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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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