The beautiful and historic “Rileys Farm” in Oak Glen is massive, filled with barns, U-pick fruit orchards, streams, and a restaurant/bakery. The serenity is only broken by occasional musket fire.
Double take- musket fire??? Rileys Farm (Not to be mistaken for “Rileys Apple Farm” also in Oak Glen) distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack by offering authentic time-period reenactments. On any given day Rileys Farm is transformed into Revolutionary War camps, the Gold Rush, or even Colonial Farmlands, complete with costumed actors and diverse itineraries designed to teach while having fun. If that wasn’t cool enough, you can even plan an overnight Revolutionary War experience!
The day I arrived happened to be Revolutionary War day, and I was immediately greeted by two Redcoats. Luckily I didn’t appear threatening and was allowed inside. The farm was packed with school-age children excitedly chatting away about what they’ve seen and what they can’t wait to do. They were divided into groups (homesteads) and led off to different areas of the farm to learn about the different aspects of Revolutionary times. They show everything from the domestic lives of farmers to the training, battle, legal, and other aspects of the daily lives of soldiers.
Normally large groups (such as schools) book these kind of tours, but you can join in by making reservations online and paying $16/person.It has such a historic feel that PBS’s “Courage, New Hampshire” is filmed here!
Rileys Farm also offers U-pick strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, watermelons, and pears. Obviously fruit is seasonal so check the website to make sure what you want is in season. These events are popular so make sure you get there at the beginning of the season to have the pick of the crop!
At night, Rileys Farm is eager to present their “Living History Dinners” which are held in a rustic barn and features historic live theatre such as “Sherlock Holmes”, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “A Christmas Carol”. Other events such as Mothers and Fathers Day tributes are held here too. You are treated to an outdoor grilled meal, and have a selection ales, lagers, ciders, and wines! I even caught a glimpse of some Hanger 24!
Private events such as weddings are popular at Rileys Farm. If you are looking for picturesque and rustic you would have a hard time finding anything that compares to this in Southern California. Depending on your wedding date, you can have anything from blooming apple orchards to snow as a backdrop! Their event planner can help you figure out all the details of your dream wedding.
Feel free to wander the grounds, if you’re in the mood for a nature walk. “Wow” and “beautiful” are words I found myself repeating. Just be sure not to leave before checking out “The Hawk’s Head” restaurant and trying their creamy chicken pot pie, juicy roast beef, and fried sausage and apple appetizer. If you’re not hungry enough for a full meal, head to the bakery and take home an apple pie, or sally lunn bread. The website offers order-ahead options.
Rileys Farm is fun for the whole family, and no one can tell you that better than family man, owner Jim Riley himself. He and his family all participate in the running of the farm, including the reenactments! So bring your family to meet his, and create your own adventure at Rileys Farm.