a peek inside the fishbowl

19 Oct, 2010

Ottawa giveaway alert: a visit to Saunders Farm

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Giveaways and product reviews

Saunders Farm has been inviting guests to play, learn and grow on their 100-acre farm for over 30 years. Visiting Saunders is a big tradition in our family. We’ve been going every year since Sarah was a tiny baby. There is something there for kids of all ages (and grownups too). It really is a great place to visit.

We like to go in the summer and during haunting season. Both are equally fun.

Saunders is a Fishbowl patron, and has given us tickets to visit this year too. We’re all very excited about it. The girls can’t wait.

I’m not sure which I like best, the mazes (there are 11!):

maze at Saunders Farm

… or the haunted hayride …

evil chainsaw dude

… or the other things that make this such a great little trip for Ottawa families:

Kettle corn

Wall o' pumpkins at Saunders Farm

Sarah on a trike

There are some great new things this year too:

  • There are new scenes on the Haunted Hayride, and the Barn of Terror is bigger, longer and un-CUT and there are new Ghost Town stage shows too
  • Animals from Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary will be at Saunders Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm all month
  • Pumpkin patch tour wagon ride: take a hayride around the farm and tour the pumpkin patch. Pick your perfect pumpkin from the field and pay in the Farm Shop on your way home.
  • NEW Kids Corn Maze
  • Check out Angela’s Farm Fresh Bakery for fresh cinnamon buns, homemade pies, scones and other delicious baked goods as well as espresso, lattes and cappuccinos. Fuel for families!
  • Hit up the Pig Trough @ the Crossroads for pulled pork sandwiches, roasted corn on the cob and more.
  • The Pumpkin and the Skeleton Pub is open October 8-31st; ; Friday nights from 6pm-10pm and Saturdays from 4pm-10pm and Halloween from 4pm-10pm. Beau’s beer is on tap as well as Ontario wine. The Pumpkin and the Skeleton Pub is a fundraiser for Music and Beyond Festival.
  • Scaring is Caring – ask about the charity “scare button”- a new scare controlled by YOU in the Barn of Terror

 Woot!

Fishbowl patron Saunders Farm has given me the green light to give away four tickets to one lucky family in the Ottawa area.

The tickets cover admission for a daytime visit (read: less scary, best for younger kids) or a night-time visit (recommended for kids 10 and over).

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Have you been to Saunders? Share a favourite Saunders memory or tell us what you love most about it in the comments. Haven’t been? Check out the website and let us know what you are looking forward to about Saunders. Maybe it’s losing your husband in a maze? Watching one of the live shows with the kids? The caramel apples? I want to know!
  • Halloweek is fast approaching, so the turnaround for this one is going to be quick. I’ll use Random.org to do the draw at noon on Friday October 22, 2010. You have until then to get your entries in!
  • Tickets will be held at the box office for the winner.

Good luck!

p.s. Did you know that Saunders Farm is on Facebook? Check it out. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on special events and deals too.


42 Responses to "Ottawa giveaway alert: a visit to Saunders Farm"

1 | Yael Lewis

October 19th, 2010 at 8:37 am

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Last year my son was about 3 months old when we went to Saunders Farm. Halloween is my husband’s favourite day of the year. He was desperate to try the haunted house and tried to convince me that it would be ok for Jack (our son!) I was very insistant that even though Jack wouldn’t get scared from the blood and guts, he would certainly be less than comfortable with the screams and flashing lights! He even tried to ask if he could take the stroller through. Needless to say, I waited outside with Jack.

My husband was white when he returned and said that he now understands a mother’s instinct – who needs instinct? It was so obvious!!!! He was especially sorry when he had to squeeze through an air bubble thing that left very little room.

Would love an opportunity to go back this year!

2 | K

October 19th, 2010 at 8:43 am

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What an awesome giveaway! I’ve never been to Saunders despite living here my entire life. Now that I have a little guy, I would love to go to see him toddle around and take in everything. I didn’t realize how much they had to offer!

