Ottawa giveaway alert: passes to Saunders Farm, the best fall fun around

We have a winner! Thanks for your entries everyone!

Regular readers already know how much my family enjoys Saunders Farm. Saunders has been a Fishbowl patron for a few years but our relationship actually goes farther back. We’ve been visiting Saunders since my youngest was a babe-in-arms. In recent years we started going in the summertime too (it’s got a whole different vibe during the summer months!) but for us, the biggest draw was always in the Fall.

Wall o' pumpkins

There are lots of reasons why we made a trip out there every October and why we continue doing so. One of the things Saunders does really well is that they cater to kids of different stages and ages and there’s no shortage of things to see and do. Some of our personal favourites include the different hedge mazes, the haunted hay ride, the jumping pillows (they are SUPER FUN), gem mining, and the pedal cars. They are JUST starting to become brave enough to do the Barn of Terror too. (Who am I kidding, I’m barely brave enough!)

When the kids were younger there was a bigger focus on the stage shows, play structures and climbers, and the Discovery Barn. And then there’s the food. We normally pack picnics when we go for these kind of adventures but when we visit Saunders we make sure we time it for lunch. And now there’s even a BETTER reason to do so.

This year Saunders introduced something new that I’m pretty excited to try… a “walk up” restaurant called the Farmer’s Table that serves fresh local foods. The new menu starts on September 28, and it’s droolworthy. Here’s a ssampling of what you’ll be able to find there: local ploughman’s lunch with summer sausages, apple chutney and glengarry cheeses; Seed to Sausage BBQ applewood smoked sausages; O’Brien’s gourmet beef burger with Redhead pantry BBQ sauce; kale and quinoa salad; Hall’s fresh honeycrisp apples and aged cheddar; and of course, fresh cut fries.

I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Anyway, yes, I am very happy to have the opportunity to give away FOUR passes to Saunders to one lucky family. I’m excited because (a) I love to give things away and (b) I love Saunders Farm and (c) you are practically guaranteed a good time.


  • Leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite memory is from Saunders Farm. If you’ve never been, take a look at the Saunders Farm website and let me know what you’re looking forward to seeing.
  • Do you follow the Fishbowl on Facebook too? You can also drop your comment on this post and double your chances of winning.
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  • If you can’t post your comment for whatever reason you can email it to me for posting at andrea at quietfish dot com. Please note, I cannot be responsible if your entry is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder!

That’s it! Entries must be in by noon on September 29 2013, at which point I’ll do a random draw of all qualifying entries. The winner will be contacted by email, so make sure you leave a valid address.

Thank you Saunders Farm! And good luck to you all!

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  1. We have a winner! It’s commenter #29 – Janie – who wrote:

    “We love absolutely everything about Saunder’s Farm. From the mazes to the wagon ride, we can never get enough!”

    Congratulations Janie! I’m sending you an email with some additional information.

    Thanks for your entries everybody, and I hope to see you at Saunders soon! Happy haunting!

  2. We’ve never been- not sure what we’ve been waiting for actually. But those giant trampoline pillows look like a lot of fun! And the mazes too!

  3. My favourite memory was taking each of my children on the Haunted Hayride for the first time. My daughter was a little scared and loved it, and my son was just fascinated by the tractor!

  4. I think my favourite memory from Saunders is heading out on the haunted hay ride with my little brother. I was waaaay more scared than he was.

  5. We have never been as a family but dh and I went to the barn of terror with friends before kids and we had such a great, yet very frightening, time in the barn of terror!!!
    Thank you!

  6. Great place for memory making, would love to bring my family again this year! I remember laughing while apple launching, watching little family members play in a small wooden row boat for ages, older family conquering the mazes, Halloween parades, and wagon rides. Great atmosphere and always lots to do!

  7. The Pumpkin Princess has always been a favourite at this House — and who could blame them, she’s lovely!
    Thanks for the opportunity! ; )

  8. We usually go once a year. My boys love the play structures, the boat and the truck. I think the bouncy pillows are a blast. We haven’t done much in the mazes but I would like to. I just get panicky at the thought of losing one of my lils in there.

  9. We have yet to go even though I was born and raised in Ottawa and now have 4 kids of my own. I can see the giant jumping pillows being a star attraction for our family!

  10. Well, there was the time our 4 year old wanted to go down the huge slide on the side of the hill. My husband was at the top and I was at the bottom. He let go of him and our son proceeded to not slide, but tumble, down the slide all the way to the bottom! Maybe he kind of stuck? No worries, he was okay!

