‘Kids Day at the Adobe’ combines history and fun – The Vacaville Reporter


After starting her birthday riding around Lagoon Valley Park, 7-year-old Michelle Yoon joined her family at Peña Adobe Park.

Little did she know she was about to get into fun activities related to history, arts, crafts and even goats.

“I was very excited,” she said Saturday.

“Kids Day at the Adobe” at Peña Adobe Park, organized by the Peña Adobe Historical Society, brought families to the century-old Adobe for fun and to learn about the history of one of the oldest buildings of Solano County.

Peña Adobe Historical Society President Cricket Kanouff expressed excitement for the event, which had long been postponed due to the pandemic.

“We were very excited (to host), because we are volunteers and we can’t help each other,” laughed Kanouff.

Five-year-old Colton Clark, of Vacaville, practices rope at the Peña Adobe Historical Society’s “Kids Day at the Adobe” event in Vacaville on Saturday. (Photo by Corey Kirk, the reporter)

Those present were left with a lot to do. As they rode they were greeted by the sweet sounds of the Vacaville Jammers playing songs from the past and present, including by Darius Rucker and John Denver.

Viewers could learn how to make a corncob doll with Darlene Stewart, a fifth-generation Peña, or join a group of volunteers to play instruments made by Native Americans.

However, if you ask seven-year-old Ryley Musial from Vacaville, the goats at McQueeney’s Goat Ranch were his favorite stop.

Seven-year-old Ryley Musial of Vacaville arrives to pet a goat from McQueeney’s Goat Ranch on Saturday during the “Kids Day at the Adobe” event at Peña Adobe Park in Vacaville hosted by the Peña Adobe Historical Society. (Photo by Corey Kirk, the reporter)

“I was really excited, I like to feed the goats,” Ryley said.

Gathered under a tent pitched in the center of the park, the children came together to hear the story of a cat who learns the importance of listening in “Mr. The Cat and the Carpet,” written by Robert Magarrrell. At children’s events hosted by the Peña Adobe Historical Society in the past, the author was thrilled to read his story in person.

“I had to remember some words because I don’t read them face to face,” Magarrrell said. “It was great to have this face-to-face human connection, to see their face-to-face reactions. I loved every moment of it.”

Seven-year-old Michelle Yoon sits with her three-year-old brother, Michael Yoon Jr., both of Fairfield, and their father Michael Yoon Sr. of Tracy, listening to author Robert Magarrrell read his book, “Mr. Cat and the Mat,” at the Peña Adobe Historical Society’s “Kids Day at the Adobe” event Saturday in Vacaville. (Photo by Corey Kirk, the reporter)

Following their children through the park, the parents shared a sense of gratitude for an event that gave them the opportunity to get their children out of the house and out to enjoy the sunshine.

Russ Gier, a Vacaville resident, was present with his wife, Wanda, and their children, Johanna, Ava and Melina.

“They (the volunteers) did a really good job with the kids, giving them things to do and teaching them how to do different things,” Russ said.

While the focus was on fun, opportunities to learn presented themselves through the historic Peña Adobe Museum and Mowers-Goheen.

“I learned the history of this whole area and the house and everything,” Johanna said.

The Giers said this would not be the last time they visit Peña Adobe.

“It’s nice to come to a place that’s not that expensive,” Wanda said.

“It’s kid-friendly but historic at the same time,” Russ added.

For more information about the Peña Adobe Historical Society and the events it organizes, visit https://www.penaadobe.org/events.

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