Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities in Ottawa During Fall

Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities in Ottawa During Fall

Autumn is my favorite season. It’s the time of the year when Ottawa turns into vibrant fall colors illuminating the city’s nature spaces and metropolitan areas.

The city’s center is transformed with spectacular displays and excited crowds. Many of the attractions are accessible, and perfect for families who want to experience the spectacular autumn in Ottawa.

There’s something for everybody, from strolling at the many beautiful greenspaces like Gatineau or Greenbelt to enjoying the festivals and fairs. 

Here, we listed some of them to guide you in planning your getaway with your family.

Enjoy the Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park.

Enjoy the Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea


Admire the majestic fall foliage while hiking or biking through the scenic trails of Gatineau Park. Aptly named, Fall Rhapsody is an annual event that celebrates the beauty of autumn. 

Spanning for a month that usually starts from September to October, there are many activities that your kids can enjoy in Gatineau Park. Here are some of them: 

  • Walking and hiking on the trails to the popular lookouts and bridges
  • Biking on the parkway roads
  • Canoeing and kayaking on the bodies of water in the park
  • Picnic in scenic areas
  • Exploring the gardens and viewing the exhibits at the Mackenzie King Estate, the historic home of Canada’s 10th Prime Minister

Zip through the trees at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience.

Zip through the trees at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience

Location: 300 Chem. Dunlop, Chelsea


Phone Number: (819) 827-17171

Conquer your fear of heights by zipping through the trees at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience. You can zipline and explore Gatineau Park from the treetops, and have fun with obstacle courses such as ropes, bridges, barrels, and ladders. 

The park is split into two sections: the Explorer Park, which offers tree-top challenges and ziplines, and the Children’s Park, which boasts shorter ziplines and courses, perfect for younger visitors.

For a thrilling three hours of adrenaline-fueled adventure at Explorer Park, adults (18+) can enjoy access for $44. On the other hand, admission to the Children’s Park is only $25.

For a more convenient visit, make a reservation online and sign the waiver prior to your trip. Autumn activities are available from September to October, with different closing hours depending on the daylight. 

Experience the Canadian wildlife at Parc Omega.

Experience the Canadian wildlife at Parc Omega

Location: 399 QC-323, Montebello


Phone Number: (819) 423-5487

If you are willing to drive an hour to the Outaouais region of Quebec, you can bring your family to Parc Omega. It is a wildlife park that spans over 2,200 acres of land.

Parc Omega has a 12-kilometer trail for visitors to explore and see Canadian wildlife in their natural habitat through their cars. The park is home to bison, deer, elk, bears, wolves, birds, and other animals.

There are many activities that you and your family can do at Parc Omega. You can feed the deer through your window or walk the trails that lead to the enclosures where wolves and bears live. 

If you want your family to experience interacting with farm animals, you can also pet and feed the goats, rabbits, pigs, and sheep. For a more adventurous trip, you can spend the night surrounded by wildlife at the accommodations available to rent overnight.

Some of the guests like spreading a picnic blanket in the many areas where it is allowed.  The area also has many slides and swings that the kids will enjoy. 

Tickets to the park can be bought online as well as reservations to the accommodations. 

Pick apples at orchards in the Ottawa area.

Pick apples at orchards in the Ottawa area

In the fall, my children and I love to go apple-picking. It’s a delightful activity for them, as they enjoy exploring the orchard and discovering the different varieties of apples.

This activity is also educational. Kids can learn about the life cycle of apples and how to harvest them properly. 

We are lucky to have some orchards near Ottawa that we can visit easily. These are the following: 

Log Cabin Orchard

Log Cabin Orchard

Location: 6121 Cabin Rd, Osgoode


Phone Number: 6138067082

Log Cabin Orchard is worth the 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. It has over 33 acres of apple trees, with varieties such as Lobos, Empire, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, Cortlands, Paula Red, Liberty, Spartans, Red Free, and NovaMac.

You and your family can also enjoy the pumpkin patch and campfire with churros, hot dogs, and hot chocolate.

Avonmore Berry Farm 

Avonmore Berry Farm

Location: 16365 Fourth Rd Avonmore


Phone Number: 613-346-2336

The apple-picking season at Avonmore Berry Farm starts from September to early October. You can explore the orchard and choose from a variety of apples, such as Cortland, Paula Red, McIntosh, and Lobo. 

Each 10lb bag of apples costs only $15, and you can also purchase pre-picked apples at the farm store. If you’re up for some snacks and drinks, they are also available at the orchard’s store.  

Aside from picking apples, kids will enjoy the wagon rides and the kid’s space that the farm has set up. 

Cannamore Orchard

Cannamore Orchard

Location: 1480 County Rd 32, Chrysler


Phone Number: 613-448-3633

Nestled in a picturesque countryside, Cannamore Orchard has been a beloved family-owned and operated orchard since 1982. It is a perfect place to bond with your loved ones while enjoying the crisp autumn air and the fall’s vibrant foliage.

With over 10 varieties of apples to pick, including Honey Crisp, Gala, Spartan, Empire, and Red Delicious, there’s something for everyone at Cannamore Orchard. 

Aside from apple picking, you can also enjoy fun farm activities, such as pedal cars, mazes, duck races, and more. Cannamore Orchard also has a farm shop and a Halloween haunt called Acres of Terror, an event that people look forward to every year.

This orchard also offers event venues for weddings or birthday parties, as well as various tours throughout the year for schools, seniors, and more.

