pumpkin, family, fall

Fun for the whole family - Fall weekend ideas

Experience the best the fall season has to offer with amazing outdoor and indoor activities perfect for the whole family. From apple picking and Fall Rhapsody hiking in the hills, to music festivals and charming county fairs, make lasting memories in Ottawa with your favourite people this season.

Apple picking & pumpkin patch 

Take your family on a seasonal excursion to a pumpkin patch and/or apple orchard in the Ottawa area! The nearby spots are charming and picturesque, embodying the best of autumn. Take part in classic hayrides that evoke nostalgia for you and lifelong memories for your little ones. Navigate corn mazes and even interact with a variety of friendly farm animals at some of the locations. There’s also the opportunity to sample freshly pressed apple cider and indulge in decadent apple pies! Embrace the cozy ambience and wholesome enjoyment these pumpkin patches and apple orchards in Ottawa provide for you and your family.

Be sure to check out Ouimet Farms Adventure, with a corn maze and family fun zone complete with pedal cars and giant jumping pillows, your kids won’t want to leave. Log Cabin Orchard is another great location, where you can pick your own pumpkins and apples and shop at their market. Learn more and fall for the perfect pumpkin patch and apple orchards in the capital region.

Fall Rhapsody hiking 

Embrace the captivating transition of the seasons and take in the Fall Rhapsody. Every year, it’s a breathtaking spectacle in the Ottawa area that draws nature and adventure enthusiasts alike. As the foliage transforms into a symphony of reds, oranges and yellows, the landscape becomes a canvas of stunning beauty for the whole family to enjoy. The annual Fall Rhapsody Festival celebrates this natural masterpiece as the Ottawa area is lucky to be home to numerous hiking trails that traverse through these stunning vistas. From the rugged terrain of Gatineau Park to serene paths along the Ottawa River, hikers of all levels can revel in the crisp air, the rustling leaves underfoot and the captivating views that make fall hiking in this region an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Fall treats 

In Ottawa, the arrival of fall brings with it an array of treats that warmly beckon families to indulge in the season's delights. From the first sip of freshly pressed apple cider to the comforting aroma of warm cinnamon doughnuts, Ottawa offers a treasure trove of fall flavours perfect for children and their parents, too! Pumpkin patches and apple orchards come alive, allowing you to handpick your own for homemade pies and decorations. The local bakeries craft an array of seasonal delights, including pumpkin-spiced lattes, pastries, apple turnovers and maple-infused treats from neighbourhood cafés. The markets overflow with harvest produce, like crisp apples and vibrant gourds, allowing families to experiment with seasonal recipes at home. The joy of fall treats in Ottawa lies not just in the flavors, but in the shared experiences of baking together, savouring the outdoors and relishing the unique culinary traditions that make this season truly special for the whole family.

Saunders Farm

Nestled in the heart of the countryside, this enchanting farm offers an immersive experience that captures the essence of the season. From intricate mazes and hayrides through vibrant pumpkin patches to play areas and interactive activities, Saunders Farm provides a myriad of engaging adventures that cater to all ages. Families can navigate through winding corn mazes, embark on tractor-drawn wagon rides and even try their hand at pumpkin painting. As dusk falls, the farm transforms into a haunting spectacle with creative Halloween-themed attractions, making evenings as enchanting as the daytime escapades. With a wide range of experiences that embrace the spirit of fall for everyone in the family, Saunders Farm is a cherished Ottawa destination where families can bond, make memories, take fun photos of your family and experience the joys of the season.

CityFolk (date dependent) 

Held at the city’s trendy Lansdowne Park, the annual CityFolk Festival, taking place September 13-17, 2023, features an eclectic lineup of musical acts spanning various genres. The festival is an all ages, family-friendly outdoor music festival! CityFolk’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity creates an atmosphere where families can share in the joys of music, cultural exploration and togetherness. Children nine and under don’t need a festival pass when accompanied by a parent with a festival pass! With its harmonious blend of exceptional tunes, CityFolk Festival is a delightful testament to the power of music and its ability to create lasting memories for the entire family.

Richmond, Carp and Metcalfe Fairs

The Richmond Fair (September 14-17, 2023), Carp Fair (September 21-24, 2023) and Metcalfe Fair (September 28-October 1, 2023) weave together tradition, entertainment and community spirit in the Ottawa region. These annual fairs celebrate the essence of autumn with an array of attractions that captivate visitors of all ages. From thrilling rides and live entertainment to petting zoos and agricultural displays, each fair offers a unique blend of experiences perfect for families seeking wholesome fun. Revel in the excitement of midway games, indulge in classic fair treats and admire the craftsmanship showcased in various competitions. The fairs' roots in local heritage make them more than just amusement; they're platforms for fostering community connections and instilling a sense of nostalgia. As the vibrant hues of fall set the backdrop, the Richmond Fair, Metcalfe Fair and Carp Fair invite families to embrace the season and create cherished memories together.

Haunted Walks

The Haunted Walks in Ottawa offer a unique journey into the city's history and chilling tales, creating an unforgettable experience for those seeking a spine-tingling adventure. Guided by lantern light, you and your brave family will be led through the cobblestone streets and historic sites as expert storytellers weave together a tapestry of ghostly legends and eerie anecdotes. From the haunted corridors of historic buildings to the secrets hidden within Ottawa's shadows, these walks transport visitors to another realm, where history's darker aspects come to life. The Haunted Walks offer a perfect blend of history, folklore and theatricality, catering to both history enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike. As night falls, the city's secrets are unveiled, and you’re left with not just haunting tales, but a newfound appreciation for Ottawa's haunted past.


Tucked away within the historic settings of Upper Canada Village, the annual Pumpkinferno event transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, as thousands of intricately carved pumpkins create a magical tapestry of light and artistry. From September 29-October 29, 2023, you and your family can meander through themed displays, each telling its own unique story through the flicker of candlelit pumpkins. From whimsical scenes to historical recreations, Pumpkinferno is a captivating blend of entertainment and education. As both children and adults marvel at the creative craftsmanship and vibrant hues, the event not only provides a unique and joyful experience but also becomes a cherished tradition for families to share in the heart of the fall season.

Pumpkins After Dark 

Every year the four-season park, Wesley Clover Parks, turns into a Halloween haven with their annual Pumpkins After Dark exhibit. With music, sounds and special effects, the magical pathway of lit pumpkin sculptures is a fully immersive experience. Make this award-winning event your new annual family tradition.   

Find articles

By type

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.