In a city like Toronto, pumpkins aren't something you expect to see anywhere other than piled up at grocery stores and farmers markets. But just a short drive outside the city are several family farms that grow pumpkins and also host harvest festival events throughout the fall. You can pick your own pumpkin at some farms, and at others, you can choose from pumpkins that have been already picked. No matter which option you choose, it will be a memorable family outing this September or October.
Before you go, it's smart to confirm harvest and picking conditions. Check the website or call the farm you intend to visit before you set off.
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You can visit Springridge in Milton all through the week to choose a great pumpkin (you can't pick your own at Springbridge) during pumpkin harvest season and browse the farm market for other seasonal produce. On weekends, starting Sept. 23 and continuing through Oct. 29, plus Thanksgiving Monday, you can also can be a part of the Harvest Festival, which features a puppet show, wagon rides, a corn trail, the Spooky Boo Barn, a spiderweb climber, straw bale jumping, pipe slides, and animal visits.
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Brooks Farms in Mount Albert goes all out for its Fall Fun Festival, its biggest special event of the year. Wagon rides, zip lines, corn maze, straw jump, farm animals, train rides, corn cob blasters, and a pumpkin cannon show top a long list of activities. You can pick your own pumpkin at Brooks Farms from the end of September to the end of October. You must have a container when you go out to pick your own produce, even for pumpkins. If you don't have one or you drive off and forget it, no worries. Brooks Farms will sell you one for a very small fee.
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Visit Pringle's in Hampton any day for the farm market and pick your own pumpkin starting Oct. 1. Starting the first weekend in October, you can get a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch. Fun Fall Weekends offer a corn maze, straw maze, trike track, and farm animals for extra fun after the pumpkin-picking adventure.
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You can pick your own pumpkin at Andrews Scenic Acres in Milton from mid-September through October, and you'll get a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch in the bargain. While you're there, you can also collect some gourds and Indian corn to give seasonal vibes to your house. It's worth a return visit on the weekend before Halloween for a holiday celebration that features a haunted forest and straw mountain, plus barbecue and entertainment.