Fall Family Fun part three: Saunders Farm

by DaniGirl on October 19, 2008 · 6 comments

in Life in Ottawa, Ottawa's hidden treasures

Today’s post is the third in a series of suggestions for fall family fun in and around Ottawa. On Thanksgiving Monday, friends of ours who also have three boys invited us out to join them at Saunders Farm in Munster, about 20 minutes west of Barrhaven. I’d never been, and had been waffling between bringing the boys to Parc Oméga or Saunder’s Farm. I knew both were pricey and the opportunity to go to Parc Oméga presented itself first, but in the end we decided to splurge on both in this, the year of no daycare fees.

How have we gone so long without visiting this gem? It was so worth the price of admission, which ran us $60 for a family of four, plus one free baby. We chose the daytime Halloween adventure, but apparently they spook it up quite a bit at night. We bypassed the Barn of Terror (recommended for 10 years and older) but the boys loved the Discovery Barn, the Barnyard Treehouse — Tristan wants nothing more in life than a treehouse right now — and the other play structures including a huge pirate ship.

Saunder's Farm mosaic, October 2008

By the time our friends led us to queue up for the Harvest Hayride, Lucas had fallen asleep in the backpack carrier. I should have clued in that it wasn’t a regular old hayride through the forest by the kids who’d been on it in previous years, some of whom buried their heads in their mother’s lap for the whole thing. Apparently it’s nowhere near as spooky as the night-time haunted hayride, but it was plenty spooky for my boys! (Even poor Lucas was scared awake by one of the sound effects.) The look of concern-bordering-on-fear on their faces in the centre picture above is genuine!

After lunch (Plan B diet? What plan B diet? Pass the fries!) we tackled a few of the dozen or so mazes. Some are labyrinths – no wrong turns or dead ends, just a continuous path – and some are mazes. The boys LOVED them! They chose to keep running the mazes rather than enjoy the Star Wars-based live show going on that afternoon. Next time I need a way to run them ragged for an afternoon, I know where to take them.

There was a letter to the editor in the paper this weekend complaining about the price of Saunders Farm, but I’d happily pay $60 — more or less what we’d pay for a movie and snacks — for a day out in the fresh air. The kids had a great time and the weather was perfect. This is a wonderful new addition to my collection of Ottawa’s hidden treasures!

(The full set of Autumn Family Fun photos is on Flickr, if you’d like to see more.)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen October 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Glad you all enjoyed it! My son went there today with his aunt and uncle and they had a great time (they don’t have kids, so were a bit overwhelmed by the number of children there, lol) They too thought the hayride was a bit much for a 4 year old – he kept asking to get off!, but tried to lighten the mood with him as much as they could (chainsaw guy chasing the wagon was a bit much!)

2 andrea from the fishbowl October 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Hey, we went there on Sunday! We’ve been every year since the girls were wee…. even before they knew why a guy chasing the wagon with a chainsaw is supposed to be scary. 🙂

3 Barbara October 21, 2008 at 6:41 am

I took Reid this weekend, too. At first the $16 per person seemed steep but since you could pass hours without buying anything other than food, it was actually good value for the investment. I did fork over for the corn cannon and apple slingshot but at $2 per game and no junky toys to take home, they were better than usual midway games. We’ll go back.

4 Christine October 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

I loved Saunders Farm when my husband, my son and I went up to Ottawa in 2007. The fries are to die for!

Last weekend, we went to Miller’s Berry Farm in Ottawa, and it was just as great! They had a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch and the pies were sooo good! Plus, they really know how to deal with kids since they have schools come in September of apple picking. Here’s the review where I found about Miller’s: http://www.sharesavvy.ca/cities/ottawa/reviews/727

Take care!

Craving pie again,

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