  11. Well I loved the jumping pillows that was a blast. But I asked my twins what was their favorite part was Jason said the jumping pillows and Jack said the puppet show. I had such a good time we stayed right until closing. The kids were so tired from a fun day of running and jumping that the slept all the way home.. My kids ask almost on a daily basis if we are going to got to “sandys” farm.. lol.. too cute if I do say so myself.. I would love to take them to see the farm all done up in the fall and experience the new restaurant:)

  12. We took our 2 grandsons last year before starting back at school. They loved everything…the bouncy pillows but most of all we really enjoyed the mazes. Thought we lost them for a time? We would love to try the haunted wagon ride.

  13. My favourite memory is accidentally getting on the scary Haunted Hayride instead of the calm family hayride. Our toddlers were in tears they were so scarred. Parenting award of the month, that one.

  14. My boys love, love, LOVE Saunders Farm. My partner goes away every year for a weekend in October with a group of friends and the families left behind always gather at Saunders Farm as a big group of moms and kids. I have fond memories of breastfeeding my youngest at six weeks old in a freezing cold barn! The food is AMAZING and the jumping pillows are a big hit. I love our photos every year at the big pumpkin sign that shows how big the kids are!

  15. We love Saunders Farm! We aim to go once during the summer and once during Haunting season! Our favourites are the haunted hay ride and haunted house!

  16. The cornmaze and picking pumpkins! When I was in highschool a friend and I organized all our other friends for an annual halloween outing at Saunders Field, complete with lots of shrieks during the haunted wagon ride! I am so excited to go back. :D

  17. We love Saunders…when kids were younger was all about the mazes and hay jump…now they love the “scary” stuff…personal shout out to the actors in the show for keeping it entertaining and fresh every year…so fun

  18. Such a great place for young and old!

    Been taking my Grandaughter for a few years,She loved the pedal bikes …me too. LOL. I’m curious to see how she would be at the age of 10 as opposed to 6 when we went on the haunted hay ride.
    She was terrified !

    We are hoping to do it this year!

  19. Where to even begin! My famil (of 4) has been many many times. In fact last year we had season passes. We love everything about it!! Both of my kids have had birthday parties there, where they enjoyed a fun filled day with friends. My husband and I have even had many date nights together. If I had to pick a favotie feature, I’d probably say the live entertainment. The shows are always sooooo funny, and Von Twilight remembered my daughter every time we ran in to her, and made her feel sooo special. All in all, I would recomend Saunders Farm to all ages, for festive family fun. Keep up the GREAT work guys!!


  20. A few years ago I took my two girls along with a friend and her daughter. The kids were too young to go in the haunted house but us moms went in on our own. We were soooo scared that the kids could hear us screaming from outside! I will never forget the looks on their faces when we finally emerged – they were pretty proud of us for going through the whole thing. I want to go back and maybe now my kids will be old enough to also make it through!

  21. As a family we have not been there in years. My oldest went last year with Dovercourt on a PD day program. My youngest has not been since he left the MOntessori. It would be fun to go back as a family. It sounds like there have been lots of changes to it.

  22. Both my husband’s and my first time being there was when our first daughter was 2! She loved the pirate ship structure and all the houses to play in, but her favorite part would have to be the corn maze, he father chases her around and plays hide’n go seek. Now she’s 7 and it is still the one place she consistently requests to go. We now have two more children, one is 2 and the other 9 1/2 months. I can’t wait for this years season. Our oldest is finally feeling confident enough to go in the haunted house and on the haunted hay ride for the first time in years, and it will be our two littlest ones first trip out there! I know we will have the same wonderful memories we have of our oldest there!

  23. We have never been either, but that lunch you described is making my mouth water! Oh…and I’m sure the kids would love the wagon rides, mazes and pillows!

  24. We have never been but the mazes look great – my kids would love those! – and the farmer’s table looks most excellent as well …

  25. I love Saunders Farm.I remember being there when it was raining once.A bunch of us were walking in the cedar maze, we were all getting wet(of course) and looked like we were getting bored with it.So I decided to run ahead and wait for my hubby and friends to catch up to me.When my friend came around the corner I scared her so bad all she could do is run on the spot,her mouth open but nothing coming out.Need less to say in the rest of the maze we were all laughing.Had a great time.Every time we go,we have so many laughs and scares.We love the haunted hay wagon ride.It is always a blast.

