EXPLORE ABBY BLOG

Easter Fun in Abbotsford

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and Easter in Abbotsford is just around the corner! Everyone’s excited for the Easter egg scavenger hunts, decorating and (who are we kidding) the loads of chocolate! With the long weekend coming up, this can help you plan! 

Easter Egg Decorating
March 19 / Chocolatas
We invite you to our first ever Easter Egg Decorating Day at our Abbotsford location with our very own Master Chocolatier Wim Tas. Contact ahead by phone 604-504-5957 or sales@chocolatas.com to pre-book.
#101 - 31060 Peardonville Rd. www.chocolatas.com

Meet the Easter Bunny
March 25 & 26 / Highstreet Shopping Centre
Snap a pic with the Easter Bunny, he'll be popping up on Friday & Saturday, 12pm - 4pm, with treats compliments of Purdy's Chocolatier.
3122 Mt. Lehman Rd. www.highstreetfv.com

Take a Selfie with the Easter Bunny
March 25 & 26 / Sevenoaks Shopping Centre
Visit Sevenoaks Shopping Centre and take a selfie with the Easter bunny, 11 am - 2 pm in the food court. Use #7oakseasterbunny @shopsevenoaks on Instagram for a chance to win a $25 Sevenoaks gift card!
32900 South Fraser Way www.shopsevenoaks.com

Easter Egg-stravaganza
March 26 & 27 / Maan Farms & Estate Winery
Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt and face-painting, contests, family activities, hay-wagon rides, prizes, yummy treats, and meet the Easter Bunny!!! B.Y.O.B (Bring your own Basket) or we have buckets available for purchase. While you’re here enjoy our great family attractions.
790 McKenzie Rd. www.maanfarms.com

Easter Celebration
March 26 & 27 / Ecodairy
Join us both days for an Easter Special! We will have a fun egg scavenger hunt for touring guests. Find all the eggs for a sweet treat! Coffee and tea provided. Stop by during our open hours: Saturday 10-4 & Sunday 11-4 Guided tours will be every hour on the half hour.
1356 Sumas Way www.ecodairy.ca

 

Spring Break in Abbotsford

It’s that time of year again! Spring Break is around the corner, the sun is starting to shine and the cherry blossoms are blooming. We have some great ideas to enjoy these two weeks off in Abbotsford. There are many kids’ camps happening over the next few weeks which we have listed below but if you missed sign-up (whoops!), here are a few day adventures.

Day Activites


SPRING BREAK CAMPS + Events

Highstreet Shopping Centre
Learn! Mar 14-18, 12-2 PM
Science World Show + Make and Take Activities.
Science World is back at Highstreet hosting their fun and informative show all week long. Located in Central Plaza, just outside of Cineplex. Totally Free.
 

Highstreet Shopping Centre
Play! Mar 21-24, 12-2 PM
Skateboarding* + Rock Climbing.
Paul from Replay Sports and Project Climb will be at Highstreet Monday to Thursday, and it's totally free! Located in Central Plaza, just outside of Cineplex. Totally Free.*Participants must call Guest Services at 604-381-3934 to register for skateboarding lessons prior to the event. Lessons are separated by Beginners and Advances skateboarders.


Abbotsford Recreation Centre
Spring Break Camps - Mar 14-18 & 21-23
From pre-school camps, springtastic camps and super splash, there is a camp for every age! Spring break swim lessons are also offered. More information here.

 

Seven Oaks Shopping Centre
Kids Club Events - Mar 14-18 & 21-23
Registration is FREE for the Kids Club at Sevenoaks and enjoy fun daily activities. Spots are booking up fast, contact their customer service desk or website for more information.

 

EcoDairy
Spring Break Camp - Mar 14-18 & March 21-25, 9:00am - 3:00pmCome join us over the break for a week-long "Woodland Creature" theme, loaded with games, crafts, science experiments and other great adventures! Sign up through this site or contact us at info@ecodairy.ca for more information. Full week sign-ups are required, no one day only options.

