20+ Things to do with Kids in Prince Edward County in the Fall & Winter 🎃⛄
The County is kid paradise – even in the fall and winter. From apple picking to snowshoeing, there’s plenty here to keep the kiddos entertained on a cooler-weather getaway.
PLEASE NOTE: COVID-19 containment measures are keeping us hopping – new announcements about what’s open are being made every day. Please call ahead to be sure activities are still available. Find essential COVID travel info here.
1. Hit the trail and go for a nature walk in Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area. The walking trails are suitable for bigger kids and it’s a great place to squeeze some forest bathing into your day. Sometimes it can be a little muddy though, so bring your wellies! While there be sure to check out Birdhouse City to see some of The County’s most iconic buildings and attractions in miniature.
2. Beach season may be over but Sandbanks remains open until October 31st and their Dunes Trail is just as fun to explore in Fall. Be sure to book a day use permit up to 5 days in advance to guarantee entry to the park.
3. Go for a family-friendly cycle on The Millennium Trail. We love the stretch between Talbot Street and County Road 49 near Picton for a family ride. When you hit the end of the trail at County Road 49 you’ll come out right across the road from kid-friendly Parsons Brewing. Can you think of a better weekend activity?
4. Speaking of Parsons, if visiting in winter be sure to check if their skating rink is open and operational. You usually need to book a slot in advance, but when you do you’ll also get to visit their brewery, enjoy their fire pits and have some s’mores, making for a perfect winter day.
5. Enjoying the open road while you plan your next stop? Keep the kiddos busy with our very own local BINGO card to see what they can spy in PEC.
Experience Life on the Farm
6. Campbell’s Orchards is the go-to in The County for pick-your-own family fun on a farm. Whether you’re after apples or pumpkins (or a variety of other produce and baked goods at their farm stand, it’s the perfect destination for an idyllic fall day complete with wagon rides and a corn maze. Their farm shop is open through the winter as well
7. While many farms close their doors in the late fall and through the winter, some allow appointments for groups if the weather allows. For instance, The Bloomin’ Welly Alpaca Trekk experience at Noble Beast Farms is a fantastic experience for kids which will allow them to meet and walk with alpacas and learn directly from farmers about these incredible creatures.
Catch a flick
8. When you need a break from sun and surf, try the historic Regent Theatre for blockbusters, art films and documentaries.
Build Art Appreciation
9. The Department of Illumination hosts a number of magical public art events throughout the fall and winter that are perfect for the whole family. Celebrate the harvest season with their annual Scarecrow Festival fundraiser, bring light to darker nights with the Firelight Lantern Festival in November, and discover a winter wonderland of art, music, dancing and more with Ice Box. Please note that events are subject to change depending on COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the event.
10. The Sculpture Garden at Oeno Gallery is a great way for kids to experience art in the great outdoors, and it’s open year-round for your enjoyment. Contemporary and abstract sculptures of vibrant colours and head-scratching construction pair beautifully with the perennials around them and are stunning in winter in contrast with the serene backdrop of the landscape covered in snow.
For Bigger Kids
11. The state-of-the-art skate park, also on the Picton fairgrounds, caters to beginner and intermediate skaters, and features bowls, hips, spines, a clam shell, flat banks, rails, hubbas, manual pads, ledges, curbs and gaps. (If you know what any of that means, then you know where to go!) The skate park is open year-round but best enjoyed before the snow settles in.
12. Escape Camp Picton takes inspiration from its location at a decommissioned WWII air base – blending heritage, history and an unforgettable game experience. Indoor escape rooms are open again (proof of vaccination required for kids-at-heart over 12) through the end of October and from November through February sessions can be booked on demand (with 48 hours notice).
13. Spend a day riding horses at Diamond J Ranch, offers scenic rides for families, with ponies for kids through the end of October. Please contact outfitters directly for availability.
14. Outside Bloomfield, Rapidfire Paintball & Airsoft offers junior paintball for kids as young as eight: junior paintball uses low-powered guns that are lighter and easier to hold, as well as smaller paintballs that leave no bruises. During fall & winter sessions are by reservation only – great for a birthday party!
Do a Little Shopping
15. There are a number of shops in The County that have fun gifts and toys for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out Books & Company in Picton for an excellent selection of books, toys and games that will keep kiddos entertained back at your accommodations or in the back seat. You don’t want to miss Little Kokito in Bloomfield for a curated selection of gorgeous baby and kids products, and across the street at Green Gables Gifts & Greetings you will find a huge kids section that will keep them entertained while you browse the rest of this fun gift shop.
16. If hunger strikes on the road be sure to stop by Sunnydale Farms for locally made – and grown – popcorn as well as some of The County’s best butter tarts, visit Hagerman Farms‘ Bakery for a sweet treat or treat your kiddos to a caramel apple at Campbell’s Orchards.
17. In the cooler months it’s no secret that kids love hot chocolate. Luckily you can find the goods throughout PEC. Try Beacon Bike + Brew, Bean Counter Café & Bakery or Lily’s Café in Picton, Bloomfield Public House Market in Bloomfield and Good Place PEC in Wellington for the perfect cool weather pick-me up.
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19. It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids love pizza. It is also a truth universally acknowledged that you can find delicious pizza almost anywhere in The County. For pizza available year round be sure to check out 555 Brewing Co. in Picton and Midtown Brewing Company in Wellington. Here in October (or the summer months)? You can also find pizza at many wineries throughout the region such as Black Prince Winery, TerraCello Winery, Huff Estates Winery and Hillier Creek Estates Winery.
But what about wine?
20. It is a family holiday, so there’s got to be some activities for the grown-ups too, right? And yes, it is possible to taste the terroir with little ones in tow.
- Sandbanks Winery helps kids feel like VIPs, with popcorn and juice boxes on offer. (Speaking from experience, the steampunk moose sculpture at the winery’s entrance is surprisingly entertaining – the village at its feet has roofs that move and my nephews spent a good deal of time moving fallen pine cones from one to the other.)
- The Grange has an absolutely gorgeous setting and board games for kids and kids-at-heart. In cooler months, their grand fire place makes an excellent place for a fam-jam huddle.
- Hinterland has bubbles for the grown-ups and lots of toys and outdoor games for the kids – plus a fleet of those iconic orange and yellow tiny cars that will take just about anyone who can squeeze in.
- Sugarbush Vineyards has an outdoor space and a 2-km loop around its vines, which becomes a snowshoe path in the winter, perfect for kids who need to let off a little steam.
21. Parsons Brewing is just north of Picton and has an excellent selection of beers, a gorgeous patio, big fire pit, great South American food and a huge playground for the kiddos. Socially distant circles help mark the perfect picnic spot.
22. Sweet and alcoholic cider are part of The County scene too. Loch Mor Cider Company has a kids’ corner, complete with pint-sized kitchen, while Apple Falls Cider Co. at Campbell’s Orchards has a pretty awesome playground, hilariously large Muskoka chair you can climb into for pictures, a network of walking trails and usually some sort of festival or special programming on the weekends. Add their ‘all you can carry‘ pumpkin patch event to your fall calendar.
23. Kinsip distills spirits – and hand sanitizer! – in an ancient barn and oast house (where they used to dry hops) and it’s got a venue that is Insta-worthy, with a tree swing and friendly chickens strutting about the farm, both sure to entertain curious kids. Their over-sized jenga and appropriately necessary jenga-hammer also keep the adults entertained while you sip your cocktails.