It’s decorative gourd season mothers and fathers – now's the time for adorable pumpkin and petting zoo pics.
Chunky knits, sassy goats, hay bales, horses, corn mazes, fresh produce and pumpkins so plump you may need a crane to lift them – this is how we like to experience fall with the family and surely you will too.
Here’s four spots within and surrounding the city where autumn is amped for the whole fam jam.
A Maze in Corn – If peak fall flavour is pumpkin spice, then peak fall sound is that rustle of stalks and leaves as you navigate a maze of maize. A Maze in Corn really has it all come autumn, including its marquee corn maze that took us more than 20 minutes to navigate.
On top of that you can reach the top of a hay bale pyramid; feed and/or interact with super cute goats, lambs and kittens in the petting zoo. You can go for horse-drawn or pony-pulled hayrides as the sun sets – which is every bit as charming as it sounds and all including in admission price for the corn maze.
Produce can be purchased within the Pumpkin Barn, including honey, sweet corn, a fine selection of squash, pumpkins and sunflower bouquets that were just harvested after the end of this summer’s Sunflower Expo.
Come nightfall, The Haunted Forest also comes alive for older kids and adults looking for a scare. Learn more about it in our scary October guide for adults.
Know before you go: The website is updated daily with trail conditions and hours, while you can also purchase your tickets directly too.
Aurora Farms – Kid you not, Aurora Farms is the GOAT when it comes to fun informative farm tours while also ensuring your visit doesn’t in fact get your goat. This quaint vegetarian farm has been sustainably producing outstanding goat milk soap for years now and has also made a name for itself as being a top destination for goat yoga too.
This autumn, families (and groups of up to 12) can book the one-hour Experience Aurora Tour that gets you up close to its animals – which include horses, a mini donkey and so many goats – while also showcasing its gardens and how the farm’s products and are made and how sustainable farm practices are utilized. While you are there, you can also visit the Aurora Farm General Store where products can be purchased that were produced right on the farm, including that famed soap, alpaca yarn and skin care products.
Experience Aurora Tours run every weekend in October (dates and times can be found in link) and can be booked here.
Deer Meadow Farms – Dearest readers, whenever we need a pick-me-up we just look at a picture of our little guy at Deer Meadow Farms holding the fluffiest bunny we’ve ever seen at Deer Meadow Farms and all seems well in the world (see above).
This place is honestly cuter than watching an elderly couple holding hands over the dinner table. Your kids will relish its large petting zoo which includes miniature horses, pigs, goats, calves, lambs and sheep, while its BunnyVille contains all these little enclosures for the world’s cutest puff balls to hide in.
Even the Headless Horseman would fawn over its wagon rides, which take you through the forested meadow and bring you up close to the tiny European fallow deer that you wish you could take home.
There’s also games, a licensed patio, a pumpkin patch… oh, and three – that’s right three! – corn mazes to choose from, including a large Turtle Island maze that promotes Truth and Reconciliation.
More of its jaunty offerings include Farmer Golf (a nine-hole mini golf course), the pumpkin patch (where you can purchase gorgeous and gigantic gourds) and Haunted Hayrides to the Forbidden Forest, which features 18 massive and macabre sets within a 15-acre forest (so that last one is just for adults and older kids).
For full hours, tour dates and tickets to the Haunted Forest click here.
The Little Red Barn Micro-Sanctuary – What a heart-warming experience it was visiting this farm – which is located right within Charleswood – this past summer.
It’s a place where former farm animals go to gently live out their days frolicking and foraging while providing visitors thematic tours like the Children’s Compassion Tour and the Zen Bovine Cow Cuddling tour, with an emphasis on empathy. Farm residents include characters like Lucy the Pig, Ellie the Cow, Nigerian-pygmy goats Casey and Finnegan, hens with names like Matilda and Francis and big old Scotty, the Belgium Draft Gelding horse.
Book your tour here
Can’t make it to a farm for decorative gourd season? Check out St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, Crampton's Market and Jardins St.-Leon Jardins for a selection of gourds and other good stuff from the local land.