  26. We’re also huge, huge fans of the Farm – I cannot recommend it enough around town. We go every summer, but actually I have never taken the kids for Haunting Season – this year is the first year that they have actually been asking to go, so the passes would be perfect. We have so many great memories there, but this past summer was my favourite – while crossing the little bridge that leads to the giant slide, we came across a pretty big turtle crossing from one side of the pond to the other. We just stood there for 10 minutes watching him scoot across the bridge – so cool.

  27. I used to work with special needs children and my favorite memory was taking them to the Farm in the summer – the jumping pillow thing made them laugh those deep, kid belly laughs :)

    I would take my nephews (and I plan to anyway) but winning this would mean they would get dinner out too :)

  28. We’ve gone every year as a family and now our daughter is old enough to go on her own with friends :/ I feel a bit sad…. Might have to borrow some young ones to take, because it is truly a fantastic family experience.

  29. I’ve only been to Saunders farm once, last year. I took my 7 year old daughter and my 9 year old son. The best part of the day we spent at the farm was going through the haunted house. My son and I were terrified…while my 7 year old walked through laughing and smiling at all the scary faces jumping out at us. Kind of bizarre….but she wasn’t the baby that day!! All was amazing at the farm and had a great time. I come from 2hrs away…and it will be a yearly fall trip that we will always look forward to. Thx for all the fun.

  30. Hello!

    First off, I really enjoyed reading this! I have never been to Saunders Farm before so this made me even more thrilled to go! I have been wanting to go for a couple years and am determined to go this year with my family. Not to mention, I feel like I am missing out since Fall is my favourite time of the year. I’d have to say I am looking forward to everything at Saunders Farm but especially the mazes and of course a good scare! But after finding out about the new local food restaurant, I am more excited for that! I am absolutely obsessed with fresh, local ingredients and especially when they are put together right, which it sounds like they are doing. There ain’t nothing better than some good ole fall fun and food! I’m looking forward to every bit of it! :)

  31. We loved Saunder’s Farm when we visited a few years ago. There is so much to see and do! The one thing that stuck in our minds (& our kids) was the harvest hayride! We’d love to go back and bring our youngest addition to the family.

  32. I LOVE Saunders farm at halloween. I have gone there with my family and with my work.

    I love a good scare and I am amused to watch others get frightened. You never know who will pop out or who will be quietly following you. I enjoy the wagon ride and the haunted house the best. I also enjoy the gift shop as I put on an annual halloween party and they have interesting decorations.

  33. Last year we, my husband, my in-laws and my 2 girls, went on the hauted tracter ride. When the guy came out of the bushes with the chainsaw, running after us, my then 5 year old was a little scared, but as soon as he was far enough, she stuck out her tongue at him signing ” na na na nana ” !!! We laughed so hard!!! We just love Saunders… always great times. Can not wait to taste the new food this year !

  34. We have loved bringing the kids here year after year and watching them grow up… We love comparing the pictures taken on the “wooden hand”! Also all of the mazes, even with older kids, still find it a challenge!

  35. Have yet to go but I think my 3 year old is now the perfect age. He’s big into Halloween this year and loves a good wagon ride!

  36. Our son had his first visit to Saunders Farm for a class trip and then we took him a couple of days later, not realizing that it was scary-time on the weekends (even during the day) back then. Needless to say, he screamed the whole way through the haunted hayride…. and then wouldn’t stop talking about it for the next year!

  37. We discovered Saunders Farm last year for the first time. We live in Iqaluit, Nunavut and travel through the Ottawa area quite often (as do a lot of other Northerners). Last year, as we planned a stop in the area for a few days before heading home to visit family in Nova Scotia, I decided to try and find a fun Haunted House theme to visit with the kids near Halloween. I found Saunders Farm and was incredibly pleased with our find! It was a miserable fall day, cold and wet, but although being soaked and unprpepared for the weather we had a blast which the kids rave about to this day. Their only regret was unfortunately mom couldn’t make that portion of the trip due to work, so they want to go back and visit again this year to show mom! We plan to be in the Ottawa area around this time so hopefully Halloween stuff will be going on!
    Our favorite memories was definitely the Haunted Hayride and Barn of Terror….my two girls ages 10 and 7 at the time were real brave!! Would love to share this with mom!!

