Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fun in Oak Glen

Last weekend we took an overnight trip to one of my favorite field-trip places growing up - Oak Glen. It is here in this tiny mountain town that you can step back in history and pick apples from the trees, visit a colonial style village and an old school house from the 1800's.  These places are a bit hard to find in Southern California, so I was really looking forward to this trip.

We left on a Friday and drove the hour and a half up the mountain, and when we got there we were pleasantly surprised that it had just snowed!!  It could not have been more beautiful. Freezing cold, but beautiful.

Our first stop was Riley's Farm, where they have an old gold mine, a colonial house, gift stores and a restaurant. There were some people dressed up there in "traditional garb" entertaining the guests.  We ordered our hot corn chowder and a huge sandwich, and headed back to the car to eat lunch because all of the tables were wet and it was so cold outside.   My sister met us there and brought scarves and gloves with her, which helped a ton.

Next stop was the old school house, which I grew up going to every year and still remember it like it was yesterday.  I was so bummed that it was closed, because my boys have never seen an old school house before and I thought they'd enjoy it.  Apparently they close the school on rainy, snowy or wet days. The boys had fun anyway and had a short snowball fight.


We went further up the road to Riley's Farm at Los Rios Ranchos.  The Riley family owns many of the groves in Oak Glen, although they are each independently operated. At this farm, you can press your own apple cider (for $15 a gallon), buy a huge apple pie, visit a petting zoo, or hike their nature trails.  They have a huge gift store where you can sample all of their jams, apple butters and apple breads.

We stayed there awhile and then drove even further up the road to Oak Tree Village - an interesting, eclectic, odd, dirty, outdoor-swap-meet type place. We all got the creeps there.  Not sure exactly why, but it's weird.  I still have memories of going there as a child and seeing their "zoo," which is overpriced and not worth it. This stop was where we picked up some hot chocolate with whipped cream to prepare for our drive back down the mountain.

After about 6 hours of sight-seeing, we were all tired and ready to go.  We headed into a nearby city where I had made a hotel reservation for the night, and the boys were SO excited.  They have always wanted to stay in a hotel and could not stop talking about it. I found a great deal and we got a huge room with breakfast included for only $80.  AND it was right next door to my favorite restaurant- The Old Spaghetti Factory.

The boys made some funny comments about the room, like when Micah went in the bathroom and saw the hair dryer on the wall. He exclaimed, "Mom! You can call people from in here!"  (He apparently thought it was a phone).  Jaden opened the closet, saw an ironing board and said, "Hey!  There's a surf board in here!"

We played musical beds that night because the boys moved around a lot in their queen sized bed and almost fell out a number of times.  It was fun, though, and they can't wait to stay in a hotel room again sometime.

The next day we enjoyed the hotel breakfast together, which was a gigantic breakfast. It included made-to-order omelettes, biscuits and gravy, cereal, bagels, juice, waffles, etc...   We were full all morning and had a late lunch on the way home.

I can't wait to go back - the short getaway felt like more than 1 night because there was a lot packed in, but it was a lot of fun and so worth it.  It was cheap, too!  If you live in Southern California, I highly recommend Oak Glen!


  1. How fun! I've never heard of Oak Glen before. And super cute outfit with boots you are wearing :)

  2. We love Oak Glen! We're thinking of taking the girls in a couple weeks :)