Woohoo! After years of talking about it, we finally made it to Upper Canada Village with our little family and the grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Thanks to me and my farmer mom’s wicked good knowledge of trivial things and lightning fast Google-ing skills, we were able to score two family passes through the weekly contest on Upper Canada Village’s FB page.
So while all our tickets were free, we still managed to spend a small fortune on food, and at the souvenir shop when we were leaving. Oh well…..
I vividly remember visiting when I was a kid, a million years ago, and I’ve always wanted to go back. It was fun to see so many things are the same, and interesting to check out some of the new features.
I’d looked at the WEBSITE before going and knew that we’d want to try out the train ($$), the tow scow boat (free), and take a wagon ride through town (free). And we managed to do all three!
All three boys, and the grownups had a super fun time. And everyone was EXHAUSTED by the day’s end.
We arrived at 9:30am, right when they opened, and stayed until after closing at 5pm. (The littlest and his dad went home after lunch for naps 😉 )
From the West Island it takes about 90 minutes to reach Morrisburg, and the entrance to the Village is easy to spot on County Road 2.
There’s lots to see and do here and you can go as fast or as slow as you like. Visiting all the houses and businesses (there are about 40) is entertaining and interesting and the hosts and guides are happy to answer questions and tell you more about life in 1860’s Canada.
The views are beautiful and it’s very easy to walk and stroller around, though they ask you not to take strollers into the buildings. The boys liked seeing the pigs, sheep, horses, and chickens; and even tried their hand at milking a cow. We saw people making cheese, cutting logs in the mill, and hammering metal in the blacksmith. We fed the giant carp in the river, waved at people from the horse-drawn wagon, bought (modern) candy in the candyshop, and watched a travelling show. We had to keep checking our maps to make sure that we saw all the buildings as coming in (the first time), we’d missed the wool mill and the flour mill.
The inside exhibit in the Visitor Centre is also super interesting with interactive maps and things to turn and touch.
Our one regret was not having brought our own lunch to eat at one of the many picnic tables near the Harvest Barn, or outside the Visitor Centre, as we found the food quite expensive. There are a few choices for DINING so next time we’ll try someplace new. We also bought some delicious lemonade and cookies on the way out and ate on the veranda overlooking the river.
Since the Village was closing (those 8 hours went fast!), we went over to the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Visitor Centre which is just west of Upper Canada Village’s parking lot. While the centre itself was closed we were able to walk up to the monument and read the inscriptions. Some really interesting history here that made me want to learn more about it. There are events during the year that you can read about HERE.
All in all we had a FANTASTIC time and I’m a bit surprised at just how much the boys loved it. I wouldn’t say it’s a cheap excursion, but for a full day of fun and a Canadian history lesson, it was worth it.
NOTE: There are events going on throughout the year including Pumpkinferno and Alight at Night.
Second NOTE!: We were so tuckered out and still had an hour drive ahead of us, so we stopped for dinner at the Water View Restaurant in Long Sault. While there wasn’t that much of a water view the food was really good. I had a lobster roll with the best Greek potatoes ever and we also had the kid’s pepperoni pizza which was big enough for two. The place was packed and obviously well liked.
We love Upper Canada Village. Teenagers, elementary school age and toddlers all enjoy it. In past years we bought seasons passes and went several times and they never tired of it. My kids love having tea at Willard’s hotel. It is pricey but they have home made scones, fruit whipped cream, cheese made there and home made jam. We usually share instead of buying one each. Sometimes we brought cold cuts or chilli/soup in a thermos to have with the bread made in the village bakery. The bread is a must for my kids and they rushed to line up when it was delivered to the store. Glad you had o good time!
It was such a fun day. But we got to the store when the bread was sold out. Next time!