Mini Adventure: Tilden Park's Little Farm

Chris & Dino feeding a cow at Little Farm last summer. 

Chris & Dino feeding a cow at Little Farm last summer. 

As a Realtor, weekends mean working for me. Between hosting open houses, showing property, meeting with my buyer clients who work long hours all week, and catching up on the paperwork, there's never as much time for adventuring as I'd like!   But since Chris works traditional hours during the week, and Dino is in daycare, we make sure to prioritize a little time every weekend for family fun.  

Lettuce and celery are the only things you're allowed to feed the animals, and you'll want to have a lot of it.   

Lettuce and celery are the only things you're allowed to feed the animals, and you'll want to have a lot of it.   

Today we ventured to Little Farm up at Tilden Regional Park after Dino's nap. It's a perfect mini-adventure:  Little Farm is very little, so it doesn't take much time to visit every animal. It's completely free, there's plenty of parking (& you can even take the 67 bus!), and since the whole thing is open, there are no lines to wait in even when it's busy with visitors. 

 

My father grew up in the Berkeley Hills just a stone's throw from Tilden, and my grandmother lived on Grizzly Peak for 60+ years, so I visited Little Farm countless times with my cousins when I was a kid.   Today was Chris and Dino's second visit: we first took Dino when he was about 8 months old, but at that age he wasn't old enough to really engage with the environment.   Nowadays, he's walking, talking, and knows the names of several animals by sight, so we thought it was high time for a return visit.

We saw a lot of cute animals today, but I'd say this one was definitely the cutest. 

We saw a lot of cute animals today, but I'd say this one was definitely the cutest. 

The cows are the first animals you'll see when you arrive, and Dino was very skeptical about their size and their friendliness.   He warmed up as we gandered over to the ducks and geese.   Chris and I marveled at the very young piglets, but Dino wasn't as impressed, and he got scared when the roosters started cockadoodling.  The goats and sheep were his absolute favorite: he kept saying "Hi Goats!" and "Hi Shee[p]!", and he even tried to climb into the sheep's pen at one point. 

When you visit Little Farm, you'll see lots and lots of families with young kids.   Many kids visit with their grandparents, and today there were even some teenagers on awkward dates plus a big group of Cal undergrads, who seemed to be there for some kind of class assignment. If you have a couple of hours, you can pair your visit to Little Farm with a trip to the Merry-Go-Round (1 mile south of the Farm via Central Park Drive) and the incredible Redwood Valley Railway, a 15-gauge train ride (3 miles further south via Grizzly Peak Drive).  Don't forget to bring lots of celery and lettuce so you can you feed the animals!