If you’re looking for some seasonal fun during sweater weather, you’ll find it in Hamilton Halton Brant. We’ve got harvest celebrations, fall colours and iconic events lined up this September and October. Read on for the best reasons to pack your bags and head here this autumn:
Foodies will have their schedules and stomachs full with all of the events, tours, festivals and palate-pleasing pursuits on tap this fall. Raise a glass at the Georgetown Craft Beer Festival (September 14), celebrate the harvest at Bronte Creek Park’s Fall Harvest Festival (September 28) in Oakville, or take a walking tour of small town Paris’ culinary highlights with Tasty Road Trips Food Tours. All things apple are the excuse to eat, drink and be merry at St. George AppleFest (September 21-22), Puddicombe Farms’ Apple-Lee Fun Weekends (September) in Winona, Battlefield House Museum and Park’s Apple Festival, in Stoney Creek, or Ireland House Museum’s Applefest Fall Fair (September 22) in Burlington.
Pick your own pumpkin at Dyment’s Pumpkin Patch in Hamilton, Lindley’s Farm Market in Ancaster, Merry Farms in Hamilton, and Murphy’s Country Produce in Binbrook. With Hallowe’en approaching, get into the spooky mood with a ghost walk and tour of the ruins of a haunted mansion in Ancaster, or a trip along The Great Pumpkin Trail at Royal Botanical Gardens (October 24-25) in Burlington, where hundreds of jack-o-lanterns light your way along the gardens’ trails. Keep the chills coming when you explore the historic buildings by lantern and pumpkin light at Westfield Heritage Village’s Haunted Hallowe’en (October 28-29) in Rockton.
September kicks off a great season of music and culture with Hamilton’s renowned Supercrawl festival (September 13-15). The vibrant and compelling musical line up for the free festival component includes acclaimed pop artist Bahamas, trailblazing icon Buffy Sainte-Marie, scorching soul singer Bettye LaVette, beloved indie pop group Stars, Desi hip-hop star Fateh, and talent-stacked blues collective Hamilton Blues All-Stars. Art-loving festival-goers will also find around two dozen gallery spaces and artists’ studios in and around Supercrawl’s neighbourhood.
In nearby Brantford, the streets will also be full, but with the sounds of jazz. The 12th annual Brantford International Jazz Festival (September 13-15) boasts four stages and a continuous line up of free entertainment, including traditional jazz, big band swing, Spanish and Afro-Cuban grooves, bebop, fusion, experimental and a tribute to Dixieland jazz and New Orleans.
October is for film buffs, when Hamilton’s largest showcase of cinema and one of the largest film festivals in Ontario takes place. The Art Gallery of Hamilton Film Festival (October 17-27, tickets available September) brings the best narrative and documentary feature and short films from around the world to theatres across the city. One of the best cultural and special events of the year, the festival also includes talks, panels, and performances.
Hamilton Halton Brant is ripe with fall fair pickings, from agricultural extravaganzas to major league midways. The Rockton World’s Fair (October 10-14) is one of the largest agricultural and livestock events in Canada, attracting 50,000 people from all over the world to Flamborough every Thanksgiving. Rides, crunchy candy apples, tractor and truck pulls, demolition derbies, and farm-animal petting areas can also be found at fall fairs in Acton, Ancaster, Burford, Georgetown, and Milton.
Yet another fabulous rural experience for families, the Telling Tales Festival (September 15) in Rockton is a free celebration of stories with 10 performance stages at Westfield Heritage Village. Kids can meet fifty of Canada’s finest children’s authors, illustrators and performers and enjoy music, puppetry, storytelling, and workshops.
If you’re looking for fall to show its true colours, Hamilton Halton Brant has plenty of awe-inspiring spots to take in nature’s great transformation. At Fall into Nature events throughout October at Halton’s conservation areas, you can find spectacular scenery along with an array of activities like chairlift rides to the top of the escarpment, the new Hops & Harvest Festival (October 13-14), and Birds of Prey shows.
Get a new view of the autumn splendour from the water when you pick a paddling adventure on the Grand River. Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company’s “The Natural Path” (until October 13) is a two-day cycling and voyageur experience that includes tours of an organic farm and craft brewery, while the Grand River Rafting Company has kayaking tours available through October 20.
Whether you’re a serious collector, treasure hunter, interior designer or an eco-conscious shopper, you’ll find interesting and eclectic pieces to add to your décor and lots of previously loved goods at Canada’s biggest and best antique and vintage show. The Christie Antiques and Vintage Show (September 7) in Dundas has 10 acres of items waiting to be discovered, including furniture, vintage clothing, folk art, rugs, jewelry, sports memorabilia, scientific instruments, textiles, fine art, art deco, Canadiana, nostalgia, china, tools, folk art, kitchen utensils, books, signs and letters. If you can imagine it, you can find it in one of the 1,200 collecting categories featured at the show.
Not just Canada’s biggest, British Car Day (September 15) at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville is the largest event of its kind in North America, drawing more than 1,000 British cars and over 9,000 spectators in one day. Comprising 56 classes of vintage, classic and current British manufactured cars, commercial vehicles, and motorcycles, you’ll see the whole range of British automobile marques from Austin to Westfield, with model names from Anglia to Zephyr, and everything in between. Classic car enthusiasts will also want to check out Classics of the Golden Age at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (September 28 & 29), where Chrysler, Ford, Hudson, Studebaker and Packard are displayed with the museum’s spectacular collection of vintage Canadian military aircraft, all under one roof.