After growing up in the city, I love getting out in the country. The idea of being able to go to a farm and pick your own produce is so appealing. So, I started a tradition of going in the fall to pick apples. Last year we went to Andrew’s Scenic Acres and picked raspberries which was fun, but is wasn’t as exciting as Chudleigh’s so this year we went back with all three kids and here’s my review.
PETTING ZOO: For animal lovers like me and my family the petting zoo is always great fun. They have a variety of animals from pygmy goats to sheep, pigs, cows, deer, bunnies, roosters, and horses.For $1 you can get an ice cream cone full of food that you can feed to the animals, which are all very friendly (and fat). They also make it educational with informative signs like a female deer is called (open flap) a doe.
The animals are all well cared for and are great if your children don’t have a lot of animal experience.
Believe it or not, you are even allowed to bring your own dogs to the farm, they are just not allowed in the food areas or the petting zoo.
Picking your own apples is the best part of the experience. One of my favourite things is that you get to ride by tractor out to the area with the apples you would like to pick. The down side is that you cannot bring a stroller on the tractor ride so be prepared to leave yours in the stroller parking, or split up like we did (half went and half stayed behind).There are over 20 varieties of apples to choose from depending on what time of year you go. If your favourite are no longer available, don’t despair, you can still pick them up in the store.Picking is so fun it is easy to get carried away, but remember, whatever you pick you are purchasing, so be mindful.
THE BBQ: There are a few food options there. They have a licenced café, and of course apples, but we opted for the BBQ. They have sausages and drinks and my favourite fresh corn BBQd in the husk. It was $2.75 an ear, and probably the best corn I have ever tasted! You can garnish with salt, pepper and an herbed butter. A great light lunch.
PUMPKINS: If you go in October you can also get pumpkins, which we did. They have lots to choose from as well as a pumpkin patch for photo ops.
FUN STUFF: There are lots of fun things to do including a hay maze, pumpkin patch,
tractors you can sit on and take pictures, big slides and free balloons. Even though it was super busy we managed to hit all the attractions with little problem.
BAKERY: Of course, no visit would be complete without a trip to the store/bakery. There we picked up a homemade pumpkin pie, and I kid you not, it is the best pumpkin pie I have ever had! So light and fluffy and creamy with just the right mix of spices. You can also buy all kinds of apple products, honeys, jams, baked goods and more. Do note, BRING CASH! While they have debit at admission and at the store, the line ups are horrendous. With cash you can get what you need in a snap, since there were almost no line ups at cash booths.
OVERALL: I would give Chudleigh’s four out of five stars (keeping in mind, I have a very limited frame of reference). It was an enjoyable day for young and old, and you can do as much or as little as you want, and for the kids it is fun, but also educational. I deduct one star because it was rather costly. By the time you factor in admission, food, purchases, apples you can easily spend over $100 for a family of five.
If you are looking for some family fun next fall in the GTA check out Chudleigh’s Orchard in Halton Hills Ontario (and if you are really lucky, stop at the new Premium Outlets on the way back lol).
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