Photo Credits: @citrouilleville (left), @ncc_ccn (right)
At datenight, we always welcome October with open arms! Seasonal drinks and treats, the best scary and cozy date ideas, and so many fun things to do before the weather turns and a long winter arrives.
We’re bringing you the ultimate list of events, festivals, farms, and treats to check out with your date this autumn season!
See below for the ultimate fall date ideas round-up:
Festivals, Events & Fairs
Explore the magical pathway of lit pumpkin sculptures and displays, with music, sounds and special effects. With classic Halloween characters, dinosaurs and dragons, movie and pop culture icons – this family friendly event has something for everyone!
Located: Wesley Clover Parks Campground at 401 Corkstown Rd, Ottawa
When: September 29 – October 31, 2023
Experience the richness of Mexican culture through art, gastronomy, music, and dance. The Day of the Dead is one of the most important holidays in Mexico where friends and family gather to pray and remember their loved ones who have passed away, and support their spiritual journey.
During this year’s festival in the ByWard Market, you can experience workshops, Mayan Bingo, live musical performances, artisinal markets, art exhibits, a parade, delicious Mexican food, and more!
Located: Byward Market, Ottawa, ON
When: October 27 – 29, 2023
Take an after-dark tour through a spectacular outdoor exhibit of over 7,000 artistically designed and hand-carved pumpkins. Pumpkinferno takes visitors through a mesmerizing world of illuminated pumpkins, all beautifully displayed in a myriad of eclectic themes along the streets and paths of Upper Canada Village’s historic landscape. They always add new exhibits each year to keep things fresh and exciting!
You can also enjoy harvest dining, seasonal treats, shopping, and kids play stations.
Located: 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, Ontario
When: Specific dates between September 29 – October 25, 2023 at 10 p.m.
Oktoberfest is right around the corner and Lowertown Brewery will be the place to be! Enjoy all the fun traditions of Oktoberfest with dancing, music, food, and of course, locally crafted beers. Tickets include a complimentary event stein and your chance to sample Lowertown Brewery’s seasonal, german feature – HIEFFERVEISEN.
Located: 73 York Street Ottawa, ON
When: October 13 – 14, 2023
Scary Date Ideas
If you’re a lover of all things scary, head on over to Hammond Hill for a spine-chilling walk through the Haunted Forest! This is one of the most fun fall date ideas to do as a group, but just be sure to bring friends you can outrun!
Located: 861 Du Golf Road Hammond, ON
When: October 27 – 29, 2023
The Mayfair Theatre is one of Ottawa’s last two neighbourhood cinemas and one of the oldest surviving independent movie houses in all of Canada. It is one of the few surviving examples of an “atmospheric cinema”, built with a particular theme to enhance the movie-going experience and draw the movie-goer into the world of the film’s imagination.
The theatre’s programming includes independent, second-run, and classic films. During the fall season, you can catch various scary movies including The Shining, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more.
Located: 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa
When: Various dates (check website for screening schedule)
On for only 13 nights this October, you can experience all the terrifying Frightfest scares in the heart of Downtown Ottawa! Grab onto your date tight as you make your way through the haunted colony, dodging ghoulish scarers and frighteningly realistic special effects.
There will also be food trucks on site packed with delicious options including Saunders Cider! Cozy up the fire with a drink and enjoy live music and death-defying entertainment. This event will be one you won’t want to miss!
Located: 1000 Exhibition Way, Ottawa
When: October 13 -31, 2023
Fall Farm Dates
This might be a total 180 from the above date ideas, but apple picking is a classic fall date idea and there’s so many cute farms and orchards around Ottawa for you to explore!
Located: Various Farms in and near Ottawa
When: While they’re in season – check local orchards for what’s available for picking
This award-winning family farm is 100 acres of aMAZEing fun and food this fall season.
FrightFest at Saunders is now on until October 31 bringing re-VAMP-ed haunts, a brand new circus-themed attraction, a brand new arcade, live performances, and farm-fresh food to Ottawa this fall.
For the little ones, Pumpkin Days is a Canadian family tradition. This wholesome farm event includes tons of outdoor attractions, including pumpkin picking from our amazing pre-picked selection of pumpkins, hedge mazes, jumbo jumpers, play structures, wagon rides, a zipline, and so much more.
