Unforgettable Thanksgiving Weekend: Top Things to do in Ontario

Exploring Nature in Ontario During Thanksgiving Weekend

Given the diverse landscapes and cityscapes of Ontario, there’s more to Thanksgiving weekend than traditional home feasts and urban events. Let’s investigate deeper into the nature-inspired activities you can do in Ontario during this long weekend holiday.

Hiking and Nature Trails

Ontario, brimming with vibrant autumn hues, offers a multitude of engaging nature trails. As the Thanksgiving weekend rolls in, it presents the ideal opportunity to engage in some healthy outdoor activities. Take, for instance, the Bruce Trail. This trail network spans an impressive 885km, hugging the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Offering an array of trails for different experience levels, it’s a delight for both beginner and seasoned hikers. Walking amidst the canopy of bright orange and yellow maple leaves, you’ll find it to be the perfect autumnal escape.

Another noteworthy mention is the Waterfront Trail, stretching over 3600km along the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario. Whether you’re into cycling, walking, or bird-watching, this trail guarantees a refreshing experience.

Visiting National Parks and Conservation Areas

Plus to nature trails, Ontario prides itself on national parks and conservation areas, each providing unique opportunities to engage with nature. Algonquin Provincial Park, the oldest provincial park in Canada, turns into a sweeping canvas of fall colours during the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s not just about the spectacle of colours, the park is also home to a rich variety of wildlife including moose and beavers.

For a more secluded, serene experience, the Thousand Islands National Park is an ideal destination. Located along the Saint Lawrence River, this park features over 20 granite islands and impressive biodiversity. During the Thanksgiving weekend, the park’s calm waters become an ideal spot for canoeing or kayaking.

Remember, these parks aren’t just about the picturesque views. They offer informative interpretative programs and workshops for you to learn about the local flora and fauna, contributing to a holistic, enriching experience. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and prepare to dive headfirst into Ontario’s raw, untouched wilderness this Thanksgiving weekend.

Cultural Activities and Festivals

Ontario’s Thanksgiving weekend offers more than just autumnal beauty; it’s a hub for cultural enrichment, too. Let’s jump into some of these vibrant activities.

Indigenous Heritage Celebrations

Ontario is home to many Indigenous communities, and their heritage forms a fundamental part of the province’s cultural fabric. Across the region, you’ll unearth numerous Thanksgiving weekend events that profile the richness of Indigenous culture. At places like Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, for instance, you’ll experience workshops, tours, and presentations that spotlight local Indigenous history, art, and customs. Major city centres like Toronto and Ottawa also house indigenous art galleries and museums. Here, you’ll find exhibitions that transcend historic indigenous art forms, right up to contemporary pieces. Imagine being immersed in this world of tradition and expression, an engaging way to spend your Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving-Themed Events

Who said Thanksgiving is just about your standard turkey dinner? The holiday in Ontario is studded with an array of Thanksgiving-themed events and activities. Take a stroll through the famous Niagara-on-the-Lake: Their annual Pumpkinville event is a hit amongst families. From pumpkin carving contests, scarecrow building, to an all-out country market, it’s a lively and colourful way to celebrate the season’s bounty.

Also, the imaginative Proulx Farm in Cumberland hosts an annual Pumpkinfest! Get lost in their gigantic corn maze, pick the plumpest pumpkin from the patch, or simply bask in the glory of a true countryside Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, lively culinary events await in the city centre. November marks the commencement of Good Food and Wine Shows in Toronto, featuring an array of local and international cuisine, fine wines, and cooking demonstrations.

Culinary Experiences in Ontario

After immersing yourself in the natural grandeur and cultural panorama of Ontario, it’s time to treat your taste buds. This segment unravels gastronomic adventures you can begin upon during the Thanksgiving weekend in Ontario.

Farm Visits and Apple Picking

Explore the core of Ontario’s apple industry, with a relaxing day trip to its thriving apple orchards. Nestled within scenic locales, popular farms like Apple Land Station, located near London, and Pine Farms Orchard, positioned north of Toronto, extend an invitation to you and your family for an apple-picking extravaganza.

Beyond the sweet crunch of freshly picked apples, these farms offer wagon rides, corn mazes, and munchkins playgrounds. To remember your visit, bring home delectable apple pies, cider donuts or apple butter from the farm shops. So, a visit to these farms encompasses more than just apple picking, it becomes a wholesome family day out.

Specialty Thanksgiving Dinners

Get ready to feast! Ontario hosts an array of restaurants that curate special Thanksgiving-themed menus for the seasonal festivities. Savour a traditional feast at Casa Loma’s BlueBlood Steakhouse in Toronto, where turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce rule the menu. During Thanksgiving, this historic spot transforms into a culinary temple, chanting the mantra of gastronomic indulgence.

For a rendezvous with local cuisine, check out Thanksgiving dinners at farm-to-table restaurants such as Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury. Their Thanksgiving menu shines with locally sourced produce, manifesting the very essence of the harvest season. These restaurants not only drive home the spirit of Thanksgiving but also present Ontario’s local gastronomy at its finest!

Family-Friendly Activities

Coming off the multi-faceted Thanksgiving experience in Ontario, let’s shift gears towards activities for children and adults alike. From exploring through the labyrinth of cornfields to embracing creativity at art fairs, Ontario’s Thanksgiving weekend offers fun-filled activities that appeal to family members of all ages.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

If you enjoy a good maze or love the sight of pumpkins, you’ll find Ontario’s pumpkin patches and corn mazes enthralling. Springridge Farm, famous for their Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins feature, transforms into an exhilarating platform for family adventure – minus the scarecrow. It’s amusing to watch children (and adults too!) grinning playfully, corralling their favourite pumpkins. Gather a bunch of them to showcase on porch or bake into a Thanksgiving pie!

Alternatively, Saunders Farm provides an exciting opportunity to get lost, then found again, in its sprawling corn mazes. The farm, located in Munster, offers five kilometers of puzzling pathways weaving through a breathtaking tableau of maize. Here’s a tip: visit on a sunny day to add an extra touch of golden sunshine to your maze adventure.

Arts and Crafts Fairs

Parallel to the nature-rich experiences, Ontario’s arts and crafts fairs also become a focal point during Thanksgiving weekend. Among them, the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival stands out, converting the small town of Buckhorn into an artistic hub. You can witness artisans at work, indulge in interactive sessions, and bring home handcrafted souvenirs. Celebrate the artistic flair within you; join a pottery-making session, or make your tote bag in an art workshop.

In contrast, the Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival in Lincoln boasts a 46-year heritage, offering a blend of craft displays, food stalls, and live entertainment. Amid the 170+ vendors, you’ll discover a vast array of handcrafted items – from jewellery to hand-knitted scarves. Don’t miss out on their signature historical tours, highlighting Lincoln’s rich cultural history hidden within its scenic trails.

So, ready to add some memorable twists to your Ontario Thanksgiving getaway? These family-friendly activities promise a Thanksgiving weekend that swims in fun, laughter, and the joy of togetherness.


So, you’ve got a plethora of options to make your Ontario Thanksgiving weekend memorable. You can immerse yourself in autumn’s splendour with nature-based activities, or investigate into the rich cultural offerings. Savour the season’s bounty with culinary delights, whether it’s apple picking at local farms or enjoying a traditional feast at renowned restaurants. Make it a family affair with visits to corn mazes and pumpkin patches, or get creative at arts and crafts fairs. With so much to do, your Thanksgiving weekend in Ontario is sure to be filled with joy, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

Author: Ryan

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