Toronto Fall Fam Guide
We believe in the mood-lifting power of fairies and fallen leaves, which is why fall—in all of its gilded splendor—is pure magic to us. Being able to experience this sensory time of year through a child’s eyes gives us major joy. Watching trees change from green to gold, creating Halloween costumes from scratch, and even the warm hug of a scarf stir feelings of deep gratitude. There's so much to be thankful for right here, in this moment. These are the things that make us feel enchanted in Toronto now.
Everything Under The Stars
There’s a bonus to the shorter days: all things celestial at “The Barrens” aka Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve, just two hours outside Toronto in the heart of cottage country. Torrance Barrens has strong geomagnetic activity—it’s one of the best places for stargazing and alien-hunting in Ontario, but it’s also the first dark sky preserve in all of Canada. This means it is protected and undeveloped so it’s dark and unobstructed enough to see the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy and sometimes northern lights. Long evenings make this spot a memorable one and you can catch a hike before the sun sets or go camping in one of six tent sites.
FREE, no RSVP required
Cranberry Harvest in Muskoka
Fall brings a bumpercrop of farm-fresh cranberries at Muskoka Lakes Farms & Winery and the abundance is real. Bala Cranberry Festival kicks off October 14-16 wagon tours, wine tasting, harvesting, shopping and true Bala beauty. It’s the famed cranberry plunge we love the most. Discover what it’s like to be a cranberry farmer and wade into a sea of floating cranberries for the best photo op maybe ever.
$$$ All-access pass $60, cranberry plunge $20
Spooktacular Light Show in Richmond Hill
Pack up the car with the kids, their friends and a few candy snacks, and head to the Spooktacular Light Show in Richmond Hill featuring a very original drive-through of more than 2 million Halloween lights, pumpkin tunnel and animated displays. Tune into the dedicated radio station for spooky music.
$$ One car load $24.95
CN Tower Lights
Scary means different things to different folks, so if you want to live on the edge quite literally, bring a stroller and hit up SkyPod, one of the highest observation platforms in the world. CN Tower lights up for Halloween for a truly thrilling experience. You’ll trek the circumference of the roof hands-free and view the city from jaw-dropping heights. When it gets dark, see the gorgeous city lights below.
$$$ $43, $30 ages 6-13, $15 ages 3-5
Its giggles galore at PumpkinFest and this year is next-level complete with a berry-go-round, rock wall, giant slide, mini putt, spinning bumble bee rides and superhero obstacle course. Prepare for a full day of family-friendly fun. Did we mention midway rides, trackless trains, games, food trucks, entertainment and live music?
$$ $25+ HST + fees
Conjure pirate vibes by hopping aboard a 90-minute storytelling boat cruise that takes place rain or shine, departing from 1 Queen’s Quay West at the TDOT Water Taxi Dock. This event recalls chilling tales of phantom ghost ships and haunted shipwrecks while touring the lagoons of Toronto Islands, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and the empty abyss of Lake Ontario.
$$$ $49, $39 ages 8-14, $29 ages 4-7, FREE for ages 3 and under
Nature Exploration at Tommy Thompson Park
Fall is by far our favourite time of year to enjoy urban wilderness and picturesque views of Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario. Soak up nature’s golden splendor and enjoy surprises at every turn like baby turtles resembling stones, snakes that look like twigs and endless bird-watching of more than 300 species. Take to the trail with a stroller or rent a quadcycle to explore the park at a swifter pace.
Apple Picking at Chudleigh’s
Peak picking season is in full swing and a few hours of country life is sure to bring a weary soul back from the dead. Chudleigh’s Farm is an annual ritual for generations of families who learn respect for the earth and how food is grown. Immerse yourself in nature, pick apples from a 60-acre orchard and fill a day with happy family memories.
$ $16, $14 ages 4-13, FREE for ages 3 and under
Corn Maze at Downey’s
Seize the season by taking on the ultimate scavenger hunt: the corn maze at Downey’s Farm. Wander intricate and challenging pathways as you navigate over 8km of trail. There are 3 different games for different levels of play, making it a perfect challenge for any age. Once you escape the maze, stick around for apple and pumpkin picking, animal petting, wagon rides and jumping pillows.
$$ $21.99 + H.S.T. per person, FREE for ages 23 months and under\
Royal Winter Fair
Home-grown fun and majestic horsies reign supreme at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which kicks off every November in Toronto to celebrate the best in agriculture, local food and international equestrian competitions. Breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and hundreds of thousands of spectators can enjoy learning and shopping among them.
$$ $30, $20 ages 4-17, FREE for ages 3 and under
If it’s real-life monsters you seek, skip the haunted house or horror movie and head straight to the dark waters of the aquarium. Creatures of the deep include everything from jaw-some sharks to ugly fish and vampire squids. Our vast ocean is home to a graveyard’s worth of slimy, crawling and slinking things that look as frightening as they sound. Plan an afternoon to dive deeper and visit these creepers.
$$$ $44, $29 ages 6-13, $12.50 ages 3-5
Canada’s Wonderland Halloween Haunt
Wandering this park is most fun on Halloween when more than 700 zombies come back to life and out to play. When the sun goes down, Canada’s Wonderland become a scare-making, spine-chilling theme park with exclusive attractions including scare zones and surprise performances. Evenings are recommended for kids 13 and up, however Camp Spooky returns to the grounds this year with family-friendly daytime Halloween activities for all ages (it’s included with park admission). Expect trick-or-treating, a kids' costume parade, live shows with The PEANUTS gang, rides and more. There’s something for the whole family.
$$$ $44.99+ for Haunt tickets
Your partner in parenting (lighter),