25+ Bucket List Ideas for Fall Activities and Getaways in Ontario

image

Credit: Drew Farwell/Unsplash

When Ontario comes alive with vibrant colours in autumn, cities and towns across the province offer a unique environment, and distinct character for visitors and locals to truly explore. No matter what you choose to do in Ontario, there are hundreds of fun things you’ll want to add to your bucket list this fall. Here are just 25+ ideas to add to your Fall bucket list.

**We have given about 3 to 5 places where you can visit for each idea. To reduce travel during COVID-19, search for similar places near you. Kindly follow health guidelines, local bylaws and please leave no trace.**

1. 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. Here are a few places to see the silver-coloured fish,that is now almost black in colour, making the final trip of their lives. Visit from late September to early October.

  • Owen Sound: Walk the trail from Harrison Park to Inglis Falls Conservation Area and see Salmon migrate up the Mill Dam & Fish Ladder.
  • Port Hope – Ganaraska River: Exit Hwy 401 at exit 464 and head to Jocelyn Street, turn right and follow it until you meet the Ganaraska River where you can experience the wonder of migration.
  • Various Locations in GTA

2. Harvest Some Cranberries

image

Credit: Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery

Harvest your own cranberries or see how cranberries are harvested at Ontario’s Cranberry Farms.

3. Navigate a corn maze

Corn mazes are a fall staple where you can immerse yourself in a memorable experience with friends and family and navigate your way through an in-person puzzle. List of Corn Mazes in Ontario.

  • The Hanes Corn Maze, #1001 HWY #5 West, Dundas
  • Wagon Wheel Produce & Corn Maze, 1371 Charlotteville Rd 7, Simcoe
  • Cooper’s CSA Farm & Maze, 266 Ashworth Rd, Zephyr
  • Cricklewood Farm, 14953 County 2 Rd, Brighton
  • Strom’s Farm & Bakery, 5089 Wellington Rd 32, Guelph

4. See Lighted Pumpkin Displays

image

Credit: Pumpkins After Dark Drive Thru

Take a tour on foot or by car and check out some pumpkin displays to brighten up your evening.

  • Pumpkinferno: Take a tour through this spectacular outdoor art exhibit of 7,000 handcrafted pumpkins all lit at night along a kilometer long path in a picturesque 19th century backdrop @ Upper Canada Village, Village Rd, Morrisburg
  • Pumpkins After Dark Drive Thru: Over 150 one-of-a-kind pumpkin sculptures, displayed with a showcase of jack-o-lanterns, will light up the grounds at Country Heritage Park in Milton.
  • PumpkInferno: See magical outdoor exhibits of artificial hand-carved pumpkins located on the grounds of Discovery Harbour.(Dates TBA)
  • The Great Pumpkin Trail, Hendrie Park – Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington
  • Halloween Nights of Lights(This is a lighted Halloween attraction), Improve Canada, 7250 Keele Street, Vaughan

5. Experience Autumn Colours at an Ontario park

image

Credit: Jason Ng/ Unsplash

Head over to an Ontario park and marvel at the changing fall scenery including the red, orange, and yellow leaves, while you take in the cool air on a hike or on a bike ride. Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report.

6. Go on a Cruise

image

Credit: Liftlock & The Riverboat Cruises

Perhaps the best way to see fall colours is to go on a cruise across Ontario’s waterways. Traverse the Trent-Severn lift locks, or enjoy various scenarios of Ontario’s Cottage County, as you cruise the myriad waterways. Thanksgiving weekend is the last day of operation for many cruise operators and is also one of the most popular weekends for fall colour tours. So book soon, if you are planning to go on one. All the following are tours are operating during COVID-19.

  • Tom Thomson, 7 James Bartleman Way, Port Carling
  • The Island Queen Cruise, 9 Bay Street, Parry Sound
  • Liftlock & The Riverboat Cruises, Peterborough
  • Grand River Cruises, 36 Brant County Road 22, Caledonia
  • Heart of the 1000 Islands Cruise, Gananoque

7. Go Apple Picking

image

Visit an apple orchard and get moving this fall by picking your own apples to take home, either to eat fresh on their own or to bake and cook with. Find an apple orchard near you.

