The sun is shining, birds are singing, and lilacs are blooming!
Here are 10 Picks to help you spring into May while you Visit The County!
1. LET’S BRUNCH
In the County, we think every day should have a ‘Sunday kinda love’. And with so many restaurants and cafes to choose from every day, we thought we would point out just a few special food options for everyone. What’s your flavour?
- Bubbles Bruch (vegan) at the Winery at Karlo Estates Winery
- Vegan Cafe at GOOD Place
- Traditional Inn at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn
- Waterside at Picton Harbour Inn
- Amelia’s Garden at The Waring House
- Drive-In Diner at The Vic Cafe
2. BLOOMIN’ GOOD TIME AT THE GARDEN MARKET
Lockyer’s Garden Centre has more than 100 years of growing in Prince Edward County. As growers, Lockyer’s has one of the largest greenhouse facilities in Easter Ontario. The showroom is stocked with a great variety of garden decor, tools and giftware. Greg Moore the owner, and CJ Dearlove the General Manager, are the most recognized faces at Lockyer’s but their own in-house mascot greeters… Barkley and Sophie are their much-beloved family Retrievers welcoming visitors who drop by to just enjoy the sheer beauty and colour of the greenhouse, grounds and the large number of plants and baskets grown onsite.
3. PORCH READING
What is a vacation without a good book to dig into? A browse through Books & Company will not only take you back to the quality of the quintessential bookstore but will leave you with armloads of options for great County reads, music, and life!
4. SWEET TREATS
Locals know this is a much do for Spring! Slickers County Ice Cream has been creating all-natural artisan ice cream for over 20 years. Their rich ice cream is made fresh daily in small batches in their licensed dairy.
CELEBRATE PATIO WEATHER
Well, what can we say? Here in The County, we love our patios. So much so that we’ve created an entire inventory of 50 breeze-feelin’, fresh air-smellin’, good-vibin’ patios. You’re welcome!
6. GET FRESH AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET
Prince Edward County has a rich history in agriculture. Being a significant industry contributor for over 200 years! “Farm Fresh” has never been closer than the dozens of County farm stands you might find while touring the island. Cross off all your grocery list items, plus pick up some lunch at any of our weekly Farmers’ Markets, where you can meet the growers and makers. Be sure to check out these County Markets:
7. TOAST TO A SPARKLING AFTERNOON
Explore what wines, wineries, and activities we have to offer in beautiful Prince Edward County.
8. DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Well, you know what they say… ‘Mans Best Friend’ likes nothing more than to be with on your journey, car ride, stroll, shop, or patio. Here’s a guide to all your dog friendly locations to share with Fido (Spot, Lucky, or Bella)
9. BIKES + BASKETS
What better way to explore The County than a ride along The Millennium Trail or ask about a guided tour. Get ready to ride.
- Pedego PEC -Electric Bikes
- County Bike Rentals
- Closson Road Cycles
- Beacon Bike + Brew
10. THE FRESH FACE OF SPRING
Finally, this is a season to take time for self-care and refreshing your environment.
- Savon Du Bois
- The County Candle Co.
- Telford Basics
- Coriander Girl
Capture that Fall Feeling this October in The County 🎃
Sure, October is when we can officially say that summer is behind us, but there are still tons of exciting, seasonal events and activities to enjoy as the air cools and the leaves fall in The County. From Oktoberfests and Pumpkinfest to haunted walks through corn fields and graveyards, there’s plenty to enjoy whether you’re escaping for a romantic weekend or looking for something festive to do with the whole family.
Start with Art
The first weekend of October marks the annual PEC Studio Tour. The Studio Tour features over 50 artists at 36 studio locations throughout The County, making for an epic art-filled weekend. Whether you are looking for art to display, art to wear, or art to use in your home, the Studio Tour is the perfect opportunity to discover new artists, take a peek behind the scenes, and appreciate the work in an intimate manner that is not always afforded in a typical gallery setting.
To plan your Studio Tour route and discover more Studio Tour artists, head to PECStudioTour.com or check out the map below.
For even more art in The County this month check out 2Gallery’s John Visser Exhibit – Days of Light and Shadow – on until October 18th, visit the 6 Artists exhibit and sale from Sept 30 – Oct 2, attend an art workshop at Baxter Arts Centre (this month features sessions on life drawing, weaving, nature journaling, and resin art), or attend a Mixed Media Collage workshop at The County Arts Lab.
You don’t need to attend a special event to experience art in The County either. Galleries in Prince Edward County are open throughout the fall and are a perfect way to spend these chillier and possibly rainy days.
Wholesome Fall Fun
If you’re looking for some wholesome fall activities, we’ve got you covered! The fun kicks off with The Department of Illumination’s annual Scarecrow Festival. A fundraising event for this beloved community arts organization, the Scarecrow Festival invites you to make your very own scarecrow to take home with all supplies provided for $40. With a barn full of clothes and a mountain of straw with which to craft a character, this is a perfect Thanksgiving Weekend activity for the whole family.