Located: 7893 Bleeks Rd, Ottawa
When: September 23 – October 31, 2023
About an hour and a half from Ottawa’s city centre, Citrouilleville is standing in all its glory, full of pumpkins and festive displays. Some things you can find include a pumpkin church, saloon and other quirky houses as well as a corn maze to navigate, food trucks, tractor rides and other games!
This is the most original of pumpkin villages and the drive is so worth it!
Located: 560, 69th Ave., Saint-Zotique, QC
When: Until October 22
Fall Markets and Shops
Pumpkin picking is one of the most fun fall date ideas and George Street Plaza is turning into an urban pumpkin patch this month! Pick your own pumpkin in the ByWard Market until supplies run out. Be sure to get a photo with the 10-foot skeleton on the plaza!
The ByWard Market Heritage Mall will also be open over the long weekend for a cute shopping date or to dine on some tasty local eats.
Located: 55 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
When: October 9, 2023 starting at 10 a.m.
You can browse unique, handmade gifts and decor from around the world at One World Bazaar. It’s only open for 8 weekends during the fall season and feels like you’re travelling to a faraway land. This market gives the ultimate fall vibes!
Located: 6100 Mitch Owens Rd, Manotick ON
When: Weekends between Sept 28 – November 19, 2023
As part of their anniversary week series, Broadhead Brewery is hosting a fabulous indoor/outdoor fall market with over 35 local vendors, live music, prize draws, delicious food by Meatings Barbecue, and refreshing craft beer of course!
Located: 1680 Vimont Ct, Unit 106, Orléans, ON
When: October 15, 2023 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you plan on visiting the parkway sector in Gatineau Park on a weekend, this is one of the best fall date ideas! Early to mid-October is a popular time to hike in Gatineau Park when Fall Rhapsody is at its peak.
You can take the National Capital Commission’s free shuttle to the park and enjoy the fall colours without worrying about parking.
Located: Several stops in the Ottawa-Gatineau region
When: Weekends from September 30 – October 22, 2023 and Thanksgiving Monday
Major Hill’s Park is the perfect calm oasis in Downtown Ottawa, and the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard Market and nearby museums and galleries.
This park features some of the best lookouts in Ottawa, offering stunning views of the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River, and the Parliament Buildings. Spend an afternoon taking a stroll through the park, plan a cute fall picnic under the trees, and learn about its history through a series of interpretation panels.
Located: Mackenzie Avenue, Ottawa
Hog’s Back Park is an urban nature park that offers historical displays, as well as a renovated heritage pavilion. Autumn is one of the best times to visit with beautiful vantage points of the waterfalls and the vibrant fall foliage.
Make this a fun active date idea by riding bikes along the Capital Pathway and the multi-use pathway along the Rideau River!
Located: 600 Hog’s Back Rd, Ottawa
Fall Sips and Bites
If they’re not already, turn your date into a pumpkin lover! The Merry Dairy has tons of festive flavours including pints and scoops of Pumpkin Cheesecake. You can take your favourite person for a fall ice cream date, because there’s no season that ice cream dates aren’t the best in.
The rest of their fall line-up includes Cinnamon Sugar, Honey Dipped Apple, Honey Cinnamon & Apple, Caramel Corn, Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Spice, Cotton Candy, and Pumpkin Spiced Pepita. YUM!
Located: Order online for free delivery anywhere in Ottawa or pickup at 102 Fairmont Avenue
When: Sunday – Thursday from from 12 – 8 p.m., and Friday – Saturday from from 12 – 9 p.m.
Drip House is offering so many delicious fall drinks this season! Their menu includes a Spiced Pumpkin Pie Tea Latte, Caramel Apple Chai Tea Latte, New York Apple Spiced Tea, Spiced Hot Chocolate, Spiced Mocha, and a Cardamon-Lavender Latte.
These fall beverages are available at all of their locations as well as on Uber Eats.
Located: Hintonburg (340 Parkdale, Unit B, Ottawa), Chinatown (692 Somerset St W, Ottawa), Mechanicsville (121 Parkdale Ave, Ottawa)
When: Available during the fall season
The SconeWitch is known for having delectable baked goods all year round but there’s something extra special about their pumpkin scones. Perfect for snacking on a coffee date or to bring home to your loves ones on Thanksgiving weekend!
Located: 35 Beechwood Ave, Ottawa
When: Available during the fall season
We’re sharing date ideas from all over Ontario and Canada throughout this season from all things haunted, to all things pumpkin spice, and more. Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled here for the best!