Did you get out to Redwood City last week? It’s changed so much over the past 5 years, and yet some things here are timeless. Don’t forget about the Zoppé Circus too, it’s really a wonderful small intimate experience under the big top, bound to leave a smile on your face (October 9th - 25th, Red Morton Park), http://www.redwoodcity.org/residents/redwood-city-events/zoppe-italian-family-circus.
We had a great time at the Redwood City Port Festival last weekend. We took a free sailboat ride with Spinnaker Sailing and both kids got to pilot the boat for a little bit, we helped cut wood for the Woodside store, visited with the Marine Science Institute and learned a bunch of things about sharks, and got to tour a really cool Coast Guard cutter where both kids got to sit in the captains seat and ask him funny questions.
For this week’s adventure we are headed to the East Bay, Ardenwood Farm in Fremont is having their annual harvest festival, so the list this week will be full of farm related activities. Ardenwood was established as a farm in the 1850’s by George Washington Patterson, who came west to seek his fortune in the gold fields, but instead struck gold in the fertile farm fields here. The family turned the farm over to the city of Fremont in 1978, and the East Bay Regional Park District has run the farm as a fully functioning 19th century farm since 1985. This is a visit back to a simpler time.
The farm is a great visit any time of the year, but this weekend is really exciting because there are a whole lot of volunteers on hand leading wonderful activities, you can go and harvest indian corn (and even take some home), participate in a sing-a-long, ride the funky old train around the farm, churn ice cream, bake in an outdoor oven, pump water, the list just goes on…
Also let us know if you go, we would love to hear about your trip. Simply reply to this e-mail. And please feel free to forward this to a friend.
Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
1-2-3 Things — Harvest Festival Ardenwood Farm
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
Ride the old railway
Participate in the Harvest Festival Activities
Pick Indian corn
I believe the event entry fee for the harvest festival is $8/Adult and $5/child (4-17), and from what I remember they do take credit cards for this. There is no ATM on site and any of the vendors in the park only take cash (for the BBQ, or if you want to buy some fresh milled flower or cornmeal).
Ride the old Railway
10:15-4:45 Arden Station & Deer Park Station
At one time, the railway was the only way to get your produce shipped out to market, this rail spur was what connected this farm to the rest of the regional area in order to get it’s product out. Now the track just loops around the edge of the farm with 2 stations: Deer Park Station and Arden Station.
If it’s not too crowded, this is a wonderful way to set the mood for your visit. It’s not a long trip around the farm, but the train goes slow, and you get to see the farm as you ride the open air cars around to the far side of the farm.
The Harvest Festival
As mentioned earlier, the Harvest Festival is a very special time of the year. This is probably their biggest event and there are so many people generously volunteering their time.
There is a kids sing-a-long with David Maloney from Noon to 3:30PM at the hay circle (I couldn’t get the kids to leave this last year), and other dancing music to enjoy at the Granary. The Country Kitchen is open baking interesting things on the wood burning stove, sampling some wonderful little goodies, The Patterson House is open for tours from 10:30-2:45, ice cream making from noon-2PM, corn husk doll making from 1PM-3PM, cider pressing (at 11AM, 2PM, and 4PM behind the Patterson House), and a lot more you find just wandering around. There is some limited food service set up for the festival sponsored by Dino’s Grill.
Pick Indian Corn
10AM-4PM in the Central Field
Last year we came here on a Sunday, and the corn was pretty well picked over, still we were able to find quite a bit. They had this deal worked out where you would pick what you could carry, and give half to the farm, taking half home. By the time we arrived in the field, their storage facilities were all full and we just took home what we picked. The corn is used on the farm for projects and crafts through the year.
You might be wondering why you would want to bring this home, aside from some decorations on your Thanksgiving Day table. Once the corn is dried out for a bit longer (I believe another month), you can place it in a brown paper lunch sack and microwave it for a couple of minutes for popcorn on the cob. Plus the kids will have great fun picking it.
- Be ready to relax and take your time. This event gets really crowded sometimes and this is a good opportunity to relax and slow down.
- Parking can get really full, so getting here early is good
- Coyote Hills Regional Park is that shoreline open space you pass by if you come over the Dumbarton Bridge (highway 84). We have yet to visit, but it looks like a wonderful spot to ride a bike or take a hike http://www.ebparks.org/parks/coyote_hills
- This weekend is also Fleet Week in San Francisco. There are a lot of ships in port to go check out, and the Blue Angels are performing (you may have already heard them zooming around today). There are also other fleet week events you can check out here: http://fleetweeksf.org/