Autumn has arrived in South Eastern Ontario, and brings with it brilliantly coloured leaves, refreshingly crisp temperatures and a slower pace that invites you to savour the shorter days. Here are five family day trips to try this year.
Why you should go: This living museum is one of the largest of its kind in Canada and is a unique opportunity to experience what life was like in the 1860s. The costumed interpreters are all captivating storytellers, and you’ll find yourself settling on to a chair or bench in any of the intricately restored homes, barns and businesses to chat with them. Check the website and Facebook page for updates on hours and events.
Don’t miss: Upper Canada Village is best experienced when you have a full day to explore, but if you’re short on time, take a wagon ride around the Village, making sure you stop in the Family Activity Centre, the Bakery, the Sawmill and Loucks Farm.
Why you should go: Since 2001, McMaze Farm has welcomed families to find their way their unique collection of themed mazes, pluck a pumpkin from the patch or to simply sit together and enjoy a wagon ride around the farm. There are mazes and activities for the young and young at heart, including a 4-acre corn maze and a chance to pan for gemstones. The McMaze Farm website and Facebook page have all the latest news.
Don’t miss: The Fun Farm is idea for young kids, and is packed with family-friendly activities. Calf roping, a play barn, pig races and a hilarious rubber duck race that will have you laughing out loud are among the star attractions at the Farm Farm.
3. Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest
Why you should go: The quaint village of Wellington is truly a Prince Edward County gem, loved by travellers far and wide. Each October, the village is transformed into a pumpkin paradise, complete with pumpkin pancakes, games, live music and of course, the weighing of the giant pumpkins!
Don’t Miss: The Parade of Giant Pumpkins allows growers to showcase their gargantuan gourds, with some weighing more than one tonne! Arrive early in Wellington to secure your spot along the street to watch the festivities unfold.
4. Pick Your Own Apples
Why you should go: Sun ripened apples taste their best when the come straight from the tree and into your basket. Take a self-guided tour of the apple growers across the region, connecting families with local orchards for a truly unique farm-to-food experience.
Don’t miss: Most orchards offer more than just apples! Wynn Farms in Bath has a corn maze and West Moira Orchards in Belleville has a seasonal farm store packed with seasonal vegetables and local baked goods.
Why you should go: Nature lovers will love the family-friendly ammenities, each offering an accessible way to explore the great outdoors. Most of the seven developed conservation areas have picnic tables for your family to dine al fresco, canoe rentals and self-guided trails.
Get there: The seven Catarqui Conservation Authorities are located between Brockville and Kingston, making them a short drive from either city. Download a map of the Conservation Area here.