We told you about apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards last month, but this classic fall activity continues into October with hot apple cider on tap, caramel apples to enjoy on the weekends, as well as fun wagon rides throughout the farm. You’ll also be entertained by their corn maze, pumpkin patch, and their on-site cidery Apple Falls Cider Co.– a treat for parents too!
If it’s pumpkins you’re after, you don’t want to miss the festive pumpkin and squash displays at Honey Wagon Farms and Langridge’s Fresh Produce. These two farm stands turn Sandy Hook Road just off the Picton roundabout into a festive corridor at this time of year and are truly a sight to be seen if you are inclined to gourds, both decorative and non. While you’re in the area, complete your festive decor by picking up some potted mums at Lockyer’s Country Gardens.
Speaking of pumpkins, you don’t want to miss Pumpkinfest, the annual festival in Wellington which is back this year in full force after two years of modified festivals. The festivities begin at 10:30 with a parade through town, which is followed by music in the park, food truck, and a kids zone where activities like face-painting, a balloon artist, petting zoo, and lawn games will keep kids entertained. The highlight of Pumpkinfest is the giant pumpkin weigh-off, which starts at 12PM at Lehigh Arena. In addition, the Wellington Community Market is back for one more market this season and will be running all morning until 2PM at the Wellington United Church.
Want to take in the changing colours? There are plenty of beautiful ways to do so in The County. Go for a walk through the forested paths of Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area (being sure to check out Birdhouse City while you’re there), cycle along the Millennium Trail and take in the brilliant colours of sumac and goldenrod among other deciduous trees along the route, go for a County drive, or go for an autumn walk on one of the hiking trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park (you can still book your day-use permit in advance here).
Fall is for Foodies
Looking for a delicious getaway? Fall is the perfect time to discover the bounty of The County. In addition to dining out at The County’s many fantastic restaurants, these culinary events and special dinners are sure to satisfy:
- Start the month with Oktoberfest celebrations at Parsons Brewing where you can enjoy a celebration of County beer, Bavarian cuisine and live music from September 30 through October 1. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on their website.
- Slake Brewing opened their doors in October 2020 and they are excited to celebrate their 2nd anniversary October 1-2 with two special food pop-ups. Join them on Saturday October 1 for a pop-up from Bloomfield institution Flame + Smith and on Sunday October 2 for a pop-up from Waupoos’ Stella’s Eatery. In addition you can enjoy 3 new beers from Slake alongside guest taps from Blood Brothers (Toronto), Burdock (Toronto), Counterpart (Niagara), Dominion City (Ottawa), Sonnen Hill (Caledon) and Willibald (Ayr).
- Also at Slake, Sand & Pearl are putting on a Clam Bake and Oyster Bar pop-up that you won’t want to miss. Featuring PECish Baking Co. baguettes alongside clams, shrimp, Fogo Island crab, sausage, County potatoes, corn and herbs as well as freshly shucked oysters, this is bound to be a memorable feast. Pre-order your clam bake by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Waring House has several special food events coming up, including their Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet, a PEC Single Malt Society Dinner, and a PEC Wine Society Dinner.
- On October 23 join Sand and Pearl and Flame + Smith for the first PEC Oyster Fest. The festival will feature fire cooking, an oyster bar and a fierce oyster shucking competition. Entry is $25 per person, and if you are an oyster shucking machine you are invited to register to compete for one of two cash prizes! The competition will be judged by local chefs Charlotte Langley and Jamie Kennedy.
- Waupoos Estates Winery is hosting another Wine After Dark event, this time celebrating the flavours of fall. Enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars at this waterside winery (don’t forget to bring a blanket!).
October, of course, is spooky season, and Prince Edward County is getting into the spirit! The spooky fun begins on Thanksgiving weekend with the Haunted Corn Maze at Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe, where you can expect to wander the maze in the dark while ghosts and ghouls haunt the path. If you can’t make it on October 8th, the Haunted Corn Maze is also open on October 15.
On October 14th marks the opening of the travelling Creepy Doll Museum, which takes over the Wellington Heritage Museum through October 15th. This is the perfect way to add a spooky flair to your day at Pumpkinfest!
The County Museums continues to bring the Halloween spirit with special, candlelit editions of their popular Graveyard & Gallows tour. Join them on October 14, October 21, and October 28. for a candlelit walk around the graveyard at the former St. Mary Magdalene’s church and the exercise yards, jail cells and gallows of Picton Courthouse. Book your tickets here.
Last year’s popular Terror at Macaulay haunted walk-thru is back for a sequel, ominously called The Summoning. Experience ghosts that walk through the cemetery at night, vampires that feed on unsuspecting villagers, and witches that can be heard casting strange spells in the woods. This year, you can also experience a haunted corn maze and explore inside Macaulay’s House, while avoiding ghosts and ghouls. Get your spook on with Terror at Macaulay 2: The Summoning from October 28 – 31.
Fall for Music & Theatre
Live performances continue into through October with everything from drag performances to live theatre and barn dances. Check out the details below or review our full event listing for more.
