About 45 minutes from Berkeley is a lush garden waiting to wander in Woodside. Filoli is a popular destination for families with kids of all ages, especially wonderful for a grandparent visit — socially distanced or not. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Sponsored by Filoli. Today, Filoli’s mission is to connect our rich history with a vibrant future through beauty, nature, and shared stories.
“My three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter spent four hours running all over the place! She had a ball!” ~ Gerry Sackman
Filoli Gardens are Epic
Filoli is nestled on a slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounded by more than 23,000 acres of the protected Peninsula watershed. Adults will wander in awe at the beautiful setting while children enjoy the large open spaces and the chance to run through a daffodil meadow.
This beautiful and unique setting has so much space to explore. There is both a grand estate house and sprawling 16-acre gardens that are a joy during any season. The garden has thousands of colorful blooms this spring including tulips, daffodils, wisteria, and cherry blossoms.
Now offering Family Field Trips
Filoli is now offering households staff-led experiences in Filoli’s vast Garden and Nature Preserve in the form of private family field trips. Take this unique opportunity to explore art and nature in a safe space or supplement the school curriculum with a staff-led 90-minute hike with lessons and activities. Terrific for school-age children, the 1.5-mile walk includes examples of natural and human-made patterns.
The Estate Trail Loop is a short hike
Walking down the milelong Estate Trail, you can see some of Filoli’s permanent residents including deer, turkeys, banana slugs, and dozens of bird species. Walk across the San Andreas fault and visit the Nature Center. Download the Family Activity Guide [pdf] to use for self-guided scavenger hunts, explorations, and fun!
The House is incredible, too
Designed by architect Willis Polk to be a “simple country house” for William and Agnes Bourn, the House took three years to construct and cost $425,000 in 1917 ($8.5 million in today’s money). While visitors this year may choose to remain outside, the great house is open and worth a visit if you have time. The Family Activity Guide includes a BINGO card for sights, sounds, and smells within the house, too. Toto, a friendly bulldog of yesteryear, is commemorated throughout the house with many statues. How many can your kids find?
What visitors say about Filoli
“My grand-daughters and I walked all over the gardens and Estate Trail after school. We enjoyed the beautiful, sunny weather, with very few people. It was a glorious and really fun day. It was the best time to come to Filoli Gardens. My grand-daughters had lots of questions that were answered by the friendly and helpful staff.” ~ Julie Smith
“I lived in the Bay Area all these years and finally decided to go see the Filoli House and Garden! Had a really good time seeing just a historic gem here in the bay! Was definitely pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Great family day trip.” ~ Danny Chu
“One of my favorite places to go, any time of year. Make sure to go in spring when the cherry blossoms, daffodils, and magnolias are in full bloom! And check out the gift shop for their cider, vinegar, and apple preserves, made from fruits from the estate.” ~ The Wittners
Plan your visit to Filoli Historic House & Garden
Open daily for admission from 10 am to 5 pm. Reserve your tickets >>
Daytime admission rates
Children (5-17): $15
Under 5: free
Family Field trip rates
$90 for up to 6 people from the same household. Your family may explore Filoli on your own before and after the tour. All Family Field Trips must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance.
The Clock Tower gift shop is loaded up with old-fashioned gifts like wind-up toys and rocking horses.
86 Cañada Road, Woodside
[All photos provided by Filoli and used with permission]