Here we are, October 1st. Can you believe it? Gone are the endless days of summer, and we are back to the same old, same old school and work schedule. But wait… it’s 30 degrees outside, so put away your sweaters and pumpkin spiced lattes and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!
The Heart of Georgian Bay is known for its incredible beaches, crystal clear waters, and sunny weather, but why stop there? There is an awesome line-up of fall activities to keep the fun going! Whether its celebrating the fall harvest, exploring the great outdoors, or having the begeesus scared out of you, there are plenty of options for good weather and not so nice weather.
You’ve seen the sign on the side of Highway 400 a million times, but have you ever been to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons? Or maybe you haven’t been back since your school trip in grade 3. Fall is a great time to experience this historic site because it is a little quieter and you have more time to explore the grounds and converse with the interpretive staff to learn vabout this important piece to Canadian history. On October 12-13th, take part in Thanksgiving Harvest Festival, with over 50 artisan vendors showcasing handmade items, artisenal food items, and more! Sainte-Marie among the Hurons closes for the season on October 15th.
Channel your inner Jack and Rose on the bow of this mini-Titanic, right here in the Heart of Georgian Bay! The S.S. Keewatin offers daily guided tours and is open to the public until October 14th. Tour the Upper Deck to view passenger common areas and staterooms, and the Lower Deck to see the 112 year old engines work right before your eyes! This month, the folks at the S.S. Keewatin are teaming up once again with the drama department at our local public high school to put on Ghost Tours, to learn about the #realscaryship that happens onboard. Check it out on October 17-19 and 24-26 only!
Discovery Harbour is a great spot to explore with your family during the summer months, but when the trees start to change colours, so does this historic site. Since they closed on Labour Day Weekend, the staff have been hard at work transforming into Pumpkinferno mode. This award-winning event runs Thursday to Sunday evenings for the month of October, and every night October 17-27! It features larger-than-life pumpkin displays, and a new family-friendly zone. If you’re looking for a little more of a thrilling experience, check out the always-expanding Terror Zone, the coffin ride, and NEW Zombie Axe Throwing! Here is an insider tip – Thursday and Sundays tend to be a little quieter, if you can make it.
Fall is a perfect time to drive down backroads to take in the beautiful colours that only come out in this time of year. To make the best of your roadtrip, why not incorporate a few stops along the way, as part of The Bay Studio Tour? This free, self-guided route allows art-lovers to drop in to 20 studios in the Heart of Georgian Bay, to meet 32 artists and get a glimpse into their workspaces. Download the guide before you hit the road to plan your route and read more about the painters, potters, woodworkers, photographers, jewelers, and more!
To admire in the fall colours from a new perspective, climb on board the Miss Midland for a cruise through the 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay. A family favourite during the summer months, their scenic fall cruises allow you to learn about the iconic landscape of the Canadian Shield, the history of the region, and admire the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. With cruises running almost daily, and dates that include a buffet lunch and live music, there are plenty of options to work with your scedule. And remember, it’s always best to reserve your seat in advance, especially for the meal cruises.
To really breathe in the fresh fall air, gather your favourite people and book a campsite at Awenda Provincial Park! Pitch a tent and make some s’mores. Explore 31kms of trail through 2,900 hectares of forest to take in the views of Georgian Bay and their own interior lake. Not really into camping? That’s ok – the park is open for day-use year-round! It’s the perfect place to take your four-legged friend for a walk or take cozy family photos before the snow falls.
Remember, this is just a glimpse into some of the fun fall activities available in the Heart of Georgian Bay. Don’t forget about the Huronia Museum Film Series, Meet the Spirits of St. James on the Line, exploring Georgian Bay Islands National Park, and the Martyrs’ Shrine! Make the best of fall instead of mourning summer, because before you know it, the seasons will be changing again and we will be welcoming winter!