Welcome to the next edition of "Elginsider: The Inside Scoop," where each week, a staff member from Elgin County Economic Development & Tourism will share the inside scoop on life in Elgin County!
On Thanksgiving Monday, my son Louis and I joined forces with Jenny and Lucy Harper to get in some fresh fall air and activity at Clovermead Adventure Farm for their annual Pumpkin Festival. This is starting to become a tradition for our families, to shed the turkey coma and see what new weird and wonderful ways have been dreamed up to destroy a pumpkin.
Lucy and Louis started the day off with a visit with the resident goats. There are big ones and small ones, but they are all super friendly and ready for a quick pet, snuggle and selfie. We wandered through the barn to visit with the bunnies, some new chicks, and hens. Lucy had a keen eye and found a hen that was keeping several chicks warm by sitting on them!
Next stop was a trip on the Bee Barrel Train Ride, converted drums pulled in a line by a golf cart, these bees twist and turn their way through a wacky course. After the bee barrels, the kids raced on tricycles, then us moms had the pleasure of being the power on the pedal carts. Totally justifying that second piece of pumpkin pie!
While Lucy and Jenny ventured over to the Bee Line Zip Lines, Louis and I fed Billy the Goat on his bridge. This goat has figured out how to pull up the feed cup so he can get his treats even faster!
We came back together at the huge yellow jumping pillow. This remains one of my favourite attractions at Clovermead. Lucy, Louis, and I jumped like no one was watching. You can really get some air if you bounce close to one another. After some serious bouncing, it was getting close to noon and time for the first Pumpkin Cannon Show of the day.
The Pumpkin Cannon Show is a sight not to be missed. Every year the show gets bigger and better. This year was no exception, with two cannons, an old Dodge Truck with a cannon, a trebuchet (pumpkin catapult), and a boom truck for pumpkin drops.
The show provides for plenty of audience participation, Chris, the owner and mastermind behind Clovermead, called out for someone to give the first pumpkin a good luck kiss. Much to my amazement, Louis marched down and gave the first pumpkin a kiss, then pushed the cannon button to send it flying out into the great pumpkin sky! The show runs three times a day at 12 noon, 2 pm and 4 pm. It is well worth checking out at least once if not all three while you are there.
New this year, the pumpkin roller coaster has moved from the animal barns to the top of the giant slides. The pumpkins pick up some serious speed as they roll down the track to either make it into the wagon of water or not.
Before, during or after the show, you need to ride the giant slides, they are amazing! With slides of different heights, you can work your way up to the top. We went big and started at the top, and didn’t move from there.
After we took our adventure to new heights, we mellowed out in the all-new Bean House. This is literally a house full of soybeans and it is glorious! I encourage everyone young and old to jump in and enjoy the sensory experience that this offers. We spent so much time here, burying each other, jumping and swimming.
There is so much more to see and do at Clovermead, plan for a whole day to experience all that the adventure farm has to offer. The Pumpkin Festival continues Saturdays until November 2nd.
Remember to support local because local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbours! They care about and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future.
Kate Burns Gallagher
Economic Development Coordinator