U-Cut Christmas Tree Farms in Petaluma
If you want to have the experience of choosing and cutting down your own Christmas tree, you're going to have to pack up the family truckster and head north on Highway 101 to visit our neighbors in Sonoma County. There, you'll find a selection of Christmas tree farms mostly concentrated in the rural areas of western Petaluma and Sebastopol.
We made our traditional weekend-after-Thanksgiving trip to the three Christmas tree farms located in Petaluma—Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm and Larsen's Christmas Tree Farm—to see what they had to offer this season. There's nothing that gets you in the holiday spirit more than visiting a tree farm. Did I mention that they're great places for holiday photo ops, too? You can also check out our rundown on the tree farms further north in Sebastopol.
Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm
Every holiday season we make a point of visiting Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm in Petaluma. One of the most picturesque tree farms in the area, Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm is fairly close to downtown Petaluma on Chapman Lane, off Western Avenue on the northwest side of town. As is to be expected on the day after Thanksgiving, Little Hills was busy and bustling. Parking is in a lot at the entrance to the farm and along the street. It offers a wide selection of mostly Monterey pines, with some cypresses and redwoods thrown in for good measure.
Like most local tree farms, Little Hills also offers pre-cut Noble, Turkish, and Douglas firs. The highlight of a trip to Little Hills is a visit with Santa Claus, who shows up for photo ops on weekends from 10 am–4 pm. We also love their holiday boutique, which features a huge array of Christmas tree ornaments and holiday home decor, where we let the children each pick out an ornament for our tree every year.
There's also an animal corral with a number of farm animals you can visit, including some donkeys, llamas, alpacas, turkeys, and a pair of Old Spot pigs. A snack bar serves up fare like hot cider, candy, and popcorn. (Coffee for the grownups is free.) Other offerings include tree stands, wreaths, garlands, and cute snowmen and reindeer made from wood and evergreen branches. The crew at Little Hills will shake and net your tree for easy transportation, and they have flocked trees, too, in case faux snow is your thing.
Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm is located at 961 Chapman Lane in Petaluma, and is open Monday–Friday from 10 am–6 pm and Saturday–Sunday from 9 am–5 pm.
Larsen's Christmas Tree Farm
Larsen's Christmas Tree Farm is very close to downtown Petaluma, at 391 Marshall Avenue, between Skillman Lane and Magnolia Avenue. It's usually quite busy, and we even had a difficult time getting a parking space. Larsen's is a pretty big place, and everyone there seemed to be having a really good time. This family-run Christmas tree farm has been in business for over 50 years, so it's really a local institution!
Larsen's has an extensive selection of trees, and a charming spot with little bridges crossing a (currently dry) stream running through the property. The sales room offers Christmas tree stands and accessories, wreaths and garlands, free coffee and candy canes, and a bake sale that supports local youth groups. Larsen's also has a gift shop offering ornaments and other holiday decor items.
Most of the cut-it-yourself trees at Larsen's were Monterey pines. They did have a few Leland cypress, redwoods, and Scotch pines growing, too, as well as a pretty large selection of pre-cut Noble, Turkish, and Douglas firs. As usual, we were really impressed by the selection and quality of u-cut trees at Larsen's this year.
Tree-shaking, netting, and drilling services were available. Larsen's Christmas Tree Farm is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. You can print a $3 off coupon from their website. More information: (707) 762-6317 or www.petalumachristmas.com
If You Go
To get to Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm 1, head north on Highway 101 and take the Washington Street exit into Petaluma. Head west over the freeway and follow Washington to Petaluma Boulevard. Turn left on Petaluma Boulevard and then right on Western Avenue. Follow Western Avenue to Chapman Lane, where you'll turn right. Chapman kind of sneaks up on you, so keep an eye out for the Little Hills signs. Follow Chapman to Little Hills which will be on your left.
To get to Larsen's, take 101 to the Penngrove exit. Head west over the freeway onto Petaluma Boulevard North, and follow it to Skillman Lane. Turn right on Skillman. To get to Larsen's Christmas Tree Farm, head west on Skillman, then turn left on Marshall Avenue. Follow Marshall south; Larsen's will be on your right. There are plenty of signs directing you to Larsen's from the moment you hit Petaluma Boulevard, so it's pretty easy to find.
All three tree farms have restrooms and refreshments (usually holiday treats like cookies, popcorn, and hot cider) available. On-leash dogs are welcome at both locations, too.
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