The ideas for school holidays can sometimes feel lacking, or too-familiar, or too boring…
“let’s go to the park”
“let’s go to the library”
“let’s go to the movies,”
And although these are all great ideas, things I would do again and again, we all need something different sometimes, don’t we?
And even though it ain’t strawberry picking time, it doesn’t mean you can’t go to a strawberry farm, right?
I mean, part of it was for my own indulgence too. Other than strawberries (yum) and other café indulgences (drool) it was to satisfy my own little curiosity, something that has been brewing for years and years, ever since my very first visit to Sunny Ridge with Hubbie, while I was pregnant with baby girl.
Back then it had been high strawberry picking season. I had picked myself a punnet (or two), gotten some other take-home goodies, and also indulged in a most fabulous strawberry sundae on that superbly warm day.
Both myself and growing baby girl had been in agreeance: delicious!
So this time we headed on down again, at the end of week one of Sunny Ridge’s school holiday program, which unbeknownst to her, was her second visit 😉
Week one saw an activity where kids could let their inner Jamie Oliver/Heston Blumenthal/Nigella Lawson soar with a creation of what was basically, a giant chocolate freckle!
(Maybe even Gordan Ramsay, if the chocolate was not melted to the right temperature?) 🤣
The workshop started at 10:30am, with the general café and store opening to the public at 11am as per their Winter timetable (see website for opening times below).
A small group started off, soon growing into a large group of kids ranging from about 2 to 9 years of age, with parents to boot, each expressing their foodie selves onto their own personal piece of melted chocolate on a plate…
Throw in some things like honeycomb, coconut, cocoa pops, and of course freeze-dried strawberries along with their own cup of mini marshmallows, m&ms and other little chocolatey goodies…
The decorating part took as long as the fussy or not so fussy kids allowed. Let’s say, about 15 minutes. Into the giant freezer it then went, and while they waited for their chocolate to set, the colouring paper came out.
A nifty idea and cute little activity to keep them busy as they waited for their take-home treat.
I have to say at this stage, the staff were pretty awesome. There were two main women helping out, one was the host of the crafty bit, going around and getting personal with the kids and their creations, while also providing some sweet feedback, and then there was another one who was busy running around putting plates in the freezer, and hurriedly attending to kids with a sharpener for the flat colouring pencils. Top marks for care factor.
I was meanwhile, busy eyeing off the corner coffee machine and the specials up on the wall. DRRROOOOLLLLL.
When baby girl seemed to be getting overly decorative with her drawing, (it must have been at least 20 minutes) I gently prompted her by telling her that we would get some drinks and treats when she finished…
And suddenly she was finished! Fortunately so too was her chocolate freckle, as the host went into the freezer and brought it out all set and ready to eat!
What a fantastic and fun idea. Melted chocolate on a plate? Who knew? (Actually we all know, chocolate is delicious).
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm is located at 244 Shands Road, Main Ridge
During the Winter school holidays and in general during their ‘off’ season, which is May – October, they are open Friday to Monday, 11am – 4pm (plus public holidays and VIC school hols)
In the ‘on’ season (sunshine time!) from November – April, they are open 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm (excludes some public holidays).
‘Pick your own strawberries’ is available during the ‘on’ season. You pay for entry (kids 4 and under are free) and pay for the strawberries you pick.
***In the second week of the school holidays from July 8th to 12th, kids will be making their own hanging strawberry origami and berry page munchers! Starting 10:30am, this fun activity is only $12!***
Check out their website here or call 5989 4500 to book.
And let’s not forget the cafe…
They have a selection of strawberry-themed and other warming desserts on offer, and their food store displays a range of strawberry jams, biscuits, candles, chocolates, candies, and other local fares from the region…
Even if you don’t like strawberries, there is something for you:
We got a deliciously scented strawberry body cream, and a fresh but sweet soap.
You know how I said baby girl was perfectly happy with me eating strawberries when she was in my tummy? Well she ain’t so much a fan nowadays… never mind, because…
You know how I said we were getting treats after her activity?
It was amazingly warming enjoyed in the crisp and sunny Winter’s air. There is nothing quite like sitting amidst nature and taking some time out to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Let me finish on this image…
P. S. The chocolate freckle was, AMAZING!!!! 😋