In Alberta, fall is bustling with life and growth and fun. As the seasons change, many families are looking to get out and experience the harvest feeling. There are U-Pick farms to visit, which are producing the last of their season’s yield, farmers’ markets bursting with fresh seasonal produce and baking, and corn mazes and hayrides just begging to be experienced!
Here are my top 10 fall harvest activities around Alberta for autumn. With so much to choose from, you won’t have to worry about being bored!
1. Harvest Lights at Calgary Farmyard
Exploring a pumpkin patch is fun, but why not take it to the next level with a nighttime glow at Calgary Farmyard in Rocky View County, just south of Calgary. All of the usual farm activities are open under thousands of lights, creating a magical autumn glow. The only attraction that isn’t lit up is the corn maze - which remains dark, so you can pull out a flashlight to navigate through! Don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin while you are there. For more information, visit calgaryfarmyard.com/fall-season.
2. Bowden SunMaze
If you want to be submersed in fall colors, you have to check out the Bowden Sunflower Maze, made up of around 100,000 bright yellow blooms in central Alberta. How can you not feel happy surrounded by yellow in every direction! While at the farm, you can also explore what’s in season at the three acres of U-Pick flowers and vegetables. For more information, visit sunmaze.ca.
3. Butterfield Acres Harvest Pumpkin Fest
Picking out a pumpkin is always fun, but do you know what makes it even better? Visiting with all of your favorite farm animals! Butterfield Acres is a Calgary staple for getting up close with a huge variety of farmyard friends! In October, they transform their property to a harvest festival on weekends, which includes festive photo-ops, pumpkins around the farm, and don’t miss out on tractor-pulled wagon rides through scarecrow alley! For more information, visit butterfieldacres.com/harvest-pumpkin-fest.
4. Canmore Mountain Market
For over 20 years, the Canmore Mountain Market has been a tradition not to be missed. Operating every Thursday at the Elevation Place parking lot until early October, you can find locally-produced items, including fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, and other artisanal products. If you need another reason to visit Canmore, this is it! For more information, visit canmore.ca/residents/mountain-market.
5. Lethbridge Corn Maze
Hayrides, getting lost in a corn maze, and… snuggling goats?! Yes, the Lethbridge Corn Maze has it all for fall. Visit the petting zoo, take a ride on the cow train, and choose from different mazes to explore. In September and October, you can pick out an orange, white, or mini pumpkin to take home! For more information, visit lethbridgecornmaze.com.
6. Millarville Farmers’ Market
Open Saturdays, from June to October, the Millarville Farmers’ Market features growers, makers, artists, and bakers. Their website has an interactive map of each weekly event that shows you which vendors will be in attendance. Admission to the market is by donation. While you are out that way, make sure to take a detour and visit the towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley. For more information, visit millarvilleracetrack.com/upcoming_events/farmers-market.
7. Slacks Market Garden
Take the kids out for a trip to an amazing garden and show them where their food comes from. Located right outside of Medicine Hat, this U-Pick farm’s yield rolls into October - depending on the season’s conditions. Last year, raspberries were available until the first frost in mid-October, along with fresh produce, including various types of squash. Note: U-Pick sessions need to be booked, so get on the list to be called when the fruit is ripe, and don’t miss out! For more information, visit facebook.com/slacksmarketgarden.
8. Kraay Family Farm
Located in Lacombe, the Kraay Family Farm has been showcasing spectacular and unique corn mazes for over 20 years. This year, the design is celebrating one of the most significant medical discoveries: Insulin (honoring the farm owner’s daughter who has type 1 diabetes). A ticket to the family farm gets you access to over 40 attractions, including mini golf, animals, jumping pillows, and gemstone mining. For more information, visit kraayfamilyfarm.com.
9. Cobb’s Adventure Park.
Open until Halloween, Cobb’s Adventure Park is a great place to make a full day out of going to pick out a pumpkin with the family. You will feel the fall atmosphere with pumpkins galore to choose from. Along with tractor rides, various mazes, and giant slides, they also have a kangaroo petting zoo - just you and the ‘roos! For more information, visit cobbsadventurepark.com.
10. Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market
Located in Edmonton, The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market has been operating Saturdays year-round since 1983. Featuring small, independent businesses, you will find all of the fresh fall harvest you desire. Bring a reusable bag - or two - because you will probably fill them up! For more information, visit osfm.ca.
So go ahead, fall into fun with your family and make the most out of this beautiful season of harvest and plenty!
Genevieve is a mom of two, works in marketing, and writes in her (very minimal) free time. Follow her funny mom alter-ego on Instagram.
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