Tartan Day Scottish Fair, Ardenwood Historic Farm

Sunshine and warmth… much appreciated after a week of storms! And a beautiful day to celebrate our Scottish heritage. We attended the Tartan Day Scottish Fair, held today at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. The bagpipes, the fiddlers, the people walking around in traditional dress, the highland games, and historic reenactments were all interesting, but the highlight for my son was the Children’s Glen. To be expected for a four-year-old, right? A few of the traditional games were tailored to be fun for little kids.

  • Caber toss: Instead of tossing a long tapered pine pole (basically a tree!), the kids tossed foam pool noodles cut down to size.
  • Scottish hammer throw: Instead of using a 16-22 lb hammer, the children threw foam hammers over their heads (backwards), trying to throw through a small field goal.
  • Haggis Toss: Perhaps not a traditional Highland game, but it is Scottish. Apparently, at lunchtime, the ladies would toss lunch (haggis.. uh… I do know some people who love it) across the river to the men. The men would catch in their kilts. For the fun, a “haggis” was created by sewing beans into a brown sack.

Other games in the Children’s Glen that were perhaps not so Scottish in origination..

  • Giant Jenga: Someone cut 2 x 4 pieces of wood down to size to create a giant Jenga game. Hands down, this was what my son enjoyed the most today (see pictures below). This isn’t exactly what we played today, but I found these instructions for building a set online… www.finewoodworking.com/item/23117/giant-jenga .
  • Fishing: Classic kid game. Magnets are glued to felt fish and put into a pond, which is actually a large bowl. Each child has a fishing rod, which has a magnet on the end. Simple, but always fun.

Great fun!

Interested in Scottish festivals? Don’t miss the the Scottish Highland Games held every Labor Day weekend at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.




  1. rommel says:

    Cool! It doesn’t look safe for the kid to be playing that. Sure looks fun for them. It balances it out.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Yes, I was a bit frightened about the structure falling down on him!


  2. I love Ardenwood. We went a lot when our boys were young.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      They have so many great programs for kids (Toddler Time was a favorite for a year or so).


      1. They do! We loved going in the fall when they let you harvest popping corn. They had stations for making butter, and a few others I’ve since forgotten. Love that place.


        1. A Nature Mom says:

          The Harvest Festival is a favorite! We’ll definitely be doing that one again this year.


  3. puppy1952 says:

    What a fun day. I can just picture those ancient Scots tossing and catching their haggis from across the river -what a sight!


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