Dutch Mill Country Market
The name doesn't exactly scream kid friendly, but we'll tell you why you should plan a trip here asap!
It had been recommended to me by a couple of different friends to go check out The Dutch Mill Country Market in Dundas and I never really got around to going. I’ve taken the kids to various family friendly farms and markets in the area and somehow this one kept getting neglected. For some reason it just never sounded all that appealing and the website, while informative, didn’t give me the sense that it would be all that much fun for kids.
But this week I decided it was time, and when I had an errand to run up in the area it was the obvious choice for our morning entertainment. I went into it assuming we’d maybe get an hour out of it at most and then we’d move on to our next stop. Little did I know that two hours later I’d have to literally drag my 3 year old away promising we could return soon. In the interest of ensuring that every family with kids who love animals and playing outside (so like 99.9% of kids) goes to visit the Dutch Mill, I felt it critical that we write a little review of our experience.
The Dutch Mill features a stand out front full of farm fresh produce, as well as a 15,000 square foot store absolutely packed with unique gift items, home décor and more. They offer breakfast on weekends and holidays, a daily lunch, and an afternoon tea (if you reserve at least 24 hours in advance). You can also make dinner reservations for special events (20 or more people) and they have space to rent for parties of all kinds.
But of course the part that we went for was the free play area and petting zoo for the kids. When we entered the gates to the play area we were immediately greeted by a peacock, as well as several chickens and ducks. And when I say greeted I really mean it! These were not caged animals, they were roaming freely throughout the play area which immediately delighted both kids.
Once the initial excitement of the animals wore off the next source of amusement came from the large wooden vehicles that the kids can climb into, including a fire truck, school bus, and train. My son was so enthralled that I didn’t hear from him again for about 20 minutes. In the meantime I took my daughter to visit the fish pond, as well as the miniature horses, pig, bunnies, llamas (including one who was rather cranky!) and other animals that were in pens surrounding the play area. We then enjoyed some playtime on the swings and slides before deciding it might be time for a washroom and snack break.
After our pit stop and grabbing a small bag of popcorn from the store, the other half of our ITaV team arrived to join us and share our snack at a nice shady picnic table. This set the scene for the crowning moment of the afternoon when shortly after we got up to go play and explore again, a goat perched itself atop the picnic table, happily nibbling on the dropped popcorn. He became our constant companion for the remainder of our play time, letting my daughter tug at his chin hair without flinching and even climbing into the wooden train to “play” with the older kids. This was one seriously awesome goat!
Although the outing ended in tears from my son who didn’t want to have to leave, it was still an absolutely wonderful morning! I can’t believe I waited so long to go and I know we’ll be back again really soon (and the Moms might need to go back on their own for a little shopping one of these days too!).
If you’re looking for an excuse to go visit, The Dutch Mill has a classic car show this Saturday August 1st. For more details visit their website.
533 Millgrove Side Road