Home SF Bay Area Gilroy Gardens fka Bonfante Gardens, Gilroy

Gilroy Gardens fka Bonfante Gardens, Gilroy

by TerriAnn

3050 Hecker Pass Hwy (Hwy 152), Gilroy, California 95020

Good for: Day-trip, children 7-yr and under
Price: $45/adult, $35/child
Features: Rides, Circus Trees, Agricultural

Gilroy Gardens is a theme park based on fruits and vegetables. Yes, that right. This amusement park is unique in its agricultural take on family fun. No where else can you ride in spinning garlics, swaying bananas, swinging mushrooms, and watch a talking produce show. Did I mention the unique Circus Trees?

The park is set pretty far inland. This allows for a very quiet setting with many areas set aside as specialty gardens. The park is exceptionally clean and the staff is friendly. Everything looks old but at least they are well-maintained. There’s a large lake that you can take a paddle boat on. We decided to stay in the shade since the sun can get pretty strong here. Can you tell who was heavier, my daughter or me?

I was surprised that they charged extra in the petting area. The tickets are regularly $44.99 so you would think everything would be included. Talk about gauging for money – $10 to hold a rope and walk in a circle with a pony?! That’s the same price they charge to have your car parked all day…

If you’d like to get a show in, the produce stand comes alive every so often. We didn’t stay and listen as my daughter looked embarrassed just being in the are as the entire audience consisted of children under 3 years old. I personally think the artichokes are cute.

There were two firsts for me. This is the first time I’ve seen a garlic hat. Also, I had NO idea that is how avocados grow!

Now the park was designed with the younger crowd in mind. I just didn’t know how young. My poor child was bored to death. We hoped she would enjoy the water features but that was basically a big shower.

While there were no teenagers to contend with, I would only recommend Gilroy Gardens if you have children under 7 years old. Grandparents can also take it easy while their little ones are entertained. Since the price for one day-admission is pretty overpriced, go at the end of the season to get heavily discounted tickets.

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