Get your family’s quarantine wiggles out at Hidden Villa Farm. Can I get a giant “Hooray!” for a beautiful place to get the kids outdoors?! Hidden Villa Farm has recently reopened its gates exclusively to small groups who make appointments online.
For the past 50 years, this farm in a little valley of Los Altos Hills has hosted tours and classes aimed at teaching young people about farming, gardening and where food comes from. Hidden Villa is now offering two-hour appointment windows to visit with your family pod and explore the beautiful grounds. My family — including four children under eight — just loved the chance to run around, explore, and enjoy the outdoors.
Touring the farm at Hidden Villa
My newest addition is three weeks old; we haven’t ventured out much with him yet. My other kids (ages 3, 6, and 7) were getting tired of our stupid “new baby” parental excuses, and desperately wanted to get out of the house. We packed a zillion snacks and 50 diapers and drove down past San Jose to Hidden Villa on Saturday afternoon. On the weekend, there was no traffic, and the farm was easy to find. At the check in booth we were directed to keep our distance from other families and wear masks at all times.
The farm is scenically gorgeous, with big old oak trees and silvery olive trees lining the path from the parking lot. In addition to school groups, many weddings have been hosted here over the years.
There’s a really cool garden to walk through, my kids enjoyed checking out the various scarecrows. Past the garden, you can walk right up to the pig pen. Don’t touch the fence, it’s a live one! While being careful to avoid getting shocked, you can get really close to the pigs happily rolling in a big patch of mud and hay.
There are a handful of really cool historical barn buildings with plaques dating back to the 1800s. If you have kids that love tractors, don’t miss the cool field with vintage farm equipment.
The best part in my children’s opinion, are the animals. You can view chickens, goats, sheep and an impressive ram. Kids are allowed to look at the animals right through the fence, but there are signs warning not to feed or touch, as you’re liable to catch an accidental nip.
We only passed a couple families in our two hours at the farm, and everyone was masked and passed each other at a very respectful distance. Except for the distant sounds of a “I don’t want to walk” crying fit, we barely knew anyone else was there.
The sun was warm, there was a nice breeze and it was a very serene environment to let the kids roam and explore. It was a perfectly low speed, relaxed kind of meandering trail trek for the baby. The paths are all pretty stroller friendly, though I can tell it would get muddy in the rain.
Hiking around Hidden Villa
With your reservation to Hidden Villa comes access to several hiking trails through the grounds. Capacity is limited trails are operating in a single direction.
The Short and Long Bunny Loop trails are the most popular among young families. The shorter loop is 1.06 miles, shaded, and moderately challenging. The slightly longer bunny loop is 1.75 miles, steep, and only partly shaded. Here’s the map if you like to plan ahead. In addition, Hidden Villa’s most popular trail loops and some new self-guided tours are on the Easy2Hike mobile application.
Plan your visit to Hidden Villa in Los Altos
Location: 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills about an hour from Oakland
Cost: $10 per vehicle
The bathrooms by the parking lot are very clean, however there is no changing table. There’s lots of nice shade, and the day we went it was as warm as 60 degrees.
Bottom line on Hidden Villa
If your kids are climbing the rafters or glued to those screens, this is a really low key outing, to move your bodies and clear your minds in the fresh air. While we normally might not drive an hour to see a farm, this is the time to take what we could get.
And at Hidden Villa, what you’ll get is a lovely day trip with your family with enough space to wander together or quietly avoid your family, whichever suits you best. You’ll have options, because you’ll be OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!
[Photos used with permission]