Frootogo Orchards might just be one of Waterdown’s funnest* kept secrets. We stumbled upon the farm a few years ago because we were looking for a place to pick apples with the kids and it immediately became one of our favourite play destinations. There is a HUGE area for small kids to play with more toys than you can imagine, plus a giant sandbox, straw bales to jump on, a petting zoo, and enough photo ops to make moms with cameras positively giddy (see some 2011 pics here).
The fee for entering the play area is $2.50 for each person between 1 and 100, though you can buy a season pass for just $10 each. Be sure to bring some extra money for the baked treats and farm fresh produce in the shop too!
Why Pay to Play?
Why would I pay to play when playgrounds and parks are free? Well, I have admit that I don’t like taking my kids to the park. The Pixie is at that “little scientist” age where she is constantly doing serious experiments. Like, for example, if I jump down from this landing six feet in the air, will mommy be able to cross the entire playground and catch me before I hit the ground? Or, am I able to run the road before mommy notices that I’ve taken off? Or, how does the flavour and texture of this gum that I found under the slide compare to the flavour and texture of the gum that I found under the bench?
Heaven help me if there’s a wading pool at the park, because The Pixie won’t go near it but The Princess won’t stay away. Then I not only feel disapproving stares from fellow park parents who easily control their (one) perfect child, but I also get glared at by the (childless) lifeguards who assume I’m lying down face-first in the grass because I’m negligent when really it’s just child-induced heat exhaustion.
Thankfully, Frootogo doesn’t feature death drops or drowning hazards. I’ll happily pay a few bucks for a stress-free morning – and they have coffee for sale too? And pies?!?! People, that’s what we call a WIN!
Today, instead of running back and forth between my two girls, I had the chance to sit down in the sun and watch my girls running back and forth between toys, and the birds sang and the dragonflies buzzed and the goats goated. (OK, I don’t actually know what goats do.) It was a wonderful morning away from the city, outside with the girls.
*That’s right, funnest. Apparently Steve Jobs said it’s a word – who am I to argue?