Local Christmas Tree Options…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so it’s time to start thinking about getting your Christmas Tree (even though the rules are thatyou can’t put it up before December 1st!) I sure wish I could convince all the homes in town that I see with Christmas Trees up already about what the rules are!
There are different theories on whether you should have a real tree versus an artificial tree. Some will argue that an artificial tree is better for the environment – theoretically you only need one tree for your entire life, but as a Christmas enthusiast, I can justify having a real Christmas Tree by purchasing them from one of the local Christmas Tree Farms, where they continue to plant new trees for this sole purpose. And truth be told, there is nothing more wonderful than the smell of a pine tree in your home!
Here are some recommendations for a local experience where you can do so much more than just purchase a tree for your home.
Cedarhill Christmas Tree Farm – Just a short distance from Ottawa, the Cedarhill Christmas Tree Farm is located between Almonte and Pakenham, off the 7th Concession from Highway 29. Started by the Ralph Family back in 1988, the farm is now owned by the Martin Family (Pam is the daughter of the local Fulton Family famous for Fulton’s Maple Syrup). The Martin Family moved to the area in 2016 and took over the business from the Ralph Family. They continue to offer the same great service that locals came to know and expect, and they have worked hard to offer an even greater experience.
There is no charge to take your family to Cedarhill, and there is so much for everyone to do. They have a great hill for sliding. Bring your own sled (but no GT racers please). They offer free tractor and wagon rides as well. The grandkids were especially delighted with the straw bale fort, and once I convinced myself it was safe and wouldn’t cave in on them, I enjoyed it too! Other activities include a bon-fire for enjoying a cup of hot chocolate around, and the Café Claus where you can purchase a light lunch or mid-afternoon snack after working up an appetite.
Of course, the whole point of a trip to the farm is to purchase your Christmas tree, or two. From 3’ to greater than 12’ tall, with a mixture of white spruce, scotch pine, blue spruce, a variety of fir trees, you cut yourself and they will shake and wrap it for you or buy a pre-cut tree. Also available for purchase are wreaths, planters and decorations.
While there is no obligation to purchase any product at the Tree Farm, the only way a family business can stay in business, is through the support of local residents who purchase their products. Sign up for their e-mail notifications to stay tuned to activities at the Tree Farm. http://cedarhillchristmastreefarm.com
Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park – Richmond Road near Carleton Place
What a great start to the season with all the snow we have had recently for Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park. This is another family-run business in operation for almost 40 years, and located approximately 15 minutes from Carleton Place, just off Richmond Road. It’s another great family outing, but there is a charge for this one. Admission includes access to any activities in the park and a free hot chocolate.
Our last family trip to Ian’s was a few years ago, in the evening, after dinner. There is something quite magical about bonfires, real reindeer and Santa Claus – by starlight! Candycane Lane was beautifully lit, and it wasn’t particularly busy on the Sunday evening that we visited.
They offer a hill for sliding, a wagon-ride that takes you to Ho Ho Lake, a skating rink (although we never found it with all the short legs we had in our group), and what feels like miles and miles of trails. We got to sit with Santa around the campfire during our visit – and there were several warm out-buildings where we could do a diaper change.
The map to the park is helpful and points out the various features we missed including a Hay Maze, a Rope Maze, the Beaver House and many, many trails.
You can cut your own tree and they have saws available for your use, or you can purchase a pre-cut tree (like we did). They have the usual selection of trees including pines, spruce, fir and cedars, and ranging from 4 feet to 15 feet or more! Be sure to check their website before venturing out, just to confirm they are open. www.ianschristmaspark.ca
Of course you may just opt to purchase your Christmas Tree at the grocery store or road-side fundraising stand, but if you are looking for a family-friendly experience and want to enjoy some time outdoors with the kids, I encourage you to check out either of these local options. You won’t be sorry you did!