We’re always striving to make Hidden Villa more welcoming and engaging. Regardless of how often you come or participate in our programs, we want you to feel at home when you visit. As a result, we’ve made some changes and have dedicated staff and volunteer energy towards evaluating and responding to what you want from Hidden Villa. We’re excited to announce three new programs to enhance your Hidden Villa experience… Self-Guided Tours, Pop-Up Programs, and Weekend Ambassadors!
In an effort to share more of Hidden Villa with every visitor, we will be making a handful of self-guided tours available on our website and at our welcome kiosk. Our first tour will be the Living History Tour which will walk you through Hidden Villa’s history of stewardship. It begins with the land’s native inhabitants and moves up through the Franciscan Missionaries, stagecoach stop proprietors, the visionary Duveneck Family and Hidden Villa’s transition to a nonprofit organization led by a Board and professional staff.
The Living History Tour will be available to all visitors with a mobile device through our partnership with Easy2Hike. Easy2Hike is an exciting new company working to connect park managers with visitors to empower outdoor adventures. You can use the app with devices running on iOS or Android and then download the Living History Tour for offline use. The app can run without an internet connection and relies on GPS to guide you through the tour. Download the app, try it out, let us know what you think, and stay tuned for new tours being added over the next few years!
Since many of you drop by during the weekends with your family and friends without having pre-registered to join our programs, and since there are about 20,000 people just like you, we are now offering pop-up programs every Saturday and Sunday, from September through May! Each pop-up will be FREE and run for two hours between the peak visiting hours of 10 am to 1 pm. We’ll post these pop-ups at least a day in advance on our calendar of events and occasionally on our Facebook page. So far this season, we’ve had pop-ups including a Solar Oven Apple Bake and Sherlock Bones. Drop on by and see what new fun we’ve cooked up each weekend!
For many years you have come to Hidden Villa during the weekends and our staff have been so busy running programs, we haven’t been available to properly welcome you and share the latest Hidden Villa news. That’s why one of the enhancements that we’re most excited about is the formal addition of Weekend Ambassadors. Weekend Ambassadors are volunteers with a wide range of knowledge about Hidden Villa; some of them are newer to Hidden Villa but are very excited to help out other newcomers; some have 70 years of institutional knowledge and were involved at the same time that Josephine and Frank founded our Summer Camps (in 1945)! They are wonderful people and they are very excited to share their institutional knowledge and love of everything Hidden Villa. Ambassadors will station themselves at our information kiosk during peak visiting hours every Saturday and Sunday. The team of Ambassadors is being led by Meryl Urdang (pictured right) and supported by Visitor Services Intern, Emily Bell. Please come by and say hello whether you visit once a year or every weekend!
…and, we’re actively recruiting and building our team of Weekend Ambassadors. It’s fun, easy, and rewarding. If you are interested in learning more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to have you join the team!