 

Rogers Hometown Hockey comes to Abbotsford

Bring the family to celebrate Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour in our community of Abbotsford, BC! Meet Ron MacLean and NHL Alumni and show your community pride on live national TV. Former NHLer Brendan Morrison and award-winning Canadian country musician Chad Brownlee to join weekend festivities, along with special hometown heroes

Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour is the season’s go-to hockey festival. Bring the whole family down to Exhibition Park on Haida Drive for this two day event. There will be free activities, live music, and of course, lots of hockey! The entire festival will culminate with Ron MacLean hosting the broadcast of the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks game AND the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks games from our Sportsnet Mobile Studio with an outdoor viewing party. 

Location: Abbotsford Exhibition Park 32470 Haida Dr. Abbotsford, BC

Time & Dates: Saturday, February 20th - Festival opens from 12pm to 6pm
                           Sunday, February 21st - Festival opens at 11am and runs through the                              end of the double-header outdoor viewing party. 

                         Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks, 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
                         Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks, 6:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

Website: www.rogershometownhockey.com #hometownhockey

Sip, Savour and Share

The Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Tour came to fruition as a way to showcase and educate about our newly developing industry of craft breweries and wineries. While tasting and touring, take time to discover the unique flavours of our valley. Read more about our Beer & Wine tour partners below.

 

CAMPBELL’S GOLD HONEY FARM & MEADERY

Come taste the flavours of what’s believed to be the oldest known alcoholic beverage, Mead or Honey Wine was first discovered by the Samarians in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. The romantic tradition of offering mead to newlyweds led to the sweet potion being known as the “drink of love” in the middle ages. Campbell’s Gold produces these ancient elixirs including the traditional Mead. In addition they offer Pyment (honey wine & grapes), Melomel (honey wine with fruit or berries), Metheglin (spiced honey wine), and Cysor (honey wine with apple juice/cider).

Tasting Room Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12pm–6pm, Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 12pm–5pm

 

Maan Farms Market & Estate Winery 

Maan Farms Estate Winery, a culmination of three generations of farmers, has brought forth a taste with true distinction. Their wines begin with only the most luscious and flavoursome handpicked berries. Loyal to the Fraser Valley, these complex yet elegant wines capture the delicate accents, and indulge the senses with a wine that incorporates the finest flavours of British Columbia. From the ground to your glass, Maan Farms’ wines are solely produced here, leaving no room for anything less than the best that we have to offer.

Tasting Room Hours: Closed until Spring

 

Mt. Lehman Winery 

This is a family owned boutique winery specializing in small lots of premium naturally made wines. Mount Lehman winery has 15 acres planted to a variety of grapes including Pinot noir (flagship wine), Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and a smattering of others. Today, they’re well known for their award winning wines, and commitment to growing a local, family run business. Come tour the beautiful farm and vineyard and drop by the tasting room to sample their unique award winning wines. Photo Credit: Christine McAvoy

Tasting Room Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12pm to 5pm


Old Abbey Ales 


At Old Abbey Ales, their thing is beer, and the master brewer Tony skillfully crafts every batch by hand, producing what is believed are some of the finest beers in the market. The main reason for the brewery was to have a demonstration brewery so customers buying brewing equipment could actually see the equipment in action. Customers can purchase a full turn-key brewery from Brew-Stuff, and then learn how to use it at Old Abbey Ales. In staying true to their mission, all of our beers are bottle conditioned, thus creating natural carbonation, producing what we call Real Ale. Check out their 22 beers on tap!

Tasting Room Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am to 7pm

 

Ravens Brewing Company 


Ravens Brewing Company is inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area. Head Brewer Nick Fengler, a Fraser Valley local and resident, with his vast knowledge and creativity, was brought on to help create beers that focus on utilizing traditional and locally sourced ingredients to produce European inspired West Coast beers. They are committed to working with neighbours using locally sourced ingredients to create the Ground to Glass series, featuring the popular Raspberry Hefeweizen with whole raspberries picked within 3 km of the brewery. They look forward to welcoming you into their tasting room. Photo Credit: Christine McAvoy

