This year, I fully embraced the Fall season. It’s my favorite season, and in my opinion, Fall doesn’t officially start until October – which also happens to my birthday month. I love sweater weather, the changing leaves, and fall sweets just like everyone else, and this year I took it to the next level by going to a harvest festival!
Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont holds a Harvest Festival in the middle of October annually. It’s their last big event that sprawls across the whole farm. For years, I’ve driven by their signs for their various events and I’ve always told myself I wanted to go… and never did. The last time I came here was in junior high when they used to host Civil War Days at the farm (it was actually really cool). The last time I’d been to a pumpkin patch (also at this farm), I was 6!
Why do I call it Star’s Hollow? A lot of the annual events they host at the farm, makes me think of the different events the fictional town has throughout the seasons of Gilmore Girls. I love how the people at the farm get really into it with their costumes and activities. It really feels like I’m in a totally different place – not in the East Bay!
It only cost $10 per person (additional costs for food/drinks), and parking is free. The nice thing is that people were going in and out all day, so we found parking pretty quickly. We walked through this garden area where weddings are held, past the greenhouse, and ended up in the center where the Patterson Ranch House is located. It’s a 16 room Victorian-era Queen Anne mansion with original furnishings, and operates as a museum with tours and hosts events in conjunction with the farm. They had these really cute pumpkins sitting out on the front porch!
We didn’t do the house tour, although I’ve always wanted to check it out. There were several activities happening throughout the day, so we wanted to scope out the scene before deciding what to do. Tours run every hour and they have a break during November where they get the house ready with Christmas decorations!
See what I mean about a piece of Star’s Hollow? There’s literally a gazebo across from the house and it looks JUST like the one in Gilmore Girls! There was a group of women (not sure if they were a choir or an a capella group) singing Fall-themed songs, so it really added to the quirkiness of Star’s Hollow. They always have people in costume doing things that are super on theme for the event. 😂
We left the house lawn and moved towards the other activities that were happening, closer to where they have a little store and other farm animals. The apple pressing for cider was happening by the house, but it was too early, and by the time I came back, I couldn’t get a good picture!
There was an assortment of activities to do! It’s nice because it’s family friendly and easy to do. They had ice cream making (hence the salt next to the bucket) and also made fresh syrups, corn husk doll making, face painting, and these stilts that people could try to walk around across the lawn. It was pretty funny watching people attempt that!
One reason we decided to come was to go corn picking. My sister and I had gone apple picking for the first time a couple of years back in Southern California, so this was the closest we could get, lol. The farm doesn’t grow apples, but pumpkins and corn are all around! They were giving samples of popped popcorn at this area, where they had an old fashioned outdoor kitchen, and these really cute containers.
Okay, so, we did the corn picking. For every 10 ears you pick, you have to give the farm back one since it goes back to feeding the farm animals. There are two types of corn you can pick: Maize or Flint corn (the colorful one) or popcorn (the golden yellow ones). The first one is the kind you can eat and cook, while the latter you can make popcorn with! Otherwise, it’s totally free! That’s a pretty sweet deal. We saw people with wagons full of corn, so my sister and I thought it would be pretty easy. Only, we walked to the corn field at like 2 P.M., and most of the stalks had, of course, been picked by then, so we really had to go deep into the field. It’s also kinda hard to walk through the stalks and pick off the actual ears. We are not made for farming. I had sneakers on, but I wish I wore better ones to walk through the area easily. It was a fun and random experience but I don’t think I’d do the corn picking part again haha.
I don’t know why, but neither of us thought to bring a water bottle with us to the festival. So, after being out in the corn fields with the sun baring down on us, we got thirsty. I can’t remember the exact name, but it was a cross between apple cider and apple pie! The closest we got to cider during the visit, which was a secondary goal. I wish they had some for purchase as a result of the cider pressing! There were also other snacks like these cookies and local goods.
After all of that was done, we walked across the parking lot to Perry’s Farm. This is where the actual pumpkin patch is! I remember it being a lot more full, but I was also a little kid on a field trip with my class, lol. It’s hilarious watching people trying to get ~aesthetic~ photos for the ‘gram while parents are also trying to document their children. I admit, I took some photos too, but I’m really awkward and still don’t know how to pose for IG, haha. We did buy a couple of small pumpkins and popcorn since we only picked the maize.
Overall, it was a fun day! I didn’t think there would be that much to do during the festival, but it was fun to walk around and just take in the activities. It really did feel like I was thrown into Star’s Hollow with Lorelei and Rory, walking around the town square and walking by one of the events Taylor has thrown together. Definitely gonna check out more events at the farm!