Many of us in the Lower Mainland can recognize Nira Arora’s voice, you can find her hosting the morning show on 94.5 Virgin Radio alongside her co-hosts, but did you know she’s also an accomplished writer, public speaker, wife, and mom? Nira and her husband Garry are always looking for new activities they can share with their three children, particularly ways that they can get out of the city, slow down, and learn something new. Abbotsford had just what they were looking for when it came to a quick getaway from Metro Vancouver: “it’s small town, but not small town. It’s family friendly. It’s a place where you can find peace,” says Nira.
With three children between the ages of 3 and 10, Nira loves activities that get her and her kids outdoors and in nature. For their day in Abbotsford we created an itinerary that was fun for both parents and kids alike and showed off our true handmade and homegrown roots. First, a stop in Historic Downtown to fuel up: with several great cafes, it’s easy to grab a coffee and an on-the-go breakfast to begin your day of adventure. We love Duft & Co. Bakehouse, Tracycakes Bakery Cafe, Oldhand Coffee, The Polly Fox, or SippChai.
Next, it’s off to Maan Farms Country Experience & Estate Winery. Depending on the time of year that you visit, there’s always something happening at Maan Farms. From berry picking in the late spring through the summer, to the sunflower festival in August, haunted corn maze and pumpkin patches in the fall, and of course goat yoga, wine tasting, and Mama Maan’s eats year round. Kids can visit with barnyard animals and roam free range. Parents are welcome to browse the handmade and unique items in the store or sample some award winning wines. After working up an appetite, grab a plate of delicious home cooked butter chicken, samosas, and of course an ice cream.
With full bellies, it’s on to EcoDairy. Offering a unique, highly interactive learning environment, the EcoDairy experience has been developed in partnership with Science World. You can take a barn tour, meet the cows, watch a robotic milker in action and try your hand at milking their mascot cow, Vicki. Explore the farm animal exhibit, educational displays, and picnic grounds with a stunning view of Mt. Baker. EcoDairy is a great way for kids to learn about agriculture and where their food comes from, which is important to Nira and her family: “We are in a place in British Columbia where we have access to so much amazing nature, why would you not give those opportunities to your children?”
Rounding out the farm experiences the Gill family headed to Taves Family Farms. Another Abbotsford institution, you can find barnyard animals, apple and goji berry u-pick, open play spaces, and yummy treats like apple cider slushies. New to Taves is their hard cider tasting room and picnic area! Adults can enjoy a flight of their delicious hard ciders as well as some build your own charcuterie options while kids can feed goats and enjoy a grassy outdoor space while sipping on non-alcoholic cider.
After a busy day of activities we recommend sitting down as a family for a hearty meal. Located just off of Highway 1, Brodeur’s Bistro serves up large portions of Cajun and French Canadian inspired dishes. Choose from favourites like the Montreal smoked meat sandwich or the chicken and waffles. With a choice of 27 side dishes there is sure to be something for everyone in the family!
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