- Head to Karlo Estates for Karlo “À La Carte” with Melodi Ryan on October 1st. Also at Karlo Estates, join them for Karaoke in the Wine Lounge on October 14th, Life Drawing on October 21, Jazz Thursdays on October 27 and Bitchin’ Bingo on October 28.
- Enjoy some live comedy with the final Comedy Country performance of the year, Girls Nite Out at The Regent Theatre on October 15. Or settle in for some belly laughs and good beer at Gillingham Brewing’s County Craft Comedy Night on October 21.
- Looking for live theatre? Catch the final performances of Collected Stories at the Mount Tabor playhouse on October 1-2, or enjoy Shatterbox Theatre’s performances of Drowning Girls at Macaulay Heritage Park from October 20-23.
Reconnect with Yourself
In the fall we begin to turn inward, getting cozy and embracing the hygge of it all, and in keeping with that mindset it makes fall a great time to take care of our inner selves too. Popular outdoor yoga classes like Goat Yoga with Mikenze continue through October and you can also learn how to nourish your body with foraged plants during Hawthorn Herbals’ Herb Walk at New Moon Farm. If you’re after a full weekend escape complete with plant-based meals and sound bath meditations on a stunning property in Waupoos, register for a Embodying Self-Compassion Retreat with Jenny Tryansky and Amy Faba at Harmony PEC.
Plan Your Next PEC Getaway
You know what October is also a good time for? Planning your next getaway in PEC! Now is a great time to start putting together all of the pieces for a great November getaway. Here’s some of what you can look forward to next month:
- Countylicious is back this year from November 2-22! Join us for three weeks of prix fixe menus at great prices from local restaurants you know, love, and are dying to try! We’ll be sharing more information soon about this year’s programming, so keep your eyes on our Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter, and here on our blog for more info.
- As a part of Countylicious there will be a series of exclusive accommodations offers available thanks to our friends at StayPEC. This information will be released soon, so stay tuned!
- When you book for two nights this November at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn, you’ll receive 20% off and a complimentary bottle of County wine waiting for them on check in.
- SavourPEC is a “Wine & Culinary Adventure” taking place from November 11-13 with Closson Chase & Rosehall Run. This immersive weekend will allow you to experience The County like never before, with exclusive access to award-winning cellars, vineyard accommodations, and an exceptional private venue for a chef-prepared winemakers dinner. Learn more about this exclusive experience and purchase tickets here.
- The incredibly charming Firelight Lantern Festival is back and bigger than ever for its 10th Anniversary this November 4-5.
- The Maker’s Hand – one of Eastern Ontario’s best fine craft shows – is back at Highline Hall in Wellington November 11-13
- Have a charming holiday photo taken at Andara Gallery and visit their Ode to Joy Art Show and Sale from November 12.
Kick Start Your Fall in Prince Edward County this September 🌾🍎
September is one of our favourite months in Prince Edward County: the weather’s still wonderful enough for days spent on the vineyard patios or at the beach, but there’s a lovely chill that bookends the day and reminds us of the cozier months to come. This “best of both worlds” month brings with it plenty of exciting activities for everyone, from the family looking for a perfect fall weekend to art lovers looking to discover what a summer of inspiration has produced. Read on for a round-up of must-experience events and activities to kick-start fall this September in PEC.
Labour Day Weekend
Spending the last long weekend of summer in The County? Here’s how to squeeze the most of this sweet season before getting back into the swing of things:
- Dance your way into the weekend with a Barn Dance at Karlo Estates Winery. Reserve your spot in advance here (cover goes toward your first glass of wine). Or on Saturday night, take in
- Catch a flick at The Mustang Drive-In on their final weekend of the season. They’re showing Minions: The Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, The Invitation and Fall. Get your tickets on their website.
- Catch some laughs at the We’re Funny That Way Queer Cabaret Comedy Festival at Base31. With performances by Heather Bambrick & Diane Leah, Brandon Ash-Mohammed & Alec Mapa, Karen Williams, James Tison & Martha Chaves, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and The B-Girlz, you’re guaranteed a belly-laugh or fifteen.
- Start your Saturday in the right headspace with the final Alpaca Yoga session of summer at The SHED at Chetwyn Farms.
- Have a WILD forage to table experience with Chef Chris and Hawthorne Herbals on September 2 & September 3. Be sure to contact Chef Chris in advance to be a part of this plant-based feast.
- Bring home the best of the summer’s harvest from a farmer’s market. The Wellington Farmers’ Market, the Wellington Community Market and the Picton Town Hall Farmers Market are all on this Labour Day weekend and will continue through October.
- Enjoy the final Festival Players performances of the season with Beyond The Sea.
- Enjoy the final weekend of Music in the Aviator’s Garden at Base31.
- Take in some PEC history with the final weekend of weekly historical walking tours. There are four to choose from: Graveyard & Gallows, the Base31 Site Walking Tour, the Picton Heritage Conservation District Walking Tour, the Glenwood Cemetery Walking Tour.
- Experience the magic of Canada’s only travelling theatre on wheels with The Roamin’ Roulant’s performance of The Boxcar Cowboy at Huff Estates.
