February 20, 2005, when Jen, Ethan and Nettie drove up from Ohio to come and visit us, we took them to COLASANTI'S TROPICAL GARDENS . Along with many flowers, tropical and exotic plants. there were cute little specialty shops. Also people were just finishing the brunch offered every Sunday.
But the part we enjoyed the most was the children's zoo. For a token $1.00 per person (free for 3 and under), we were treated to little goats and a llama roaming around, looking to be fed obviously. They even nibbled on the bottoms of your pants. Cute!!!
Also there was snakes and bearded
dragons in glass enclosed displays. A young lion, two Bengal tigers and a cougar were there to see. Another section had cages full of birds such as macaws and parrots. But the most fascinating to me was the "BAT CAVE" I had never seen bats up close before. They were hanging from the low ceiling at eye level. They were so interesting to watch as they hung from just one leg.
Outside, there were a few deer. So overall, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and it was very worth the drive out in the county.
The 35-acre tropical wonderland offers just about every kind of plant, both indoor and outdoor as well as supplies for the avid gardeners.
Beginning in 1941 producing vegetables and greenhouse crops, Colasanti's has become much more than just a plant producer - it has become a family entertainment centre, offering hayrides, animal shows and seed planting presentations.
And it offers a restaurant featuring broasted chicken, pizza, an all-you-can-eat brunch on Sundays. a lunch buffet on Wednesdays and Fridays and a soup and salad bar on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Location: 1550 Road 3 East, Ruthven, Ontario
west of Leamington
south of Essex
This was my most surprising discovery of my Windsor visit. Just south-east of the city, Colasanti's is more than just plants- it's an entertainment oasis! From what I understand, it started as a greenhouse that gradually morphed into a community attraction. There are tons of free or nearly free activities, including kiddie rides, minigolf, and a zoo! And by zoo I mean there are even bats and lions and giant snakes. There's also a restaurant and small stores selling crafts, souvenirs, and toys. All this is made possible by a very charitable owner!
What began simply as a greenhouse selling houseplants and cacti has evolved into a "Tropical Wonderland" complete with exotic birds, mini golf, indoor amusement rides, a restaurant and petting zoo. They will even host your wedding reception here.
Colasanti's makes for a great rainy day or winter activity as it is always warm and dry inside the greenhouses!
Open 7 days a week, admission is free.
Colasantis is located in Ruthven, about 40 kms southwest of Windsor along Hwy 3.
It's always summer at Colasanti's! The wintertime motto of this indoor complex is very fitting! It's a greenhouse with flowers, exotic plants, and a cactus garden, a zoo with exotic and domestic animals, a restaurant, an indoor playground with rides, a mini golf course, and shops with arts and crafts. We spent most of our time in the zoo with the goats! There are tigers, a lion, lemurs, birds, alligators, bats, and MUCH more! Entrance is FREE but, the zoo is $1....to help with the care of the animals! It is lcated in a town called Ruthven in Southwestern Ontario. Open daily year round.
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