British Columbia, Canada, Day Trip, Experiences, Family Friendly, Travel

Apple picking, pumpkin patch and corn mazes near Vancouver that will make your autumn perfect

As the summer ends and the weather cools, the fall air turns crisp, trees begin their annual ritual.  First yellow, orange, then red and finally brown leaves begin to accumulate upon the ground. Before the days get too short and the wet weather sets in, I like to gather the kids and head out in search of the coveted Halloween pumpkin. Sure, we could head down to the local supermarket and just pick one out of the bin, throw it into the grocery cart along with the week’s haul, but where’s the fun in that?

U-Pick flower garden, Krause Farms

When we lived out in Ontario and our oldest was just a wee one, we would pack up and head out to the countryside in search of crisp fall apples, a corn maze and a pumpkin to carve for Halloween.  From that moment, a fall ritual started and remains one of my favorite things to do during the cool fall days.

TAVES FAMILY FARM & APPLEBARN

Here in the lower mainland of British Columbia, a mere 60 minutes from downtown Vancouver, there’s an abundance of local farms to choose from, each with their own unique offering to city dwellers or tourists looking for a taste of country.

Abbotsford BC

This year I took a day trip out to farm country and checked out 3 great farms, each with their own unique offerings. Read on to find out what these farms have to offer, and you decide which farm experience is your kind of country! I bet you’ll have a hard time deciding.

PUMPKIN TREE

Taves Family Farms and Applebarn

Located in Abbotsford at 333 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2T 5Y1

What you’ll find: U-pick apple orchard and pumpkin patch, hay rides, corn maze, petting zoo, pedal cards, jumping pillow and a play area for children, including a zip-line. On the weekends they have pony rides, a corn gun, pumpkin cannon and concession stand where you can pick-up a warming cuppa coffee or a light snack.

Best known for: Fresh pressed apple cider and a great petting barn and bunny town.

Good to know: This farm is very popular. During the weekends, especially around the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October, expect it to be busy. Arrive early to secure a parking spot and get the most enjoyment out of your day.

Insider tip: To get the best selection of pumpkins and freshest apples, head out on the weekend before the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. If you go later in October, many of the pumpkins will be picked over. Although you’ll still find a lot to choose from, the best ones will go first.

Why we love this farm: The fresh pressed apple cider is the best! The kids loved to pet the bunnies and feed the goats. Who doesn’t love a soft bunny or a goat eating right out of your hand?

Please note there is a cost to enjoy some of the experiences, please check their websites for current prices.

 Mann Farms

Located in Abbotsford at 790 Mckenzie Rd Abbotsford BC V2S 7N4

What you’ll find: U-pick berries (in season), corn maze, pumpkin patch, animal petting area, jumping pillow, pedal go-cart track, children’s play area with a giant slide as well as a zip-line. There’s also a large fortress that kids will really enjoy climbing on. For the adults there’s a wine tasting room, specializing in quality fruit wine. In addition, there’s a cafeteria style kitchen serving up Indian butter chicken or you can take home some frozen specialties, like samosas to prepare later.

Best known for: Butter chicken, samosas, fruit wine and the haunted corn maze!

Good to know: Berries for U-pick are seasonal and are best in the early summer. The pumpkin patch is large, and we found some great size pumpkins, including some beautiful white ones.

Insider tip: The pumpkin patch had a good selection and was reasonably priced. We visited on the Canadian Thanksgiving Day holiday and found a lot of great pumpkins to choose from.

 

Why we love this farm: The kids play area and fortress are great. You’ll have a hard time getting the kids to leave. The homemade butter chicken was tasty and hit the spot after a day of wandering around the farm. The pumpkins are reasonably priced. The white pumpkins are a great choice if you want to up your decorating game.

Please note there is a cost to enjoy some of the experiences, please check their websites for current prices.
Maan Farms Pumpkin

Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery

Located in Langley at 6179  248th Street, Langley, BC, V4W 1C3

What you’ll find: Extensive U-pick fruit, vegetables and squash, favorites are berries, (in season) and the pumpkin patch. For the kids they have a family fun field where kids will find pedal carts, hay ride, jumping pillow, and a play area for toddlers. You will also find a market shop, bakery, estate winery and restaurant a porch restaurant and the Farmer’s Table Cooking School. The market is very well laid out and organized. Not only will you find fresh fruits and vegetables to purchase, they also have an extensive frozen selection of pies, ice-cream, fruit, and several savory meals to take and prepare at home. Their bakery sells a selection of seasonal specialties, some sweet some savory. In 2012 they added an estate winery, revamped the kitchen and restaurant area and gave the menu an extensive over hall.

 

Best known for: Homemade pies, the most popular being the fresh strawberry custard pie which tastes as good as it looks. Its flakey crust holds a delicious vanilla custard and then it’s piled high with strawberries. This farm has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike. They now welcome more than 500,000 visitors a year and sell over 60,000 pies[i].

Good to know: Berries for U-pick are seasonal, check the website for crop watch. The pies are very popular. Ordering in advance is often suggested.

Insider tip: Go early during summer peak season and plan to stay up to 4 hours if you want to pick berries. If you bring your own bucket, get it weighed first! Don’t worry about spending all day, they serve waffles piled high with strawberries and whip cream in the outdoor porch restaurant. If you prefer something savory, head over to the estate winery and restaurant where you can order from a variety of hot and cold meals.

Why we love this farm: The owners of this farm have really spent a lot of time and effort creating a unique farm atmosphere. The market shop has a wide assortment of gift items in addition to the bakery. This is a place that both young and young at heart can enjoy.

Please note there is a cost to enjoy some of the experiences, please check their websites for current prices.
Krause Farm Truck

The Round up

Each one of these farms has something unique to offer guests. They are all family friendly and do a great job ensuring everyone enjoys their visit. Events are seasonal and very popular, it’s best to check each farm’s website to find out what’s coming up and hours of operation.

Enjoying some of the experiences at each of the farms does come with an additional fee. Maan Farms was the most expensive with a cost of $35 CDN per family. Taves Family Farm came in second at $33 CDN per family.  Krause Berry Farm only charges $12 per family however they have the smallest play area and only have petting zoo available during the spring time. None of the farms charge to wander the pumpkin patch, apple orchards or general store.

If you’re looking for something unique this autumn, head out to the country and spend some time outdoors, at a local farm.

[i] http://vancouversun.com/homes/gardening/in-the-garden-pick-your-own-berry-flavoured-fun

Tractor, Taves Farm

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