- Attend a drag show at The Hayloft Dance Hall and follow it up with an epic Barn Party.
- Looking for live music? Find it with performances by Tony Forbes at Karlo Estates, Canadian rock icons Lowest of the Low at The Hayloft featuring local openers Norris & Jones, and a Sunday night barn party also at The Hayloft featuring The Lonely Hearts. Additionally, Grammy and Juno nominee Geordie Johnson from Big Sugar takes the stage in the Red Barn at The Eddie this weekend for two shows – don’t miss it!
Like many communities in rural Ontario, September in The County is a time for celebrating all things agricultural. Here’s how to partake in the festivities:
The Picton Fair is one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs, presented by the Prince Edward Agricultural Society (established 1831) and held annually at the Picton Fairgrounds. At this year’s 185th annual fair, September 9 – 11, 2022, come by to enjoy classic fair faire, first class exhibits of everything from arts & crafts to livestock, midway rides and more. Some highlights include the Baby Show (Friday, September 9 at 12PM), the Arm Wrestling Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 1PM), the Dog Show (Saturday, September 10 at 12PM) and the Skate Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 3PM). All weekend long be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the County’s own Isabella Hoops and her Hula Hoop show.
Another highlight is The County Bake Off and Sale in support of the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation in which local paramedics and firefighters go head-to-head to be voted the best bakers in The County (and to raise the most money, of course!). This event takes place on Saturday, September 10 at 9AM.
There’s also a plenty of live music to be had at the fair, with performances by The Reasons on Friday night, a Bob Seger tribute band on Saturday, and a Gospel Review on Sunday morning.
For a full list of programming, be sure to check out this year’s fair book.
Ameliasburgh Fall Fair
For all the fun of an agricultural fair but with a small village vibe, be sure to check out the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair on September 24, 2022. The Ameliasburgh Fall Fair kicks off with a parade through the village and includes a full day of craft shows and bake sales, exhibits, horse & cattle shows, food vendors, and entertainment for all ages. Entry to the fair is just $5 per adult (kids under 12 are free), which includes entry to Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.
There’s no fruit more emblematic of this time of year. Typically associated with the start of the school year, the apple is one of the first sure signs of fall, and we’re thrilled to say that pick-your-own season has started at Campbell’s Orchards and will continue into early October. At Campbell’s it’s just $25 for a 10lb bag of apples, which includes admission for up to 4 people. Have a larger group? It’s just $5 for each individual member of your party. Campbell’s is open 7 days a week from 10AM – 4PM, and you can either drop by for a day of apple harvest fun or pre-book to save time.
Don’t want to pick-your-own? In addition to Campbell’s you can also get your Prince Edward County apples from Maw’s Lakeview Orchard or Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm, both located in Waupoos. While you’re in the area be sure to sample the cider at The County Cider Company and Cape Vineyards.
Farm Stands Galore
While it’s also apple season, it’s also peak harvest season at the local farm stands. Be sure to add a stop or two (or five!) to your itinerary and bring home the best of The County. From tomatoes, peppers and corn to the first of the season’s squash harvest, you are sure to find some beautiful produce to stock your fridge and pantry.
Arts & Culture
Tour Local Studios
In its 29th year, the PEC Studio Tour features over 50 talented artists who open their studio doors to welcome you. Whether you’re in the market or just want to tour around to appreciate some great art, the Studio Tour welcomes you to join their completely free tour. Check out the map of participating studios and plan your route!
Take in an Exhibition or Fair
The County is always a great spot for art, but there are a handful of exciting exhibits happening this month that you’ll want to check out. First up is Tapering Perspectives: Scenes from Canadian by Edd Battista at 2Gallery. This exhibition runs through September 12th and explores the Canadian landscape when explored through the shape of a pennant.
Just across the street in The Royal Hotel’s Annex space you’ll find a pop-up exhibition by Oeno Gallery. Running from September 3 – 26, Neon Bouquet features new work by Heidi Conrod, Chung Im Kim, Susan Collett & StackLab.
On September 10, take a stroll through the gardens at Macaulay Heritage Park while discovering the works of local and regional handcrafting creatives. Tickets for Artisans at the Museum are $5 and include entry to the museum.
The monthly County Craft Market is back on Saturday, September 17 for their final market of the season. Taking place at the Elks Hall in Wellington, this craft market is the perfect opportunity to support local creatives.
6 Artists is an outdoor exhibition and fair taking place September 30 – October 2 featuring three painters, one woodworker, one quilter, and one woodland artist.
Experience a Memorable Performance
Comedy on the River is back for their second and final event of the summer season. Hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy a guided paddle to a water-access-only live comedy show at a secret location on the shores of the Black River. Get your tickets now: you don’t want to miss this distinctly County experience!
Prefer your comedy on dry land? The folks who brought you Comedy on the River invite you to a special Comedy Picnic at Jackson’s Falls. Pull up your picnic blanket on September 24th and enjoy a comedy show on the lawn at this newly restored inn in Milford.
Want some beer with your comedy? Gillingham Brewing’s monthly County Comedy Series continues on September 16th with a performance by PEC local and touring Yuk Yuk headliner Jeff Elliott.
