Looking for an out-of-the-city dose of farm and fun? Northeast of Newmarket near Mount Albert, you’ll find Brooks Farm. While this family-run farm-meets-amusement park has your typical country offerings – animals, hay bales, corn maze and wagon rides – it’s the 10-acre alien-themed Barnyard Playland that will keep the kids happy, busy and most certainly tired out by the end of the visit.
Big kids have tons of options – a giant bouncy pillow, zip-lining, slides and a pirate ship. Littler ones may be more in their element with the ride-on-toys, sandbox, beginner bale pyramid and a train that travels through the farm. There are extra offerings during the Fall Fun Festival weekends: pumpkin cannons, singing chicken show and pig racing. For us the highlight was taking the wagon to the pumpkin patch where you can wander the field and pick your own.
Don’t worry if you’ve missed the fall activities (on until end of October). Brooks Farm has year-round events: a Maple Syrup Festival, an Easter Egg Hunt, and splash pad and a Pick-Your-Own schedule in the summer.
The low-down: If you’re looking for a quaint quiet farm experience, you may consider another destination. This is busy, especially during the Fall Fun Festival. If you do choose a weekend during the busy season, arrive early. We rolled in before 10 am and had an hour of easy play time with no line-ups.
Hours and Admission: This changes depending on the time of year. It’s $12.50 for the Fall Fun Festival but the Barnyard Playland is open weekdays ($8 per person/children two-and-under are free.) Open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Snack time: Food for purchase (the fries were homemade and delicious) inside the farm. No outside food allowed, so you can picnic outside the gates. En route, we spotted poutine at a farm along Davis Drive.
Potty time: Port-a-potties. There is a baby change table and rocking chair in a small hut for babes and breast-feeding moms.