Half-day trip: Ardenwood Farm - 510 Families

Half-day trip: Ardenwood Farm

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 (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. They offer regular family-friendly events and tot programming, too.

Feed a farm animal at Ardenwood Historical Farm
Feed a farm animal at Ardenwood Historical Farm
Pumping water at Ardenwood farm
Old-fashioned fun pumping water at Ardenwood Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farms
Riding the open-air train on the tracks at Ardenwood Farm, which runs only Thursday-Sunday.

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.

Ardenwood Historic Farms

Ardenwood Historic Farms

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.)


Photo courtesy Ardenwood Historic Farm facebook page

Visitors can get up close to farm animals, taste freshly made farm-themed food, and ride an open air train. The website says, “Since Ardenwood is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season so no two visits will be exactly alike.”

Things to know before you go to Ardenwood Farm

The drive from Berkeley is about one hour.

Ardenwood Historic Farm is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, year round, including Labor Day and Memorial Day. Ardenwood is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. For picnic reservations call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. There is no parking fee. Dogs are not allowed in the Ardenwood Historic Farm.

The Farm is closed on Mondays and the train runs only Thursday-Sunday. 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 train ride and the equipment shed. Grade school students will stare at the workers in period costumes.



No Events

Get the {510} Families weekend planner in your inbox. It's free!

* indicates required

2 thoughts on “Half-day trip: Ardenwood Farm”

  1. Ardenwood is great. It’s definitely worth checking the schedule before the drive down, to make sure that the specific activities you want (train, blacksmithing, cooking demos) are happening that day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COVID-19 Update
We're seeking family fun for you every day, but please note that as of December 3, the Bay Area has entered a new Stay-At-Home order and some activities on this website may not be available. Subscribe and receive a list of family-friendly activities in the East Bay in your inbox every Friday. 
Stay Updated
You can unsubscribe anytime.
Scroll to Top