They say life is a picnic and never is that more true than in August. In Oxford County, August presents the perfect time to lay out the gingham in the grass, kick off your shoes and enjoy delicious al fresco dining in the heart of rural Ontario. From curated baskets enjoyed in a blueberry patch to picnics among farm animals, we can guarantee these aren’t your grandma’s picnics (although, she’s welcome to come along of course). Read on!
1. Picnics in the Patch
Leave your picnic basket at home! The folks at Berrylicious Fruit Farm have everything you need to enjoy an afternoon or evening in the blueberry patch. It’s the perfect outing for families, couples and buds alike and a great way to reconnect outdoors.
Each Picnics in the Patch experience starts with time spent picking a gallon (3.78L) of your own blueberries to enjoy and bring home with you. The farmers will show you proper picking techniques as well as teach you a little bit about the various varieties of blueberries (spoiler alert: they grow SEVEN). Kids can enjoy a pollinator scavenger hunt as well! Next you’ll settle down at your own picnic to enjoy one of four baskets.
Depending on what you’re looking for, Berrylicious has the perfect basket for everyone. Choose from the following:
- Snacks in the Patch : a cheeseboard from cheese made down the road at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese as well as a delightful drink and crackers
- Couples (or buds!) Basket: a berry flatbread, mason jar salad, refreshing drink and raspberry or blueberry shortcake for dessert
- The Family Picnic in the Patch : four sandwiches (choose from pb&j, ham & cheese or egg salad), 4 layered jello mason jars with floating blueberries, four refreshing drinks and Berrylicious Fruit Farm’s signature jelly roll for dessert as well as a variety of unplugged games for the kids
- Dessert in the Patch Basket: four cool, refreshing beverages and the aforementioned signature jelly roll
You can book your spot now!
2. Delivery Alert
Don’t feel like packing a picnic? No problem! Point your wheels towards our backroads. First stop? Thames River Melons to pick-your-own everything (seriously, pick your own berries, beans, tomatoes, beets, sunflowers…even dig-your-own potatoes!). Pop into their on-farm market to grab a few delicious condiments, fresh melons and more as well! On weekends, don’t be shy. The folks at Thames River Melons will be all set up with the fro-yo too.
Afterwards, head to Queen’s Park in Tavistock. Once you’re there, scan one of the QR codes on the signs for Quehl’s Restaurant and have lunch or dinner delivered right to you in the park! Known for their old school comfort food, you’ll find the perfect meal on their menu to fuel you up for a game of frisbee or a competitive card game. Between your fresh veggies and fruits and the awesome menu at Quehl’s- you’re all set!
3. Rise and Grind
Before the heat rolls in, start your day at Sheldon Berries in Lakeside. This farm offers up a beautiful selection of pick-your-own berries to add to your picnic.
Next, coffee lovers will rejoice at Kintore Coffee in Embro. This cozy café is the perfect spot to stock up for your picnic. May we recommend a cold brew shandy? Made with nitro cold brew and lemonade (sounds quirky, tastes delicious), it’ll put that pep in your step for the rest of the day. Grab a few baked goods or sandwiches for good measure while you’re there too and browse a number of other awesome local goods like jewelry, clothing and dried soups. Want to enjoy that cold brew later at the picnic? Consider grabbing a six pack!
Finally, head to Embro Pond Conservation Area where you can set up a picnic and enjoy Mother Nature. With picnic shelters available and short hikes along several different loops, it’s a great way to soak up every last drop of summer.
Want to do more in the area? Check out this itinerary!
4. A Picnic That Really Stacks Up
When: Every Wednesday 11am-6pm July 28th– August 25 as well as July 31st and September 4th for the long weekends
Discover all the delicious tastes of summer tucked inside a warm, delicious crepe and drizzled with locally-tapped maple syrup. Starting at the end of July, Hayes Maple Syrup’s uber-cool crepe trailer will be serving up their famous crepes at Bre’s Fresh Market in Tillsonburg using local produce. A hidden gem and local fav, this is a must-visit for foodies this August. Just lay out the blanket or grab a picnic table and enjoy chilling out with your bubble. Afterwards, head inside the market to grab local produce (including Bre’s famous sweet corn), baked goods, cheese, meats and other tasty food grown by the folks at Bre’s and neighbouring farms.
5. Alpaca Picnic
Where: Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life, 906200 Township Rd. 12 Bright, ON.
Talk about a picnic you’ll never forget! In the Alpaca Picnic Experience, you’ll enjoy a 60-minute encounter with the zany alpacas at Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life. Enjoy a deliciously-curated picnic basket filled with Ontario-made goodness on a spread out blanket in the pasture or at a picnic table. From goat’s milk cheese and refreshing drinks to chips, crackers and of course, goat’s milk ice cream, you’ll love the spread. As you eat, enjoy a look out across the hay field as the alpacas graze or come to greet you. Book your picnic now or check out their other farm life experiences!
6. On-Farm Picnic
Where: Greener Pastures Eco Farm, 774766 Oxford Rd. 14, Woodstock, ON.
Discover the flavours of region with an on-farm picnic at Greener Pastures Eco Farm. They’ll set you up with a picnic basket full of delicious treats from their farm shop as well as a blanket or if you’d like, grab a seat at their picnic tables that overlook the cow pasture. With lots of choices to curate what goes into your basket, you’ll love the different options available.
If you’d like to really up your picnic game, call ahead to book a guided farm tour ($20 upgrade). You’ll get to meet beautiful belted galloway cows, heritage pigs, rabbits and chickens. You’ll also learn about how this farm does things a bit differently and about their ecological practices! Book online.
7. Gravel Travel Picnic
Where: Greener Pastures Eco Farm, 774766 Oxford Rd. 14, Woodstock, ON. (View Map) with stops at Berrylicious Fruit Farm, 425533 Substation Road Woodstock, ON. (View Map); Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, 445172 Gunn’s Hill Rd. Woodstock (View Map) and Wild Comfort Body Care, 445300 Gunn’s Hill Rd. Woodstock, ON. (View Map)
When: Every Thursday until September 16th from 10am-4pm
Your next adventure starts where the paved roads end! These four stops within five minutes of each other have teamed up to offer a great gravel road tour every Thursday. Special activities, tastes and opportunities abound!
At Gunn’s Hill you can shop their cheese, watch the cheesemaker at work through the viewing window and purchase a cheese tasting plate to enjoy at picnic tables outside. Down the road, Wild Comfort Body Care crafts artisan soaps and body care in house. Check out their wonderful products and perhaps bring some home with you!
At 1pm, join Wendy and Don at Berrylicious Fruit Farm for a guided walk of the blueberry patch and to do some taste testing! Finally, round out your day by enjoying a picnic with all the delicious goods you’ve purchased along the way at Greener Pastures Eco Farm. Go for a self-guided farm tour to meet their animals, check out the farm store for local chocolate, dairy products, their own meat and more and then settle on your blanket to enjoy your local scores. Want to know more about this tour? Read on.
There you have it! Five excellent ways to enjoy a delicious, never-boring picnic in this summer in Oxford County. Want help planning your visit? Feel free to email us at [email protected] and we’ll create an itinerary with you.