From Harvest fests to spooky spiders and bats — Fall fun in East Bay Parks

From Harvest fests to spooky spiders and bats — Fall fun in East Bay Parks

EAST BAY AREA, CA (Oct. 5, 2022) — Corn harvesting, cider pressing, train rides and live music are among the activities on tap during the Harvest Festival at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9.

Visitors will be able to pick ears of flint corn or popcorn and take home some of what they harvest (bring a bag for the corn). Historic crafts will be available for sale. The farm’s narrow-gauge train will be running, and the farm’s restored 19th century Patterson House will be open for tours.

Tickets to the event cost $10 per adult, $8 for seniors 62 and older, and $6 for children ages 4 through 17. Kids age three and under are free. Parking is free.

You can purchase advance tickets by calling 888-327-2757 and selecting option 2. Online ticket sales end on Friday, Oct. 7. Pre-sale tickets are not refundable.

Ardenwood Historic Farm recreates life on a prosperous 19th century farming estate. It is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For information on the festival, call 510-544-2797 or go to

Sunol Wilderness and Lake Chabot

October park activities: Crown Beach cleanup, Sunol celebration and corn husk doll making
Sunol Regional Wilderness area (Pete Cruz photo)

There are lots of other activities planned in the regional parks, now that summer has officially turned to fall.

For example you can drop by the newly remodeled visitor center at Sunol Regional Wilderness any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, pick up an activity sheet, and set forth on a self-guided scavenger hunt in the park.

While you are at the park, stop by the Ohlone Cultures Table on Saturday to learn about the cultural history of the Native Americans who were the first people to inhabit what is now the park.

Also on Saturday, you can join naturalist Kristina Parkison to learn and play some Ohlone games in a program from 1 to 2 p.m.

Sunol is the gateway to thousands of acres of remote and wild open space in southern Alameda County. The park is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. The programs are free. For information, call 510-544-3243.

Or you can join naturalist Michael Charnofsky for a Saturday Stroll, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Oct. 8 at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley.

Meet Michael at the Chabot Staging Area for a moderate 3½ -mile hike with pretty views at the end.

The staging area is on Redwood Road several miles north of town. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Creepy crawlers

Spiders and scorpions are the focus of a short walk from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, starting at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.

Naturalist Trent Pearce will lead the way, discussing how these and other arachnids are beneficial to the environment. Rain cancels.

The center is located at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Moonlight Meander

A moonlight meander is on the agenda from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley.

Naturalist Misti Marsh will lead the walk on darkening trails listening for screeches, hoots, howls, and clicks, while watching the moonrise. Bring flashlights.

And there’s a nature-based craft program from noon to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October, led by an interpretive student aide. The theme on Oct. 8 and 9 is “Bountiful Bats.”

Big Break Regional Shoreline is located at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. There’s no parking fee and the programs are generally free. For information, call 510-544-3050.

There are plenty of other activities planned in the regional parks this fall. For the full story, go to and click on “Things to Do” at the top of the home page.