Friday, October 14, 2016

Tips for Visiting Riley's Farm Oak Glen: Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patch

Apple picking, pumpkin picking, strawberry picking, make your own apple cider juice, ride a tractor, have a BBQ lunch, sample different jams, even check out some goats and sheep. What a really cool experience! We went to Oak Glen to check out one of the apple orchards and I may have fallen in love with the idea of having a farm that people can visit, tour and experience.

11/12/16 update: Apple Butter Festival 2016 in Oak Glen will be on Thanksgiving Weekend, details HERE.

Our eldest has been learning about apples all week at school some weeks back and I thought why not bring her to do apple picking in Oak Glen. We've only done strawberry picking in Tanaka Farms before and I think I'm really falling in love with going to various farms. But instead of the planned apple picking in Oak Glen, we ended up going to Riley's Farm in Oak Glen for Pumpkin Patch and it was a lot of fun picking the crop ourselves.

Oak Glen is over an hour drive from LA or about an hour drive from Palm Springs. I HIGHLY recommend going there on a weekday if possible as it gets really pack. But if you can't, plan on arriving early.

The way up to Oak Glen is only a little windy so you don't have to worry about getting dizzy. The picture above is the road before you get up the hill. It's very pretty as the road is lined with tall trees.

Riley's Farm in Oak Glen opens at 10AM but because I was still doing some chores in the morning, we didn't get there until 1030AM and it was at that point a little too late already. We literally almost didn't find parking.

There were 2 parking areas, one in the front, and one more towards the center. The front of the farms has the apple trees, the back has the pumpkin farm, strawberry farm, the BBQ place and the store. I'd recommend parking in the middle to be in the middle of everything.

When you arrive at Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, they will hand you a map of the farm. At the back of it are list of produce available at the time of your visit or you can check their website before going.

My only compaint about the Riley's Farm is it is quite unorganized. They give you a map of the place but there are no signs at the farm. It's also confusing where to pay, where to get the bags, etc. It's like they make you go back and forth so check out some of my tips below.

Check out the map below. Heritage Homestead area is where we parked. If you want to experience making fresh apple cider you'd have to pay there. If you want to do strawberry picking, you can also get the basket from Heritage Homestead. The wagons for pumpkin picking is also just outside it per photo below.

After pumpkin picking, you can go to the tent near Strawberry Picking where they will weigh the pumpkins. The restrooms are near the tent as well.

Making fresh apple cider is beside the strawberry farm and it's $30 for the whole experience plus you'd get to make a galloon to bring home. Quite pricey but I think it's an awesome experience.

To sample different jams, go to the Heritage Homestead as well. The rasberry jalapeno and apple butter is my favorite). They cost $6.50 a jar though and they are not made there.

The apple picking is below Heritage Homestead. You will grab a bag from another tent near the apple trees. When you ask one of the workers where the apple picking is, they'll tell you it's all over depending on what kind of apple you want and that is just confusing because in the end they really don't point out where you should go. The city girl in me who don't get lose in the concrete jungle got lost in the apple farm. Haha.

Riley's Farm Oak Glen Map, screen grab from their website
Heritage Homestead
strawberry picking

making fresh apple cider

readily available apple cider

U-pick pumpkin farm

Looking at the pumpkin farm was amazing. There were a ton of it. It was amazing. Be careful when picking the pumpkin crop though, there were thorns. It's better to grab the pumpkin and turn it until it detaches from its vines. 

There were also some flowers like sunflower which you can also pick for a price.

There are also apple tasting just outside Heritage Homestead just beside the BBQ area. The kids loved apples and wanted to stay there forever. We were suppose to do apple picking but I wanted to go to another apple orchard where they sell apple cider DONUTS. Yes, you read it right, apple cider donuts.

But.. once we drove out at 1145AM, the cars were not moving at all. So we couldn't go up to the other orchards anymore and decided to just head for lunch and try to do it again next year instead. They have a bed and breakfast in one of the farms at Oak Glen. One of the farms also offer "glamping". If you're up for it, I'd say stay for the whole weekend if you're into visiting various farms.

I think you can only go to the various orchards if you go on a weekday, on a weekday forget about it, there are too many people, too many cars. So for our next trip to Oak Glen, I'm going to make sure to visit Snow-Line Orchard first.

What I like about Riley's Farm, is they are dress Colonial style and you just feel like you're really in a farm. It's really quiant.

Had we known it was gonna be hard to get to the other orchards, we would have just stayed at Riley's Farm and enjoyed Backwoods BBQ and apple picking. Although we did enjoy at eat all you can sushi and korean food just below the hill on the way back to the freeway.

The place can also get dusty. Bring the right shoes, a hat, sunblock and dress appropriately. Tons of picture opportunity while you're at Riley's Farm. Though a little confusing, we had a really good time and I'd do it again. Plan to stay all day if you're visiting Riley's Farm Oak Glen for Pumpkin Patch or just to pick other fruit, apple picking or berry picking. My next target is really apple cider donut picking. Haha.

Riley's Farm is located in 12261 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen, California 92399. Is it different from Riley's Apple Farm. I know.. how confusing, but this is the first orchard you'll see when going up Oak Glen for apple picking, or in our case pumpkin picking. Have fun!

If you have any questions, leave you comments and we'll try to answer as soon as we could.

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  1. We live in San Diego and have heard how awesome Riley's Farm is all the way down here! It looks like such a fun and interesting day with the kiddos! I love that they have animals and that you get to see the pumpkins growing on the vines. My daughter would love watching the apple cider press!

  2. I gotta get out there for a visit if only this weather would cool down already!! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. W didn't go to a pumpkin patch this year bit maybe next!

  4. I forgot how fun is to pick apples. The kids will have fun with cider press.

  5. I love farm like this. This past spring we visited a strawberry farm. We had a blast. 🍓🍓🍓

  6. I got a lot of good information from here. then I went with my four kids.


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