Like many families, you may find yourself struggling to make family plans during the fall season. Don’t let the cooler temperatures stop you from exploring the outdoors and participating in all the fabulous family-friendly fall activities in Ontario. Autumn is one of the best reasons for enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some fun, kid-approved excursions to help you and your family enjoy this colourful season to its fullest.
1. Visit a park or conservation area
Fall is the perfect time to visit your favourite park or conversation area. Enjoy some hiking, cycling, roller-blading, or simply walking, in the crisp autumn air. One of the more popular parks is Jackson’s Park in Peterborough, Ontario. There are kilometres of paths for your exploring pleasure. Best of all, entrance is free! Peterborough is part of the Kawarthas, home to numerous family-friendly parks only a short drive away from the Greater Toronto Area.
2. Go to Fall fairs
Many towns, big and small, across Ontario have fairs that run, weekend to weekend. In fact, you can probably go to a fair every weekend in the fall and not visit any of the fairs twice. A visit to the fair means learning about farm animals, seeing prized produce, picking up artisan crafts and gifts, along with rollercoaster rides and of course, eating delicious treats!
Some of the famous Fall fairs in 2022 include:
- Lindsay Exhibition — September 17 to 25, 2022
- Carp Fair — September 22-25, 2022
- International Plowing Match and Rural Expo — September 20-24, 2022
- Caledonia Fair — September 29 – October 2, 2022
- Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show — October 4 to 10, 2022
- Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival — October 9 to 11, 2021
- Woodbridge Fair— October 9 to 11, 2021
3. Pick your own fruits, vegetables and pumpkins
One of the best ways to foster appreciation for Ontario’s local produce is by visiting local farms to go fruit and vegetable picking. Two of the many family-friendly fall activities in Ontario include apple and pumpkin picking. The length of the picking season varies from year to year. Here’s a list of some local orchards around the GTA:
APPLEWOOD FARM – WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE, ON
Applewood Farm has been in the same family for over 40 years. There is something for everyone at this farm, including tractor rides to the orchards and a playground for the little ones.
DIXIE ORCHARDS – INGLEWOOD, ON
Dixie Orchards has over 23 types of apples for you to choose from. In addition, the whole family will enjoy winding through the corn maze, watching the farm animals play, posing for a picture or enjoying a snack from the market.
CARL LAIDLAW ORCHARDS – BRAMPTON, ON
In addition to just picking-your-own produce, Carl Laidlaw Orchards features wagon rides, hay bales, a barn beam walk, a corn maze, sunflower field, roasting hotdogs and corn, sipping apple cider by the credit river, and farm animals to meet.
CHUDLEIGH’S – MILTON, ON
If you haven’t been to Chudleigh’s before, we suggest you pack your family in the car and head out there ASAP because this farm is a tradition for many families for a reason. There are lots of activities for both adults and children. In addition to apple picking, there’s tractor rides, scarecrow-making, cider flights for tasting and homemade apple pies for the taking! Consider this one of the top one-stop-shops for family-friendly Fall activities!
WADDELL APPLES – KINGSTON, ON
The Waddell Apple Orchard overlooks the historic Rideau Canal, making for the perfect backdrop to pick-your-own adventure. This event runs from Labour Day to Thanksgiving (while supplies last). There’s also fresh apple cider and a store offering some treats to take home.
4. See Salmon Run
As the temperature cools, Pacific Salmon (Coho, Chinook) migrate upstream from Ontario’s Great Lakes to lay their eggs in the shallows before winter settles in, making the final trip of their lives. Visit from late September to early October. The three best locations to view this wonder of nature are:
- Owen Sound
- Port Hope – Ganaraska River
For more details on times and locations, please click here.
5. Take a train tour
Come explore one of Ontario’s iconic family-friendly train tours and get lost in their history while enjoying some breathtaking fall colours. There’s no better way to enjoy the changing fall colours than on a train!
- · York-Durhan Heritage Railway
- · South Simcoe Railway
- · Muskoka Heritage Place
- · Agawa Canyon Train Tour
6. Downey’s corn maze
Located on Downey’s Farm in Caledon, Ontario, this adventure is sure to please. Come enjoy the intricate pathways as you navigate this year’s corn maze of over 8km of trail. The Corn Maze Adventure is a scavenger hunt like none other. There are three different games for different levels of play, making it a perfect challenge for any age. Once you escape the maze, be sure to stick around Downey’s Farm to enjoy over 25 different activities. This includes farm animals, wagon rides, and jumping pillows. The maze is the ultimate experience with friends and family and the most fun you’ve ever had getting LOST!
7. The Immersive Robert Munsch Experience
The Immersive Robert Munsch Experience is a visual and auditory 270-degrees experience for children and parents alike. A 45-minute immersive storytelling event will showcase four classic Robert Munsch stories. Parents will love this opportunity to share classic stories from their childhood with their children in this updated platform. It runs until October 2nd, 2022.
8. Learn and play at ROM Big Weekends
Throughout the fall, the Royal Ontario Museum hosts ROM Big Weekends with special activities for kids one weekend each month. In September, it’s Wild Science and in October, Archaeological “Digs” of Pompeii and other historic places. November brings Burning Bright, a festive launch to the holiday season.
9. Experience The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Fair. For animal lovers, this annual event brings the country to the city. It has grown to be the largest indoor agricultural and equestrian event in the world. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (Nov. 4–13) is home to amazing equestrian events, such as The Royal Horse Show. From world-class English horse-jumping to rodeo competitions, plus a petting zoo, and shows featuring hard-working border collies and even goats!
10. SickKids GetLoud Fundraiser
On Saturday, October 1st, help raise funds for Canada’s leading children’s hospital and have an awesome day of outdoor fun at Downsview Park! You’ll be joining a network of SickKids supporters championing to build a new SickKids to serve future generations of our community. SickKids Get Loud is an event to raise funds to build a new facility. Families that hit the fundraising minimum of $250 per adult are invited to attend an in-person event that includes an all-ages outdoor walk/fun run, live music, BBQ lunch, and more. GetLoud, which is also all about getting families to get up and move, can also be virtually participated in. Run. Walk. Ride. How you Get Loud is up to you!
For more information on how to participate or donate, please click here.
We hope this article gave you some ideas of how to get out and enjoy the Fall weather safely with your family. To ensure your family is fully covered on these excursions, be sure to ask one of our isure representatives about the Family Protection Coverage endorsement you can add to your current auto policy. It will provide you with extra protection on the road in case injuries happen as a result of another motorist. Be safe and enjoy all that Ontario has to offer with our family-friendly Fall activities!