Fancy an evening of theatre? County Roads Theatre Company presents Collected Stories, a play that explores the power dynamics between teacher and student through the lens of a graduate student and aspiring writer. This show featuring County residents Joan McBride and Melissa Paulson, directed by Fred Robinson is on from September 22 through October 2 at the Mount Tabor Playhouse in Milford.
Immerse Yourself in History & Heritage
Come & see one of the County’s most important historic sites in person – the legendary A-Frame cabin of the poet Al Purdy! The Al Purdy A-Frame Association (registered charity) is hosting a one-day open house on Saturday, September 24 and you are invited to pack a lunch and enjoy it by the lake, take pictures in Al’s writing shed, and browse a collection of books and other items available for purchase (proceeds benefit the host association).
Want to learn more about indigenous history and culture? The County Museums are host to an educational session with Jamie Maracle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the topic of Wampum belts, traditional teaching tools that record Rotinonshon:ni history and knowledge. Register for this session by contacting email@example.com.
Catch some Live Music
There’s no shortage of live music in The County! Check out one of these performances to enhance your County experience:
- The Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival takes place from September 9 – 18 and features 7 performances from world-class chamber music musicians: Music of the Americas, Basta Parlare, Mozart Rearranged, Myriade Quartet, Karina Gauvin and Michael McMahon, Piano for Four Hands, and In the End it all Comes Down to Dvořák.
- Check out the final night of Music in the Park in Wellington featuring a performance by The Reasons.
- The Sandbanks Music Festival is back in person this year at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This live-music, family, and food event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 2-8 pm featuring headliner Born Ruffians with performances by Laurence-Anne, Matt Barber, CATL, Craig Foster and Huaraches. Get your tickets here. Please note that attendees must also secure a Daily Vehicle Permit to enter the park up to 5 days in advance of the festival. That permit can be purchased here.
- Canadian indie rock and reggae royalty Bedouin Soundclash take to the Drill Hall stage at Base31 on September 17. Get your tickets here.
- Canadian songwriter and folk musician Jaeda Kelly hits the The Red Barn stage at The Eddie on September 23. Get your tickets here.
- Join Base31 on September 23 for an incredible and meaningful night in honour of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na tyonkwehtáhkwen Mohawk Language and Culture Centre, and a celebration of Indigenous artists. Featuring headliner and JUNO award-winning husband and wife duo, Digging Roots and supported by David R. Maracle and friends, this is sure to be a memorable concert experience. Tickets are just $25 and can be purchased here.
- Looking for some jazz in The County? Join Karlo Estates for Jazz Thursdays with the Howard Rees Duo on September 29. Check out our full event listings for even more regular live music events from Karlo Estates.
- Join The Regent Theatre for an incredible night of life music and celebration of Indigenous culture with their 2nd Annual Truth and Reconciliation Concert. This year’s concert features multi-award wining artist, iskwē who will grace the Regent stage with her incredible presence and artistry, accompanied by a string quartet in what promises to be a stunning night. Get your tickets here.
This September there are several can’t-miss pairing dinners happening in The County. First up on September 9th is a Beer Pairing Dinner at Slake Brewing with Chef Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen in Eugenia as well as Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington market in downtown Toronto. A member of Lac des Milles Lac First Nation,Shawn focuses on promoting contemporary Indigenous cuisine. This 5-course meal in the spectacular setting that is Slake Brewing is $100 including beer pairings and tickets can be purchased here.
On September 14 you can enjoy a Whiskey of the World Tasting Dinner at The Waring House. This three-course dinner is paired perfectly with three 1oz whiskey pours, guided by a whiskey expert.
Also at The Waring House, on September 28 you can enjoy four-course meal alongside a wine tasting of Volcanic Wines sourced by Sommelier Astrid Young. To book tickets to this PEC Wine Society Dinner and the Whiskey of the World tasting dinner call (613) 476-7492 ext 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, on September 30 head to Karlo Estates for a plant-based Fall Harvest Dinner with Chef Chris Byrne. This 5-course feast is expertly paired with Karlo Estates wines by Vintner, Sherry Karlo. Reserve your spot here.
For even more County events be sure to check out our complete event listing.
Fall in Love with The County🍂
Written by: George Amaro Updated by Visit The County Staff in August 2022
Autumn in The County, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Fall in the County is for lovers. Lovers of everything from art to festivals to wine. Don’t believe us? Read it and love it!
FALL DRIVE Lovers
Fall in The County is hands down its prettiest season. The trees are ablaze in fiery shades of orange, yellow, red, brown and gold. The fields of corn, soy and grapes are lush with their bounty. The air is fresh, clean and crisp. And, autumn’s special light bathes everything in a warm golden hue, making the fall colours, landscapes and people’s moods glow from within.
Grab your camera, pack up the clan in the family vehicle and take it all in while cruising The County’s idyllic country roads. And don’t forget to pit stop at the local farm stands and wineries/breweries/cideries and restaurants for some hearty people fuel!
