Step back in time. The East Bay Regional Park District has operated Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, California as a fully functioning, turn-of-the-last-century farm since 1985. Ardenwood Farm is always happy to welcome families and curious children. No reservations are required.
When I went to the East Bay Regional Park District’s Ardenwood Historic Farm the first time, it was not yet a pumpkin patch, nor was it a sheep-shearing day (March), or the Historic Rail Fair (usually Labor Day weekend). 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. The Ardenwood train is another chill way to see the farm. It is a regional park, not an amusement park. (I’m just trying to manage expectations.) Here’s a map of attractions.
Since Ardenwood is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season so no two visits will be exactly alike.
Plan Your Visit to Ardenwood Farm
Ardenwood Farm is open for business and walk-ins are welcome.
Available activities include nature-art projects, performances, animal feeding, storytime, train rides throughout the day, farm food lessons, and house tours. Most activities are included with paid admission.
Location: Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
Admission to Ardenwood
Hours: Tue. thru Sun., 10 am-4 pm.
Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Open Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day
January through March, and the Wed. before Thanksgiving through December:
Tues. through Sun.: $4/adults (18+ years), $3/seniors (62+ year), $2/children (4-17 years), under 4 years – free.
April through the Tuesday before Thanksgiving:
Tues., Wed. & Sat.: $4/adults (18+ years), $3/seniors (62+ year), $2/children (4-17 years), under 4 years – FREE.
Thurs., Fri. and Sun.: $6/adults (18+ years), $5/seniors (62+ year), $4/children (4-17 years), under 4 years – FREE.
Special events cost extra and fees will vary.
Things to know before you go to Ardenwood Farm
The drive from Berkeley is about one hour.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is open limited hours: Check website for current hours. 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.