Good, old fashioned family fun.
Sometimes, it seems hard to come by. My boys are at that age where electronics are king; they’ve developed irrational attachments to their tablets and sprout pincher-like claws anytime I try to pry them away. So, it’s my job as their mom to ensure they get the basics of childhood: fresh air, lots of exercise, and an understanding of how food gets from farm to table.
Luckily, there’s Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm.
I have fond memories of visiting the farm as a young child, and it’s no wonder – for 50 years, Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm in Halton Hills has been a tradition for generations of kids and kids-at-heart. Back in the 80’s, we had the opportunity to enjoy a hayride and pick our own apples. It was a great way to spend a few hours away from the classroom.
Today, however, there’s enough to do at Chudleigh’s to fill a whole day with happy memories!
Upon entering the farm, the first thing my boys ran to was the absolutely enormous play structure. It’s no secret: show kids a slide (especially four gigantic, 20-foot slides) and they *will* slide down, repeatedly. It’s the perfect way to burn off some energy before the more low-key activities that require calm and patience.
When the boys tired of the giant slide (translation: I hollered to them to move on to something new), they tried their hand at the hay maze. Since Ryder is a tall 9-year old, he “cheated” – Reid’s words, not mine – by looking over the top to find the correct path in and out. However, younger kids (or shorter ones, like his little brother) will have a great time trying to make their way through the expansive maze.
Hint: Parents can stand on the bales of hay if they need to locate missing maze dwellers.
Having worked their little lungs, they were ready for some down time. Right next to the hay maze is the sweetest little barn and sand pit. Since I have a sand castle enthusiast on my hands, I waited in the shade and chatted with other moms as my budding architect fussed with his creations.
While Reid was hard at work, Ryder checked out the retired tractors (a great photo op for little ones) and lazed on one of the swings. Since he’s currently fascinated with history, he was interested in hearing Tom and Carol Chudleigh’s story –
“We first invited people to visit our family’s apple farm in Milton, Ontario, in 1967. We were inspired to see how families from nearby cities loved this taste of country life, and how a sunny fall day on the farm just seemed to turn everybody into a kid.”
They’re right, of course. Within a few moments of being at the farm, a rush of warm, wonderful memories from my own youth came flooding back to me. Isn’t it awesome to connect with nature?
Next, we spent some time with friendly farm animals! Pony rides are available every day from 11:00am to 4:00pm (weather permitting) for riders up to 70 lbs. You’ll also have the chance to feed and pet the animals, which was a hit with the boys.
Note to my readers: The farm animals appeared to be well cared for. They were responsive and very chatty, and their pens were clean and spacious. I know animal welfare is top of mind for many – myself included.
Finally, it was time to take a scenic tractor wagon ride to the orchard for – what else? – apple picking! The tractor comes round roughly every 15 minutes and will take you through the orchard. (Before you jump on, be sure to grab a bag to stash your apples.) You’ll be able to keep track of which apple varietals you’d like to pick and hop off when you’re ready to begin.
This week, Gala and Courtland apples are ready for picking! You can keep track of the Pick You Own (P.Y.O) calendar here.
Of course, I left the best for last – on the way out, don’t forget to visit the Farm Kitchen! Home of the original Apple Blossom, the fully-licensed Farm Kitchen now serves up Chudleigh’s desserts every day. YUM!
When we were ready to leave Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm, my husband and I made a pact to return over a weekend in fall. It was a much-needed day spent together, and we’re very keen on continuing the Chudleigh’s tradition with my boys.
Click here for information about admission and directions to the farm. It’s conveniently located in Milton, less than an hour northwest from Toronto.
Are you ready to make your own memories at Chudleigh’s this year? Hashtag your adventures with #Chudleighs on social media, and be sure to follow the farm on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @ChudleighsFarm. The farm is open daily until October 31 from 10 am to 5 pm; visit Chudleigh’s online at www.chudleighs.com.
This post is sponsored by Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.