We haven’t been apple picking in a while; the last time we visited Oak Glen was back in 2014 when we joined three other families for a California fall adventure. When newly acquainted friends expressed interest in going apple picking, I jumped at the chance of driving 90 miles to Oak Glen with them to engage in yet another one of my favorite fall excursions.
We decided to visit Riley’s Apple Farm’s main location on the far eastern edge of Oak Glen’s apple orchard area. My family and I were unable to visit Riley’s Apple Farm during our 2014 visit (we visited its calmer sister facility, de Los Rios Rancho facility, instead) because it is very popular. Riley’s Apple Farm is a very frequented working apple orchard AND a living history farm that features unique entertainment for the visiting City Slicker (think living history education, dinner theatre, group banquet facilities, extended, historically-themed overnight stays, etc.).
Our late morning commute to Oak Glen proved that the early bird indeed gets the worm. The smooth 1-1/2 hour drive from the Coast came to a screeching halt when we were four miles away from Riley’s Apple Farm. It seemed that everyone from the City decided to go apple picking at Oak Glen on this beautiful fall day, too. No worries, the traffic was moving, albeit at a snail’s pace, and we eventually arrived at our destination within fifteen minutes.
The positive side of taking things slow is that I was able to take in the beautiful view.
We entered Riley’s Heritage Homestead area, and our senses were immediately heightened by the welcoming Revolutionary-era dressed women who offered us slices of apples, dollops of honey, shots of fresh apple cider, and chocolate chip cookies; the scented whiffs of Riley’s Cowboy Barbeque being prepared on the outdoor grill; and by melodic sounds of Western music performed live as visitors enjoyed lunch in the dining hall.
Our friends were running late, so my family and I decided to bide our time by checking out Riley’s other living farm amenities unrelated to the apple orchard, including Sleepy Hollow Woods. Note: we purposefully avoided the Corn Maze because my second child expressed fear from our last Corn Maze visit at Underwood Farms.
Like its Los Rios Rancho orchard, Riley’s “U-Pick” harvest opportunities are abundant. It was interesting to learn that there is more to Riley’s Apple Farm than just apples.
Have you seen a pear orchard before? Neither have I.
What about a real pumpkin patch?
What about this blanket of blooming beauty? It is fall, not spring, right?
This was a random treat: meeting up with various farm animals.
We finally found our friends, to which we were met with one of their sons showing us his small apple find from the grassy picnic area.
We later informed him that we were going to partake in actual apple picking from the trees. But first, we enjoyed our picnic lunch and meandered through the rest of the living farm before approaching the apple orchard.
Checking out the interactive demonstrations of how apple cider is made is always fun.
Riley’s General Store, where visitors can purchase a gallon of fresh apple cider and everything related to the fall harvest, was a frequent resting stop.
Finally, the apple picking.
Blink and it is suddenly 4:00. Alas, we missed our opportunity to take advantage of Riley’s last free tractor ride to its sister apple orchard. We were then advised that the farm was closing in preparation for its evening scheduled dining entertainment: Sleepy Hollow. The kids expressed zero interest in checking it out, so we decided to end our day’s adventures and made the drive back home, just in time to catch the beautiful Los Angeles sunset.
Riley’s Apple Farm
12261 South Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, California 92399
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