Ottawa-Gatineau is one of the most beautiful places to take in the fall colours and revel in the cooler climes. Nothing makes me happier than an excuse to wear a blanket scarf and boots while sipping on hot apple cider. Here are some of my top picks on how to get the most out of the National Capital this fall:
Apple Picking at Mountain Orchards
Perfect for fall family fun, Mountain offers more than just apples. There is a corn maze, playground and activities for kids, fresh apple cider doughnuts and more. Free!
Haunting Season at Saunders Farm
Whether you’re looking to get lost in one of their many mazes by day or be scared to death in the Barn of Terror by night, October offers lots to do at Saunders Farm. Day tickets from $19.50 and night tickets from $32.
Ottawa and surrounding area has a booming microbrewery scene. BrewDonkey offers regional tours of local breweries every Saturday and Sunday year-round. They often include a fun activity with other 613 businesses along the way – like their upcoming Sip, Axe, Relax tour on October 8th that mixes in a round of axe-throwing at BATL between tastings. Tours start at $69 per person.
Hiking in Gatineau Park
The hills of Gatineau Park offer the best views of the fall colours that the National Capital Region has to offer. Routes offer varying difficulty. If you choose one of the more challenging hikes, it’s a great way to create some distance between yourself and your extended family on the Thanksgiving long weekend. Turkey shuffle anyone? Free!
But why just walk through the fall colours of Gatineau Park when you can fly through the changing leaves? Zip-lining is a great way to get the heart pumping and offers a truly unique perspective of autumn’s natural splendour. Prices range from $17-$35 per person, depending on age of participants and number of people in your group.
Make your own glass pumpkin at Flo Glassblowing
See if your lungs have what it takes to make decorative gourd season last all year by creating your own blown glass pumpkin! Flo offers an hour-long class, no prerequisites needed, where you can craft a beautiful autumnal objet, complete with stem! Offered for $45 +HST.
Take in this Halloween classic with fellow movie-goers in the great outdoors of the ByWard Market. Get in the spirit by showing up in your Hallow’s Eve best to compete in the costume contest. Bring your own chairs and blanket and enjoy for free! Although, if you’re as addicted to popcorn as I am, bring $2 to get a bag.
Marvel at MosaïCanada
Ever the sceptic, I went to MosaiCanada earlier this year not sure what to expect. Friends, let me tell you, this is NOT your average government-sponsored entertainment. I was thoroughly impressed by the craftsmanship, creativity and sheer magnitude of the horticultural sculptures on display here. I can’t even keep a succulent alive for more than a week, so the fact that they’ve kept these 3D gardens thriving for more than four months, is pretty impressive. Catch it for free before it ends on October 15th.
Take a Haunted Walk
Discover the haunted history of Ottawa. The Haunted Walk offers a variety of different tours that allow you to discover different spooky sites across the city. For Halloween season, the Ghosts and the Gallows tour offers a special “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” edition on Friday and Saturday nights that will take you through the old Carleton County jail in the dark. Prices range from $16-$25 – kids under 10 participate for free on some tours.