Riley’s Farm — a trip back in time with live dinner theatre, farm life, hiking, glamping, produce picking…

By on September 12, 2018

How long has it been since you drove up to mountainside to enjoy rolling hills and pastural settings at Riley’s Farm? Perhaps best known for its apple picking season Riley’s Farm is so much more than its 70 varieties of apples. And if you’ve never visited Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, you’re in for a treat!

Riley’s Farm is truly a living history venue. It is also a 760-acre, working farm as well as a year-round destination. It’s an opportunity to experience numerous hiking trails where the temperature is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Yucaipa and the rest of the Inland Empire.

Riley’s Farm is “glamping,” the coined term for glamour camping.  At Riley’s Farm glamping is private luxury tent camping with a luxury queen-sized-mattress amongst majestic oaks. Or hold a family reunion in a colonial tent which can hold between 10 to 24 cots. It’s also an opportunity for couples camping in the summer where you can sip champagne by candlelight, take a stroll (hand-in-hand if you choose) through the apple and pear orchards, pick fresh berries when in season, dine on sumptuous farm-fresh meals, and relax in your own private fully furnished marquee tent in Colonial Chesterfield.

Riley’s Farm is also an excellent choice for group retreats. Staff members can help you design your own living history experience and provide lots of engaging, hands-on activities for your campers to try.  Explore the many facets of farm life or try your hand at classic sports like archery and tomahawk throwing.

Dinner theater productions are one of Riley’s Farm’s most popular activities. The farm maintains a year-round calendar of dinner theatre productions including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in October, both Christmas in the Colonies and A Christmas Carol in December and September’s Rockabilly Nights! Other dinner theater events have included Sherlock Holmes and the Singing Specter of Blagcross Castle, The Importance of Being Earnest and Prohibition-Angels in the Dark. Specialty events include the annual St. Valentine’s Dinner & Dance, Big Band Dance (a return to 1946) and Summer Masquerade where you’ll find yourself in in the 18th century.

All Dinner Theatre events feature audience participation and sumptuous meals with appetizers, entrees, sides and dessert which often reflect meals that coincide with the dinner theater timeline. Think of delicacies like tea and scones with clotted cream, beef and ale pot pies, English trifle, Yorkshire pudding and salamagundi. Audience participation varies with the event but can include hayrides, dancing instruction, apple bobbing, pumpkin seed spitting or the squaring-off between the Patriots and the Tories. Regardless, attendees young and old, are guaranteed an evening of fun-filled participation and superb meals.

Private events in the form of corporate functions, tavern banquets and other gatherings can be hosted at Riley’s Farm. However, Riley’s Farm is perhaps best known by school children throughout Southern California and beyond for their immersive field trips and portrayal of historical time periods including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Gold Rush, Colonial farm life and the Old Joe Homestead Tour. Overnight field trips include Revolutionary War and Gold Rush experiences. And don’t overlook Riley’s Farm for a summer day camp experience for the kids that is second to known.

Although American history is alive and well at Riley’s Farm so are restaurant and bakery options. The Hawk’s Head tavern provides early colonial America complete with historical settings, live music, and beautiful surrounding orchards of Oak Glen. The menu features time period meals as well as selection of ales, wines, and ciders. Even the tavern itself has been built with the original tongue and groove technique and the interior is modeled from colonial taverns of old including a roaring fireplace.

And, back to the beginning, apples aren’t the only fruit available for picking. Consider a trip up to Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen for U-Pick strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, pumpkins and, of course apples. Whatever the reason or motivation, consider a short run up the hill to Riley’s Farm and know the whole family will have a great day.