Is there anything better than a little kid seeing a cow or goat up close for the first time? If you don’t know the answer to this, you need to get your own child to the nearest farm, pronto.
This may seem impossible if you live in a large metropolitan city like Toronto, but you’d be surprised just how close Old MacDonald and his farm actually are. No, really, you can even take the streetcar to one, if you don’t want to drive.
Here are six farms in the GTA where you can take your kids to experience those stinky animals firsthand:
1. Whittamore’s Farm – Located in Markham, this local favourite is at the top of the list because 2017 is the farm’s final year before the Whittamore family retires from public farm life. You can find animals, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables in the summer, and lots of activities for the kids – including wagon rides and a great slide – until November.
2. Riverdale Farm – Not only is this beautiful farm stocked with easily accessible animals for your kids to pet, but this farm is free. The grounds are lovely to walk through, and historical buildings are perfect for exploring with the family.
3. Springridge Farm – Located in Milton with a breathtaking view of the Niagara Escarpment, this family-owned farm has everything from farm animals to antique tractors to pony rides for the kids. It’s a perfect place for west-end families to visit.
4. Downey’s Farm – The perfect combination of kid-friendly and parent-friendly activities can be found in Brampton at Downey’s Farm Market. Yes, there are animals to see and play areas to explore, but there is also an estate winery for parents to enjoy! There’s no question a farm visit would be infinitely more enjoyable after trying the local wine.
5. Brooks Farm – Located north of Unionville, in Mount Albert, this is another farm that has a large play area for kids as well as an extensive list of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Unusual offerings here are Saskatoon berries, black and red currants, and gooseberries that you can pick yourself.
6. Forsythe Family Farm – A farm in the truest sense, you will find not just fruits and vegetables here, but animals raised for food, as well. Located in Uxbridge, you can introduce your kids to the true meaning of where our food comes from, because all of the animals here are open to visits by the public. In addition, there are staff members who are happy to answer your kids’ questions. Also, there’s a bunny cuddling station.
When it comes to farm visits, it’s not just about the animals. It’s important to teach our children that fruits and vegetables don’t just come from the supermarket. Taking them into a farmer’s field and having them pick some of those peas or berries themselves is a great way to teach your kids to appreciate the hard work that comes with growing these tasty foods.
And it’s the perfect summer (or fall) activity for the whole family.
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