The summer might be over, but life in Muskoka is still as exciting as ever. The fall season is finally here, bringing with it plenty of beautiful colours and landscapes to enjoy. Whether it’s outdoor activities for the whole family, live music and comedy, or unique festivals, the Muskoka region always has something for everyone no matter what season it is. With Thanksgiving and Halloween right around the corner, there’s no shortage of things for you and the family to do in Muskoka this October.

October 12-14 – Bethune Memorial House Thanksgiving Festival
Where: Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 12th – Monday, October 14th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $3.90 for adults, $3.40 for seniors, free for children

Each Thanksgiving, the Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst hosts the annual Thanksgiving Festival, welcoming visitors from China, Canada, and all around the world to pay their respects to physician Norman Bethune. The Thanksgiving weekend gives visitors an opportunity to see the Bethune Memorial House at its busiest, with tours available all day. The Thanksgiving Festival is the perfect opportunity to see Muskoka at its most beautiful, and learn about Bethune’s humanitarian work in rural China.

Admission and programs available on a first come, first served basis. More information available on the Parks Canada website.

October 18-20 – Bala Cranberry Festival
Where: Citywide in Bala, ON
When: Friday, October 18th to Sunday, October 20th
Cost: $10.00 for adult passes, free for children

The Bala Cranberry Festival is a weekend long event that features hundreds of vendors, entertainers, and performers. Bring the whole family for a full weekend of great food, gorgeous scenery, local shopping, live entertainment, and most importantly – a celebration of the beloved cranberry. The festivities will take place throughout the city of Bala, with plenty of different areas to see, including a petting zoo, beer garden, museum, farmer’s market and much more. Shuttles are available to transport families back and forth, including to and from Gravenhurst. Saturday is the festival’s busiest day, with Sunday designated as Family Day.

For more information about the 2019 Bala Cranberry Festival, visit their website.

October 20 – Orillia Silver Band Fall Harvest
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Sunday, October 20th @ 8:00 PM
Cost: $10.00 to $25.00

The well-known Orillia Silver Band is set to return to the Gravenhurst Opera House for a memorable fall harvest concert. The acclaimed band, conducted by Muskoka region favourite Neil Barlow, will be playing a variety of pieces, beginning with The Light Fantastic by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. Also included in the evening’s performance is A Redbridge Raga by Chris Wilcox, Steven Verhelst’s A Song for Japan, Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and more. The performance will close with a spectacular rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannons, bells, and more.

For tickets to the Orillia Silver Band Fall Festival, visit their website.

October 26 – Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst
Where: Downtown Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cost: Free

Gravenhurst’s annual Let the Spirits Rise event takes place returns! For one morning every year, downtown Gravenhurst collectively embraces the spirit of Halloween, hosting a variety of family fun activities. Bring the kids out for trick or treating at downtown shops, and other free family activities at the Gravenhurst Opera House, including face painting, live music, and crafts. Last year’s event featured a costume contest, zombie walk, and a dancing zombies flash mob – who knows what kind of spooky fun this year’s event has in store?

More details to follow – see the Downtown Gravenhurst website for more information.

October 31 – Great Pumpkin Trail
Where: Muskoka Heritage Place – Pioneer Village in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Thursday, October 31st from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (last entry at 7:30 PM)
Cost: $10.00 per family, or $3.00 per head

The Great Pumpkin Trail serves as a fun alternative to sending your kids out treat or treating from door to door in the dark. The fun begins at 5:00 PM on Halloween Day at the Pioneer Village at Muskoka Heritage Place, letting you and your family trick or treat in a traffic-free environment. Pioneer buildings are decorated by locals, with themes kept on the “not so spooky” side to stay appropriate for younger trick or treaters. The Great Pumpkin Trail is as much an event for parents as it is for kids, giving you a great opportunity to socialize with other parents and take in the music, magic, and mystery of Halloween night while your kids have a safe and fun evening gathering plenty of goodies. For more information, visit the Muskoka Heritage Place website.