LESS TOURISTS Lovers
If you’d prefer to experience The County at a slower, roomier pace, fall is the perfect time. The tourists have thinned out, especially during the week, so you’ve basically got the place to yourself … well, almost ; )
Go to the fair! You don’t want to miss the annual Picton Fair, back to its original format after two years of drive-thru fairs. For something on the quainter side, be sure to check out the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair.
Pumpkinfest (October 19) is a family-fun celebration of, yep, everything pumpkin! Wellington goes full orange on the 19th with a parade and a giant pumpkin weigh-in.
The very unique Firelight Lantern Festival (November 9) starts with lantern-making workshops around The County, and culminates in a glowing, night-time parade and brilliant celebration at the Crystal Palace!
FARM STAND Lovers
A PEC road-side farm stand is a thing of beauty at this time of year … and, there are so many of them! You can’t just stop at one, or two, or three … or twenty! Check out the bounty of The County on our farmstand blog here.
Plus you can PYO (pick-your-own), including fall faves, pumpkins and apples at Campbell’s Orchards. While you’re there, check out their corn maze and hay wagon rides. And for the big kids, try the delicious beverages at Apple Falls Cider Co.
Get your fill of local markets before they close for the season. October 8 is the last Saturday for The Wellington Community Market, the Picton Town Hall Farmer’s Market wraps up October 16, and October 29 is the last Saturday for the Wellington Farmer’s Market at The Eddie. The Local Store is a wonderful one-stop-shop to explore the work of over 120 local artists and over 30 food producers. The two-storey barn finishes up its season with a Christmas Market & Sale in early November. Stay tuned for information!
QUIET BEACH Lovers
The crowds are gone. The sun is high, and the temperatures still conducive to beach relaxing with a good book, wading along the shoreline, or trekking up and down the dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
If you’re a water sports enthusiast, suit up and hit the waves. Water temps may be cool, but the air and wind flow on Sandbank’s Provincial Park’s West Lake is excellent for fall kite-surfing and paddle boarding.
PEC boasts several great conservation parks. Whether they’re inland or by the water, each offers its own signature beauty. Check them out, including Little Bluff Conservation Area, with its evergreen forest and wonderful water-smoothed stone beach.
If you’re a fan of our feathered friends, then this is the time of year for you! The Fall Birding Festival is in full swing at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, with daily bird banding – including saw-whet owls starting in October – and guided workshops and walks continuing until the end of October. Stay tuned for updates about this year’s festival.
From painters and glass blowers to metal forgers and fibre artists, The County is home to some great talent. Don’t miss the PEC Studio Tour Weekend.
If you’re a shutterbug, this is a fantastic time to shoot The County. Why? See all of the above!
Discover Artisanal Food Markets in Prince Edward County 🥐🧀
It may not be farmer’s market season, but The County has plenty of year-round artisanal markets to satisfy your foodie cravings. Whether you’re after quality ingredients to cook with at home or you’re seeking delicious take-away fresh or heat-at-home meals, these markets have got you covered.
Bloomfield Public House Market
Your small-town grocer, Bloomfield Public House Market brings you fresh and local veg, Ontario & Quebec cheeses, local provisions, home-cured meats, in-house prepared meals and so much more. In addition to their daily sandwiches and soup, their hot kitchen serves up a different menu every week from Wednesday – Sunday, 11AM – sell out. Expect comfort food favourites like pot pie, chili, stew and more. In summer, enjoy some killer southern BBQ and fried chicken at Judy’s.
In addition to their marketplace and hot kitchen, Bloomfield Public House Market also offers catering for gatherings and events.
GOOD Place PEC
GOOD Place is Prince Edward County’s local hub for the mindful & health conscious. Whether you’re after organic groceries, zero waste products, or healthy lunch options, you’ll find them at GOOD Place. In addition, their coffee and smoothie bar will keep you refreshed and ready for a day out in Wellington.
In addition to their specials, be sure to visit their website to learn more about their fresh grocery box program and their catering services.
While Campbell’s Orchards is known as the place to pick apples in the fall, they are also well known for their market, which is full to bursting not only with apple products, baked goods and maple syrup, but also preserves, pickles and other local grocery items. In addition, their freezers are stocked with homemade frozen entrées, perfect to keep in the deep freeze for an easy weeknight supper.
Taste of Country
Right at the corner of County Road 1 and HWY 62 you’ll find Taste of Country. They carry fresh and frozen foods, gifts and gourmet treats. Taste of Country is also an LCBO outlet which carries local wine, beer and Kinsip spirits.
Agrarian Market is a fresh food market, bakery and coffee house, with focus on supporting locally grown and produced food. Agrarian Market carries a large variety of Prince Edward County made products, as well as its own line of in-house prepared foods made from local ingredients. From fresh made bread and sandwiches to fresh and frozen soups, casseroles and more you will certainly find something you’ll love to devour here. Be sure to visit in the morning to try one of their incredible chocolate or almond croissants alonside a freshly brewed coffee. Or if you’re after fresh quiche or tourtiere for the holiday season, Agrarian has you covered.
Be sure to check out their website for more information about their catering services and gift baskets.
