On a slightly cloudy day, the girls and I drove across town to Maplewood Farm. I was tired after a bad night with multiple kids up for various reasons, and it was the end of the week, and we needed to get out of the house. I was also looking forward to escaping the city without actually going that far. I’m a country girl at heart and my biggest reservation about moving to Vancouver is how “big city” it is.
Exploring Maplewood Farm
Pulling up at Maplewood Farm, I felt like taking a deep breath. There were trees all around. Fences and grass and horses and ponds and ducks. The country within the big city. And I could understand why city developers let this little farm stay there while the city grew up around it. Urban kids need a taste of the farm, even if it’s only a small taste, and I was excited to tour around with the girls.
Inside the gate, we saw some ponies and then some black pigs. Then the ducks came waddling up and the girls fed them all the grain I’d gotten at the little gift shop. Jade really had fun throwing the grain and watching the ducks scramble after it. With the grain gone, we moved on—to discover the mini tractors.
These adorable little tractors were parked all over Maplewood Farm. They were a bit heavy for Jade to actually move, but Sunshine and Lily could pedal them. So our walks around the farm were interspersed with rides on the mini tractors (and taking lots of pictures to send to the grandpas, who are farmers).
Meet the Farm Animals
We wandered past the cows (unfortunately, we’d just missed the milking demonstration). Then we walked around to the sheep pen. One sheep there ran up to the fence and the girls were quite delighted to be able to pet it. Then it followed us around the fence as we kept walking. It reminded me of the sheep I had growing up. Most of the rest of the flock just ignored us.
From there, we kept following the path around the outside of Maplewood Farm, with a park outside the fence on our left and a large duck pond / river on our right.
The girls enjoyed running over the bridge back to the farm, where we stopped to visit the bunnies and guinea pigs and then they took turns milking the cow.
That cow was a highlight of the visit. The girls had a lot of fun figuring out how to milk it and we even came back to it again later after visiting the goats.
Maplewood Farm Goats
We’ve seen goats before at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, so the girls really enjoyed getting into the goat pen and being able to pet the little goats. And watching the antics of the goats, who were in quite a bouncy mood.
Two little goats were butting heads and chasing each other around, and others kept jumping up and down a narrow rail. Sunshine made friends with two who liked having her pet them, while Jade and Lily were a bit more wary of the goats because they were running around so much.
I captured some of their antics on video:
We wandered around the farm a few more times, checking out the horses, the donkey, the exotic birds, the barns, and more mini tractors. There’s a lovely picnic area there if you wanted to make a day of it plus a playground just outside the farm gates.
Overall, we spent a couple hours there and, if we’d caught the milking demonstration or stayed to watch the animals go into the barns, could have spent more time at the farm.
More about Maplewood Farm
Kid- and baby-friendly: Yes. The farm is accessible by wide (albeit gravel) paths, so I recommend using either a baby carrier or a stroller with large wheels. There were quite a few other families there with strollers, toddlers and babies while we were wandering around.
Although there are signs saying that the animals might bite, we found all the animals to be very friendly. The girls enjoyed petting the sheep, goats and rabbits. There are washrooms centrally located with a baby change table and a washing station for washing hands before and after handling animals.
For more information about Maplewood Farm, check out their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. The farm offers birthday party packages plus group tours, special events for holidays, and the chance to go behind the scenes.
I enjoyed learning a bit about the history of the farm and the local area. They also have self-guided tour booklets for the kids to follow along with as they wander the farm.
Admission to Maplewood Farm is also included in the Kidsworld passes.
I received two admissions to the farm compliments of Vancouver Tourism for the purposes of this review; all opinions expressed are my own.