Picnic Day: Milking the Day for Fun

Picnic Day Chair Grace Scott, left, and ASUCD President Mariah Watson with their cow during a milking lesson at the campus dairy
Picnic Day Chair Grace Scott, left, and ASUCD President Mariah Watson take a cow-milking lesson at the campus dairy. Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo

What Does Picnic Day Mean to You?

(1 min 26 sec)

Imagine this: It’s Saturday, April 18, and you enter the UC Davis campus on Picnic Day and pick up a Schedule of Events, which outlines the 200-plus events offered on campus. You flip through the pages or go to AggieFeed online and notice the parade, Doxie Derby and cockroach races.

You’ve been to all of these events the year prior and had a blast. This year, however, you want to visit and experience other events You may even want to finally learn to milk a cow or a goat, or both! What do you do?

Fear not! The 101st Picnic Day Board of Directors is here to help! Here are six events that will be happening on Picnic Day that you may not have heard about, but will thoroughly enjoy.

Get spooky with biomedical engineering

More Highlights

Are you a fan of haunted houses on Halloween? Do you want to learn more about the amazing and innovative biomedical engineering research happening at UC Davis?

If the answer is “yes,” or even “maybe,” walk on over to the Biomedical House of Horrors. This event, located at 1127 Kemper, is going into its fifth year, put on by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Society.

There will be multiple stations and even a jello brain! This will be a spooky event, so be sure to check it out!


  • Ticket distribution: Begins at 10:30 a.m.
  • Event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

In one sentence: “Expect a combination of scary, off-beat humor and cutting edge biomedical engineering” at the Biomedical House of Horrors.

A friendly kayaking competition

a kayak and paddle

Have a friend or family member that you have always wanted to race? This will be the perfect setting for some friendly competition!

Time: 10:30 a.m. to noon

In one sentence: “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the human drama of athletic competition, and getting water all over yourself.”

Make a beeline to the Robert Mondavi Institute

Honey bee on nectarine blossom

Look for bee-inspired kids’ crafts, a photo opportunity with a bee mascot and showings of the Disneynature film Wings of Life.

Participants will also be able to taste multiple varietal honeys, as well as buy delicious UC Davis honey.

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In one sentence: “Pollination Day is sweet fun for the whole family, swing by and grab your own jar of UC Davis honey!”

Dogs flying high

Dog running with a flying disc inits mouth

Put on by the Canine Medicine Club at the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Frisbee Dog Contest is one of the many exciting animal events during the day. This is a great event to bring children and family members.

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In one sentence: Come watch a showcase of “talented, fun-loving dogs in our community that love to play Frisbee!”

Meet Charlie the K-9

Dog wearing a harness saying 'Police'

Four other dogs will join Charlie to demonstrate their repertoire of skills, from finding bombs to jumping over fences. While not technically “new,” this popular event, which once brought more than two thousand fans, is returning to Picnic Day after a several years of hiatus. Don’t miss it!

Time: Noon and 2 p.m.

In one sentence: UC Davis Police Department and talented service dogs team up to put on an unforgettable show!

Moo-ve on to the Cole Facility

Man milking a cow

Time: Noon to 3 p.m.

In one sentence: Add learning to milk a cow and dairy goat to your repertoire! 

Finally, no matter what you choose, Picnic Day has events that are for everyone.

We hope you enjoy your day and make lasting memories with family members, old friends and new friends! We also have safety tips to share.

Make sure to use #PicnicDay101 when sharing your Picnic Day experience on social media.

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