Demorestville Café & Convenience
Demorestville Café & Convenience is a small store in Demorestville, open 7 days a week.
Offering hot and cold drinks, homemade soup and sandwiches, groceries, fresh produce, sundries and treats. Be sure to stop by for their daily soup offering, or swing by for an early morning coffee (they open at 7AM).
Clafeld Cidery & Market
At Clafeld Cidery in Waupoos you’ll find a lovely market full of preserves and other goodies (in addition to award-winning cider). If you want a taste of Waupoos Estates all year round, this is where you’ll find it.
11+ Activities to Experience this Holiday Season in The County 🎅🎁
November’s here and that means it’s time to start planning your holiday experiences and shopping excursions. Luckily The County has plenty to offer to help you get ready for the holidays.
Holiday Photo in the Barn & Art Sale
For more information and to learn how to book your seating in advance go here.
Main Street Magic
Explore the Main Streets of Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield and discover the many independent, local shops that make our Main Streets so vibrant.
Check out our shops listing and plan your gift giving adventure today.
Experience Christmas Past
Step back in time with Ol’ Tyme Christmas in the Cabin at Ameliasburg Heritage Village every Friday through December 10, and come out for one final day of merriment on December 20th. Santa will be on site for free family photos when you bring a donation to the Storehouse Food Bank.
Click here for more information.
Go on a Christmas Crawl
The annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl takes place from from November 26-28. Discover artisan gifts and enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your holiday shopping on one of The County’s most hopping wine country roads.
Christmas at The Eddie
Stop by The Eddie for their first Christmas Market. Here you’ll find artisan vendors, a glühwein lounge and more in their heated barn from November 26 – 28. Or from December 10-12 join Festival Players for a weekend of holiday concerts featuring The Bookends & Seventh Town.
Join Midtown Brewing in Wellington to check our their 5th annual Christmas Market on November 27 from 11-3. Here you’ll find 12 amazing local vendors with everything from sweets to homewares and art – and of course great beer!
For more details click here.
Busy Hands is Back
Busy Hands is back and in person! This year they’ll be set up at The Armoury on Picton Main Street on December 4 and 5. Their annual craft fair is the perfect place to pick up handmade gifts like honey, mustard, preserves and maple syrup as well as woodwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles and more.
For more details click here.
Give the Gift of Art
This holiday season you are invited to LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING with the Prince Edward County Arts Trail. Plan your visit or shop online and give the gift of County art this holiday season.
For more information click here.
Christmas in Wellington
Celebrate Christmas in Wellington with a 2-day gift giving pop-up at Wellington Heritage Museum.
Learn more here.
Family Fun at Macaulay House
Celebrate the holiday season at Macaulay House with the whole family on December 11th and 12th. Enjoy a festive tour, caroling on the lawn, holiday readings for kids presented by Shatterbox Theatre, hot chocolate, apple cider and more.
Find out more here.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
Melt Studio + Gallery will be celebrating the holiday season this year with Give a Little Bit, a group show in our Main Gallery from November 26 to December 26. Give a Little Bit will showcase the talent of local artists and artisans while offering one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. The show will feature small works of art, perfect for gift giving, from various disciplines ranging from handcrafted tables and 3D paper-dioramas, to landscape photography and encaustic paintings. In the spirit of gift giving, Melt Studio + Gallery will be hosting a raffle for one of Susan Wallis’s encaustic paintings, with all the proceeds being donated to Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre in Tyendinaga.
Experience Christmas at the Harbour
Come by Picton Harbour to experience a 2-day Christmas Festival along the boardwalk. Complete with lights, music, art installations, games and Santa visits, this is a magical festive event you won’t want to miss.
Learn more here.
Add Art to your Christmas List
On December 11-12, visit The Waring House for a special Christmas show featuring 12 local artists. Shop for paintings, jewelry, pottery, wire creations, wood work, painted silks, art cards, Christmas decor & more.
Learn more here.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
Head to Karlo Estates for a bit of Christmas cheer in the form of Carolling Karaoke. And if you pluck up the courage to take the mic to sing at least two carols and earn yourself a wee nip of their VanAlstine White port-style fortified wine.
Visit a Winter Wanderland
Bundle up in your coziest knits and mittens and head to Wander the Resort at their first-ever Winter Wanderland Market – a dreamy outdoor market featuring a curated selection of products from County artisans and Wander partners.
Learn more here.
Pop-up and Shop
Head to Main Street Picton on December 17th to celebrate the season with a series of craft pop-ups. For one day only local craft vendors and shops are joining forces to bring you the ultimate Christmas shopping experience. You’ll even have a chance to win by completing a Main Street Christmas Craft Crawl passport by visiting each vendor and collecting stamps on your passport for your chance to win a grand prize filled with items from each vendor and shop!
Learn more here.
Experience a Christmas Classic
Head to the The Regent Theatre to experience acclaimed Canadian actor RH Thompson in a solo touring rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Learn more here.
