The first time I went to the Hatfield Farm Weekend Family Round up, my husband and I brought our docile, well-behaved 2-year old. “Why am I signing a waiver?” I asked the cowgirl at the desk, “I’m sure she’s not going to fall off the wagon or anything.”
Now that my kids are 8 and 3, I sign the waiver like I mean it.
Between the live animals that lick corn out of your palms, the bumpy wagon ride, the homemade zipline, the “straight from the eighties” outdoor playground equipment back in the woods, and the rubber rodeo (a real bucking bronco, bouncy castle and two fighting arenas), there are just so many ways to get a disease or concussion – or at least scrape your knee.
But somehow, every time we go, the kids come back in one piece – laughing, smiling, relaxed; full of fresh air… and hot dogs!
At the weekend round up, unlimited hot dogs are available for everyone – old and young. A small side of fries will set you back $3.50, and on special occasions, there is more sophisticated food available. For example, on St. Patrick’s Day, me and the kids shared a hot beef sandwich for about six dollars. It was delicious.
But the favourite attraction for my little sugar-junkies is the self-serve fountain machine.
It’s just like the ones at Subway, where you say “STOP! You have to buy a cup! No you CAN NOT go back for seconds! Stop MIXNG -that’s gross!!!“, but at Hatfield Farm there are plenty of cups available and you can go back as many times as you want – and pour whatever you want! My kids pride themselves on having a little squirt of each type of pop, plus some Nestea for good measure.
For parents, there is coffee, tea and hot chocolate. I tend to do a little mixing too, to create a “Hatfield Mocha”. The only complaint I would have is that there never seems to be any cream for the coffee – only milk.
Although the indoor rubber rodeo, and in particular the bucking bronco are the main attraction for many children, my kids like to avoid the crowds and spend time outside on the zipline, swings and play equipment. My son loves climbing on the old farm machinery too. This is, of course, yet another way to sustain minor injuries…but the only side effect so far, has been a pair of rosy cheeks!
At a price of $14.99 plus HST per person, the weekend family round up isn’t the kind of thing that most of us can afford to do every weekend, but if you compare it to say, going to a movie, it’s not that expensive, and it’s a great way to keep the kids busy all afternoon, especially if the weather is nice.
The Hatfield Farm Weekend Family Round Up happens every Saturday and Sunday at Hatfield Farms in Hammonds Plains, with extra departures during school holidays and on special occasions.