10 Things to Do in Prince Edward County in October 🎃
Bring out the scarves and mitts from the basement, unpack your wool sweaters from that bin under the bed and get ready to layer up and fully embrace fall in The County this October. Note: Fully embracing fall does not = pumpkin spice everything, but it does mean harvest season and pumpkins-a-plenty. (Also, you know that ‘pumpkin’ isn’t a spice right? That’s cinnamon and nutmeg you’re tasting.)
Visiting The County and looking to take home a bit of the harvest? Be sure to stop by Campbell’s Orchard for all things #fromthefarm like pick-your-own apples, veggies, preserves and other local products. While you’re there book a wagon ride, try out their corn maze, sample their Hard AF (Apple Falls) cider or test your skills at the $25 for all you can carry pumpkins from the field.
The beloved Wellington Farmer’s Market wraps up for the season on Saturday October 12th so be sure to stock up on goodies from all your favourite vendors. For those with a sweet tooth you might want to hit up the brand new Ontario Honey Festival after the market (still October 12) to glean an appreciation for terroir through honey.
If you’d rather have your local farm fresh foods served up by one of The County’s talented chefs you can make reservations at any of the local restaurants, wait patiently for Fall Countylicious (November 1-24), get tickets to the last table-at-the-farm harvest dinner (October 5) by Quinta do Conde, or support The Hub by attending the PEC Chef Challenge dinner (also October 5) at The CAPE.
Looking for some wholesome fun for the family? We’ve got you covered at the Scarecrow Festival (October 12-13) at Small Pond Arts where it’s a BYO (build your own) type of situation – all supplies available for a donation of $30. The infamous Pumpkinfest takes place in Wellington the following week (October 19) and you had better have your pumpkin hat ready for the giant pumpkin weigh-off. This is serious stuff with competitors and spectators coming from across the country and even from the United States. If you’re planning to be in/around/near Wellington at all you will be surrounded by all things pumpkin – there are activities for tall and small at the museum, in front of the school, in the town hall and even taking to the streets for the parade. See the full schedule of events here.
Take a drive out to Waupoos and visit The County Cider Company for their first ever vintage car show (October 5) – rumour has it there will even be rootbeer floats. The orchard is looking pretty stunning this time of year, and they’re got the perfect set-up to get your fall selfie. For something a little more spooky, the whole family is invited to experience Haunting in the Hamlet taking place in Consecon (October 26) all day along the main street. There’s a haunted house for the most brave.
And if it’s a good old fashioned dance party you seek, you’ll be happy to know that GUH is returning to PEC. That’s right, GUH. An epic cast of musical character part of this band for 28 years (!) catch them at the Athol Recreation Centre with special guests MOOTHOR plus former members of the Picon Legion Pipes & Drums.
Birds on the Brain
Did you know Prince Edward County is an internationally regarded birding area? Get all the details on the fall migration through PEC on our blog here and then sign up for one of PEPtBO’s (Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory) their fall festival activities. The brand-new banding station is open to the public from dawn until noon each day where you can learn all sorts of cool things from the resident Bander-in-Charge or the amazing volunteers. Sign up for a guided bird walk (October 5 or October 12) through the observatory – admission is free but you need to RSVP. It’s also worth staying up late to participate in their fall saw-whet owl banding one weekend (October 3-5 and October 17-19) because they are literally. the. cutest. Whenever you make it out to PEPtBO be sure to dress for the weather and be aware of ticks.
Even if you didn’t go back to school this fall, there are lots of options to learn something new in The County in October and get your creative juices flowing. Ever tried your hand at painting with beeswax? There are two chances to learn encaustic painting over two-days in a very hands-on format with local artist Andrew Csafordi (October 5-6 & October 27-28). More of a fibre fan? Try the one-day pop-up Natural Dyeing 101 workshop with Tania Love (October 5), or Introduction to Weaving (October 19) with Michelle Chasson of Roving Textiles – students will take home their own kit and first woven wall hanging.
Those feeling lest artistically inclined can appreciate a wide range of studio and gallery exhibits instead. Plan your own adventure to include the Exhibit of Tiny Art (on until October 6) in Bloomfield with over 100 pieces no bigger than 8″x8″, while the Milly Ristvedt Exhibit at OENO Gallery (also on until October 6) gives you abstraction and bold colours. See a wide range of County talent (25+ local artists) at Arts on Main Studio in Picton during their Fall Show (on until November 18), or stop by one of the newest galleries in The County: ANDARA (the winning combo of resident artists Andrew Csafordi + Tara Wilkinson) for their photography exhibit Visual Journeys: Newfoundland (on until November 30). Also new(ish) on the arts scene in Picton is 2gallery who is showing a John Visser Solo Exhibition titled Luminous Land (until October 18) – scope out their breezy and beautiful gallery and then stroll just a few doors down for some Slickers (in that order please).
Don’t miss a chance to take in some local theatre, especially the seasonally appropriate (aka slighty scary) “Blood Relations” presented by Prince Edward Community Theatre on October 19, 20, 25-27. It’s a psycological murder mystery based on the historical facts and speculations around Lizzie Borden. Catch it at the Mt Tabor Playhouse in Milford as a matinee (2pm) or evening show (7:30pm) – Jackson’s Falls Public House is a great spot nearby to grab a meal before or after.
Odds & Ends
In case your version of a Prince Edward County getaway includes hitting the pavement, there’s The County Marathon (October 6) and for those looking to go at a slower pace you can hit the streets for shopping, including the Eat Pray Shop (October 5) market featuring indoor vendors and outdoor activities.
While you’re driving around be sure to dial in to our local community radio station 99.3CountyFM – they’re celebrating 5 years on the air with a Harvest Celebration event (October 19) at The CAPE featuring local eats, bevvys and (of course) music. If you haven’t heard The Frere Brothers before, you’re in for a treat – I can’t decide which song I love more, the one about never going to Picton again, or the one about Hawkins Cheesies.
Wondering what’s on during Halloween? Aside from adorable trick-or-treating for kids, several pubs, breweries and restaurants usually do up a themed menu or evening shin-dig for adults. Look for events posted on individual businesses Facebook & Instagram accounts closer to the day for details.
Still haven’t planned your fall trip to The County? There’s lots of time, here’s a full list of what to expect in PEC up until the snow (eek! flies: Fall in The County.