Tasting Room Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 12pm – 6pm Friday & Saturday 12pm – 7pm and Sundays 1pm – 5pm

 

Single Tree Winery 


Singletree Winery is a family owned estate vineyard and winery. The site where the farm is located is rich in farming history, with activity starting in the late 1800’s. The warm summers and mild winters of the Fraser Valley climate make it an ideal growing region, and Mt. Lehman’s bountiful soils also create the perfect conditions for growing lush, bumper crops of fruits and vegetables. With this in mind, they realized the potential for Mt. Lehman to be a heart of agri-business in BC. They’re proud of the focused portfolio of wines, crafted by a second generation family member Andrew Etsell, made in Summerland under the guidance of winemaker Matt Dumayne. Taste a new generation of wine from an emerging region. Photo Credit: Christine McAvoy


Tasting Room Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12pm to 5:30pm

Download your copy of the the Speciality Beer & wine tour map.

 

Fraser Valley Rings in the New Year

Did you know Abbotsford hosted the second annual Fraser Valley First Night? Thousands of residents from the Fraser Valley and surrounding Metro Vancouver communities were at Tradex in Abbotsford on December 31st to ring in the New Year.

The Fraser Valley First Night 2016 was attended by over 3700 guests. The family-friendly event featured midway rides, climbing wall, live entertainment, Tumblebus, Creative Cube, inflatable kid’s activities, face painting, balloon drop, and a midnight fireworks display.  And judging by the response from guests throughout the evening, the event struck a chord with many people who are looking for something affordable to do in the Valley with their families on New Year’s.

“This was our second year hosting the event, it has been so much fun to be surrounded by so many families enjoying such a special evening together in a safe, warm, family-friendly environment,” said Craig Nichols, Executive Director of the Tourism Abbotsford Society. ”The team here is excited to begin plans for next year.”

Highlights of the evening also included free family photos courtesy of North Pole BC, a magic show by Gary Savard, and the opportunity for kids in attendance to learn some new dance moves under the instruction of Lorissa Arndt.

“The evening would not have been as successful without the support of the City of Abbotsford, our great community sponsors, and a large team of volunteers. A big thank you is owed to them.” Parking for the event was free courtesy of Fraserway RV, Sky Helicopters provided a prize draw of a helicopter tour, and the City of Abbotsford provided the outdoor stage.

Be sure to mark your calendars for next years celebration! 

Photo Credit: Abbotsford News | See full gallery of images here.

Three Holiday Appetizers from Abbotsford Farms

This season, preparing a gorgeous, delicious, and local holiday appetizer or hostess gift doesn’t have to break the bank and is easier than you think! Here are three amazing appetizer suggestions from local Abbotsford farms. 

Rockweld Farm

BCSPCA certified organic chicken farmers Tim and Flo Rempel sell eggs and chicken (whole or pierced) from their farm store on Townshipline Road. Located at 34205 Townshipline Road. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings (click for recipe)

Ingredients
• Rockweld Farm chicken wings
• 2 parts teriyaki sauce
• 1 part barbeque sauce

 

Lepp Farm Market

Specializing in pork, the family-run farm launched as a corn stand in 1995. In 2009 they opened their year-round farm market at the corner of Highway 11 and Clayburn Road. Located at 33955 Clayburn Road, open seven days a week 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Smoked Chorizo paired perfectly with Abbotsford’s Campbell’s Gold Honey, this spicy, sweet, and highly addictive dish is great for taking to any Holiday party.

Lepp's Honey Wine Chorizo (click for recipe) 

Ingredients
• 2 Lepp’s Chorizo Sausage
• ½ cup white wine
• 3 tablespoons Campbell’s Gold Honey

 

Mt.Lehman Cheese Co.

The Dykstra family aims to provide high quality, hand-crafted cheese using fresh milk from local farms with as few other ingredients as possible. Located at 30854 Olund Road. Products are available at 37 retailers including Lepp Farm Market and Nature’s Fare.

