Summer is here! At long last, we are enjoying beautiful days filled with sunshine, warmth, and all the fun that comes with this glorious season. For you parents out there, we at York Durham Headwaters know that the burning summertime question on your mind is… what do you do with the kids now that they’re not in school?
The answer to that, first and foremost, is check out our blog. We’ve got tons of ideas for how to keep your wee ones entertained, and there are always more coming. But here in this post, we’re excited to tell you about a brand-new experience that will engage your whole family for an entire day. Make some memories this summer with a day trip through the Backroads of Brock.
About the Backroads of Brock
As a rural destination, Brock Township has always been a world of its own just a short drive away from Durham’s bustling southern cities. It’s the place where people go to escape the crowds and the crush—especially in the summer, when everybody’s out and about. There is a reason why Brock’s motto is “Breathe it in.” With all of the scenic roads and small-town delights, Brock is as picturesque as it is unique and friendly. It’s the perfect place to capture your family’s memories in photographs.
The Backroads of Brock is a newly developed experience for visitors. It is a collective of local artists, artisans and farmers nestled on the backroads of Brock Township, whose goal is to promote awareness of businesses off the beaten path, and share the beauty and abundance that can be found in these charming rural communities. Not only will you be engaging in a day of discovery on the Backroads of Brock, but you will be supporting a community initiative that is rooted in a cherished “support local” ideal.
Visit the Backroads of Brock website at www.backroadsofbrock.ca, and browse the featured stops below. Plan your adventure today by booking appointments (where applicable) to the locations that you and your kids will love. There is something for everyone.
Where to stop on the Backroads of Brock
1595 Concession Rd. 3., Beaverton
There is nothing like getting up-close and personal with an alpaca. These sweet, adorable animals are sure to give you all the warm, fuzzy feels… not just because their fleece is impossibly soft and fuzzy. Forget-Me-Not Alpacas sells beautiful alpaca products such as yarn, batts, blankets, hats, mitts, socks, insoles, dryer balls and toys (not to mention paca poo, one of the best garden fertilizers that nature has to offer). Book a tour of the farm, or your very own photography session with one of Forget-Me-Not’s lovely alpacas. Your kids will never forget this experience.
Villa Vida Loca Farm Market
13350 ON-12, Sunderland
What started with a love for honeybees and all things farm fresh, is now a super unique boutique farm market featuring Villa Vida Loca’s own pure honey and honey products. Everything here is farm fresh, homegrown, handmade, or personally chosen. If you’re coming on the weekend you’ll find local produce, baked and artisan goods, and so much more. With additional features like The Smoke Shack, serving delicious barbecue on weekends, live music events at The Cauldron, themed dinners at The Villa, and La Cabaña glamping experiences (coming soon), you’ll want to come back again and again!
Rolling Hills Arts Studio
S10445 Side Road 17, Sunderland
Ever heard of fabric sculpting before? It’s really cool. This unique artform results in magical creations that are sure to turn heads, for every sculpture tells a story frozen in time. Artist Anja Kooistra is the maker behind Rolling Hills Studio, and she welcomes you to her sanctuary for a workshop like no other. Book your workshop for the whole family, and enjoy a day of fun, creating, and entertainment. At the end, you’ll get to take a unique piece of Brock home with you.
White’s Creek Flower Farm
1125 Concession Rd 7, Beaverton
If you’re craving scenic views, fresh bouquets, and a wonderful pick-your-own flower experience, White’s Creek Flower Farm in Beaverton offers a unique getaway from the everyday. You will be provided with mason jars, clippers and water, so you can stroll the gardens and clip your seasonal favourites at your leisure. Book your tickets in advance, and spend the day enjoying the beautiful blooms of nature’s bounty. When you’ve picked your perfect bouquet, stop in at the on-farm retail shop to browse a wide selection of local artisan goods that you’ll want to share with your loved ones.
Lynda Cunningham, Artist
17111 Ridge Road, Sunderland
Visit artist Lynda Cunningham at her studio and stimulate your wee ones’ imaginations. Country life is the inspiration for Lynda’s work, combining her love of rural living with her passion for art. The subjects of Lynda’s oil paintings reflect the rapidly disappearing scenes of rural Ontario and its domestic farm animals. Make an appointment to get up close and personal with Lynda’s work, and show your kids what rural Ontario means to the people who live here, and why it should be cherished.
Living Off Your Backyard
23901 ON-12, Sunderland
This family-run farm market welcomes you to pick out your own vegetable and herb plants, and also an assortment of annuals and fresh vegetables. Teach your kids about the importance of supporting local, sustainability, and how to cook with fresh produce all from this one stop market shop. And when you come home, be sure to visit the Living Off Your Backyard website for online instruction and support on how to turn your own backyard into a gardener’s paradise!
Vive Lavender Farm
85 Concession 4, Sunderland
Did you know that lavender is a soothing fragrance that is thought to assist in falling asleep? Vive Lavender Farm is the perfect way to wind the kids down for bed. Book an appointment to visit this inclusive, pet-friendly location that is a popular spot for day retreats, bridal showers and weddings. Walk the nature trails as a family and explore fields of pure, living lavender. Be sure to get those family photo ops while you’re there, and check out the lavender products this idyllic farm offers to take home with you.
Don’t forget to come back to Brock in the fall
The Backroads of Brock is truly a year-round experience. Being a haven of rural bliss, it is no surprise that harvest time is when things really get swinging. If you loved Backroads of Brock in the summer, then you’re definitely going to want to come back in the fall, when two more stops open up for the season.
Buzzing Bees Adventure Farm
1070 Concession Rd 5, Sunderland
This is the ultimate family farm adventure. Buzzing Bees features a nine-acre corn maze, a pedal kart track, pumpkin bowling and lots of other fall activities for the kids. Pick your perfect pumpkin from the field, or choose from a selection of pre-picked Jacks. Browse the farm store for local honey, maple syrup, straw bales and corn stocks, all grown on-site, as well as a selection of jams and preserves. Nothing says fall like the pumpkin patch!
1740 Concession 4, Sunderland
Spend the day in this five-acre sunflower field, gallivanting around the trails and taking those perfect fall photos for your family home. Pick your own pumpkins, and purchase hay bales and corn stalks for your front porch décor. The Pinedale Patch even has a porch décor package, if you need some help. There are lots of locally grown produce and other goodies at the market stand, so come ready to explore.
Have you travelled the Backroads of Brock? Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and share your photos with us. We love to see what you got up to!
Story by Katherine Ryalen