If you have kids, or grandkids, or just want to have fun like a kid, then you have to get out to Hewitts Fun Farm.
As the name suggests, this farm is full of more fun activities than you can imagine. And, with Halloween coming up, it provides an alternative for getting out and celebrating the season.
The Hewitts Family Farm, known for the familiar corn stands found throughout the region at harvest time, has grown in recent years to become much more than a favourite supplier of local produce.
Family owned and operated since 1976, the farm is located just outside of Orillia in Warminster. It is now also the site of Hewitts Farm Market Store and, since 2013, Hewitts Fun Farm. Both were additions made to the farm by current owners, Trevor and Margie Hewitt.
As for how and why the Fun Farm came to be, Margie Hewitt credits her husband.
“Trevor has always wanted to do this,” she said. “I thought it would be a lot of work, but then decided why not; we should go for it, while our kids can enjoy it. And we really just wanted to give other people the chance to get outside and enjoy the farm.”
The Hewitts’ children, Kylie, 11, and Catelyn, 9, were happy to demonstrate some of the more than 25 activities at the ever-expanding Fun Farm.
“The combine playground is one our favourite places to play,” said Kylie and Catelyn, “and climbing the hay bales.”
They are just two of the many creative play areas set up within the Fun Farm. Many have been imagined and created by Trevor, along with family members and staff, while others have been recycled from other farms and attractions.
A visit to the Fun Farm in the fall typically begins with a tractor-pulled wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch (where you get to choose your own to take home) and then a lost and found adventure in a six-acre corn maze, complete with hidden games to discover and play.
Then there’s more activity among the outdoor play attractions, from pretending to drive a combine or tunnel sliding to hay bale climbing or slack line balancing. There’s even a make-believe market garden where kids can harvest their own produce and then pretend to sell to their customers at a replica Hewitt’s farm stand.
Visitors can also see and visit with farm animals, including goats that run up and down a custom-built, elevated walkway. There are also sheep, pigs, alpacas, ponies, donkeys and birds, each with their own name and personality.
“I can name every single one of them,” announced Kylie
One of the new activities this year is “Floor is Lava,” an agility test game with balance beams and tree stumps. “Just like the trending show on Netflix,” explained Kylie. Also introduced this year is a butterfly and pollinators scavenger hunt and pioneer scrabble set.
“Besides getting outside and having fun, people are interested in learning about farms,” said Hewitt. “So we’ve tried to include educational components along with all the fun activities.”
“Every year we have something new,” added Hewitt. “Right now, we’re setting up a mini-golf course that will be open next year.” Also in the works are a bigger corn maze (for older kids) and, something Kylie and Catelyn are excited about – corn and pumpkin cannons and gourd sling shots. Look out!
LIke most businesses this year, the Hewitts have had to contend with COVID-19 restrictions and precautions, but are happy to have been able to open for a partial season.
“In a regular year, we are open all summer, but this year we opened just for the pumpkin season. It has worked well; the fall season is one the best times to enjoy the farm," said Hewitt.
COVID-19 precautions are in place with new procedures for online ticket sales, limiting numbers of visitors and sanitizing all areas.
“Visitors can purchase tickets online for a two-hour time period. Between each group, we sanitize everything. Masks are mandatory on the wagon ride and in the maze, but not throughout the open area of attractions,” explained Hewitt.
There are still two weekends left to enjoy the fall season at Hewitts Fun Farm. The attraction is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend and Friday and Saturday (Halloween) next weekend.
Visit hewittsfarmmarket.com/fun-farm to book your visit.