5 Kid-Friendly Fall Activities in Ontario

Fall is one of our favorite seasons. We try and get outdoors as much as possible. Here are 5 of our favorite kid-friendly fall activities in Ontario.

Colorful leaves reflect in pools along Ragged River in the Muskoka region of Ontario

Summer has ended and we are back to routine with both C and D in school. But, we haven’t let the cooler temperatures stop us from exploring outside and participating in all the fabulous fall activities in Ontario. We find fall is one of the best seasons for enjoying the great outdoors. So, we like to make the most of this season as sooner rather than later the temperature will be getting colder and the days shorter. Here are our 5 kid-friendly fall activities in Ontario.

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1. Fall Drives

During autumn we love to get in the car and head out of the city in search of areas with the best fall colors. One of our favorite destinations in the Muskoka region. Muskoka is renowned for having stunning landscape due to its numerous lakes. The many water activities that can be had in the region make Muskoka a favored summertime destination. However, I feel that Muskoka is at its best in the Fall. The lakes are surrounded by vast forests. The orange, yellow, and red leaves make for a wonderful contrast among the coniferous trees and dark blue lakes.

An SUV driving down a quiet road is one of the fun fall activities in Ontario, Canada.

2. Visit a Park or Conservation Area

Fall is the perfect time to visit your favorite park or conversation area. With the hot, humid, stickiness of summer gone, hiking, cycling, roller-blading, or simply walking, can be pleasantly done. Plus, there is no need to worry about slathering on the sunscreen! And the pesky bugs of summer are not in sight.

Close to home, we like to visit Belfountain Conservation Area. The walk along the babbling creek offers great views of the wonderful fall colors. However, one of our all-time favorite parks is Jackson’s Park in Peterborough, Ontario. There are kilometers 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.

Aerial view of Jackson's Park in Peterborough, Ontario.

3. Watch the Salmon Run

During autumn there are also places in North America where you can watch salmon try to make their way up river to get to their spawning grounds. This is called the Salmon Run. The first time we witnessed this event was on an Alaska cruise excursion. We are lucky to have a few places near our home, in and around the Greater Toronto area, where this can be witnessed for free!

All you need to do is park your car, walk towards the river and watch in awe at the Salmon swimming against the current. In spots along the river, the Salmon may need to jump so be sure to be ready with your camera.

The Salmon run in the Ganaraska river is one of the amazing fall activities in Ontario.

4. Go to Fall Fairs

In our house, fall is synonymous to fairs! Many towns, big and small, have fairs that run over a couple of days normally over the weekend. In fact, we could 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, riding rollers coasters and other carnival rides, and of course, eating treats!

A young family smiling at the camera in front of a colourful Ferris wheel while attending a fall fair, one of the 5 kid-friendly fall activities in Ontario.

5. Pick Your Own Fruit

One of our favorite weekend activities is visiting local farms to go fruit and vegetable picking. During the fall season, this means apple and pumpkin picking. The length of the apple picking season varies from year to year. Sometimes we go more than once in a season as the type of apples we want may not all be ready at once.

Before I became a mom, I didn’t even know there was a difference between baking apples, the best apples for applesauce and apples for raw consumption! You are provided with a bag at the entrance and there is a per kilogram fee. At some places, if you fill your bag fully there is a flat rate to pay for the entire bag.

Family walking through an apple orchard getting ready to pick apples, which is one of our favorite fall activities in Ontario.

Otherwise, your bag will be weighed before you exit the farm. Normally, there are no entrance fees to go in and walk amongst the orchard. But double-check before you go as some places charge an entrance fee to make up for the lost revenue due to people eating apples while picking them.

Later on in the fall season, when C and D start seeing the leaves fall from the trees they immediately start asking when we are going to Pumpkinfest so they can pick out their pumpkin for Halloween. The Pumpkin Festival is definitely in C and D’s top favorites of all the kid-friendly fall activities. Besides picking pumpkins, wagon rides, and corn mazes are also big hits with our kids.

Children push a wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins.

Family-Friendly Fall Activities in Ontario

We love to get new ideas for exploring during autumn! What are your favorite fall activities in Ontario or in your area?

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About the Author

Christina Wagar grew up in a travel loving family. She strives to instil her love of learning about different cultures and seeing new and old places to her husband Kevin and their two young boys. Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.

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  1. I’m pretty sure all of Canada was created for the purpose of celebrating autumn. Fall drives are big in our household too. Love getting out into the color before it all fades away. PS: Love the colorful drone shot. So pretty!

  2. My husband is headed to Toronto soon for work and I desperately wish I was going with him. This looks like there are so many wonderful things to do there in the fall. Next time!

  3. I live in an area that has these beautiful fall colors – Northern Michigan. How wonderful that you were able to explore and see the beauty with your family. This is certainly a magical time in North America. Lovely post.

