The Into the Future expansion pack brought in a huge new collection of bot-related activities. You can now create your own Plumbots, customize them, sell them, and even use them in competitions at the bot arena.
Gardening is one of the most expansive aspects of The Sims 3, from collecting seeds to its involvement with fishing, and with tons more plants in each expansion. It has surprising hooks to the Pets expansion (deer and horses can eat your garden, but horses provide poop which you can use as fertilizer) and even the Supernatural expansion (zombies will eat your plants).
The loading time for Sims 3 is pretty painful, regardless of how great your system is. I have a fairly decent laptop, but after I click to play my family, I literally will get up and go do something else - make a cup of coffee, say, or visit the bathroom - while the screen loads.