A memorable weekend at a country fair is only a car ride away. It’s fall fair season, and we’re so excited we can taste the cotton candy and smell the fried dough. Ontario is home to many fairs worth packing your bags for, but here are our top picks (we can smell the crisp country air already!).
Cambridge plays host to one of Canada’s longest-running festivals, and this year marks 181 years of fair fun from Sept. 7-10. Aylmer is approximately a 2-hour drive from Toronto, making it popular with those that dwell in the GTA. This year, the fair will include several local food trucks, rides, games, karaoke, live music from incredible tribute bands, a beer garden and even a marketplace where you can shop goods from local vendors.
Nothing says Fall-like pumpkins, and no other festival celebrates the pumpkin like the Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest. You can find pumpkin pies, parades, hats, themed games, and more pumpkin particulars at this festival celebrating the humble pumpkin on Oct. 14. Pack some snacks and hit the road for a 2-hour car trip to pumpkin land!
Elmvale, a 90-minute drive, is hosting its annual Elmvale Fall Fair from Oct. 6-7. This much-anticipated event includes livestock judging, truck and tractor pull, a parade, farm animal displays, live music, and all the treats you can eat. Tickets are $10 per adult, $5 per student, and free for school-age children. To plan your Elmvale trip, take a look at the details and brochure here.
Durham is less than an hour away from the GTA and home to an annual fall fair that promises old-fashioned fair fun from Sept. 1-3. This event starts with a spaghetti dinner held by the community church and includes plenty of games under a big tent (perfect for the unpredictable weather we’ve been having lately!). 4H cattle shows, tractor pulls and tons of goodies to eat are some of the things to look forward to. The Durham Fall Fair website is updated regularly and details each event.
Back after a two-year hiatus, the Powassan Fall Fair is what a country fair should be. Running from Sept. 2-3, you’ll find tractor pulls, entertainment, face painting, treats galore, exhibits, games, and much more. Powassan is one of the farthest fall fairs, but we think it’s worth the three-hour trek (plus, you’ll get a real chance to escape the city and book a picturesque bread and breakfast!).
The entertainment at Fergus Fall Fair includes some of the most unique offerings out there, from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy to the Cutting Edge Cowgirls and the Krusher BMX stunt team! You can expect to find rides, animal exhibitions, entertainment, and so much more at the Fergus fair. Not only is this fair and fun for everyone, but it’s also affordable at $10 per adult and $4 per kid. This fair runs from Sept. 15-17, and you can find a few more details about the Fergus Fall Fair here.
Ancaster is coming back larger than ever, and this year’s fair will be one of the most memorable in the town’s history. This fair takes place from Sept. 21-24 and includes a demolition derby, petting zoo, livestock shows, rides, fair food vendors, a llama show and several other events not to be missed. Tickets for the Ancaster Fair are $13 for adults and $5 for kids. The Ancaster Fair website is updated regularly with new additions, so check it out before you go.
From Sept. 21-24 you can take a two-hour road trip to the town of Stratford for one of the most popular Ontario fairs. Admission to this fair is free, but you’ll want to bring cash for snacks and some rides. Since the Stratford fair is popular, make sure to book your overnight stay ahead of time (rooms fill up quickly!).
The Brigden Fair (a three-hour drive from Toronto) runs from Oct. 6-9 and will set you back $10 per adult (kids get in for free). This fair has all the traditional activities and foods that make a fair great and plenty of rides to keep you (and the kids) occupied. Brigden is one of the farthest fairs, but it’s also a good option if you want to escape the city and breathe in that country air. While there’s not much information on the website, you can scan some of last year’s photos and view vendor lists here.