From August to October, the regions of Southern and Central Ontario offer many opportunities for family activities. There are several apple orchards and farms in Ontario that allow visitors to pick apples or buy them already picked and that also offer a wide selection of apple products such as pies, cider and dumplings. At apple harvest time, there are also annual festivals that offer fun for the entire family.
The Blue Mountains Apple Harvest Festival
The Blue Mountains Apple Harvest Festival is held every year on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in early October. Various events and attractions are available for visitors in different locations: The Town of the Blue Mountains, Thornbury and Clarksburg. The Town of the Blue Mountains contributes horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting, a Canadian Apple Pie Baking Contest, a Pie Eating Contest, the Blue Mountain Famous Turkey Tent Sale and Collingwood Ski Swap in addition to live music and much more.
In Clarksburg and Thornbury, there is a Kinette Pancake Breakfast, Trout Run at the Thornbury Fish Ladder, apple picking, harvest markets and a Fall Art Studio Tour. Visitors can choose to purchase items at the BVO Charity Silent Auction or enjoy the Historic Walking or Bike Tour. There are many activities for the entire family.
Birtch Farms and Estate Winery Annual Apple Festival
Birtch Farms and Estate Winery is located just north of Woodstock, Ontario in a country setting. In 1993, the farm was expanded and a retail store was developed in part of the barn. The first Apple Festival was held in this year and it became an annual event. In fact, it is currently one of the region’s most popular fall destinations.
Held in mid-September on the second weekend after Labour Day, the Annual Apple Festival draws thousands of people from various parts of Southwestern Ontario. Horse drawn wagon rides through the orchard and the “Apple Tail Trail”, apple picking, live music and lunch from the grill are just a few of the things available for visitors to enjoy. Apple treats are even baked on site in the bakery. For general inquiries, call (519) 469-3040.
St. George Apple Harvest Festival
The St. George Apple Harvest Festival takes place the third weekend every September. Set in an ideal location between Paris, Cambridge and Brantford, the St. George Festival was voted one of the “Top 100 Festivals of Ontario” in February of 2008. This festival offers food and continuous entertainment for the whole family.
Visitors to the St. George Apple Harvest Festival will have the opportunity to take in the Main Street Marketplace and expanded crafts area, with close to 100 vendors selling items such as honey, jam, produce and fresh flowers. There is also a kids’ activity area including pony rides,an inflatable bouncer, a slide and a fish pond. A main attraction is the large variety of apples, over a thousand home-baked apple pies, dumplings and cider. For inquiries, call (519) 448-1344.
Meaford Apple Harvest Craft Show
Established in 1983, the Meaford Apple Harvest Craft Show is held in early October at the Meaford Arena and the Meaford Curling Club on Collingwood Street West. Meaford is actually known as “The Apple Capital of Ontario”, and as such, the Apple Harvest Craft Show is very popular.
There are over 200 vendor booths showcasing a wide range of crafts and such: pottery, quilts, folk art, stained glass, woodworking, apple products, painting, handmade jewellery and maple syrup. In fact, some artisans will even demonstrate their work. Admission is around $5.00 and for children under 12, it is around $1.00. For more information, contact the Meaford and District Chamber of Events at (519) 538-1640 or 1-888-MEAFORD (632-3673).
Apple Harvest Festivals Offer Fall Family Fun
While there are plenty of activities in Ontario for families in the fall season, Southern and Central Ontario have a large variety of events based on the apple harvest season. Apple harvest festivals provide a day or weekend of activity for the whole family!