3 | Mel

October 19th, 2010 at 8:48 am

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Great giveaway! I’ve never been to Saunders farm but would love to take the kids for the daytime hayride.

4 | Pamela

October 19th, 2010 at 9:02 am

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Another great event destination in Ottawa
I have never been but would love to try it out with my gang!

5 | Cath in Ottawa

October 19th, 2010 at 9:33 am

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We’d love this — we’ve never been but our wee ones would love the pumpkin patch and farm tree house!

6 | Natalie

October 19th, 2010 at 9:44 am

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Please add our name to the mix! This is an outing our family would love. :)

7 | meanie

October 19th, 2010 at 10:31 am

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yay! we go every year. i just love my kids running around and thinking about how exhausted they will be that night.
i also love the plays they put on and the more adult/political references they make :)

8 | Vivian

October 19th, 2010 at 10:52 am

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What a great giveaway! I’ve still never been to Saunders and it looks like a lot of fun to get lost in 11(!!) mazes.

9 | DaleAndAl

October 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am

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love saunders farm! i went w/ my niece & nephew before having my own kids, and would love to take them there this year! i just want to see my little boys take it all in! i think they are too small for the spooky wagon ride but they’d love the mazes, and the lookout tower, and the entertainment. just being outdoors on a nice fall day is so much fun!

10 | Lynn

October 19th, 2010 at 11:17 am

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We are huge Saunders Farm fans. I wrote an article all about our trip this summer for Kids in the Capital, and I couldn’t say enough good things. The kids had an amazing time!

It’s hard to pick out a favourite thing, but I think I would go with the huge custom-built pirate ship that is in the centre field by the splash pad. My three LOVED the pirate ship. They spent more than an hour climbing through it, around it, up it, and pretending to be pirates. I had to drag them away!

11 | Maranda

October 19th, 2010 at 11:48 am

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I’ve lived here for years and never been to Saunder’s, but I’ve heard great things about it, I’d love to take my kids on the haunted hayride.

12 | Kaitlin

October 19th, 2010 at 11:55 am

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One of my first years here with my husband, we went into the Barn of Terror. I was a bit of a wuss, and clenched my fists the whole way through. Every year is a bit different, of course, and this year, at the very end, there was a mad man. My husband was in the lead at this point and saw the character at the end, calling to me, “oh, he’s harmless”. So, what do I do? I peer right into the alcove where he’s hiding, and the mad man jumps out at me. He was thisclose and so scary sounding. I ran out of the barn, and I don’t remember if I was laughing or crying, but there were tears running down my cheeks.

I swear, if I go this year, I will be less of a wuss. And maybe, maybe, I’ll try and play a trick on my husband.

13 | KarenL

October 19th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

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It has been a few years since we went, but I liked climbing the tower and looking out over all the mazes. I have never been at Halloween!

14 | Meagan S

October 19th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

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I was planning on going here on Saturday! How awesome would it be if I won tickets :)

The last time I was at Saunders I was in high school so now that I have a daughter it will be a totally different experience :)

15 | Binki

October 19th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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Yes PLEASE! I’ve never been. Heard it’s great.

16 | Chrissy

October 19th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

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I have never been, but I’m sure my kids will love the mazes. I’ve heard the play structures are pretty fun too.

17 | Nora

October 19th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

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We love Saunder’s – and our girls fell in love with the Pumpkin Princess when they were younger. We haven’t been in a couple of years and would love to go back. Thanks for the chance!

18 | Stephanie S.

October 19th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

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Last year was our first year. We loved it!! The mazes are amazing and there’s fun for everyone in the family!! What a great give-away!!

19 | Dominique

October 19th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

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My family and I visited the farm this past September on a gloriously sunny day. My favourite part was seeing my daughter’s delight in guiding me, her spatial-relationship challenged mommy, through the mazes. I was pretty glad she was with me, actually! Also, the ploughman’s lunch including fabulous local cheeses was a real treat for my husband and I who just assumed we’d be eating regular kids’ fare. Thanks for taking it up a notch!

