Outdoors

The best Christmas tree farms to visit in cottage country this year

A snowy christmas tree farm Photo by KPV89/Shutterstock

Maybe it’s your first cottage Christmas, or maybe it’s your thirtieth. Whatever the case, you’ll be searching for a tree, and we’ve rounded up the best Christmas tree farms in cottage country where you can enjoy some fresh air and even fresher trees, plus indulge in some holiday activities that are fun for the whole family. Free hot chocolate and sleigh rides, anyone? As these seven destinations prove, the gorgeous green trees are just the beginning when you visit a cut-your-own tree farm in cottage country.

Drysdale’s (Egbert, Ontario)

At this Christmas tree farm located about an hour north of Toronto, the holiday season isn’t just about lovely trees (though Drysdale’s has them in spades—many of the biggest and best trees you’ll see around Toronto in public squares and hotel lobbies are their products). From mid-November until mid-December, the property transforms into a winter wonderland with free marshmallow roasting, live carolling, and even a magician. 

Horton Tree Farms (Stouffville, Ontario)

While many farms are family-owned and operated, Horton’s takes family to a new level. This multi-generational farm has been in the Christmas tree business since 1961, making it one of the oldest in the province. Things are low-key and cozy, with free hot cocoa and an invitation to roast your own hot dogs or marshmallows on the bonfire. Horton Tree Farms is cash only, so leave the cards at home! 

Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm (Cobourg, Ontario)

Cutting your own Christmas tree is a beautiful way to make lasting family memories, and this is especially true at Barrett’s. They have an online booking system for professional photographers, allowing you to easily schedule a series of family portraits. Entrance to the farm is free if you just want to cut your own tree, but to enjoy other activities like horse-drawn wagon rides, family games, and marshmallow roasting, you’ll have to purchase a pass. Rates range from $5 to $25 depending on the number of people attending and which day of the week you select. 

Dawson Tree Farm (Millbrook, Ontario)

At Dawson Tree Farm, the community comes first. The farm organizes charitable initiatives each year, including food and toy drives, and gives a portion of sales to the local legion and food bank. Local delivery is available for those not prepared to wrangle a tree onto their vehicle’s roof. Visits include free hot chocolate and candy canes. 

MacGowan’s Christmas Tree Farm (Kinburn, Ontario)

At MacGowan’s, family fun is just as important as finding the perfect tree (maybe even more so!) They encourage kids to run to their heart’s content among their acres of balsam firs, Fraser firs, and white spruce trees, and they love it when families stop at one of the many selfie stations and photo ops placed around the farm. Free homemade cookies, hand-frothed hot cocoa, and snug seats around the fire round out the fun. 

Erin Hill Acres (Erin, Ontario)

Picky about the size of your tree? Erin Hill Acres is the place for you. They boast tiny three-foot trees and gigantic specimens that are top 35 feet tall! Their 92-acre site is filled with walking trails, a children’s play area, and a replica of the Griswold’s “woody wagon” from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Note that this farm charges admission. $10 for adults, $5 for children. If you purchase a tree, one entry is refunded, and you get a ticket for one admission to their summer lavender farm. 

Jingle Bills (Puslinch, Ontario)

Sometimes, you have to visit a destination just for the name alone. How can any Christmas tree shopper refuse a farm called Jingle Bills? The charm doesn’t stop there. Styled as southern Ontario’s “North Pole,” the farm sits on 100 acres of land, including 30 acres of dense forest and even a babbling brook. There’s plenty of free hot cocoa, Santa visits, and true holiday spirit (they’re well-known for supporting local entrepreneurs, frequently featuring their products in the farm’s shop or, some years, hosting community markets with local vendors). 

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