Matticks Farm at Cordova Bay

One of the joys of running a Victoria bed and breakfast is to recommend places to visit, usually during breakfast table chit-chat, and then, at the end of the day, to encounter smiling guests full of the joys of their days experiences. One of those often recommended places is Matticks Farm at Cordova Bay, Victoria.

Bill Mattick grew flowers and vegetables from the 1940s at Matticks Farm at Cordova Bay on the eastern side of the Saanich Peninsula just north of Victoria. Then he created a tea garden and a golf course, the embryonic form of Mattick’s Farm as we know it today.

Today it is a charming place to wander around. Its 15 fine stores include boutiques, a garden centre, farm market, wine shop and, of course, the tea garden. Right next door, among the trees, is a mini golf course to be enjoyed before holes-in-one are celebrated with an ice cream. Nearby Cordova Bay Golf Course offers the real thing, on 9 or 18 hole courses.

Special events at Mattick’s Farm and the neighbouring area include Cordova Bay Days in June, and Summer Music in the Square at Mattick’s Farm during July and August afternoons.

A very short drive south on Cordova Bay Road takes you to beach access points to stroll along the beach and look across the Haro Strait to San Juan Island. Then a short drive south is Mount Douglas Park with its commanding views.

Visiting Victoria BC with kids

Kids have rights too, and they know it! Visiting Victoria BC with kids can be OK for them too.

You checked into your Victoria bed and breakfast, and yes, they accept children! The next morning, you spent several hours at the amazing Butchart Gardens (wishing you had worn sneakers), had afternoon tea (zero calories, of course), gone whale watching, and taken in the Royal BC Museum. And the kids, for the most part, behaved themselves – sort of.  So does Victoria have family attractions?

Well, just take a look at this. There’s a petting zoo at Beacon Hill Park, and a goat stampede – every day! Your kids can pet alpacas, a pot bellied pig, even a miniature horse.

As we all know, the kids always have to go to the bathroom, so you scope out their locations at all the tourist spots. But sometimes that musical phrase we all hear, “Mom, I have to go to the bathroom,” means more than that. It sometimes means, “Mom, I’m bored.”

When you mention “museum”, kids’ eyes often glaze over and they think of the video games they have left behind, not to mention their favorite TV program. That’s when you can tell them about some of Victorias activities:

  • “There’s an interactive area in the museum just for kids. You can touch and explore and go back in time”. Its big screen IMAX theatre will enthrall.
  • Another good place if it is wet is Saanich Commonwealth Place whose pool complex includes a wave pool and waterslide.
  • Then there’s the Victoria Bug Zoo. What a great place, all about creepy crawly insects: bugs that glow in the dark, huge tarantulas and praying mantises. Kids can actually hold in their hands a 400 leg millipede.
  • Also downtown, those fun-looking little boats, Harbour Ferries, crossing the Inner Harbour take you all to such places as Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • And if the kids are tired of being told to stop running around (all kids need to run around, and scream too), there’s the WildPlay Element Park. They can zip from tree to tree in a forest canopy like the animals.
  • Fort Rodd Hill is great for more energetic explorations with its parkland and coastal gun bunkers. Neighbouring Fisgard Lighthouse sets imaginations buzzing with its exhibit of life in a lighthouse in the days of shipwrecks.
  • And if they have the urge to be an F-1 driver, there’s the All Fun Recreational Park where your kids can drive mini golf go karts on a raceway.
  • Think big – explore the universe. The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory has the awesome 1.8 metre Plaskett Telescope, there are stargazing events and everyone can travel the constellations in the StarLab Planetarium.
  • Play a family round of golf, putting 18 holes of mini golf style at Matticks Farm.
  • Explore the ocean and its ecosystems at the Ocean Discovery Centre at Sidney-by-the-Sea.
  • Butterfly Gardens, on the other hand, is totally delightful – hundreds of butterflies and moths, also birds, frogs and intriguing tropical plants.
  • … and let’s not forget food. Instead of burgers and fries had at home, Victoria is a great place for English-style fish and chips.

Visiting Victoria BC with kids is likely to be enjoyable for all with this range of family attractions to hand. All is not lost when you hear those words “Mom, find something for me to do?”