Come Wander
Autumn Fall Festivals

As fall sweeps across the region, leaving beauty in its wake, the communities across Ontario’s Highlands are inspired to gather and celebrate in the best way they know how to – autumn festivals. Whether it’s coming together to explore the fiery forests during a hike, marvelling at the wonders of the sky above, dancing to your heart’s content, or embracing the spookiness that lurks this time of year, there is truly a festival for all tastes.

We’ve rounded up our suggestions for both indoor and outdoor festivals and events taking place across Ontario’s Highlands this fall so you too can celebrate, no matter the weather.

Festival of Small Halls

Location: Various shows across Lanark County and the Ottawa Valley
September 14-October 1, 2017

Experience an unforgettable night as big music fills a small hall and you become one with the crowd around you –dancing your heart out, singing at the top of your lungs, and laughing with new-found friends – at this music festival that celebrates the tiny cherished spaces that give Ontario’s Highlands so much of its warmth, culture and charm.

Hike Haliburton

Location: Haliburton Highlands
September 21-24, 2017

Tired of hiking solo? This is a festival like no other, with over 2000 people lacing up their hiking boots to take part in over 90 guided hikes across the beautiful Haliburton Highlands. Nature-lovers and wanderers of all types will find a unique event that stands out from an everyday hike, with a variety of hikes that incorporate art, culture, heritage, walking through the clouds or foodie (yes, please!) experiences.

Stargazing Evenings at DSVA –The Early Autumn Sky

Location: Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area
September 22 & 23, 2017
Starting at 8:30 p.m.

Discover the mystery and beauty of the night sky during a laser-guided tour in a location that’s known for being one of the best places in Ontario for an uninterrupted view of the stars, the Dark Sky Viewing Area. Not only will you get a chance to learn about our galaxy by getting a closer look at the stars through an on-site telescope, but you’ll be guided by Joe Gilker, a professional astrophotographer (how cool is that job?). Note: this event is weather-permitting.

Canada 150 Fly-in

Location: Pembroke & Area Airport
September 23, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

With a goal of attracting 150 aircraft to “fly in” to the Pembroke & Area Airport, to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, private pilots, businesses, and organizations have been invited for the day. See if the goal is reached, get up close and personal to three major aircrafts on display from Garrison Petawawa, and try your hand at taking off, flying, and landing an aircraft with an onsite simulator from The Algonquin Aeromodellers.

Bark Lake Annual Autumn Open House

Location: Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre
September 24, 2017
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thrill-seekers, are you up for the challenge? Experience an afternoon of adventure at the Bark Lake Annual Open House as you try your hand at archery, test your climbing skills at the Phoenix climbing tower, or work as a team to propel a Voyageur Canoe. Make a day of it by registering for the Voyageur Portage, one of the Hike Haliburton events.


Location: Village of Haliburton
September 30, 2017

The fall colors in #MyHaliburtonHighlands are so spectacular, they named a whole festival after them! Celebrate the gorgeous season at its fullest and embrace the outdoors during unique events like a pumpkin rolling contest, a pontoon boat ride on Head Lake, or a vintage car show.

Haliburton Concert Series

Location: Northern Lights Arts Pavilion in the Village of Haliburton
October 28, 2017

Want to experience Paris in the fall without the need to get out your passport? Lose yourself in music as you travel to France with pianist Catherine Wilson and the Ensemble Vivant during an imaginative performance that captures the essence of Parisian musical life.

Halloween –The Haunted Village

Location: Petawawa Heritage Village
October 31, 2017
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

If a haunted house gives you goosebumps, imagine an entire haunted village! At the Petawawa Heritage Village, you’ll get to experience all the fun of being in a spooky, heritage town that takes you back to Canada’s settlement era while also experiencing Halloween at its best. Beware of the haunted happenings in the old school house onsite and keep an eye out for the ghost in the Molson house. With trick-or-treating at each building, a bonfire at the trapper cabin, and a costume contest, this is a spook-tacular evening for all ages.

Photo Credit: David Irvine

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