Apple Picking Experience at Chudleigh's Farm
It's the start of Apple Picking season in Southern Ontario. If you have never been apple picking, you may not be aware of the many, many varieties available to you from your local farm! Far beyond the staples at your average grocery store like the Gala, Red Delicious or Granny Smith. If you haven't been you should give it a try once, even if apples aren't your favourite fruit. You'd be surprised how delicious they are right of the tree so fresh and local. Not only that the benefits are huge and they naturally have a decent shelf life! I'm not going to go into detail here on all the varieties and how long they keep etc but you can definietly find out that information from the farm you go to, or here for Chudleigh's varieties
Now if you have children, from 2-12 a great way to try apple picking is by visiting Chudleigh's in Milton Ontario. Not only can you go picking apples, but you can enjoy the day out with a variety of activities. You can enjoy a lunch there with a lovely sitting area as you come in. They have made some changes this year in terms of lay out and food options. There is now a pizza counter and a dessert bar along with some other options with more available on weekends. You can also pack a lunch and enjoy only outside the actually farm as you come in there is a pond and gardens with picnic area.
With plenty to do and see, for start there is a GIANT playground area. Well it's giant because the 4 slides and they are super wide and tall. Made for big fun, some are straight and some with humps in the middle. The kids love them at all ages, though a caregiver will have to assist some of the younger ones. Another fun feature is the hay maze area just behind the playground where I find the older kids just love to play tag or hide and seek. To the side of playground is a sand pit with tons of shovels for digging and a couple of cute tire swings made into horses are off to the side. Love the tire swings look, they are very creative.
I love there animal farm. It is laid out nicer and has a bit more variety then the other play farms in the area. Right now there is a Jersey Calf that feeds on bottle 3 times a day and they let the kids all have a try at holding the bottle. Animals you'll find here are deer, donkey, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, other bird varieties, alpaca's and more! Plus they have ponies and pony rides set up too that loop into the orchids.
You can purchase food to feed the animals, you get 3 carrots for a $1 that you can break off and feed to most of the animals there. They will tell you the few that aren't to have the carrots or won't eat them. There is pellets available to purchase as well for feeding.
The animals are all pretty friendly and aren't deprived of feed so they aren't attacking you nor are they acting not interested. Most of the animals can lean out of pen for a pet but of course you have to watch your children and exercise caution as you always should around any animal.
One of my favourite things to do at Chudleigh's is take the tractor ride to the forest. They have a small trail in the forest outside of the apple orchids that has 3 rope swings that the kids love along the path. You'll find a couple of tepees and other educational items like animal tracks for comparing or info on species that can be found in the forest.
After a stroll in the forest it is time to visit the apple orchids. They will let you know on the tractor which variety is available for picking during your visit. They have the trees here set in rows and they keep them low so they are easy picking. I find it best to save the picking for last because you have to carry the apples around with you once picked.
Currently they have 3 or 4 types of apples available to pick, some tart, some sweet some best for fresh and others better for cooking. You pick and pay by the bag they provide. There is 2 sizes available. Either you fill till you can carry by handle or till it's almost overflowing. Prices range from I believe $14-22 depending on size and how full the bag is. You can mix the varieties except for premium apples which are few.