Our Summer bucket list still has some unchecked squares, so this week we are hitting the road (locally) to visit those last few places that we dreamed of back in June. Summer is rounding third and sliding into home and before we know it, school will be in full swing.
On the agenda:
Redwood Mini Railway and the Little Farm in Tilden Park. We also stopped for a ride on the gorgeous carousel that was on the way out of the park, so glad we did!
First, if you know the area, this is no surprise: It can be 10+ degrees colder at Tilden Park than anywhere else in the East Bay. Prepare for light drizzles, fog, cold weather with layers and real shoes (no flip flops people!).
As you drive up Fish Ranch Road and it becomes Grizzly Peak Road, keep your focus on the road as it is very narrow and on the edge of the cliff. Luckily, you don’t have to go too far before you arrive to the Redwood Valley Railway. The tickets are $3 each or five tickets for $12. Children under 2 are free. They do accept cash and plastic, so no need to stop by the ATM if you are out.
The train ride lasted about 10-12 minutes. It was very sweet and the train itself was definitely worth checking out. The kids loved it, from the 12 year old down to the one year old. We loved looking into the engine shed, where the other engines are being stored.
After the train ride, we headed deeper into Tilden Park to visit The Little Farm. This is one of the most accessible and enjoyable “petting zoo” type activities ever. Bring your own lettuce or celery from home, as these are the only treats you are allowed to feed the animals. The cows are very friendly and hungry, and will let you pet them and cuddle them as long as you have some green stuff in your hand. After checking out the chicken corral and the one huge sow, we headed up the hill to visit with the local turkeys, sheep, and goats. These animals were equally intrigued with the lettuce snacks, but preferred the green grass the kiddos were pulling out from the next pen over. There are tons of stumps, logs and little exploring areas around the perimeter of the Little Farm, so this activity can actually be very quick or stretched into a half day excursion easily. The nature center is also fun to visit, however beware it is closed on Mondays. On our way out, we stopped and played at the small play structure adjacent to the parking lot.
Lastly, we visited the Tilden Park Merry Go Round. So fun! The tickets were (7) for $15 and there are also bathrooms and a snack shack style eatery. The carousel ride was uncrowded and the ride was longer than expected. Also instead of the usual carriage for the mamas to sit with little ones, the carriage had its own miniature ponies for the babies to ride on. We were all over it and enjoyed it thoroughly!
We hope you get out to explore this Berkeley gem that is Tilden Park and all of the amazing little areas to visit!