Everything that's happening for Big Cheese Days 2023
Big Cheese Days are back (as we're sure you've heard)! We are CRAZY excited for this event which will take place every Saturday in May.
In addition to their regular Cheese Trail offers, our Cheese Trail partners are stepping things up a notch with exclusive tastes, tours, experiences, deals and more so read on for what you can expect and be sure to check out our Cheese Trail trip ideas at the bottom of the page as well.
The 411 on Big Cheese Days
Read on for what you need to know about Big Cheese Days as well as what each partner's offer is. We'll sort by cheesemakers and by hub to make it super easy for you. You can even skip ahead based on what you want to read about:
- What You Need to Know
- What the Cheese & Dairy makers are Up to
- What's happening in Blandford-Blenheim
- What's happening in Woodstock
- What's happening in Tillsonburg
- What's happening in Ingersoll
- What's happening in Gunn's Hill
What You Need to Know
Here's the inside scoop of everything you should know before heading out on your Big Cheese Days adventure.
What is the Cheese Trail
The Oxford County Cheese Trail is a curated list of 30+ stops that all have special cheese and dairy-related offers year-round that celebrate Oxford County’s rich heritage. You choose the stops you would like to visit based on location and activities.
Where is Oxford County
Oxford County is conveniently located in Southwestern Ontario where two major highways (401 and 403) meet.
It’s just a 90-minute drive from downtown Toronto and two hours from border crossings at Buffalo, Detroit and Sarnia. Our largest communities include the City of Woodstock and the towns of Tillsonburg, Ingersoll, Norwich and Tavistock.
What the Cheese & Dairy makers are up to
- Tours with tasting all day between 10 am and 4 pm ($15 per person or $45 family rate), no pre-booking required.
Bright Cheese and Butter
- Sample their well-known, naturally-aged cheese amde with 100% local milk.
Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life
- Goat Milk Ice Cream Samples
- Experiences: Book online for goat recess, alpaca walks and more! Book an Udderly Ridiculous Experience.
- 'Milk & Cookies' ($2 for a glass of milk [whole or chocolate] and a Chocolate Chip Cookie.)
Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese
- Tours at 10 am and 1 pm ($10 per person) Book in advance at gunnshillcheese.ca
- Squeeky Fresh Curd Poutine - Available from 11 am- 1 pm
Red Dragon Dairy
- Serving up fresh, grilled cheese sandwiches using their sheep cheese.
Dad's Ice Cream
- Butter Tart Sundae featuring butter tarts from The Country Table in Tillsonburg. This sundae is layered with Shaw's signature vanilla ice cream, decadent butterscotch topping, and finished with peanuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
What's happening in Blandford-Blenheim
Thames River Melons Farm Market & Pick-Your-Own Patch
- Spring Picnic Packs ($25/ Serves 2) A mix of farm fresh pickles, cheese, charcuterie meats, farm kitchen baked goods, and other farm preserves + a mason jar of homemade berry sweet tea. Order in advance for a quick pick-up, or snag one on-site.
What's happening in Woodstock
- Braised Beef Poutine & 20oz Pint ($19). Choose from 24 beers on tap.
Upper Thames Brewing Company
- Proscuitto & Brigid's Brie Pizza & 20oz Pint ($20).
Charles Dickens Pub
- 100 Mile Wine and Cheese Board: a showcase of Oxford's delightful cheesemakers as well as a bottle of red or white Ontario wine
- Brie Ice Cream ($2.50) Option to add on local berry compote topping for small fee. Selection of flavours available.
Whisk and Roll Bakery
- Trio of Sweets, made from scratch with local ingredients. Try the Old Fashion Glazed Mini Donuts, Crowdie Parfait, Rhubarb Sour Cream Scone, or all three on Saturdays in May.
- Vodkow Sour Cocktail (a cocktail made with cheese whey from a local cheesemaker and Vodkow, an Ontario-based spirit that makes vodka by fermenting lactose from milk)
- The Award-Winning Cheese Board: a cheese board featuring a variety of local cheeses, in particular, the big award-winner
- Experience: Reserve a spot at the Chef's Table for dinner. Book the Chef's Table Experience here.
Your Farm Market
- Pop-Up Vendors every Saturday in May from 8 am - 12 pm
- May 6 - Raw Carrot
- May 13 - Lidz Cinnamon Buns
- May 20 - Great Canadian Honey
- May 27 - Kintore Coffee
- H3 sandwich for $5 to anyone who shows staff their Great Taste of Ontario Passport, on Saturdays in May.
What's happening in Tillsonburg
Coyle's Country Store
- Buy 2 squares of cheesecake fudge, get one free. This delicious homemade fudge is made on-site at Coyles Country Store.
Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre
Community Mural Project. Come out to the Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre and help revitalize their basement space by helping them paint a section of their wall designed to be a colouring page. All ages welcome. Donations to the Centre are always welcomed!
Two Girls and a Cheese Shop
Stop by this adorable cheese shop and try their rotating surprise Ontario cheese samples each Saturday of May.
- Shop Betty’s exclusive cheesy display of artisan products and receive a ballot entry to win a curated local cheesy, punny gift basket when you show the GTOO Passport (draw will be made Sat. June 3rd).
Purchases made Saturday in May with proof of passport will receive a $5 gift voucher to be used for future purchases online and/or in-store.
The Mill Eatery
- The Mill is kickin’ up a favourite and calling it the Red Dragon Spinach Dip. Their classic spinach dip, but made with Red Dragon cream cheese, and a hint of fire. ($15.99)
- Pair the Red Dragon Spinach Dip with a pint of Upper Thames Lazy Fox Amber Ale ($19.99)
What's happening in Ingersoll
The Elm Hurst Inn
- The Oxford County Cheese Trail Package: One-night accommodation in a Deluxe Inn Room, complimentary breakfast in the Mansion Restaurant, a chilled bottle of sparkling wine, tasting of chocolates and an Oxford County cheeseboard brought to your room. (Friday Nights)
The Ingersoll Cheese Museum
- Get a taste of Ingersoll's cheesy history at the museum
- Run and play at the Cheese-themed playground
The Wine Cellar and Cheese Shop
- Each Saturday try a different lunch item made by Chef Sean between 12pm-3pm using Stonetown Cheese.
The Olde Bakery Cafe
- The trail comes together at this stop with Olde Bakery Café’s Crowdie Honey Danish which uses crowdie made from Golspie Dairy (one of our Cheese Makers)!
Patina's Gifts of Art & Craft
- Check out this small-town gift shop with big time selection including Canadian-made pottery. Buy a piece of pottery and receive a free cheese ball mix.
Louie's Pizza and Pasta
- Gunn's Hill Poutine
- Cacio e Pepe; local pecorino (red dragon dairy), bucatini noodles, mushrooms, bacon, onion, and black pepper
- The Big Louie; crispy onions straws, smoked 5 brothers cheese, double smash burger, shredded lettuce, garlic aioli, signature bun
- Garlic Pizza; garlic spread, cooked bacon, onion, tomato, mushroom, parsley, local pecorino, and fresh garlic
Complimentary Deep-Fried Cheese Curds when you purchase 2 entrees & check-in through the Great Taste of Ontario
What's happening in Gunn's Hill
Greener Pastures Eco Farm
- 2:30 pm: Enjoy a farm tour hayride ($10 per person). Spots must be booked online in advance.
See you soon!