A weekend of turkey, pumpkin pie, family gatherings, and fall walks is about to come upon us. Perhaps your weekend is booked full with dinners and gatherings. Or perhaps you are freed up to do anything you and your family’s hearts desire. If that is the case, here are the top things to do in the GTA to not only celebrate this Thanksgiving, but to enjoy for the full season of fall.
Fairs and Festivals
These fairs and festivals are happening on the Thanksgiving weekend so be sure not to miss out on them for the long weekend.
Woodbridge Fall Fair – Vaughan
Get out of the city for the day and enjoy a good old farm fair near Vaughan. The Woodbridge Fall Fair has all the classic county fair attractions and more: midway rides and games, livestock shows, milking competition, giant pumpkin competition, a petting zoo and shows by clowns and magicians. Admission is $10 adults, $5 ages 6–14, free for ages 5 and under.October 6–8: Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–6 pm, Monday, 10 am–5 pm
Rockton Fair – Hamilton
The famous Rockton World Fair is an excellent fall day getaway with an extensive list of displays, shows, games, food, and more. The only downfall? Count on spending a good amount of money for this day. Admission begins at $15 per person for adults, $7 ages 6–15.October 5–8: Thursday 5–11 pm (midway only), Friday 4–10:30 pm, Saturday 9 am–10:30 pm, Sunday 9 am–8:30 pm, Monday 9 am–5 pm
Terra Cotta’s Fall Festival – Halton Hills
This one-day-only festival at Terra Cotta Conservation Area includes food from local food trucks, live music, and craft beer for the adults. For the kids there is a bouncy castle, hay bale play area, pumpkin painting, and more. Only $8 for adults and $5 for kids.October 7, 11 am–5 pm
Harvest Festival at Springridge Farm – Milton
This festival includes a puppet show, wagon ride, spooky “boo barn”, a fun farmyard, and a singing chicken show. Come and relax with a hot coffee in the crisp air while the little ones play and then take time to enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch before heading home. Entrance to the park is $13 per person.October 6–8 (and weekends through October 28), 10 am–4 pm
Kidapalooza Fall Festival – Markham
Highlights at this family event at Markham Fairgrounds include inflatables, rides, activity stations, stage shows, a video gaming RV, rock climbing, a pumpkin patch, special guest appearances from PJ Masks characters! Admission is $25 per child for an all-access pass (adults $8, kids under age 2 are free).
October 6–8, 10 am–6 pm
Newcastle Harvest Festival – Clarington
This annual Durham-region festival is a day of fall-themed fun, with a car, truck, and tractor show; jumping castles, balloons, and face painting; facial hair competition (for adults and kids!); Woofjocks Canine All Stars show; live music; food trucks; pancake breakfast; vendors; and more.October 6, 9 am–2 pm
Richmond Hill Pumpkinfest – Richmond Hill
This year, the popular Toronto Pumpkinfest has added a second location, in Richmond Hill. It’s a weekend of family-friendly fun, including inflatables and games, pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, Little Miss Richmond HIll Pumpkin Fest Contest, and Food Truck Frenzy on site.October 6–8, 10 am–6 pm
Apple Harvest Festival – Blue Mountain
Take a trip to the Blue Mountain on Thanksgiving weekend for the annual Apple Harvest Festival, celebrating Ontario’s largest apple-growing region. The festival features live music, the Apple Pie Trail, street performers, and more. While you’re here, enjoy some of the province’s best hiking and biking trails and activities at Blue Mountain Resort and Scenic Caves.
Parks and Trails
If you are finding your long weekend too booked up already, take time to enjoy these parks and trails all throughout the month of October.
Royal Botanical Gardens – Burlington
There is always an immense amount of beauty to see at the RBG and the fall season is no exception. Check out the website for a variety of parks and trails to explore while there. The admission comes to $18 per adult and $10 per child.Open daily 10 am–5 pm
Fall Into Nature – Milton, Burlington, Hamilton
Enjoy the fall colours at any of the seven Conservation Halton parks during the month of October along with chairlift rides to the top of the escarpment, educational and interactive programs, birds of prey shows, and children’s activities. Regular entrance fee for each park applies (under $10 per person at all parks).All parks open daily 8:30 am–9 pm
Westfield Heritage Village – Hamilton
There are always events happening at Westfield Heritage Village to get you and your family exploring the people and places of early Ontario. Take time to enjoy the beautiful fall atmosphere in the park as well with a picnic and a hike. Take advantage of the family rate of $32.
