The 15 BEST WAYS to Celebrate Autumn when living in Waterloo Ontario
One of the favorite seasons of people living in Waterloo Ontario in Autumn. The fall foliage in Southern Ontario is world renowned, our local growers share the bounty of their harvest and community comes alive with festivals and events. The centerpiece of these events in the KW Oktoberfest, which traces its roots back to those first living in Waterloo Ontario: the Germans. Canadian Thanksgiving is also celebrated early in October (unlike the U.S.) which gives another opportunity to celebrate. So how do you prioritize all of the festivities? We’ve compiled a list of the best events to be enjoyed this season. To see photos of these sites, view the Slideshare presentation above.
1. Nauman’s Pumpkin Patch: RR 1, St. Clements, Ontario.
With more than five thousand pumpkins to choose from, Nauman’s is the ultimate pumpkin patch. After you’ve chosen your pumpkins, you’ll enjoy playing on the hay bales, running through the corn maze, and shopping for Halloween decorations…all set against the lovely fall foliage of St. Clements.
2. Conestoga River Horseback Adventures: 535 Northfield Drive E., Waterloo
Enjoy Waterloo’s fall colors from a saddle on a 1, 2 or 4 hour trail ride for beginners and veteran riders alike. All rides include river crossings on horseback, trails through wooded areas and open rides. The four hour ride even includes a stop in St. Jacobs for lunch.
3. Chudleigh’s Apple Farm: 9528 Hwy 25, Halton Hills (near Milton)
Chudeligh’s Apple Farm is a 40 minute drive for those living in Waterloo, but it’s worth the trip for a day of Autumn fun with the kids. Pick your own apples, then spend the afternoon enjoying pony rides, tractor rides, hay bale slides and face painting.
4. Iron Horse Trail: Between Erb Street West in Waterloo and Ottawa Street in Kitchener
Enjoy 5.5 kilometers of local history on the Iron Horse Trail, a well maintained trail that once linked the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo by rail, and now is enjoyed by bikers, walkers and joggers. Bring your camera, pack a lunch and spend the afternoon.
5. Dine Her: Harmony Lunch: 90 King Street North, Waterloo
Get your fill of zombies this season at Dine Her, a unique dinner theatre event where the Harmony Lunch diner itself is the set. Written and directed by Second City Veteran Bruce Hunter, you’ll enjoy dinner, and a show at Harmony Lunch while enjoying a frightfully funny zombie comedy. Seven shows Only: October 22-31. $40 per person.
6. Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival: Wellesley, Ontario
The folks in nearby Wellesley (just 15 minutes from west Waterloo) kick off autumn with their Apple Butter festival and and antique car/truck parade. Stating with a pancake breakfast at dawn, enjoy a tour of a cider mill, a model boat regatta on the pond and an old fashioned horseshoe tournament. September 27, 2014
7. KW Thanksgiving Oktoberfest Parade: Thanksgiving Day: October 13, 2014. King Street starting in Waterloo and ending in Kitchener
This nationally televised parade is one of the hallmarks of the KW Oktoberfest festivities (the second largest Oktoberfest in the world). Bring your lawn chairs and thermos of hot chocolate, and enjoy impressive floats, balloons and entertainers. And don’t forget to bring a few non perishable food items to donate to our food bank.
8. Sundance Air Balloon Rides: Kitchener and St. Jacobs, Ontario
With three launch locations near Waterloo, you’ll enjoy the fall colour show in the silence of a hot air balloon. Travelling over the Conestogo River, you’ll never forget your bird’s eye view of Waterloo region in the fall.
9. Waterloo Central Railway :Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo
Planning on heading to the Farmer’s Market to stock up on local fall produce? Why not travel their by Waterloo’s historic railway: The Waterloo Central. You’ll travel through Waterloo to St. Jacobs Market and be let off for shopping, before returning. A great, relaxing way to enjoy the fall foliage, and they even offer a Halloween ride where kids are invited to dress up.
10. Snyders Family Farm: Blenheim Road, Ayr (20 minutes from Waterloo)
A family farm decked to the nines for Autumn and Halloween, Snyders Farm has plenty to do including hay rides, puppet shows, Straw Mountain and a Haunted House. They’re also open at night for their “Fear Farm,” where a large part of the farm are transformed into a haunted forest and homestead.
11. The Kissing Bridge: West Montrose, Ontario (15 minutes from Waterloo)
The last remaining covered bridge in Ontario is just a short, picturesque drive from Waterloo. Known as the “Kissing Bridge” because the covered bridge offers privacy for a quick smooch, it’s a gorgeous return to days-gone-by set against our region’s lovely fall colors. West Montrose is a charming little village, so stop for lunch or an ice cream while watching the Mennonite buggies cross the bridge.
12. Elora Monster Month: Elora, Ontario (25 minutes from Waterloo)
The village of Elora touts itself as the best Halloween celebrations in Ontario, and they certainly pull out the stops. From The Twilight Zoo by Tim Murton (an amazing village-wide display of Tim’s monster sculptures, featured on Martha Stewart), all month long you can enjoy lantern walking tours, costume parties and dining by moonlight.
13. Veterans Memorial: University Drive across from Laurier University: Waterloo
Local sculptor Tim Schmalz’s masterpiece honoring Canada’s fallen is a popular stop on and around Veterans Day (November 11). Surrounded by benches and lit at night, the memorial invites all who see it to sit, ponder and reflect on the lives of Canadians lost in combat.
14. Columbia Forest (Clair Hills neighbourhood in Waterloo)
One of the best kept secrets in Waterloo is Columbia Forest with more than 5 kms of manicured walking trails beneath soaring canopy of colorful trees. Your walk through the forest will include crossing foot bridges, throwing rocks in ponds and photographing the 30 foot deciduous trees in full display.
15. St. Jacobs Farmers Market: St. Jacobs (10 minutes from Waterloo)
A staple of Autumn traditions in Southern Ontario is celebrating the harvest with our local growers. The St. Jacobs Farmers Market is a perfect place to shop for colorful mums, autumn produce, local wine and cheese, all while supporting our local farming community.
For more amazing images of Autumn in Waterloo, visit our Pinterest Board: Autumn in Waterloo.