September 14, 2018
IT'S SWEATER WEATHER! HERE ARE 5 EXPERIENCES TO CROSS OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST THIS FALL!
Taking a stroll on freshly fallen leaves is a must-do
There’s a chill in the air and if you listen closely you can hear the pitter patter of feet as they rush to the nearest store to stock up on pashminas, boots, and pumpkin spiced everything. That’s right, fall is on its way and with a change in season comes a whole new gamut of experiences to be had in southwestern Ontario.
The southern parts of the province are blessed with temperate seasons making fall actually feel like a full season here and not just a blip in the radar between summer and winter! This means that you can stretch out your activities and experiences even longer than you thought possible!
We’ve taken the liberty of curating your fall bucket list, complete with season favourites that you cannot miss.
Try and spot a nesting peregrine falcon during the fall migration
Fall Migration at Point Pelee National Park
Every Autumn, Point Pelee National Park and vicinity is visited by enormous numbers of migrant birds. Autumn migration is actually evident as early as the end of June and as late as mid-December. Extended migration periods allow even the most casual observer to study species otherwise "missed" during the spring migration. For example, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, red-necked phalarope, long-billed dowitcher, northern saw-whet owl, jaegers and baird's, stilt and buff-breasted sandpipers (all very rare in the spring) can be found with regularity during autumn. In recent years, many birders have found Point Pelee to be as exciting during the autumn migration as it is in the spring. In addition, records have shown that extreme rarities are even more likely to appear in autumn, despite the fewer observers actually looking for such rarities.
The South Coast Birding Trail map is a great resource that will quickly bring you up to speed on the region’s top spots for finding feathered friends.
Thiessen's Orchards located in Leamington, ON
Apple Picking, Hay Rides, and Corn Maze at Thiessen’s Orchards
There is nothing more “Fall” than apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and a corn maze. Lucky for you, Thiessen’s Orchards has it all. This family-owned business brings passion, dedication and a true, local story to their Orchard—it’s impossible to leave here without a smile on your face. Memories are created and often traditions are started that will be in your family for a long time.
Thiessen’s offers “Pick Your Own Apples”, hay rides in the orchard, and a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins. All ages can burn some energy in the popular HAYMOW, an old rustic barn filled with straw and 2 giant slides. Your family can also challenge the 5 acre corn maze, dig deep down in the sandboxes and fly high on the huge swing sets. The Kountry Kitchen serves up a delicious menu consisting of sausage on a bun, jumbo hot dogs, fresh apple cider, homemade apple pie, caramel apples, apple fritters and muffins to name a few. I don’t know about you, but I can already smell the fresh apple pie in the air!
Fall ingredients can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes
Fall Cooking Using Farm Fresh Local Ingredients
Speaking of apple pie, the joy of a new season of fresh, local ingredients to cook with is *almost* enough to push summer out the door, and run straight into the arms of autumn. Leamington’s roadside fruit and vegetable stands continue to sell the season’s harvest so that you can bring your meal from farm to table. Squash and pumpkin, apples, beets and brussel sprouts are plentiful and ready to be made into sweet and savoury recipes. If you want something uber-local, check out some of the best recipes from Leamington’s Mennonite community.
Fall camping in an oTENTik at Point Pelee National Park
Camping in the Woods as the Leaves Change in an oTENTik
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t camp anymore- especially when you’re in an oTENTik, a blend of homey comfort and outdoor adventure. A cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, this type of accommodation is the perfect way for families, friends and couples of all ages to discover the joys of camping without all the muss and fuss. It’s a unique concept for visitors to enjoy camping with the comfort of a bed and a campsite already set up and ready to go. Each unit includes three beds and can accommodate up to six people.
The good thing is? They are available for rent at Point Pelee National Park year-round!
Buy some local goods at an outdoor art market
Enjoy Some of the Last Outdoor Markets of the Year
There is absolutely nothing better than wandering through an outdoor market, smelling fresh cooked food, eyeing up unique local artisan crafts, and listening to live music. Now do all of that, under the stars, this fall, with the cool air carrying the sound for blocks, hearing the laughter of children and the chatter of excited people finding that one-of-a-kind piece… you’re already there, aren’t you? You’re in luck because Leamington’s Art at the Parkette night market is opening up the fall season with a night of local arts, music, and crafts. Explore the outdoors and then warm up inside of the Leamington Arts Centre with a glass of wine and some more breathtaking art.