20 | Meghan

October 19th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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I LOVE the haunted house. Last year I left my kids outside and went in with my friend. We screamed our heads off! I want to go back.

21 | Lisa Shurtliff

October 19th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

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We have never been but have been talking about it for some time now. I know exactly what we would be doing and that is visiting every single maze as my husband loves mazes and in the lead would be our two year old daughter saying “this way, this way”! Hopefully there would be enough time to go on the hayride as my daughter loves them. Oh and the animals, I can’t forget the animals. She just loves animals. From what I can tell, it would definitely take more than one day to see everything or at least go from open to close. lol

22 | Edumama

October 19th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

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I haven’t been, but my daughter came back from a visit with her grandmother raving about the crooked house and the funny mirrors. I so want to go and make those memories with her (and my son) rather than hear about them. Great offer, my fingers are crossed!

23 | Gwen

October 19th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

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We have bever been to Saunder’s Farm. I have always wanted to go because one of my daughters has a thing for pumpkins (weird, I know). And another daughter has a thing for hay rides. And my third daughter just likes to be with us, wherever we may go. I have a thing for taking pictures, but there never seem to be enough of us outside. Especially as a family. And my husband? He, like my littlest one, is just along for the ride. None of us have EVER had a caramel apple. That would be a treat, too!

24 | Cleo

October 20th, 2010 at 7:07 am

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My favorite memory from Saunders Farm is the Pirate ship park (my kids squeal each year when they see it). I have some of the very best photos of my son ever, taken when he was about 16 months old playing with the bell! We LOVE our annual family trip to Saunders.

PS. I also love the quiet drive back when my husband and I can chat while the kids zonk out in the backseat… aaahhh.

25 | Shannon

October 20th, 2010 at 7:53 am

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I went a few years back with a group from Big Brothers/Big Sisters (I volunteer with them) and it was a hoot seeing some of the kids who act all cool and tough…nearly pee their pants on the scary wagon ride!I’d love to win and take my Little Sister again. The group isn’t going anymore, the admission just too expensive for the group to go. Thanks for the chance!

26 | Brenda (@ottawamom)

October 20th, 2010 at 11:26 am

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Despite living here all my life, I have never been to Saunders Farm, but have always wanted to take the kids. Would love to do the Mazes with the kids, think they would love it!

27 | Cari

October 20th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

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I have never been to Saunders Farm but I think that this year the girls may be old enough. I’m most looking forward to the hayride in the pumpkin patch. Nothing says fall like a big field of beautiful orange pumpkins.

28 | Esther

October 20th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

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We went to Saunders Farm this year for the first time. Our kids – 2 & 4 – loved it. My favorite moment: I was with our 2 year old playing on the “pirate boat” when off in the distance I hear my 4-yr olds clearly recognizable scream of GLEE. She had discovered the giant slide…..

29 | Jen

October 20th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

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Going to Saunders Farm is on our “to do” list. We’ve never been. I am sure the mazes will be a big hit.

30 | Tamara Elliott-Sherman

October 20th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

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My favorite memory was taking my Godchildren to the farm when they were 5 and 6 and seeing their eyes when they saw all the pumpkins….That was 15 years ago and I am looking forward to seeing the same joy and excitement in my own kids eyes this year as they are the same age. I have been looking forward to this experience since my kids were infants.

31 | Kim D.

October 21st, 2010 at 8:28 am

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Hi great pics from Saunders! Just curious what kind of camera did you use??

I love going to mazes and pick out pumpkins….that’s one of the things that makes fall my fav.