Pinewood Orchards

Pinewood Orchards

Location: 101 Herzberg Road, Kanata


Phone Number: 613-828-4412

What we like about Pinewood Orchards is that there are about 800 full-size trees and some of them are over 50 years old! Only a 10-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, it’s an accessible choice for apple picking. 

A little interesting fact about growing apples is that the mineral-rich soil can give apples their unique taste. Such is the case in Pinewood Orchards with its several varieties, including Honey Crisp, McIntosh, Spartan, Cortland’s, and Empire. 

Other activities in this area include viewing the scenic orchard, taking photos of the apple trees, learning how they are grown, and tasting some of the products derived from them. 

Pick cranberries at Upper Canada Cranberries.

Pick cranberries at Upper Canada Cranberries

Location: 2283 Stagecoach Rd, Greely

Phone Number: 613-798-6232


At Upper Canada Cranberries, you can pick fresh cranberries with your family which is a relaxing activity and also a great bonding experience. This farm is conveniently located just 12 minutes from the Ottawa International Airport. 

The farm started in 1996 and covers the 100-acre property. You can enjoy the scenic views and learn about how cranberries are grown and harvested.

Aside from picking cranberries, visitors are also treated to fresh, frozen, dried, and sliced cranberries, as well as cranberry juice, cranberry-apple juice, and cranberry drink. 

Celebrate Mexican culture at the Day of the Dead Festival.

Location: Ottawa ByWard Market

Phone Number: 613-799-7643


Experience Mexican culture at the Day of the Dead Festival in Ottawa, a cultural event that celebrates the tradition of honoring the deceased with food, music, art, and rituals. It takes place every October at the historic and vibrant ByWard Market

There are many activities that you and your family can enjoy at the Day of the Dead Festival but our favorite is indulging in authentic Mexican food sold at various stalls. Don’t miss out on a chance to dig into some tacos and enchiladas. 

Aside from the food, you can catch Mariachi performances which will make you sway and dance to the rhythm of the guitars, trumpets, and vocals. Accompanied by dancers in colorful masks and costumes, these performances are also a feast for the eyes.  

If you want your Day of the Dead experience to be more educational, you can also attend workshops, talks, and exhibits explaining the context of the festival. Artistic kids can even join a drawing contest held regularly. 

Have fun at fall fairs.

Fairs are probably the best way to have fun with your family! You’ll love the thrill of the rides, the music at the amazing shows, and the delicious food. 

In Ottawa, there are many fall fairs that people look forward to every year because they offer a great experience of the city’s traditions. There are animal shows, rides and games for all ages, monster truck displays, performances, contests, and food. 

Some of the fall fairs that you can visit with your family are:

Carp Fair

Carp Fair

Location: 3790 Carp Rd


Phone Number: 613-839-2172

With a history that dates back to 1863, Carp Fair is known as the “Best Little Fair in Canada” featuring the culture and farm life. This fair draws thousands of crowds every year.

There are many activities you and your family can enjoy, including truck pulls, music nights, and agricultural competitions. You can try the rides and get some snacks after going around. 

Metcalfe Fair

Location: 2821 8th Line Road, Metcalfe


Phone Number: 613-821-0591

Experience the rural way of life at the Metcalfe Fair which is an annual event that showcases the best of Ontario’s agriculture. It is organized by the Metcalfe Agricultural Society and has been running since 1856.

The fairgrounds have a variety of facilities and offer a long list of activities including food fairs, livestock shows, and other community events. This fair also provides a perfect opportunity for kids to learn about agriculture. 

Richmond Fair 

Richmond Fair

Location: 6121 Perth Street, Richmond


Phone Number: 613-291-0145

Another crowd-drawer is The Richmond Fair, which is a big showcase of the agriculture sector.  Since 1844, the fair has provided a platform for local artists, farmers, and producers to display their work and products.

With a variety of entertainment and activities for all ages, such as agriculture shows, demolition derby, live music, rock climbing, games, and rides, the fair is a great way to enjoy the beauty of fall with your family.  

Get festive at Pumpkinferno.

Location: 1 Fort Henry Dr


Phone Number: 613-330-9266

Prepare to be amazed by Pumpinferno where 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins light up 

a kilometer-long path at the Upper Canada Village! This spectacular show attracts thousands of visitors every year and is definitely worth the one-hour drive from Ottawa. 

This fair which takes place in September and October is a family-friendly event that will surely delight the kids. It’s not just the showcase of pumpkins, but also of the many different themes that include fairy tales, pop culture, and other traditions. 

A spectacle like the Pumpkinferno entails a lot of preparation, and during your visit, one of the activities you can do is to learn about how the pumpkins are designed and carved by skilled artists. 

Aside from the visual treats, there are also mouthwatering desserts and drinks at the cafes, including cookies, pumpkin tarts, BeaverTails, and many more. And of course, a family trip is not complete without the souvenirs and gifts from the store. 

Explore Parliament Hill. 

Explore Parliament Hill

Location: 111 Wellington St


Phone Number: 613-943-4300

Parliament Hill is not just a political center but also a cultural one. If you want to start getting your kids interested in culture and the government, bring them to this historic area. 

The building’s grounds are open for people who want to have a picnic and see the majestic view of the iconic clock and bell tower. If you come in early September you can also catch the Light and Sound show. 

One of the best things about living in Ottawa is the magical fall that somehow makes for great family bonding! Parents can relieve stress as they watch the fall colors and feast at the food fairs while children can explore nature through the many outdoor activities.