Just because we’re now mask-wearing and physical distancing doesn’t mean we can’t grab the kids and get out and enjoy some fun fall. (Unless of course your local regulations dictate otherwise; we recommend keeping a close eye on those since the rules are changing regularly.)
This October’s weather is supposed to be mild so let’s take advantage of that while we can. Here are a number of Toronto and area events that are all family- and physical distancing-friendly. While our list is a little shorter than usual, we’re sure you’ll still find something that will put a smile on your kids’ faces (and also yours).
Egyptian Mummies & Winnie the Pooh at the Royal Ontario Museum | rom.on.ca
Ancient Egypt is one of those historical periods that continues to fascinate us, even some 5,000 years later. The ROM’s newest feature exhibit, which opened September 19, aims to bring this time period to life using technology and the real-life stories of six actual mummies, including a young child.
Also still on display is Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic, which examines one of the world’s most beloved fictional characters. While COVID-19 has caused this interactive experience to be modified a bit, some of its more child-friendly aspects are still available (along with lots of regular sanitizing). Both exhibits run into the new year and admission to see the pair starts at $22.50, with kids under four being free.
Fall Colour Celebrations & Kreepy Kortright at the Kortright Centre | kortright.org
Woodbridge’s Kortright Centre is celebrating Ontario’s famous fall colours all month long. Your entry fee, which starts as low as $2.65, gets you access to a number of kid-approved hiking trails and the Centre’s knowledgeable staff, who will teach your family all about nature in the fall.
Looking for something more on the (mildly) scary side? From October 24 until October 30, the Centre is hosting its Kreepy nights for kids 10 and under. A variety of Halloween-focused activities will take place including a “frightening” forest walk, scary stories around a bonfire and an encounter with live owls. Tickets for this event start at $7.50 Please note that tickets to either event must be purchased in advance.
Immersive Van Gogh at 1 Yonge St. | vangoghexhibit.ca
Have a budding artist in your family? Then this massive art installation is a must-see. Set inside the old Toronto Star printing press rooms at the base of Yonge street, the exhibit has some of Vincent Van Gogh’s best-known works projected five-storeys high and set to a custom musical score. Immersive Van Gogh offers two ways to explore it. One option is to drive through the multi-room exhibit in your family’s car. Alternatively, you can also purchase walk-thru tickets. Immersive Van Gogh is on all month and tickets start at around $35, with kids five and under being free.
Night of Lights in Vaughan | nightsoflights.ca
Fun light displays aren’t just for Christmas time. This drive-thru event has you motoring down a 2.25-kilometre route featuring, “over 700,000 LED Lights, drive-thru tunnels, animated displays and more” while you listen to a custom music show over your vehicle’s radio system. Night of Lights takes place near Keele and Steeles in Vaughan and runs on select night throughout October. Tickets start at $25 for a carload of two people.
Pumpkins After Dark in Milton | pumpkinsafterdark.com
Returning to Milton’s Country Heritage Park is Pumpkins After Dark. But this year the event, which runs throughout October, is making itself COVID-19 safe by transforming into a drive-thru only experience. Featuring a guided audio tour, the 2.5-kilometre long trail will take your family past dozens of cool exhibits and over 150 pumpkin sculptures. All tickets must be purchased in advanced and prices start at $39 for one car of one-to-two people.
Thanksgiving & Halloween at Black Creek Pioneer Village | blackcreek.ca
Toronto’s historic village celebrates October’s two big holidays with 1860s-authentic (and pandemic-friendly) games and activities. While exact plans are still being finalized, we do know that Thanksgiving events will run the long weekend of October 10-12.
Then on the weekends of October 17-18, 25-25 and of course October 31, embrace spooky season the old-timey way. Grown-ups, note that the Village also offers a nighttime ghost tour for those adults who are brave enough. Tickets for all events must be purchased in advance and admission start at $11, with kids three and under being free.
Visit a Local Farm | savvymom.ca
The Greater Toronto area is home to some of the best agriculture in the world. Take advantage of that and let the kids get some fresh country area by taking them to one of the many local farms that open their gates to families. Besides offering fresh produce, some farms also feature pick your own pumpkins, corn mazes, petting zoos and more. Check out our existing list of beloved local farms to find one near you. Most of the listed destinations, including Andrews Scenic Acres, Chudleigh’s and Downey’s Farm Market are currently open to the public, though advance ticket purchase may be required.
Visit Toronto island | toronto.ca
We tend to associate Toronto Island with summer, but it’s also a terrific (and affordable) fall destination. The Island is also less busy in October, making it an ideal spot to physical distance. While many of the Island’s best-known attractions are closed, you can still walk the stroller-friendly trails, explore Centre Island’s cedar hedge maze, and enjoy a picnic on one of the many beaches. There are also tons of places for open play as well as a playground. Ferry tickets, which start at around $3, must be purchased ahead of time and note that the ferry is still running at reduced capacity and on a reduced schedule.