Exploring Fort Cross | Irvine Moms



If you’re looking for a perfect family day filled with fun adventures and good times, STOP, and read about the eventful day we had at Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures! If you and your family love nature and outdoor activities, this one’s for you!

A Bit of History

Fort Cross was started by Jesse Cross, and was originally located in the San Bernardino Mountains, where he started teaching the living history of a special, family-run farm. Fort Cross is a very versatile learning center that can host schools/youth groups looking for their next field trip, or a family trip on the weekend.

In 2012, Doreen visited Fort Cross with her Girl Scout daughter for a field trip. They loved the activities and programs Jesse had planned for this field trip saying, “this is exactly the kind of thing that [she] thought Girl Scouts was about.” Doreen loved Fort Cross so much, she joined the team. 4 years later, Jesse and Doreen got married, and Fort Cross moved to its current location. Here, Jesse and Doreen Cross finally “have a place of his own where he could have the freedom to run Fort Cross, and boy has that dream come true!” This is definitely one of my favorite stories about how a place came to be, and it makes it even more genuine and welcoming. Hard work and dedication make dreams achievable, and sometimes you meet the love of your life along the way!

Fort Cross’ Many Programs and Activities

If your child’s school takes field trips suggestions, tell them about Fort Cross!

FC offers 5 (year-round) educational and 6 seasonal programs intended to teach your child the ways of life before all our “modern conveniences”. Each program has a different theme, with activities that go along with them.

We were lucky enough to try some of the activities available in the Farm Tour Adventure.

This package activities include hiking, archery, tomahawk throwing, cabin building, fire/shelter making, wild edibles identification, slingshot range, and a reptile show. Here’s how each of them went down:

First on the list was Tomahawk Throwing. Our wonderful guide took us to the area where we could test our skills. His instructions were very clear and thoroughly explained and the arena was supervised by the guides the whole time, ensuring everyone was throwing them properly. The throwing areas felt super safe and the activity itself was super fun and competitive!

After, we went on down to the slingshot gallery. This activity allows each guest to test their aiming skills and paint some targets. Like throwing tomahawks, this slingshot activity allows the whole family to bond because of how competitive it gets. This one is perfect for kids because Fort Cross has slingshots of different sizes, ensuring a safe experience, (bonus points because the kids have the permission to make a mess with paint.)

Up next, was my favorite activity of the day archery! Once again, we were instructed on how to properly handle a bow and arrow, promoting a safe learning environment. They also have safety equipment like arm guards ready to go if needed, so don’t worry because Fort Cross has thought of it all. Kids and adults can have fun at each of these activities and makes for a great group experience.

Besides the cool activities, we got to meet some wonderful friends that live on the farm! All the animals are very friendly, and it was so cool learning about them. At the petting zoo, you can play and feed the lovely goats, chickens, and a pig. Next to the petting zoo is where Fort Cross has their reptile show where they let us hold/meet reptiles such as snakes, a bearded dragon, a white-faced Tegu, a chameleon, and many turtles/tortoises! The petting zoo and the reptile show were super interactive and full of information about these beautiful animals.

We wanted to highlight our specific experience, BUT this is only a small portion of what Fort Cross has to offer. You can check out the rest of their programs and read what they include at https://www.fortcross.com/group-tours . Each package is fully detailed, down to the specific projects your children will be doing, the duration and even a list of what to bring so you’re extra prepared.

BOOK Your visits NOW!

We love telling you all about the fun we had at Fort Cross, but we want YOU to experience it for yourself! Luckily for you, Fort Cross’ Autumn Jubilee Festival is right around the corner. From September 24th to October 30th, Fort Cross invites you to “enjoy a fun day during Julian’s famous apple season!” The packages available are the Festival Activity Package and the Adventure package. The festival package starts at $25/ person, which includes reptile interactions, a hayride, cider pressing, Hoedown & jug show, petting zoo, and arts & crafts such as candle dipping and painting crafted items (both of which includes a take home item to remind you of the fun you had!)

The Adventure Package is only $20/ person, featuring archery, tomahawk throwing and a slingshot gallery! Not tired from having too much fun? Add on additional activities such as Fairy & Dino Garden Making, extra games, going through a Lilac Maze, the petting zoo, candle dipping and pumpkin painting ranging from an extra $5-$25.

If you (somehow) aren’t already convinced, Fort Cross is offering a 5% DISCOUNT to ANYONE who purchases their tickets online to Julian’s Autumn Jubilee before 9/23, so go plan your family trip today!



Fort Cross also honors an Active Military and First Responders discount. Visit https://www.fortcross.com/autumn-jubilee to BUY TICKETS or for more info.

Nearby Eats and Stays

Fort Cross is very well organized and never leaves questions unanswered. They have a full list of their favorite places to eat and stay on their website at https://www.fortcross.com/nearby-eats-and-stays .

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