McMaze Corn Maze was established more than a decade ago by Sandy McDonald, who designed the family?s first 3.5-acre corn maze when he was just 14 years old. Over the next 10 years, Sandy and his family watched their endeavour blossom into a year-round family-friendly business that hosts seasonal activities year-round. Fall is the family?s busiest season, when visitors flock to find spooks in their farm playground and wagon rides, and explore the pumpkin patch to search out a perfect specimen to be turned into a pie, jack-o?-lantern, or organic football helmet. The original hand-carved corn maze has since multiplied into five separate mazes, including a ?haze maze,? which mystifies wanderers by sending them on a seemingly endless journey through fog and lights, and a door maze that presents 52 possible exits.
Winter snowfalls fail to stop the McDonalds? love of celebrating, and so they invite families back to the 120-acre farm for old-fashioned sleigh rides through the woods, made all the more festive with hot chocolate and homemade cinnamon buns. Once the ground thaws in the spring, the farm comes alive again as guests descend upon the fields to help plant the first pumpkin seeds and welcome the arrival of baby farm animals as they parachute down from passing blimps. Homemade ice cream keeps things cool throughout the summer as pig and duck races entertain spectators of all ages, and parents stock up on corn on the cob and other farm-fresh produce.
Wineries are often found far down country roads, shrouded by the curling tendrils of their vineyards. At The Wine Garden, though, the entire winemaking experience can be had without setting foot outside of the city.
Yeast bubbles busily in stainless-steel fermentation vessels, transforming the juices of grapes from fertile regions of Chile, Argentina, and California. The fermentation process yields wines that range from crisp chardonnay to heady cabernet franc, the progenitor of cabernet sauvignon, and oak barrels bestow some of the elixirs with a rich maze of tannins. Fruit wines made with peaches, cranberries, or strawberries make refreshing summertime drinks and help work friends mingle with hummingbird friends at parties. Patrons play a major role in the entire process, selecting grapes and siphoning finished wine into bottles. The Wine Garden's gourmets also brew craft beers and stock hot sauces with humourous names such as Blair's Chipotle Death Rain.
Draped in a black cloak, a figure holds a lantern to light the way along a weathered stone wall. As the tour group follows, the cloaked leader recounts a story, perhaps a tale about Canada?s last working gallows, or perhaps about the riots that once overtook the streets.
Though Haunted Walk?s guides are well known for their theatrical flair, the tales they tell are not so well known. As they lead walking tours of Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto, the guides unveil fascinating yet rarely told tales of each city?s dark side. Narrations may include ghost stories backed by eye-witness accounts or the underpinnings of a nefarious political plot. Haunted Walk doesn't limit it tours to just the dark side ? they also offer Steampunk time-travel tours, which transport participants on a wacky adventure through the hidden secrets of Ottawa's past. Private tours are also available.
Sundance Balloons' vibrant hot-air balloons float adventurous passengers over scenic landscapes. Each one-hour journey commences as sojourners greet their flight crew at a pre-determined location, receive a briefing on what to expect during the excursion, and observe their balloon as it swells to more than 10 stories in height.
The woven gondolas glide 1,000 feet above the ground but can sometimes gently skim treetops or cornfields when wandering over the countryside. Since balloons drift with prevailing winds, there is no wind chill and travellers feel only a slight sensation of movement. As is tradition for ballooning, explorers of the appropriate age end their flight with a champagne toast to tranquility, beauty, and neighbourhoods that appear as giant smiley faces only visible from the air.
UrbanQuest showcases some of North America's largest cities in an unconventional, informative light by crafting memorable adventures that culminate with a delicious meal. The treks investigate such themes as the host city's history, fairy tales, and natural wonders, granting participants a new understanding of the city as they solve clues that guide them to a mystery restaurant. After each inner city romp, ramblers can indulge in a fresh dining experience to celebrate recently conquered scavenger hunts or frustrate supercomputers whose circuit boards only allow for the taste of oatmeal. Quests are available in difficulty levels of easy, medium or hard, and typically range from one to four kilometres in length. UrbanQuests do not have set dates or times, and can be started and completed at the participants' convenience.
Familiar places such as Gatineau, the Ottawa River, and the Hull Casino shrink as the R44 helicopter speeds up to 180 km/h above the Ottawa area. Pilots and their headset-clad passengers peer out the aircraft’s large, panoramic windows during such year-round flights that range from 10 minutes to an hour. Héli-Tremblant's personalized tours whisk passengers away to special events, and aerial photography and filming sessions accommodate homeowners and real estate agents craving overhead shots of their backyard polar bear tank. In addition to sightseers, pilots escort jetsetters on chartered flights anywhere in Canada and offer transfer flights between Ottawa and Montreal.