  38. This past summer was my best experience yet. My oldest just loved everything the farm had to offer. I think he was a little too young last year.
    I have NEVER EVER been to Saunders Farm during haunting Season and would LOVE to go!!!!

  39. Two years ago at the beginning of fall we went to spend the day at Saunders me and my 3 kids and my sister and hers. We dressed for the cool morning. There was a concert , jumping pillow , petting Zoo, by middle afternoon the weather turned so warm the kids were playing in the splash pad to cool off. Enjoying the last days of summer and fall fun all at once what a fantastic day!

  40. For many years now my family has been joining my in-laws every fall at Saunders Farm. Halloween is my nephew Jesse s most favorite time of year and his must do at Halloween is Saunder Farm. Jesse is such an awesome kid. He s kind, thoughtful and has this sparkle about him. One of his favorite things to do is to see the Queen of Halloween. Let s just say he always gets a twinkle in his eye in her presence. Last year we went once again like we do very year. The Queen of Halloween were walking ahead of us when the Queen herself stops and yells to him “Jesse, is that you?”. We cannot tell you how amazed we were that she remembered him. She meets how many children each year. We left Saunder’s Farm in amazement. We drive an hour each way every year to make it and it s worth every kilometer an more! Thank you Saunder s farm!

  41. My childhood memory was in the summer when the mazes were as much fun as i had during my short break from school. The fall season is great and attracts my family together as a time to bond.

  42. I love jumping on the jumping pillows, going in all the mazes, going on the haunted hayride and seeing the animals. We go yearly with my niece and nephews and we always have an amazing time!!!!

  43. My favourite memory for my husband and I is actually a funny one, i was working at saunders one season in the boo-tique and my husband (who i didn’t know back then) walked in and purchased some of they’re lovely pumpkins i have to admit i found him attractive, well that summer fate brought us back together and the first thing he said to me was “Don’t i know you from somewhere?” I told him i used to work at Saunders Farm and he said “THAT’S IT, YOU WORKED IN THE SHOP!” i told him yes and he said “I told my friend i was with that you were beautiful” Well we’re now married with 2 kids and now we will be bringing them to saunders to enjoy the fall festivities!

  44. My favourite Saunders Farm experience was just last fall. I went with a couple of my closest friends, who I hadn’t seen much in the months prior. We bundled up and wandered around, acting like big kids and just enjoying the time spent together! I really hope to be able to do something similar again this year.

  45. It has been years since I have been there. My fav part is the wagon ride. It is always so well done. I would love to take my little ones This year!!

  46. We love Saunders Farm! They put on such a great show! Ghoul School Musical? Too funny. The kids love the farm and so do the adults…who doesn’t love the be chased by a guy with a chainsaw?! :)

  47. We loved the mazes. And although it’s not identifiable as Saunder’s Farm, I have a favorite picture of my son which was taken in the parking lot, looking up at the most beautiful blue sky.

  48. I was there once for a Christmas party, so I know it is beautiful in that season as well. The kids have gone for Halloween many times with our community centre and love it! Right now though, it would be all about the food – local is the way to go!

  49. We’ve never been! But I think my 3- and 5-yr olds would love the jumping pillows, and hubby would be aaaalllll over that ploughman’s lunch ;-)

  50. My favourite time was a few years ago when we took our kids and watched the show they always put on. It was a spoof of High School Musical, was so funny! Now that I have another child who is 3 I think it would be fun to take her this year! :)

  51. We went for the first time this summer and LOVED it! My son’s favourite is the pedal go kart track. The pirate ship was also a big hit!

  52. My favourite memory is taking the kids on the haunted hay ride. They always have so much fun. My son and his father love the corn cannon as well. After a long day at the farm we like to end it with their hot chocolate and one of their home baked cookies. We always get excited when it’s haunting season.

  53. My favourite memory of Saunders Farm is taking my young daughters in the fall two years ago. It was a rainy, dull PD day, but the jumping pillows, corn cannons, and (happily rather tame) haunted wagon ride brightened the day for us, and gave us so many laughs together. We had a wonderful time!

  54. I’ve sadly never been, though my 5yo has, with his cousins, and he raves about the place! His favourite seems to be jumping off the hay bales, judging by the state of his clothes when he comes home. I’d love to take him and his best friend, this year.

  55. This is a great place!!! One thing that pops in my head right away as a memory that I would care to forget is how as a rather newly post-partum Mom I should have avoided the jumping pillows. Or worn a diaper myself! ;)