Driving time from downtown Victoria: 25 minutes
Time to Explore: 2+ hours
Heritage Acres is a large and interesting collection of antique, out-of-service farm equipment, replica and restored pioneer buildings, plus a collection of tractors, steam engines and many other agricultural artifacts.
The Saanich Historical Artifacts Society, made up of dedicated volunteers, work to maintain the property and equipment as well as organizing many events each year.
The property consists of many buildings that are either restored originals or replicas. There is a restored Saanich school house from 1913, a replica chapel that seats sixteen and can be rented for weddings plus many other pioneer buildings like a general store and carpentry shop. On site, there are also many examples of horse-powered and steam-powered farm equipment.
The large property is great for a day out with the kids or for the amateur historian. There is lots to see and do and a large area to run around in. Heritage acres is wheelchair accessible.
For my family, the highlight of Heritage Acres has got to be the train rides. The Vancouver Island Model Engineers operates the model ride-on railway at Heritage acres. Generally, the trains run only at major events held on the property, but it is well worth finding out when they are running year round. The track is extensive and includes a tunnel, many miniature bridges, twists, and turns. Fun for adults and kids alike. The schedule for the 2015 season can be found here.
Heritage acres had seasonal hours, from October to June, hours are 9:30 am to noon. Starting in June there are longer hours, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm daily. The society put on many events each year including Christmas in the Village, the hours for which are December 4th-6th from 5pm-8pm and December 11th-13th from 5pm-8pm. At most of the events, the concession is open serving hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and the like. Some events even bring out some local food trucks. The property can be rented out for special events.