With summer coming to a close, it’s hard to say goodbye to the picnics, warm weather, and seemingly endless activities. But autumn in Metro Vancouver – even when the rain arrives – can be full of adventure and fun. With the cool weather ahead, it’s an ideal time to head out for a day of apple-picking, pumpkin patch visits, and exploring some of the local farms for a visit with the cows, pigs, and chickens. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourites:
Aldor Acres Family Farm
Though it’s a busy spot throughout the year, Aldor Acres is perhaps best known for their popular Pumpkin Festival, which runs from late September through Halloween. This family-owned and operated farm is situated a few kilometres east of Fort Langley and offers a petting zoo and a chance to wander the barns and visit with livestock. There’s also hayrides, unique antique farm machinery on display, and visitors can pick up farm-fresh goods during the visit. The fun gets started this year on September 21. With more than 20 acres of pumpkin fields, there’s bound to be the picture-perfect pumpkin for every visitor.
Taves Family Farms
Families come from all over the region to visit this Fraser Valley farm in Abbotsford where Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Gala apples are just a few of the varieties waiting to be picked. Taves Family Farm also features a petting barn, a huge bouncing pillow, playground, and more for little ones. The adults in the group will enjoy browsing the Apple Barn Country Store, with a variety of homemade pies, preserves, fresh-pressed cider, and much more. On top of the apples, the farm also has a pumpkin patch, hayride and pony rides. (And mark your calendar for next spring and summer: the fun continues year-round at Taves with special Easter events, a sunflower patch, and other special celebrations.)
UBC Botanical Garden Apple Festival
This popular event returns for its 28th season on Oct. 19 and 20 and is a great option for those in the city who may not have the time to travel out to surrounding farms. Though not u-pick, there’s more than 60 varieties of apples to purchase (and dozens of apple trees for sale, too) along with family-friendly entertainment, live music, a children’s area, food vendors, craft retailers, and more. Funds from the apple sales go to help support education, research, conservation, and outreach with UBC Botanical Garden.
Willow View Farms
There’s plenty of fun (and lots of apples and pumpkins) to be had Willow View Farms in Abbotsford, open Monday-Saturday 9 am–5:30 pm and Sunday 11 am–5:30 pm. Hayrides are available the last two weekends in September and every weekend through the end of October (including Thanksgiving Monday.) There’s a free admission petting zoo with chickens, sheep, goats and more. This u-pick farm has been in operation for 26 years and their motto “Our Home, Your Farm” sums up their welcoming and cozy approach.
Chilliwack Corn Maze & Pumpkin Farm
Located in Chilliwack, this farm has a unique tradition: each year, the corn maze is designed with an all-new pattern. And 2019 has a unique offering: they’ll be marking the 50th anniversary of the Canucks with a maze design that takes inspiration from the Vancouver team’s logo. But the 12-acre corn maze is just one part of the fun; there’s also a giant jumping pillow, a pumpkin patch, a corn train, farm animals and u-pick apples. Through September and October, the Chilliwack Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm is open every day except Mondays (but with varying times depending on the day of the week so check out the schedule online before visiting.)
Richmond Country Farms
Close to the city, this full working farm welcomes visitors through autumn for its popular pumpkin patch starting on Thanksgiving weekend. The site hosts many field trips from local schools but it’s also a perennial favourite for local families and people of all ages. There’s music, entertainment, hay rides, seasonal decor and every visitor gets a fresh Spartan apple at the end of their visit.
With so many local options for fall fun, now’s the time to plan some adventures and enjoy the crisp weather and cooler days ahead.