Give the Gift of Saunders Farm

Ask my daughter what she likes the most about Saunders Farm and she will say "the jumping pillows!" And she's not alone. Thousands of kids flock to this unique family-run farm, which has been in operation since 1976. It is now considered a must-see destination for all things fun and fright! As part of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway we are introducing you to some of our favourite local businesses, and today we are highlighting Saunders Farm.

What is Saunders Farm? 

Located in the small community of Munster in Ottawa’s west end, Saunders Farm is best known for their Haunting Season and Summer Mazes. Their mission is to create a space that provides fun, food, and memories for everyone, which they accomplish through opening their doors to tens of thousands of guests each year.

Between April and September, Saunders Farm welcomes guests to its Mazes Season (they have the world’s largest collection of hedge mazes and labyrinths), birthday parties, Farm Camps, Farm Dinners, and corporate events and team building. During this time, the Farm also hosts dozens of weddings where they provide an amazing experience for brides, grooms, and their families.

Each October, their Farm opens Haunting Season, Ottawa’s largest fall festival, where they delight and entertain guests through their numerous haunted attractions, live performances, and delicious farm fresh foods. The daytime Haunt is more child-friendly and still offers families the opportunity to explore the mazes and the rest of the farm, while the night time haunt, Fright Fest, is guaranteed to make you scream. 2016 celebrated 25 years and 1 million screams! Fright Fest makes for an unforgettable date night.

Saunders has grown one of the largest collection of hedge mazes in the world and their property is always clean, well kept and is a great space for kids to run, have fun and play. In addition to the mazes and jumping pillows, there is a unique farm-inspired play structure, a huge slide and a splash pad. Families can easily spend (many) summer days making memories at Saunders Farm. 

Award winning family attraction

Saunders Farm has won numerous awards for their innovation, marketing, leadership, and overall excellence.

How can you give the gift of Saunders Farm from Christmas?

This holiday season, Saunders Farm will be offering its guests special discounts on Annual Passes. Annual passes include the Summer Mazes Season and the Haunting Season!

Make sure to enter our giveaway - one of the prizes is an Annual Pass (which, don't forget, includes Haunting Season!) to Saunders Farm. The good news is that you don't have to wait until spring to learn more about Saunders Farm. You can follow their fun all year round online:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saundersfarmfun/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaundersFarmFans
Twitter: https://twitter.com/saundersfarm 

Disclaimer: this post is part of our 2016 Holiday Campaign. Make sure to enter our giveaway post before the end of November!

10 Things You MUST do before summer ends

It’s already the middle of August (how did that happen)? But summer is not over yet! Enjoy the last few days and weeks of summer with this list of 10 things you MUST do before school starts back up - and with it, everyone’s extra-curricular activities and regular routines.

summer must do list

1)   See the Parliament Hill Sound & Lights Show

The Sounds & Lights Show on Parliament Hill ends in September, but why not take the kids to see it now? The start time is 9:30 p.m., so if there is a day where the kids have napped and you think they can handle a later night, why not grab a picnic blanket, sweaters and snacks and head out to Parliament Hill to watch this year's beautiful Northern Lights show!

2)   Play at a Splash Pad

We have had a hot, hot summer, which means it was the perfect summer to tour Ottawa’s best splash pads! There are hundreds of splash pads within the City of Ottawa, many of which are new within the last 10 years. It’s a great way to stay cool and let the kids run off some of their boundless energy. So, go out there and enjoy them before they are turned off for the season.

3)   Tour the Outaouais

Just across the bridge from downtown Ottawa are some of the region's best hiking and outdoor activities the entire family can enjoy. From the water slides at Mont Cascades to letting the kids explore the mazes of Eco-Odysée or feeding the animals at Parc Omega, there are many fun and exciting things for families to do in the Outaouais!

4)   Jump in a Lake

This might sound silly, but for me there is nothing more refreshing (and signifies summer more!) than jumping off a dock or running into a fresh and cool lake. There are many lakes around the Ottawa area, including some within the city limits. Do yourself a favour and jump in a lake (before we’re once again skating on them!)

5)   Spend an afternoon at a park

Every spring we ask readers to share their favourite Ottawa parks with us. This year we shared our thoughts on the new Millennium Park in Orleans as well as Barnabe and Cardinal Parks in Ottawa East and last year we discussed the popular Walter Baker Park in Kanata. Park play is always a memorable part of a child’s summer, so get out there and spend an afternoon at a park (and then share your favourites with us!) 

6)   Read together on a hammock

The best way to get your children reading is to read yourself! Earlier this summer we shared a post with classic kids books for summer, so head over to your local library and pick up a couple. Then get reading or just lay together in a hammock!

7)   Stay up late and star gaze

Now that the sun is setting a little earlier, why not set up a star gazing haven in your backyard? Even if you’re in the city if it’s a clear night chances are your kids will spot a star or two and there are many websites that have information on star names, including this site that has a printable star chart for kids: http://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Printable_Star_Charts  

8)   Go to Calypso

Calypso Waterpark has water slides and fun for kids of all ages and is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer’s day! The best part is that there is plenty of free parking and you can pack your own lunch and picnic on site or buy food there! Some family favourite activities at Calypso include Pirate’s Aquaplay and Zoo Lagoon. Claypso is a great way to exhaust the kids on a day that may otherwise be deemed as too hot for outdoor play. 

9)   Take the kids kayaking

Kids as young as four can kayak! It’s true! And while they may not paddle far, their love for the sport will increase as they get older and so will how far you can paddle together.  You can still purchase kid’s kayaks at many local retailers and there are plenty of nice evenings left to spend kayaking together.

10)  Feed some ducks

What child doesn’t enjoy feeding ducks? Feeding the ducks near Billings Bridge made our 50 Things to Do With Kids in Ottawa list this summer, so why not grab some bird seed and head down to where ducks live near you and count the ducks who come to you! A great math exercise for younger kids and a test of patience for older kids.

So, what is on your to-do list of activities to do with the kids before everyone’s fall routine settles in? Leave a comment and let us know.