32 | Lisa

October 21st, 2010 at 8:45 am

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Would really love to come to saunders farms. My 5 year old daughter saw the mazes and is really excited she wants to go soo bad. She said that she wants to pick a pumpkin in your pumpkin patch for her and her little brother. lol I have never been there myself either and would love the chance to go. Thank you

33 | Sarah

October 22nd, 2010 at 7:29 am

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I’ve never been, but my son has been 3 times with his grandmother and aunt! He keeps talking about the things he’s seen (“the big spider came down and went BOOM”, and “I jump in da hay!”), and I have no real clue what he’s talking about.

I’d really love to go WITH him and see him enjoying these things, whatever they are!!, first hand.

And I’m a huge fan of mazes and labyrinths, so that’s a big draw for me too.

34 | Jennifer

October 22nd, 2010 at 7:29 am

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Would love to go! Pick me.

35 | Sarah

October 22nd, 2010 at 9:11 am

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Went with the kids on a beaver/cubs trip the 1st year my hubby and I were dating, 4 years ago. I had never been and it was thrilling!
I realllllllly enjoyed the Haunted HayRide, though really the boyz were too young that year. I look forward to going back with them now that they are older.
The best-est part though was the Hot Chocolate for frozen fingers after the ride. PURE *bliss*

36 | Barbi in Ottawa

October 22nd, 2010 at 9:58 am

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I have never been but my hubby took our girls and they loved it! They told me all about their day and how much fun it was. My girls really enjoy live music so that was a highlight as well as the hay bale maze. Thanks for the chance to win tickets!

37 | Freda

October 22nd, 2010 at 10:10 am

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Visited Saunders last year with my 7 yo. She had a blast although was too afraid to go through the ‘haunted’ house with us during the day. We asked a staff member if she would mind keeping an eye on or daughter so we could go through the house. She happily obliged. This year daughter swears she’s going to go with us! We’ll see lol. Also loooved the daytime haunted hayride. Very fun!!!

38 | Chris Mair

October 22nd, 2010 at 10:47 am

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I visited Saunders Farm for the first time two years ago, and I’ve lived in Ottawa for over 30 years! It was a fantastic experience and my wife and I had a great time. We went to the night excursion and, while my wife is a brave woman, walking through the haunted house was scary. It was made more exciting because I had to drag her through as she clung to my arm and would jump at every sound and movement, real or imagined. It will be a time I will never forget. I can’t wait for my little guy to be old enough to come through with us.

39 | andrea

October 22nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

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It’s past noon – comments are closed to new entries. Doing the draw now … !

40 | andrea

October 22nd, 2010 at 12:11 pm

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The winner is comment #8 from Vivian who wrote:

“What a great giveaway! I’ve still never been to Saunders and it looks like a lot of fun to get lost in 11(!!) mazes.”

Hooray! I hope you guys have a great time at Saunders! I can’t believe you’ve never been. Your little guy is going to LOVE IT.

And thank you Saunders for hosting this fantastic giveaway!

42 | lorna munday

October 2nd, 2013 at 8:34 am

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Hi
I am writing for my boss Nanda Wubs, who has 7 children two of which are twin girls all the rest are boys. I think this would be something they could us . They run a bus company and a garage in Winchester and I am sure could be a great outing for them. Please consider them as recipients for this wonderful outing.
Thanks Lorna

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  • SJM: My father sent epic care packages when I was at Uni - one per term. It included a 6 pack of beer and lots of food. This was when postage was much chea
  • andrea tomkins: I KNOW. It's crazy that we are now the parents of an adult. I can hardly believe it myself most days! :)
  • Allison: What!!??!! How is your daughter in university?!! That just cannot be!!! So glad to hear she is adjusting well and having fun and enjoying her classes
  • andrea tomkins: Great ideas Joy! Especially the POST-its! They're actually an expensive purchase for a student, so they'd make a nice addition to a care package.
  • joy: cute and fun - I would love to receive things like this! How about notebooks, magazines, post-it notes, seasonal treats, lip balms, gift cards for fav
  • andrea tomkins: Ooh! Good one Alison! A good (long!) phone charge cord could be welcome as well.
  • Alison in Ottawa: Another pair of ear phones. My daughter can never keep track of them.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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