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TRAVEL: More than apples available at this Essex orchard

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There is much more than apple picking at Thiessen’s apple orchard on Highway 3 on the outskirts of Canada’s tomato capital, Leamington, in Essex County.

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In fact, a family can spend an entire day at the family-owned farm and be entertained with a haunted barn, scores of kids rides and games, a huge corn maze, a pumpkin patch, wagon rides, a petting zoo, a bakery, a flower shop and, of course, a huge selection of apple varieties to either pick yourself or purchase bagged.

Even Spider-man made a surprise appearance during our time at the orchard last weekend. If you are looking for a place to entertain the kids and yourself I would highly recommend a visit.

The orchard is owned by Andrew and Krissy Thiessen, the third generation to own the farm which got its beginning in the 1930s. The fourth generation, their boys Jak and Nate, are learning how life goes at the farm.

The orchard is now home to nine varieties of apples. They are grown on more than 20 acres and in addition there are two acres of pumpkins. It’s interesting to note that the average person consumes roughly 50 pounds of apples annually and apples are considered part of the rose family.

The farm’s play area features two swings, two giant tube slides, bouncy castle, barrel train ride, climbing areas and haunted barn.

The Toronto Biennial of Art is a new international contemporary visual arts event as culturally connected and diverse as the city itself. From today to Dec. 1, Toronto and surrounding areas will be transformed by exhibitions, talks and performances by exhibitions, talks and performances that reflect the local context while engaging with the most pressing issues of our time.

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For 72 days this fall, the inaugural event will take place in repurposed buildings, public spaces  and partner institutions  including galleries, museums, train stations and community organizations along the waterfront throughout the Toronto area.

Want to be remembered? Then don’t forget the people who have made Chatham-Kent great. Cemetery Strolls, sponsored by the Kent Historical Society, returns for an 11th year to Maple Leaf/St. Anthony’s Cemetery Oct. 18 and 25 and Oct. 19 and 26 with tours four times a night starting at 7 p.m. from the Legion Chapel at Maple Leaf Cemetery. Each tour lasts close to two hours.

Meet citizens from the past and hear their dramatic stories about significant moments in their lives.

For more information phone 519-436-2058 or 519-674-2322 or email

North America’s most spectacular winter destinations this year include Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Abraham Lake, Alberta, Horsetail Falls at Yosemite National Park, Fairbanks, Alaska and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as well as Racetrack Playa at Death Valley National Park.

A Haunted Halloween Ghost Bus Tour is slated for Oct. 27 in Chatham. Routes leaving from St. Joseph’s School loading zone on Cross Street. Hear stories from across the city from dusk to dark.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through It’s a ride you won’t forget.

The Legends Motown will perform Oct. 12 at Windsor’s Chrysler Centre. It’s a 16-piece cast of singers and musicians performing live tributes to The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas and features all the favourite songs of Motown.

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The Severn Lodge is creating a new dining tradition. A Georgian Bay pickerel dinner is being featured Tuesday evenings this fall. Severn Lodge is a tradition all on its own. One of Muskoka’s most historic resorts, the lodge has been welcoming visitors for close to 100 years. An all-inclusive resort, Severn Lodge offers dining, lodging, fun and activities all on a site for the ultimate vacation experience.

I can’t believe the young guy I chatted with this week at an ONroute service centre on Highway 401 on my way to Toronto was so famous.

I’ve never heard of deadmau5 (pronounced dead mouse), but my grandchildren have and only wish they had been with me to get his autograph. I’m told he is one of the most famous DJs in the world.

A nice guy to chat with, but when he told me his name my first thought was he was some kind of person trying to fool the world with a most unusual name.

In any event, it just goes to show you that you never know who you might encounter at an ONroute.

Here’s how deadmau5 got his name. Joel Zimmerman started to dismantle his computer and happened to find a dead mouse. Zimmerman then became known as the “dead mouse guy” among friends.

The Wallaceburg Pumpkinfest is taking place on Saturday. It’s a family-friendly event with free kids activities and a giant vegetable competition featuring a giant pumpkin weigh-off.

Some of the top-rated hotels in Southwestern Ontario include the Grove Hotel in Kingsville, Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham, Elm Hurst Inn and Spa in Ingersoll, Best Western Lamplighter Inn in London, Holiday Inn Sarnia, Kettle Creek Inn in Port Stanley, Comfort Inn in St. Thomas and Pine Dale Motor Inn in Grand Bend.

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Legacy Ridge Golf Club is offering a chance for eight people to win a golf outing including a $200 food credit.

Check out the club’s website at

The Amherstburg Uncommon Festival is back and to celebrate organizers are giving the public a chance to join in for the fantastic feast dining experience on Sept. 28. The grand prize is passes for two. Visit

Every avid biker needs to ride the Grand Algoma Motorcycle Tour at least once in his or her lifetime. This epic route travels from Sault Ste. Marie up into the heart of Algoma Country and loops back down to hug the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Readers are invited to submit their questions and suggestions on travel close to home or far away to travel writer Bob Boughner at

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