  4. Great ideas!!! I love doing apple picking or going to a pumpkin patch during the fall. Really great ideas for children! This post makes me so excited for fall and all the colors of trees changing.

  5. I just love all of your suggestions! I grew up in Southwestern Ontario and the fall season was my absolutely favorite time of year. There’s so much to see and enjoy in Ontari-ari-ario!

  6. I loved the apple picking! Being one of my favourite fruits it would be a feast! This is something we lack in Italy but sounds so fun and family engaging.
    Also, I’ve always found the salmon run interesting and intriguing, Wildlife documentaries were never my piece of cake, but whenever they showed salmons in Canada, they somehow managed to attract my attention.I imagine seeing the run live would be awesome and a great opportunity to test your speed photo skills too πŸ™‚

  7. This is a list of great activities for kids. If I were still a kid, I would definitely flip for the fairs. I would love to ride on the giant wheel. Wishful thinking πŸ™‚

  8. Oh my, Ontario looks like the most divine place to spent the Fall – or Autumn as we say in Oz. Your kids must be in their element. Happy Halloween & enjoy the rest of the leaf-peeping season πŸ™‚

  9. My girlfriend and me are both avid travelers but that time has come when we are looking towards marriage and the next stage of life and I must admit, I’ve often wondered how little ones might effect my wanderlust. Your site really does give me great excitement over traveling with children and this list in particular is evidence that they can really enhance a trip, opening doors to other aspects of life on the road that I wouldn’t perhaps try. Picking fruit, for example, doesn’t seem that appealing in one’s mid-twenties but with a couple of little sprogs in toe, I imagine it’s great fun! Nice read

  10. I’m a kid at heart and still love these activities! I’ve never seen a salmon run though! The fresh apples are a favorite of mine though I don’t pick them as much now that my kids are older. Visiting a farm stand is still fun, we have a great sunflower field at one and have got some great photos this year. Happy Fall!

  11. I love autumn! Colors are fabulous and the weather is yet not too cold. It also announcing the Holiday season! I’ve never been there but I’m pretty sure Ontario is a lovely place to spend the autumn judging by your article and lovely pictures!
    What I enjoy doing at this time of year is taking walks in the forest with a bed of leaves!

  12. So colorful all around, I get confused whether it is spring. πŸ™‚
    Love these doable activities… staying in a tropical place we are deprived of the drastic changes the seasons bring.

  13. The foliage you have there is simply amazing! I would love to travel there just to enjoy this breathtaking view… and I could even suffer the cold for a while! LOL

  14. Fall is our favorite time of year and Ontario looks like a great destination for it! We don’t have kids, but travel with our nephews often. Our favorite fall activities are hiking, canoeing, eating apple cider donuts and chasing fall color! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Fall is my favorite season, despite the fact that I’ve yet to experience it haha… I just think that it makes everything absolutely beautiful. It’s nice to learn about some autumn activities. My those pumpkins are huge!

  16. The pumpkins!!! I don’t eat pumpkin but seeing them makes me happy. I love greeneries and seeing nature at its best. It feels relaxing and energizing at the same time. I’d want to experience the picking of fruits and vegetables. All we have is just a displayed stuff in grocery stores.

  17. These are fall activities I would love doing myself since I’m yet too young to have kids, but the fall drives and fruit picking I would definitely do with my friends as well. Great ideas πŸ™‚

  18. As a guy not too fond of cold, I wouldn’t want to be in Canada during the winter. Fall; however, looks beautiful! From the leaves changing, to watching jumping Salmon run, to the fairs…it looks like the perfect time of the year to go.

  19. I’ve never been to Ontario but it looks gorgeous in all seasons. I would love to try some of these activites in fall before it got too cold!

  20. The fall colours are amazing in Ontario! I’m in Niagara right now and loving the pops of red in the trees.

  21. I love apple picking! I don’t remember doing it as a kid, but I went a few times in my twenties. Now, I take my kids every year. It’s such a fun activity.

    I would also love to see the salmon run! I think that alone would be worth the trip.

  22. I love fall— but we don’t have it here back home. These are really good suggestions to do as a family. It was my first time to go pumpkin picking this year. I kinda liked it.

  23. Hi Christina,

    Awesome! So lovely, those fall drives. We took a gorgeous fall drive through the more remote areas of NJ last week. The play of yellow, red, brown and green – plus 400 other hues πŸ˜‰ – is amazing. The drive itself is the reward but the hike after was wonderful too. No bears or coyotes – oft-spotted in this area – but we left before dusk. Not sure if that was a good or bad thing LOL! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


  24. Beautiful fall colors! Oh my. We don’t get much Fall color here in Austin Texas. Would love to take a drive through Ontario and experience autumn for myself!

  25. Great ideas for fall activities! I’ve only seen the Salmon Run in documentaries, it would be super cool to see it in real life. And the fall colors are incredible! A road trip on a sunny day would be ideal.

