Visit the Tilden Little Farm
San Francisco › Tilden Little Farm
Added by Sarah Eichstedt
Little Farm is a tiny working farm tucked away in the Berkeley hills (Tilden Regional Park). They have cows, goats, rabbits, pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens, and a group of turkeys that wander freely. Bring the kids here to feed the animals and enjoy the abundant wildlife. Did I mention that it's free? They also have events and workshops for the whole family and there is plenty of hiking and picnicking nearby.
First make sure to stop at the store and stock up on fresh lettuce and celery for the animals. Your kids (or just the kid in you) will love to feed them! Note that they're only allowed to eat lettuce and celery, so don't try to feed them your own snacks or get creative. ;)
If you want to make it a full day adventure, bring a picnic lunch (there are grills and picnic tables), some outdoor games (frisbee anyone?), and hiking gear to explore the surrounding trails. Note: Little Farm is open daily from 8:30am-4pm; and the Nature area (picnicking, trails, etc) is open daily 5am-10pm.
Once you have your gear and animal food in tow, head over to Tilden Nature Area (Tilden Regional Park) in the Berkeley Hills and follow the signs to Little Farm by way of Central Park Drive or Wildcat Canyon Road to Canon Drive. (Following the map directions included here will get you right to the parking lot.)
Park in the large lot surrounded by a field, picnic tables, and a playground. Enter the park at the roundabout and make a right just before the visitor's center. You made it to Little Farm! Make sure to visit all of the different enclosures and have the kids read the informational signs about each animal. The goats will love the fresh lettuce and celery! There may be baby chicks or bunnies to see as well! Enjoy laughing at the turkeys as they waddle along the paths like they own the place, but be sure not to get too close as they will chase you down! Keep your eyes open for other wildlife in the surrounding woods, such as deer, quail, and other feathered friends.
For additional wildlife viewing, head over to Jewel Lake across the way and stroll the casual loop around the lake. I often spot waterfowl and turtles here! Feel free to stop by the Environmental Education Center to pick up a map on your way over to the lake (open Tues-Sun 10am-4:30pm). If you want, you can test your trail legs and hike up to Wildcat Peak or explore a variety of other trails from here. (Note that portions of Nimitz Way and Wildcat Peak Trail will be closed Mon-Fri through Summer 2016.)
When you get hungry, head back to the picnic area to grill up some burgers and enjoy a game of catch on the lawn. Watch the kids enjoy the playground and relax knowing that it was a day well spent!
- Lettuce and celery to feed the animals
- Hiking gear if going on a hike (if it rained recently it can get muddy at the farm, so bring shoes that can get dirty)
- Food for a picnic lunch (charcoal if using one of the grills)
- Outdoor games to play in the field (frisbee, baseball, etc)
- Map of Tilden Regional Park (can be obtained at the Environmental Education Center or online here)
- Extra layers for when it gets chilly in the evening
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