffic before heading out. We happened to visit on a Friday and got stuck in traffic on the way home. That's a fast way to undo all of the relaxing properties of the lavender scent...
All photos by the author