  26. I love that fall is the time for fairs in Ontario. Given how many summer fairs there are in the States (with the heat and humidity to match!) it’s nice to think of a crisp autumn day at a fair instead. A lovely thing to do I’m sure!

  27. I so miss fall activities in London! We don’t get the spectacular color that you get in other countries. The supermarkets have pumpkins but not the large pumpkin patches, hay rides etc. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories.

  28. Beautiful drone shots as usual. Looks so natural , open and spacious, Something I miss staying in a big city. I think its great to have your kids grow up in such places instead of busy cities. Hence places like Australia and Canada are known to be very kid friendly

  29. I’d like to add Niagara Falls to that – the fall foliage along the Niagara River Gorge is incredible. Great suggestions here – I’m actually heading towards Belfountain to cycle today.

  30. The best thing about living in Canada, is that fall is an actual, real season. We do many of the same things here in Alberta, but had no idea that watching the salmon run was an Ontario activity! We have driven the Muskoka area in fall, and it is some of the most spectacular scenery. Just getting out and driving is one of our favorite family pastimes as well. Great ideas!

  31. I totally agree with your post being a Torontonian myself! I ventured to Algonquin Park, passing through the Muskoka region last week AND have pumpkin picked. The fall colours are so unique and beautiful that it is a shame it is short lived πŸ™‚

  32. Three things really caught my eyes- The drive, picking your own fruits and the salmon run. I had heard about the salmon and its life span and migration. Its great if I get to see them and capture some of those epic moments.

  33. Beautiful photos! I was in Ontario (Bruce/Grey/Simcoe Counties) in September but it was still a little too early for all the gorgeous colors.

  34. Great list! I’ve done a few of these being from Ontario myself! There are so many places that are within driving distances that are great day trips!

  35. This is a fantastic list of doable activities for children. But I will enjoy them equally. I think the fall ride is exquisite. Salmon run is just another thing that caught my eye. Would love to visit sometime soon.

  36. Such great activities to keep you occupied and enjoy the early part of fall. I love that they are suitable for everyone. The salmon run interests me especially after I read Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

  37. I think that these are great activities for children. Who doesn’t love going to an autumn fair or go pick their perfect pumpkin for Halloween. The salmon run sounds such a cool thing to see, I would be interested in watching this myself.

  38. Looks like your little boys are having so much fun this fall, especially that fruit picking. I think every kid will go nuts picking up those hundreds of huge pumpkins.

  39. That video is almost like an advertisement! The colours of the fall leaves are incredible, It would be an amazing experience to hire out a convertible car with the top down just to drive through these tree laden roads.

  40. I have never really experienced fall as we do not have it in this part of the world. So, those pictures for me are really unique and enticing. I like the pick the fruit activity. Sounds like a good weekend plan.

  41. Ontario in the fall looks absolutely gorgeous! watching the salmon run sounds super fun, and going to state fairs is one of my favorite things to do over the weekend (maybe its still the kid in me! ) πŸ˜€

  42. Christina,

    These are some great (and colorful!) options. I love the picture of your family with the Ferris wheel in the background! The leaves are just starting to turn down here in Oklahoma as it’s been a hotter than usual fall for us. I’m ready for all the colors to pop. Thanks for the great ideas!


  43. I see the Salmon Run in the film. I know Salmon Run in North America. Maybe if I was there, I’ll catch salmon with a net. Hehehehe … But it seems it is not allowed.

  44. Those are some nice things to do in fall! Love the pictures! Never been to Ontario but it looks great, especially during this time of the year.

  45. Glad to know about doing so many interesting things in Ontario during Fall! I stay in Florida and hardly we can see any Fall colors here!

  46. I would love to see the Salmon jumping around but I have to agree with the picking fruit idea. I remember picking strawberries as a kid an absolutely loving it. Looks like Ontario has a lot to offer during fall.

  47. Unfortunately I live in a place which doesn’t experience drastic changes in seasons, so these fall activities fascinate me. My kids would have enjoyed this a lot. These are such unique ways to et connected with nature. I liked the ‘pick your own fruit’ the most.

  48. I never expect to read these activities. I am expectimg something else. Anyway, all of these are fun but what I love to do with my LO is the fruit picking as she loves doing it. Ontario sounds really a great place to visit and will definitely go there on our trip to Canada by 2018.

  49. Seeing those trees with different colors bring more joyful feelings to anyone who will see that and sounds so fun picking your own fruits. Interesting thanks.

  50. Ontario looks gorgeous in autumn. It’s been my long time dream to visit Eastern Canada when the leaves turn red and yellow, but with the kids at school it’s probably not something for the next years. So in the meantime I just enjoy the beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  51. Incredible photography!! I loved the view of Jackson’s Park in Peterborough. It must be an amazing experience for kids. I will definitely try to visit such a different & unique place. Thanks for sharing.

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