Goat Cheese and Goji Berry Wrap (click for recipe)

Ingredients
• Mt. Lehman Cheese garlic and herb chevre
• Mt. Lehman Cheese Matsqui aged cheddar
• Gojoy Fresh goji berries
• Sundried tomato soft tortilla shell
• 1 chicken breast

All three of these farms are part of Abbotsford's Circle Farm Tour.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

North Pole BC Brings the Magic of Christmas to Life

This year’s North Pole BC Festival of Christmas at the Fraser Valley Tradex is bigger and better than ever.

Aside from the familiar Christmas elements like meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorating cookies at the Gingerbread Bakery, mailing a letter at the North Pole Post Office, and attending the Elven School of Secret Skills, there are lots of new activities for children of any age to enjoy.

“We’re bringing back the warmth and magic of Christmas,” said creative director Victoria Hardy.

Some of the new exhibits at this year’s North Pole BC include Prancer’s Pantomime, Creation Station, and Tinsel Town for toddlers.The cast for this year’s indoor Festival of Christmas is sure to enchant your entire family or group.

There will be ample photo opportunities with popular cast members Snow Princess, Miss Candy Cane, Toy Soldier, Town Crier, and more. And be sure to participate in the festival-wide scavenger hunt—you never know what you’ll discover within the interactive displays!

North Pole BC’s Festival of Christmas runs from December 4 through 23. Tickets are $15 including tax for those 24 months and older. Although available at the door, booking ahead is advised. Visit northpolebc.com for schedule, hours, availability, and tickets. Parking is $6 with $2 going to the Abbotsford Food Bank. Parking on December 10th is free.

North Pole BC’s Festival of Christmas is part of Tourism Abbotsford’s Passport to Christmas. Use your online e-guide to lead you through the local experiences that will elevate your holiday spirit! Download the full guide and share your passport adventures by tagging #ExploreAbbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

Find your holiday spirit in the Fraser Valley

The holiday season is the perfect time to curl up by the fire, spend time with family, and partake in all that seasonal cheer. However, it’s not without its stresses, particularly when it comes to shopping. So how can you enjoy your holiday shopping without the stress?

12 years ago, a guide called the Passport to Christmas was created to help busy people in the Fraser Valley take the stress out of shopping. This year, the handy passport can be downloaded to your phone or tablet. Use the online e-guide to lead you through the local experiences that will elevate your holiday spirit! Spend this holiday season enjoying and exploring the events, entertainment, fine foods and unique shops of Abbotsford.

The hard to shop for

Here’s a list of local’s favourite stores where you can find the perfect present for that “hard to shop for” person in your life…

Glenda’s Christmas Cottage has been a partner of the Passport to Christmas since its founding. The store offers a vast selection of one-of-a-kind ornaments let you to bring the Christmas merriment home with you. Tanglebank Garden Center prides themselves on specializing in German handmade Inge Glass and Nutcracker Collectibles, also check out the many events and courses they're holding this year. Start a new Christmas tradition after with a visit to the Nutcracker Ballet, which will be held at the Abbotsford Arts Center or the West Coast Christmas Show and Market at Tradex this weekend. Still can't find that one gift? We're sure Clayburn Comforts Soap will have that memorable present.  

Hostess and Host Gifts

Open houses, company Christmas parties, family Christmas party, the list is endless. With all the parties, it is hard to keep hostess / host Gifts fresh and different. Here are a couple of options that will make you seem like a gift-giving master.

Pumpkins and cranberries are so passé. Check out Onnink’s Blueberry Farm which offers a variety of products such as Blueberry Bon Bons, Blueberry tea and Blueberry coffee, and pre made decorative baskets that will be a hit with everyone you know. Sip, savour and enjoy this Christmas season with any of Abbotsford’s local wines and beers. Local wine from Singletree Winery and Mt.Lehman Winery make for a truly distinctive Fraser Valley hostess gift. More of a beer lover? Pick up a growler from Old Abbey Ales and celebrate the season with one of their 26 different Belgium beers on tap.

For the foodie

These people can turn any evening into a culinary adventure. Their kitchen looks like it’s out of a magazine and their meals look like they should have their own show on TV. What do you buy these kitchen gurus? 

