Today we decided to take the kids to a pumpkin patch and fun farm. I figured a mere google search for something within the area was all I needed to do in terms of preparation.
We woke up early, stopped at Tim Horton’s for breakfast and made a 47 minute drive up to Downey’s Farm.
Everyone was excited to select their pumpkins to carve up for the outside of our home, check out some farm animals and play outdoors in a way that city kids rarely get to experience.
What we didn’t realize, and I failed to research in advance, is the cost of it all. Apparently, gone are the days of simply taking your kids out of the city for a little country exploration. Now, it costs Disney-esque pricing (and no where on their main webpage do they advertise this fact). I’m not complaining about costs here — everyone needs to make a living and these wonderful farms open their private property up to the public for festive occasions, which is much appreciated. It’s just the actual prices that we found a little surprising.
At Downey’s Farm you can shop for pumpkins and visit their retail store (stalked with toys and baked goods) for free. But your visit ends there unless you’re willing to pay $14/person (ages 2 and up) or $63 for a family of five. When you’re visiting with a big family, that’s similar pricing to going to the movies. The fee does allow you to pass a wooden fence where they’ve got farm animals, yard toys, mazes and so on. So I’m sure for many people it’s worth it. Unfortunately, for us, there was a dark storm brewing and about 30 minutes after we arrived it started snowing and temperatures dropped. So, even if you want to just walk through and check things out for 15 minutes, you pay the full price.
That said, it was wonderful to get the boys out into the fresh air. We all had a great time and made some wonderful family memories. But I’d recommend doing your research before making the drive as far as we did. Check out the weather forecast for the area you’re driving in to (and not where you’re travelling from), check out the price lists for the activities you want to do, and do some comparison shopping. There are a ton of exceptional places that we’ve been to over the years.
For your reference, here are some other pumpkin lands around Toronto (most of which now charge you) that have different price options:
Pingles (most reasonable pricing and it has a gigantic corn maze)$7 per person for farm/market access and $7 for the maze OR $12/person for it all
Whittamore’s Farm $12/person or $44 per family of four
Chudleigh’s Farm $12/person or $44 per family of four ($8/additional family members)
For more detailed information (minus pricing) on other surrounding areas via Toronto.com, click here.