  • The Apple Orchard Inc, 1668 ON-6, Hamilton
  • Apple Land Station, 329 Richmond St, Thorndale
  • JC Agri Orchards, 3105 16th Sideroad, King City
  • Mountain Orchards, 10175 Clark Rd, Mountain
  • Pine Hill Orchard, Saint Félix Road, Bourget

8. Watch Fall Bird (Hawk) Migration

As fall arrives, birds start to migrate south to escape Canadian winters. Many of Ontario’s parks are perfect to see this phenomenon occur, including the famous Point Pelee National Park.

9. Fall Waterfall Chasing

image

Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park//Credit: James Wheeler/ Unsplash

Experience the beauty of fall surrounding serene waterfalls of Ontario. Visit waterfalls in Ontario Conservation areas and Parks to enjoy the best of nature.

You may like:

10. Pick Your Own Pumpkin at a Pumpkin Patch

image

Credit: Proulx Maple & Berry Farm

Pumpkins are synonymous with fall, and you can go out and pick your own pumpkins at a wonderful array of pumpkin patches across Ontario.

11. Go on a Ghost Tour

image

Credit: The Haunted Walk

This fall, take a ghost tour and learn about the haunted places you visit while you listen to stories from your tour guide.

12. Stay at a Resort

image

Credit: Blue Water Acres

Go for a staycation at one of Ontario’s resorts where they offer fall activities and ways to relax and take a breather away from the city.

13. Do an ‘Oktoberfest’ Brewery Tour

Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival, the Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest is cancelled for 2020 and so are most small scale beer festivals held in October. Instead, choose a designated driver and go on a brewery route tour. A great way to enjoy classic fall sceneries and celebrate Ontario’s craft breweries!

14. Visit a Sculpture Garden

image

Credit: ZimArt’s Rice Lake Gallery

Sculpture gardens are especially beautiful during fall – explore outdoor galleries with unique, handcrafted art pieces that can be found backdropped with fall colours. As you stroll or bike through these outdoor galleries, you’ll find yourself experiencing a unique story at each location.

  • Screaming Heads Midlothian Castle & Gallery, Midlothian Road, approximately 5 km from Hwy 520, Burk’s Falls.
  • Cambridge Sculpture Park, 53 Grand Ave S, Cambridge
  • Haliburton Sculpture Forest, 297 College Dr, Haliburton
  • ZimArt’s Rice Lake Gallery, 855 Second Line Rd, Bailieboro
  • McMichael’s Canadian Collection, 10365 Islington Ave, Kleinburg

15. See Fall Colours From a Scenic Lookout

image

View From 1000 Islands Lookout Tower

Marvel at the beauty of Fall at a scenic lookout that gives you a view of escarpments, forests, flora, and fauna. (Some of the scenic locations in Cottage country like the Dorset Lookout Tower is closed due to COVID-19.)

  • Eagle’s Nest Lookout, Greater Madawaska
  • Rattlesnake Point, 7200 Appleby Line, Milton
  • 1000 Islands Tower, 716 Highway 137 Hill Island, Lansdowne
  • Foley Mountain Conservation Area, 105 Foley Mountain Ln, Westport
  • Sir Sam’s Ski Area, 1054 Liswood Road, Eagle Lake
  • 15 Scenic Lookouts In and Around Ottawa

16. Do a Fall Canopy Tour

image

Credit: Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve

Challenge yourself physically and mentally at a treetop adventure park. Explore the tree canopies while you navigate your way through an exciting obstacle course and you can enjoy fall colours at the same time.

17. Step Back in Time at a Pioneer Village

image

Credit: Black Creek Pioneer Village

Found around the province, pioneer villages are an interactive and fun way to learn about Canadian history. Pioneer Villages are especially a great visit in the fall as you can enjoy thanksgiving activities and explore heritage buildings (makes for great pictures) surrounded by fall colours.

18. Take a Train Tour

image

Credit: York Durham Heritage Railway

A rarity during this time (COVID-19) as many train tours like Agawa Canyon Tour Train has paused, a few beautiful train tours are still running which offer some unique ways to see fall colours.

19. Go Canoeing

image

Credit: Killarney Outfitters

Row your way through the waters and enjoy fall colours from a new perspective.

20. Enjoy a Wagon/Trail Rides

image

Credit: Von Doeler’s Ranch

A timeless activity, a trail ride will take you through valleys, fields, and past hills and bodies of water on a relaxing journey.