Sweet, delicious and gone too soon, nothing improves a recipe or inspires creative creation like a jar of Campbell’s Gold Honey. Wine, fudge, pies and don’t forget the jams, jellies and other preserves that are all crafted on site at Maan Farms Country Kitchen. It has a great play area for the kids while you peruse the market. Let the kids run off their excitement and energy while you browse the large selection of local products for sale. Looking for local produce and farm to table products? Take a visit to Lepp Farm Market.

When all of the hectic holiday shopping, planning and cooking is done, the last thing you want to start doing is thinking about New Years. So, Tradex is taking care of the party planning for you. Join Tradex for the Fraser Valley First Night 2016. This family-friendly New Year’s celebration will offer up fireworks, rides, entertainment and both the East / West coast countdowns. Join in the fun on December 31, doors open at 5 p.m.

Share your holiday adventures in the valley by tagging #ExploreAbbotsford on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. After you have completed the Passport to Christmas, take the survey

Come Try Something New at Singletree Winery

At the north end of Mount Lehman Road sits 12 acres of vineyards on rolling hills, grown by the Etsell family. Since 2005 the farming family has planned to use part of their 65 acres for vineyards and in June 2015 their tasting room opened to the public as Singletree Winery.

General manager and viticulturist Andrew Etsell said he wants people to feel comfortable when they visit.

“The wine industry can be intimidating,” he said. “We’re an easygoing farming family—you’ll be treated the same if you wear flip-flops or if you’re dressed for high tea.”

Current releases include a 2013 Farmhand White, a 2013 Pinot Noir, and a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.

Their winery name is inspired by the pioneering farming tool, the singletree. It’s a single harness yolk, which allowed horses to clear land for farming in the late 1800s. The Etsell family is proud to carry on the tradition of working the land. In fact, their first 3,600 vines were hand planted!

The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic, pick up a bottle of wine, and enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Baker. Singletree wines are also available at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and several local restaurants.

“We’re a regular Abbotsford family farm who really enjoys wine and decided to open a winery,” Etsell said. “Come and try something new!”

Singletree Winery, located at 5782 Mount Lehman Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Tour.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.


Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city. 1st Photo credit - Christine McAvoy. 

Ravens Brewing Company is Inspired by Abbotsford

Ravens Brewing Company may be one of the newest businesses in Abbotsford, but they’ve got no shortage of customers. The busy tasting room has been showcasing unique, handcrafted beer since June 2015 and is only growing.

Owner Paul Sweeting has created a range of core beers to please for everyone from the first-timer with their signature Golden Ale, to the craft beer savant with their Farmers Ale saison. Sweeting wants people who visit the brewery to experience something new every time they visit.

“Everyone’s tastes are their own. You don’t have to like our beer—but we hope you do,” he said.

On top of their core brews, Ravens Brewing Company offers seasonal ales. Right now they have a white IPA and a raspberry hefeweizen. The 450 pounds of raspberries in the hefeweizen travelled three kilometres from picking to brewing—an extreme local beer for enthusiasts.

Working with local growers and businesses is a focus for Ravens Brewing Company. Inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area, they aim to create great beers full of character and style in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The tasting room is open daily from noon and you’re invited to bring your lunch and enjoy a flight at the long log table while making new friends.

One unique element of the craft brewing industry is growler fills. A grower is a refillable glass jug, which you can fill at any craft brewery.

In British Columbia the craft brewing industry is thriving, with three new breweries opening in Abbotsford alone this year. Editor Stephen Smysnuik noticed this trend and decided to launch The Growler Craft Beer Handbook, which curates breweries across the lower mainland.

“I thought, man there’s a lot happening here. Someone should really put a publication together to keep stock of this.”

Smysnuik said The Growler reflects the industry as much as possible and aims to provide a comprehensive look at the growing craft beer industry in B.C.

Current issues are available at local breweries, including Ravens Brewing Company, and back issues can be ordered from thegrowler.ca

Ravens Brewing Company, located in at 2485 Townline Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Map.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.