After a long time closed, Ardenwood Farm is excited to welcome back visitors. Families can register for a time slot up to two weeks in advance of their visit, beginning February 5th.
When I went to the East Bay Regional Park District’s Ardenwood Historic Farm the first time, it was not yet a pumpkin patch, which is the main draw every October, neither was it sheep-shearing day (March), or the Historic Rail Fair (usually September). Nonetheless, it was a trip back in time, to a place where Laura Ingalls might have lived, without the Minnesota snow. It was a magical working farm with real crops and tractors where a kid can forget about a screen.
We watched a blacksmith hammer a piece of metal into the handle for a knife he was crafting. The open air kitchen shows visitors how meal preparation used to be designed with a huge crew in mind — all the farmhands needed to be fed. My children attempted to pump water from a well, though we found they were not strong enough.
This is a quiet field trip, best for a wandering-type of mood. It is a regional park, not an amusement park. (I’m just trying to manage expectations.)
Since Ardenwood is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season so no two visits will be exactly alike.
How to hold your ($2) spot for Ardenwood Farm
Ardenwood Farm is open for reservation from February 18 through June 26. After which time, walk-ins are welcome.
All entry fees must be reserved and paid in advance, and no transactions will be handled by park staff. If space is available, same-day appointments are fine.
- Create your account including family members. Website >>
- Search for Ardenwood Entry (heads up: this interface is frustrating!)
- Look for dates with availability up to two weeks in advance. Tickets are $2 for humans over age four and free for children under four (and members of the EBRPD). Book your group tickets for up to 12 people at once.
Things to know before you go to Ardenwood Farm
The drive from Berkeley is about one hour.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is open limited hours: Wednesday-Friday 11 am – 4 pm and weekends 10 am – 4 pm. There is no parking fee. Dogs are not allowed in the Ardenwood Historic Farm.
Check the East Bay Regional Park District website to confirm any activities you are hoping to see. The animals are always available.
Toddlers will love to chase chickens and run through the gardens. Preschoolers will dig the equipment shed. Grade school students will stare at the workers in period costumes.