Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures: Valley View little animal farm

by DaniGirl on September 15, 2009 · 11 comments

in Ottawa Family Fun, Ottawa's hidden treasures

I‘m on a “Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures” tear these days! The photos from this post were actually taken a couple of weeks ago, but I’m just getting around to posting them now. No wonder we’re not getting any housework done — every time the sun shines, I feel the need to pack the boys up and celebrate with an excursion of some sort. Lucky for us, Ottawa never lets us down — there’s always something fun for a family to do.

We’ve been visiting Valley View Little Animal Farm since we moved to Barrhaven six years ago, but I suspect that a lot of people have overlooked this little gem. It’s right on the outskirts of Barrhaven, off Fallowfield Rd between Moodie and Eagleson. Admission is $6.50 per person, and kiddies two and under are free.

Valley View is the perfect place for the toddler to early school age set. There’s fun stuff to climb on at the front of the park, and a small barn with goats, chickens, rabbits and the usual petting zoo type creatures that you can feed by hand. My boys have always been fans of the dozens of metal yellow Tonka trucks strewn around near the entrance… when they were toddlers, I think we could’ve just paid our $6 to get in, play with the trucks for three hours and then leave again without actually looking at the rest of the farm!

Behind the small animals barn, there’s a path that meanders beside a duck pond on one side and some bigger animals in pens on the other side. This blue-eyed meanie scared the heck out of me when I got a bit too close — even though there was a fence in between us, I still jumped back hard enough to fall on my arse when he hissed angrily at my obnoxious camera in his face.

211b:365 Goose

This donkey was a lot more placid. Beloved and I agreed, there is something in his soulful eyes and “pet me, please!” demeanor that highly resembles our Golden-Shepherd mix, Katie.

donkey

Other animals include peacocks and llamas, deer and ponies, pigs and some very unfriendly emus. They also have some gorgeous horses.

The animals are my favourite part, and the boys like them well enough, but what they really want to do is run wild over the half-acre or so of play structures strewn around the end of the park. They’ve added quite a few since the last time we visited. There’s a few of the traditional climber-and-slide combinations, but they have a whole bunch of custom structures in adventure-inspiring shapes like pirate ships, trucks and airplanes. There must be a dozen or more in various shapes and sizes and styles.

Tristan airplane

I really didn’t think we were going to be able to get Lucas out of this tractor-train combination. He would stand aside to let other kids have a turn at the wheel, but would not, under any circumstance, consider actually leaving the vehicle for the best part of 20 minutes. (Is it me or do the terrible twos start earlier with each kid?)

Lukey tractor

You know how just about every city playground has the same basic look and feel, with largely the same sorts of stuff? The thing I like best about Valley View, in addition to the animals and the small, friendly feel to the place, is the fact that they have such unique things for the kids to explore, from the hand-built play structures and the sea of Tonka trucks to this really neat see-saw built from old wagon wheels.

tristan see saw

New this year, they’ve also opened up a whole new section with a farm machinery museum. It’s 365 heaven back there! I can’t remember what this does, but I love looking at it!

211:365 Contraption

And what is it about milk jugs that make them so interesting? Or is that just me?

Milkjugs

Something about this row of tobacco tins gave the farm museum barns a feel of authenticity. This is one of my favourite shots of the day, for some reason I don’t quite understand.

Tobacco tins

Of course, no trip to the farm is complete without inspecting the old tractor beside the equally weathered barn!

Tractor

Oh wait, you mean we’re not here to indulge in my endless quest for photo opportunties? This is about the kids, you say? Well then, no trip to Valley View is complete without a ride on the tractor train around the corn fields, sunflower valley and the pumpkin patch!

Valleyview train

I’d forgotten how much I love Valley View in the year or two since we’ve been, and it’s practially around the corner from us. We tend to go to the Experimental Farm when we need our farm fix, simply because we have the annual membership, but there’s a sweet quaintness to Valley View that makes it unique and worth the trip to the far southwest corner of town. This is a great place for a sunny autumn day family adventure – definitely one of Ottawa’s best kept secrets!


