The weather lately has been quite gorgeous, it almost still feels like summer. Apparently that ends today, but this past weekend was sunny and beautiful and after spending the majority of Saturday inside getting all my stuff out of boxes and organized, Sunday I just wanted to be outside. Evan and I decided to hit up Pingle’s Farm, an apple orchard/fun family farm-type place in Durham Region.
First though, we stopped at my Dad and Mona’s since we were in the area. They have a new addition to the fam and we wanted to meet him.
This is Ritson. He is a 12 week old golden retriever and he is just a little beauty. We took about a million pictures of him, but he is still a crazy puppy and will not sit still for one second, so this is the only one that isn’t blurry.
Well, this one too.
You can see my dad’s fanny pack peeking out. He really loves that thing. Very handy for him, because storing his wallet and keys in the pocket of his sweatpants was making them fall down. Big troubles, I tell ya.
Anyway, I loved Ritson immediately and I forgave him for all the scratches he gave me on my bare legs when he jumped all over me because he was just so cute. He almost made me want a dog. Almost. I am not yet ready, and Winnie says no thanks.
After fam time it was farm time. We headed over to Pingles, which was absolutely rammed with people. I think Evan and I were the only ones there who didn’t have children with us, but you are never too old for fun farm times, so I didn’t feel out of place.
I was really excited to visit this particular orchard because it has a giant corn maze.
This is unlike any corn maze I’ve ever seen. It is eight acres of corn maze amazingness, and it is shaped like Canada. Here’s the map:
So the black lines are where you walk through the maze, and the white parts are where the corn is. Here’s the aerial view (back in the summer though, when the corn was still green).
Pretty groovy. I’ve never heard of a corn maze sponsored by a morning show before, but I guess someone needs to pay for the upkeep of that thing (actually I’m pretty sure the people are paying for the upkeep because it’s $6 to go through it).
I checked their website first to see if this would be a suitable orchard for us to visit, and when I saw that maze I was sold immediately. I didn’t care about the price and I didn’t care if everything else was lame, I just wanted to check out that corn maze. So after a quick lunch at Pingles (turkey sandwich for me, hotdog for Evan the hotdog), we headed right for the maze.
There are little checkpoints throughout the maze so you can kind of reorient yourself, and they have interesting facts about Canada all through it.
The corn was really tall and the entire time I had no idea where we were going or what direction we were headed in. Evan would look at the map and point and say “Oh, we’re in Hudson Bay,” and “Oh, we’re in Saskatchewan,” and I still have no idea how he knew that. I thought we were just lost in a corn field. Everything looked the same to me, and had I been alone it probably would have taken me hours to get out (if you do the maze correctly it takes 45 minutes to an hour).
But we made it out of there successfully, and we made good time. It was absolutely the highlight of Pingles for me.
Afterwards we scored some candy apples…
And then we headed over to the “Fun” Farm area.
That sign was fun, but overall I was pretty unimpressed with the “Fun” Farm. I was really excited to see the animals, but there were only a couple of chickens, two hiding bunnies, and a few goats. Possibly an alpaca but he was also kind of hiding. And a few other activities for kids as well. I think it was $5 to get in there, and I remember thinking that Evan’s parents should start charging admission into their little farm – it is WAY more fun.
Honestly, aside from the maze, I was not very impressed with Pingles. It just seemed like a big obvious cash grab. If you go there with children, you are spending $100 easily. It cost money to do everything. And to get into the actual apple orchard it was $25. You could not even enter the orchard without paying (or spending $25 for an empty bag, same thing). Once you were in there it was basically all-you-can-pick (or as many apples as you can fit in the bag they gave you), but even if you picked 100 apples, that’s still 25 cents an apple and not much better than the grocery store. And even if you picked 100 apples, what are you going to do with them all? I wish I had time to spend my days making apple crisp and apple pie.
I was hoping to get about 10 apples, but I am not spending $25 for 10 apples, so…no apple picking actually went down. I have been to apple orchards before and it was free to get in and then you just paid for the apples you picked by the pound. I went to Algoma Orchards a couple years ago and they had way more farm animals and it was free, you just paid for the apples you pick. It was a much better operation if you ask me. Here it just seemed like they took a fun and cheap fall activity and exploited it.
I guess this farm was more commercial. Like the (super lame) amusement park of apple-picking.
And end rant. I’m sorry for that, but it bothered me.
We did have a fun day though, and I did LOVE the maze.
I also had the best ice cream cone of possibly my life on the way home.
Which I would have spent $10 on, so I guess I have my priorities.