By NoBetterNina (@Nobetternina)
Pumpkin picking is a classic fall activity that tons of individuals, couples and families take part in to ring in the fall season. And although COVID-19 has cancelled some pretty iconic events in the city of Toronto, at least it’s not raining on the pumpkin patch parade. Here are five pumpkin patches that are open for picking this fall, with new guidelines in place to follow COVID-19 protocol.
Aside from offering strawberry and raspberry picking, Downey’s Farm, located in Caledon, is one of the most popular places many people head to for pumpkin picking, which you’ve definitely probably seen all over Instagram every fall. Aside from pumpkin picking, the farm also boasts a corn maze, straw jump, animal farm, bee line ziplines and so much more in it’s Fall Farmyard Play Area, making it the perfect place for families! However, in following COVID-19 protocol, it’s asked that you purchase your tickets in advance online for the Fall Farmyard Play Area, so that it can safely operate at its limited capacity. There’s no need to purchase tickets if you’re just planning on going pumpkin picking, but there will be less pumpkins available for picking than usual, to ensure a wider walkway to enforce social distancing.
Reesor’s Farm Market
Located in Markham, Reesor’s Farm Market’s Pick Your Own Pumpkin Field is open Monday to Saturday for picking during the month of October. The farm’s corn maze will also be open during this time, and tickets for both attractions combined are $4 per person, with children aged 3 and under free. However, if you plan on attending the farm on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday it is asked that you purchase your tickets in advance online to avoid crowding, in compliance with COVID-19 protocol. Reesor’s will also be enforcing visitors to wear masks while in the Pick Your Own Pumpkin Field and Corn Maze, when you are less than two meters apart from someone not in your group or a staff member. Be sure to come back in the summer for strawberry picking!
If you’re more of a last minute planner who wants to go pumpkin picking at some point this fall, you’re going to want to head to Campbellville, Ontario and check out Stonehaven Farms. The farm offers pumpkin picking on a walk-in basis, meaning no online reservation is required! Stonehaven Farms also offers a Fall Fun Play Package, perfect for families with children aged TWO and up, at $5 per person. This package includes a straw bale play area (Strawhaven), wagon rides and a giant corn maze. The farm’s COVID-19 protocol requires children aged FIVE and up to wear a mask on wagon rides, while in the pumpkin picking fields masks are not mandatory but required.
Brooks Farms, situated in Mount Albert (just north of Toronto) is offering pumpkin picking to the public at no entry cost, but there are strict rules in place. Guests are not allowed to bring their own baskets/containers, and everyone picking aged SIX and up needs to purchase a basket/container. If you plan on heading to Brooks Farms in a group, it needs to be of FIVE people or less, and admissions to their Fall Fun on the Farm is limited with tickets available on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets for Fall Fun on the Farm are $12 on weekdays, and $16 on weekends with children TWO and under free. Fall Fun on the Farm offers a corn maze, zip lines, train rides, farm animals and more! Due to a fire that destroyed some of the farm’s barn, cannons and corn cob blasters, their traditional shows will not be taking place, however, they do have special events such as princesses, Batman, Reptilia and more planned for this year’s fall season.
With apples, hazelnuts and pumpkins available for picking, Dixie Orchards in Caledon is sure to keep your basket full. Open from 10am to 5pm daily, online reservations to attend the orchards is mandatory, due to COVID-19 capacity limitations, with the cost to do so being just $3 per person for guests aged 3 and up. Dixie Orchards also offers wagon rides to the orchards and back, but guests are also invited to walk as it is a short walk. If you do choose to take a wagon into the orchards, masks are required. However, masks are not required throughout the farm as long as visitors can maintain a six-foot distance from those not in their household.
With so many options available to ring in the fall season, all you have to do is pick one! (No pun intended)