Celebrate Halloween with an easy trip to a pumpkin patch followed by a sorta spooky (not scary!) Halloween train ride into the darkness. Bwa ha ha ha ha. Get your tickets >>
From Berkeley on a weeknight, our trip to Ardenwood Farms took about an hour. We were booked on the earliest of the Halloween Haunted Train Trips. We arrived at the parking lot that serves both the Ardenwood train station as well as the Perry Family Farms pumpkin patch. First thing we did is convert our Eventbrite voucher into train tickets at the Ardenwood train station, then we went to the pumpkin patch to play until it was time to line up for our train.
What's this cool train ride?
The spooky haunted train runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights on the two weekends before Halloween (6 nights total). The ride includes a 30-minute performance on the hour and half hour that begins at the small depot across the parking lot from the pumpkin patch. The staff recommends lining up about 30 minutes early to make sure your group gets to sit together.
While you wait, there are “ghost chaser” souvenirs for sale (cash only). All proceeds go to the nonprofit Railroad Museum at Ardenwood.
You and your kiddos will ride in an open-air narrow gauge train. A conductor tells a few spooky stories on board interspersed with Halloween trivia as you ride out and back about 10 minutes each way. Train rides happen in the dark. The characters performing the haunted stuff are off the train in the distance with the exception of a creepy bride and her bridesmaid that wander through the train. I didn't notice any children getting too scared by the whole business. My boys declared it “fun enough” and “totally worth the drive.”
Tickets go on sale September 15, 2019 at 8 am for this year, and they get snapped up quickly. We pre-purchased our train tickets via eventbrite and they are expected to sell out. A $12 ticket (plus fees) is required for everyone ages 3 and up (ages 2 and under free).
Pro tip: There's a real (non porta-potty) bathroom at the train station. You're welcome.
More about the pumpkin patch!
J.E. Perry Farms is a working vegetable farm on location at Ardenwood Regional Preserve. Pumpkins are one of many crops growing on the farm this time of year. Come on out and see a real working farm and search for the perfect pumpkin.
My boys and I had a great time on Friday night running around the wide open fields of the pumpkin patch, climbing on the tire play set, getting lost in the hay maze, scaling an enormous hay pyramid, and trying to find each other again before the sun went down and our train left the station.
Hundreds of pumpkins of all sizes are lined up in hay-covered fields and you can see them growing in the distance on site.
Plan your visit to Haunted Train Ride at Ardenwood
Trains operate every 30 minutes between 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and between 7pm and 9 pm on Sunday nights, on the following two weekends before Halloween: October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27.
Pumpkin patch admission at Perry Family Farms is reasonably priced and CASH ONLY. Weekday evenings are free admission and weekends cost $1/ person.
The train ride itself is a $12 ticket.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is located
34600 Ardenwood Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94555