Fall has finally arrived, and although the weather has been teetering been summer and autumn temperatures, the leaves are just beginning to fall so that is a sure bellwether of the changing season. Autumn is my favourite season due to nature’s exquisite palette of vibrant colours. Contrary to some people who want to head indoors at the first sign of the falling temperatures, I find it invigorating to feel autumn’s cool breeze against my skin. I hope you enjoy this very short season like I do. Here are some fun fall activities for families in Toronto:
I always associate fall with apple picking because it was something we did as a family when I was growing up. We used to rustle up our two dogs, Sandy and Benjy, into the backseat of our car, seated on our laps as we headed “up north” to an apple picking farm in Markham or Stouffville. I loved walking into the apple tree forest to choose the reddest apples I could find and then hopping on the tractor ride, which took us back to our car. There really is nothing like biting into an apple that has just been picked from a tree. Here are several farms where you can pick your own apples near Toronto.
Fall Colour Hike
The glorious display of fall colour is definitely worth appreciating by going on a fall colour hike. The window to see fall colour is relatively short – usually, a good time to see fall colour in the GTA is during the second and third weeks in October. Here are some great parks to see fall colour in the GTA:
- Edwards Gardens and Wilket Creek Park
- High Park
- Guild Park and Gardens
- Humber Arboretum
- Rouge Park
- Bronte Creek Provincial Park
- Crawford Lake Conservation Area
- Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
One of the most exciting fall activities for families in Toronto is to attend a harvest festival. There are several taking place in Toronto:
- The Evergreen Brick Works hosts the Harvest Apple Festival on Sept. 28-29, 2019. Learn how to press apple cider, sample apple treats, dance to folk music and shop for apple pies, pastries, jams and jellies;
- Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville has their Harvest Festival on Sept. 28, 2019. Activities include pumpkin carving, apple cider pressing, pony rides, wagon rides and enjoy kettle corn, hot dogs, fresh corn, apple cider and apple blossoms.
- High Park Harvest Festival takes place on Oct. 6, 2019. Enjoy music, storytelling, face painting, nature crafts, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, traditional lawn games and garden activities. Activities take place between Colborne Lodge and the Children’s Garden.
- The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg hold their Thanksgiving Harvest Festival on Oct. 14, 2019. Free with gallery admission.
Thanksgiving Dinner at Toronto Restaurants
Many people will be gathering at homes to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving dinner on the second weekend in October. Lots of families, however, like to go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner in order to leave the cooking (and cleanup) to someone else. If you are planning to have Thanksgiving dinner at a Toronto restaurant, you should make your reservations as soon as possible.
In preparation for the scariest day of the year, it’s a lot of fun to pick your own pumpkin at a farm. I saw the pumpkin patch in the photo above at a private farm in Milton a few years ago and I had to get out of my car to take a photo. It reminded me of Linus in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. If you want to experience the childhood joy of picking your own pumpkin from a farm, Downey’s Farm Market in Caledon and Reesor’s Farm Market in Markham both have pumpkin patches.
A lot of the focus of all is on the big event: Halloween. I mean, you can’t walk into a mall or a Tim Horton’s without smelling pumpkin spice iced capp or candles. You can play it low key by decorating your house for Halloween and taking the kids out for trick-or-treat, or you can really capitalize on this spooky October holiday by taking the family for the fright of their lives at Halloween events in Toronto.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy at least one of these fun fall activities for families in Toronto. Happy Autumn!