I would like to just spend a couple of minutes to dedicate this trail to one of the most important people I have ever known, my Auntie Val. As I have mentioned in previous posts I had a family member who was ill. It was with cancer. Two months to the day we found out she passed away last Sunday peacefully and surrounded by her loved ones. My Auntie Val was one of the sweetest, loveliest people I have ever known. It is through her and my Nana that we were first introduced to the Children’s Animal Farm. Whenever our family would go to visit them in Sarnia it led to many trips here in the spring and summer where we would go with stale bread to feed the many ducks, and carrots to feed the farm animals. (Although feeding is not allowed anymore) This place is where some of many wonderful memories with both my Nana and my Aunt took place and somewhere where we share and make new memories with the next generation. My husband and I took our two boys here a couple of weeks ago where I came back to show pictures to my Auntie Val so she could see how little has changed and how much this next generation loves going as much as we loved going with her. Thank you Auntie Val for being such an inspiration in all of our lives and we truly will miss you and love you forever and we will continue to bring the next generation to the Children’s Animal Farm and make sure your’s (and Nana’s) memory lives on.
For those who have never heard of this Animal Farm it is set in Canatara Park in Sarnia, Ontario. It was established in 1964 and has all of your average farm animals. There is a big barn you can walk through that situates in the middle of a large pathway that circles around to view the outdoor animals such as horses, llamas and goats. There is also a little waterway that circles around it as well that is always full of ducks and geese. Recently just outside the farm part they have added bikes mounds, a huge park, and lots of running around space and places for picnics on the ground or sheltered picnic tables.
It was on this last trip that I learned an awful lot about our 3.5 year old and almost 2 year old. The two year old spent the whole time running around constantly testing his reflexes (as well as ours) by putting his fingers or face through the fences to see the animals. At one point he was trying to climb the fence that surrounded the horses, and if we let him he also would have swam with the ducks. You may wonder how we are able to do anything or go anywhere with two crazy wild boys but please note I only explained our almost 2 year old. The 3.5 year old is the exact opposite. He spent the whole time in the wagon. We kept offering to help him out but he kept replying that he was fine just in the wagon and wanted to watch from in it. We also had a big celebration of his bravery at the fact he finally let us go through the barn. Now don’t get me wrong, he had a blast, he loves this place; I think this trip was the perfect example of when we explain that the youngest lives in the moment, while the oldest analyses it.
One of my favourite parts of this is the trails that lead from outside the entrance of the Animal Farm to the other side of Canatara park near the lake. While these trails aren’t a long walk by any means it does still give the hiking experience of dirt trails, surrounded by trees, flowers, and the water way. They are also different directions you can take that lead you to different exits into Canatara or the big pond that is also near the Children’s Animal Farm.
This is our favourite place to go for a FREE day out with the boys. We can see farm animals, play at the park, have a picnic, walk through a nature trail then head to the beach. Add that all with the fact it holds special memories with the fact you are making new ones and you can’t go wrong!
Here is their website for more information: http://www.childrensanimalfarm.com/