21. Visit a Ghost Town for Halloween

Ontario is dotted with abandoned ghost towns that have an extensive and intriguing history. Visit some or all this fall.

22. Visit Ontario’s Wine Country/ Wine Festivals

image

Credit: Niagara Grape & Wine Festival

Late summer/early fall is harvest time for Ontario wineries and a perfect time for a quick getaway. A winery experience can provide you with an intimate time taste testing great wines, touring the site, and perhaps indulging in farm-to-table cooking too.

There are still few festivals hosted in a safe way so that everyone can still experience wine-related activities and sample incredible wines.

23. Check out Some Stops on the Apple Pie Trail

Explore South Georgian Bay and tour Meaford, Thornbury, the Blue Mountains, Beaver Valley, and beyond on the Apple Pie Trail. The Apple Pie Trail is an apple-inspired regional trail where you can explore art, delectable seasonal menus, award-winning local ciders, apple tarts & treats, and apple pies at 28 local orchards, restaurants, cafes, wineries, cider houses, shops and farmer’s markets.

24. Enjoy Fall Colours From a Suspension/Scenic Bridge

Suspension bridges are a fantastic man-made asset to complement nature, a place where you can look out at incredible views, whether fall sceneries great rocky heights, and other aspects of nature’s beauty.

  • White River Suspension Bridge, Pukaskwa National Park
  • Eagle Canyon Adventures Suspension Bridge, Dorion
  • Roy Wilson Suspension Bridge, Dryden
  • Menesetung Bridge, Goderich (not a suspension bridge)
  • Scenic Caves Suspension Bridge, 223-401 Scenic Caves Rd, The Blue Mountains

25. Visit a “Haunted Farm”

image

Credit: Fear Farm Canada

Make your way through a corn maze or a farm at night with only a flashlight. Some farms have live actors and other scares placed within the corn maze and farms.

  • Mocking Hill Bird Farm, 943 Landslide Road, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Fear Farm, 936685 Blenheim Rd, New Dundee
  • Kustermans Berry Farm, 23188 Springwell Road, Mount Brydges
  • Acres of Terror, Cannamore Orchard, 1480 County Rd 32, Crysler
  • Talbotville Berry Farm, 10054 Sunset Road, St. Thomas
  • Cooper’s Night Corn Maze, Uxbridge (only on Oct 30 this year)

26. Scream Your Way Through Halloween Haunts

Pay money to get scared!

27. Enjoy a Fall Campfire Picnic

image

Credit: Saunders Farm

Gather round your small social circle around a campfire at a farm with your loved ones and have a picnic enjoying cool autumn weather.

28. Go on an Autumn Studio Tour

Go on a tour that showcases Ontario’s finest selections of contemporary fine arts and crafts against a backdrop of Mother Nature at her best. Although many studio tours like the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour, Bancroft Studio Tour and Crown & Pumpkin Tour are cancelled for the season, some tours are still being held so that you can visit galleries and artists studios in person this year. It is also a great way to start your Christmas shopping and support Ontario artisans.

29. Hike through Vibrant Colours

image

Credit: Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Midland

What better way to spend the crisp fall days than to get outside and take a hike? Whether you want a quick trail for some fresh air, or are planning multi-day hiking and camping trip, there are some great places to hike to enjoy fall colours in Ontario.

30. Enjoy a Fall Colour Drive

image

Credit: Randy Zhang/Unsplash

Pack your kids and a picnic and go on a fall colour drive.

10 Trips for Fall in Ontario

10 Trips for Fall in Ontario

Here are few ideas for 10 trips to enjoy glorious Fall season hikes along steep canyons and rushing waters! ...
Read More

Posts Information

  • : 38,30,39,31,32,24,23,11,34,6
  • One Comment

    Page 1 of 1
    1. Stephane Comeault

      Hello. This is a great list and a great article! However, the White River Suspension Bridge you mention as being in Thunder Bay is actually located in Pukaskwa National Park, and you also mention Mocking Hill Bord Farm in Sault Ste. Marie in the “Haunted Farm” section. This farm is actually called Mockingbird Hill Farm, and not Mocking Hill Bord Farm. I just wanted to bring these small edits to your attention! Thank you kindly.

      September 9, 2020 at 5:44 AM

    Leave a Reply