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura September 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

I have been on many class field trips to Valley View Farm (trying to keep track of my group of students) and never noticed how wonderful it really is until I saw your pictures. Thanks for the inspiration to start looking around and appreciating the scenery. Your photographs are beautiful. Laura

2 Fawn September 15, 2009 at 11:25 am

It must be hard to appreciate scenery when there are a classful of kids to keep track of!

I’m sending this link to my sister-in-law in Kanata (she gets the benefit of ALL your “hidden treasure” posts!) and I hope that next time we take a trip to Ottawa, we can take all the cousins there. This looks so fun!

Somehow I missed the fact that you’re in Barrhaven. Michael and I got married just down the road from you at St Patrick’s Fallowfield.

You’re also reminding me of the ridiculous fact that in all my years living on Prince of Wales Drive, I never actually went and visited the Experimental Farm.

You’ve got me missing Ottawa all of a sudden, despite the fact that I was just there in June!

3 Chantal September 15, 2009 at 1:11 pm

We really enjoy Valleyview as well. We live so close you would think we would go more often. We haven’t been in two years. Sounds like a lot has changed. I know M’s class will be going there for the annual JK field trip in the spring and with me being on mat leave I will be able to volunteer. I can’t wait!

4 Dal September 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I love this place!! And it is so inexpensive too! Gabriele loved the mascot bunny! lol

5 Shannon September 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

We went there last week! Loved the playground section in the back – reminds me of Roloff farms (Little People, Big World on TLC) with all the wood structures. My husband and I had fun on that teeter totter trying to see if I was heavier than him in my 9 months pregnant body! I was still lighter, even with the 1.5 year old on my lap. šŸ˜‰ I wish the train ride was longer – I was all…that’s it?? :)

6 coffeewithjulie September 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Love this place. So great — kids love it, reasonably priced, the playgrounds are endless fun, and you can bring your own lunch and eat it on the picnic tables in the shade. I was going to do a post like this on Valley View, but instead my post for that day was “According to Plan.”

7 Valerie September 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I haven’t been since Sarah was little – we went once at the wrong time of year and the flies were so bad that I still shudder! I remember Sarah getting her finger pecked by a peacock; boy did she scream!

8 Rebecca September 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

We’ll have to check this out – we’ve heard about it, but haven’t been. The Boy would love it!

9 Louise July 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

If you are looking for other places to go, you should check out Sunny Acres Barnyard Zoo in Spencerville. It is just off of the Hwy 416 about 50 minutes south of Bayshore Shopping Center in Ottawa.

Very easy to get to. Take the Spencerville Exit, then follow the signs into Spencerville. Just after the Drummonds Gas station, turn left onto Centre Street (aka County Road 21) The Zoo is about 4 km down the road on the left hand side. (3707 County Road 21).

There is a great selection of animals such as all the regular farm animals, small furry ones that toddlers like to hold, parrots and the exotics. It is very interactive and you will get a personalized tour at no extra cost.

Pony rides are also available and the children can feed the animals.

It is a lot of fun for the kids!

For more information, check out the web site http://SunnyAcresHobbyFarm.webs.com

10 Shannon Spallin March 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I too enjoyed Valley View Farm when my children were little.

These days, we frequently head out to Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm . Especially in maple season (www.stanleysfarm.com/our-sugarbush.php) as they have a great brunch on the weekends. The kids love to head to the barn and check out the animals, eat taffy on snow, play on the playground and generally just run around the very large property. We went a couple of weeks ago and went on a horse drawn sleigh ride through the snow. As the weather warms up and the snow disappears, this becomes a horse drawn wagon ride. Really an enjoyable time for the whole family.

11 Nicole July 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

Thanks for this fabulous review! We were trying to decide between the experimental farm and valleyview, and valleyview looks like a blast. I’m afraid I won’t be able to get my 14 month old away from the tractor/train combo!

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