1049 Kirkwall Rd., Rockton ON.;
Open on Sundays in October from 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Hamilton Waterfalls – Hamilton
The waterfalls in and around Hamilton are one of the main attractions of this city. Fall is an excellent season to take time to explore new ones with a self-guided tour, biking through the trails, or simply taking a long hike, new the fallen leaves crunching under your feet. Click on the link above to find more than 100 area waterfalls, listed by type, area, ease of access (find easy access waterfalls here), and other variables.
Spooktacular Halloween – Milton
Get a jump on the next holiday! It’s the first weekend for the annual Halloween event at Mountsberg Conservation Area, which features a haunted barn (ages 5 and up), live snake presentations, Birds of Prey show, hay and pumpkin play area, face painting, and more. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is $7.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 5–14, free for ages 4 and under.October 6–8 (and weekends through October 28), 10 am–4 pm
Pumpkin Patches and Apple Picking
There are a number of pumpkin patches and apple picking options to choose from in the GTA. These are the top choices by many. If you spend your weekends at one or two each, you will have your entire fall planned for the kids!
Use our map to find the Toronto/GTA pumpkin patch closest to you and get out and pick your pumpkin for Monday’s pie or for jack-o-lantern carving this month. Bonus: many pumpkin patches also have corn mazes and other fun activities for the kids.
Amusement Parks, Zoos, and More
Amusement parks aren’t just for the summer months. This park and zoo are open throughout the fall and are a great way to entertain your kids during a free weekend.
Adventure Village – Hamilton
There are a number of attractions at Adventure Village to keep you and the kids entertained for a full day. From mini putt, to go-carts, to visiting five waterfalls, exploring six ponds, shipwrecks, and more, this is truly a unique amusement park. Admission varies depending on the activities you decide on.October 6–8 (and weekends through October 28), noon–5 pm
Twin Valley Zoo – Brantford
Don’t forget about this zoo this fall as you find ways to get your kids out and exploring. While children can observe and learn about the wide assortment of all animals, they can also enjoy an educational presentation that allows them to see a few smaller animals and babies up-close. One adult day pass comes to $17 and one child pass comes to $8.75.Daily in October, 10 am–5 pm
Altona Forest Children’s Hike – Pickering
Go for a hike especially for kids in the 53-hectare Altona Forest in Pickering. This green space is home to birds, foxes, coyotes, hawks, amphibians and more. Designed for ages 4–8, though siblings are welcome. Free, but registration is required.
Treewalk Village Adventure Park – Stouffville
Open all weekend and on Thanksgiving Monday, this fun forest adventure course is adjacent to Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area. Kids can walk between trees on ropes and suspended wooden bridges (all enclosed by safety netting) to little treehouses, then race down slides, balance on logs, and crawl through tunnels.Weekends and holidays in October, 9 am–4 pm
Fall Colours Celebration – Vaughan
The Kortright Centre for Conservation is planning family-friendly activities every weekend in October that include roasting food around a campfire, learning about nature and going on fall colours walks and tours. Tickets are $8.50 for adults, $3 for kids (free for ages 4 and under).October 6–8 (and weekends through October 28), 10 am–3:30 pm
Camp Spooky at Canada’s Wonderland – Vaughan
Gear up for Halloween on Thanksgiving weekend with this scare-free Charlie Brown and Peanuts-themed annual event at Canada’s Wonderland. There’s a hay-bale maze, a pumpkin patch, a foam pit, and live-character shows, and trick-or-treating—all for young kids. Tickets are included in park admission ($28 when you buy two or more tickets). Note also that the animatronic dino attraction, Dinosaurs Alive, will close permanently after October 28. Visit while you can!October 6–8 (and weekends through October 28), 10 am–3:30 pm