Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween fun in the Bay Area

As a kid, when my sister wanted to scare me witless, she'd button her robe over her head, stick her arms straight out and moan like the Headless Horseman from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And then spend the next hour explaining to my Mom how much her little sister actually enjoyed having the poop scared out of her (truth is, I did).

At Fremont's Ardenwood Historic Farm, you can take a ride on their Halloween Train (Thursday and Friday this week), tour the semi-spooky Patterson Home, or roam the Pumpkin Patch to pick up a pumpkin from the field. (It all may not scare the kids as much as the Headless Horseman, but maybe that's a good thing.)

Or join one of Ardenwood's educational programs where you can see/ participate in many activities common to a turn-of-last-century farm. Beyond Halloween, there's plenty to see here: Board a horse-drawn train and ride into the park with docents dressed in period costumes. Roam a Victorian Garden or the 1857 Patterson House with its turreted Queen Anne addition. See sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, goats, and cows or poke your head into the Blacksmith Shop.

Details: Pumpkin Patch hours are 1 to 7, Monday – Friday; 9 to 5 Sat. The pumpkin patch will close at 5:00 p.m. on Halloween (October 31st). Weekdays, naturalists provide programs for school classes and other groups by reservation; call 510/ 544-2797. Parking is free but there's a modest entry fee for the park.

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COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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