Every summer I compile an unachievable to-do list of beaches, parks, and activities I’d like to visit in the faint hopes of having some sort of organization throughout the kids’ eight weeks of school vacation. We never get through even a tenth of it because, well, time is never on my side and doesn’t adhere to my extensive planning. So, it was quite a delightful day for us when I was able to tick off some super fun activities from my list — and all at the same location.
If you’ve got local food and markets, live butterflies, farm animals, picnics, and garden centres on your “fun and memorable summer activities list,” a visit to Ferme Guyon is an entertaining (and delicious) half-day outing.
Located at the intersections of Highway 10 and 35 in Chambly, the agro-tourism site boasts an indoor market with a tantalizing array of farm-fresh fruits and veggies, a butcher’s shop, cheeses, microbrews, a bakery, and much to my kids’ delight — candies. You can wander the garden centre with its aisles of perennials and trees, pick out seeds and herbs to buy, and dream of lush gardens and backyard topiaries.
Farm critters of all kinds
Make your way behind the garden rows and the sights and sounds of animals will entice kids into the large barn. The educational farm is where everyone can see and interact with farm animals and familiarize themselves with their way of eating, habits, and antics. Several different animals are found on the farm, including clucking chickens, pigs, bleating goats, sheep, adorable rabbits, and more. The farm experience is a self-guided tour, but staff are on hand if you have any questions or want to learn more.
My kids were most excited to visit the butterfly house as seeing the insects up close was a first for them. With more than 500 butterflies flying freely inside a specially equipped aviary, you’ll be treated to several varieties of butterflies including the gorgeous blue Morphos who flit about from the greenery lining the walls to the trays of fresh fruit. View the butterfly life cycle from egg to hatching into a caterpillar, their transformation into a chrysalis and up to birth. Wear bright coloured clothing to attract them to land on you, and stay still to admire them. My son’s bright blue nail polish also seemed to be a favourite of theirs so a kids’ DIY spa day and manicure before your visit might be another activity to try.
Inside the aviary, there are also colourful birds flying freely and you can see a bearded dragon, turtles, and frogs. As with the educational farm, the butterfly experience is a self-guided tour, but again, there is staff available to answer questions or for additional information. It is very hot and humid inside with the butterflies so dress in very light layers. My youngest was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and found it uncomfortably hot.
The barn and butterfly house are open Thursdays to Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the end of the summer season. Reservations for the farm and butterflies are mandatory and must be made online.
Tickets for the farm visit cost $9.50 for adults and $4.75 for children. The butterfly attraction is $7.50 for adults and $3.75 for children. You can also purchase tickets to both for $13 for adults and $7 for children. Admission for both sites is free for children 3 and under. The reserved time slots cannot be exchanged.
COVID-19 sanitary regulations are enforced and masks are required in the butterfly house and on the farm for adults and children aged 10 and over. Picnic tables are on-site, so you purchase some of the market’s tasty treats and have a leisurely meal while admiring at the surrounding greenery.
La Ferme Guyon
1001 Patrick-Farrar St., Chambly, J3L 4A7
Visit fermeguyon.com to make reservations or call 450-658-1010 for more information.
All photos by Christine Latreille