Check out our Dine Here campaign and discover 50+ County restaurants, cafes and eateries and plan a culinary adventure in the lead up to the holidays. Many spots have special offers, seasonal menus and festive experiences on the docket, so be sure not to miss out on dining in The County this season.
Learn more here.
A New Place Called Home
For those of us with wanderlust, it’s been a tricky time. We’ve been dreaming of the trips we want to take. The places we want to explore. Instead, we’re left to find ways to experience our favourite destinations from a distance – through delivery, virtual experiences or just bookmarking inspo for future visits.
For those of you jonesing for trip to the County, there’s now another way to visit from the comfort of home: through your TV screen!
“A New Place Called Home” is a just-launched television series focusing on the people behind some of The County’s most beloved enterprises. People who made a big change in their life to come to The County and start a new journey. Created and directed by County resident Chrystelle Maechler, “A New Place Called Home” tells the stories of six County entrepreneurs: what brought them here, what inspired their journey and what keeps them going in their new place called home.
You can find the six-episode series of documentary shorts on VOD on Bell Fibe, channel 1 (listed under Kingston) and on the Bell Fibe TV app.
A new project in a new home
Chrystelle Maechler creates content for film, radio and television as a screenwriter, director and voice artist. When she and her husband came to The County, they were looking for their next project, and the idea for “A New Place Called Home” came to them. It was a very personal project. Chrystelle hails from France and husband Andreas Krätschmer, who filmed and edited the project, is from Germany. They’ve moved around a lot. The notion of “home” and how people perceive it was intriguing to them. Meeting and interviewing the show’s subjects was a great way to get to know their new community.
“We moved here and after three months, the pandemic hit. There were three months of normalcy, and the rest was abnormal,” says Chrystelle. “We learned about the community through their eyes and saw how nice it can be when it’s normal. They were so adamant about how the community is so strong here, and people are so nice and willing to help.”
Selecting the interview subjects was tough. The original list was long, but when they finally landed on the subjects for the six episodes, themes started to emerge. The people profiled in this series all have different stories. Despite their different paths, they all share a love of community and a love of the land. Their stories are not just about geographic moves, but also a major life changes, restarts and a big internal journeys.
Meet the stars of the show:
Mel Cannons and Paul Tobias
Melissa Cannons and Paul Tobias are the restaurateurs behind Idle Wild, a pan-Asian kitchen that serves up take-out at their popular Wellington storefront. Residents and visitors alike are treated to contemporary takes on classic dishes. Look out for Korean japchae, Filipino adobo and lumpia, Thai curries and Japanese maki rolls.
Aaron Armstrong is the owner and farmer at Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, whose organic greens and produce have supplied The County’s best restaurants for years. Aaron is a friendly face at farmers’ markets around The County. While the farm is on sabbatical in 2021, you can keep your eyes on Blue Wheelbarrow for future agritourism experiences.
Susan and Glen Wallis
Susan and Glen Wallis are not only the hosts at AWAY in the County bed and breakfast, they are also celebrated artists. Susan’s encaustic paintings of landscapes, nests, birches and more are on display throughout The County and at her own studio gallery Melt Studio. Glen is a designer and fabricator who makes the Canadian Screen Awards in his shop at the historic Camp Picton air base.
Alison Lawtey is the owner of The Acres at High Shore bed and breakfast, a unique accommodation made of exquisitely re-designed shipping containers. Ali, a former marketing ace, has lovingly restored a heritage barn on the property. She is the steward for acres of wetlands that attract a whole world of birds, bugs, beetles and small animals.
Sleiman Al Jasem
Sleiman Al Jasem arrived in The County as a Syrian refugee, and quickly found his place in the community. When the owners of The County’s only commercial fishery were looking for a succession plan, they connected with Sleiman. He was mentored by them, then took over the business and launched The County Catch. Look for his fresh-caught fish at the Picton Foodland, in his Sophiasburgh area shop and on the menu at local restaurants.
Joaquim and Amor Conde
Joaquim and Amor Conde of Quinta do Conde moved from the big city to The County to revive a small acreage farm with organic and regenerative farming techniques. You can visit their farm store near Black River for produce alongside Amor’s Antiques, or check out their “table at the farm” harvest dinners. Everything they serve at these unique culinary events comes from their land, and the experience includes an opportunity to tour the farm with Joaquim and learn about their farming practices.
Feast Your Way Through The Best Farm Stands
As the dog days of summer slip by, farm stands begin to fill. The range of produce grows daily as veggies ripen, fruits ready for picking and the fields reveal their bounty. While a few prominent farm stands are situated along The County’s major routes, many more are tucked away along its back roads and side roads, just waiting to be discovered. Come enjoy fresh, local, seasonal, just-picked, home-grown produce through late-spring, summer and into early-fall!
Here are some of our favourite farms and farm stands!
written by Sharon Harrison, edited by staff September 2020
Visiting Farm Stands:
Many farm stands are self-serve, working on the honesty system – leave your cash payment in a lock box or look for e-transfer instructions. Or, if you’re living local, you can also have produce delivered through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, ordered directly from a farm, or through a central hub like Locazoa.
A working, organic-certified farm with a two-acre market garden. Thyme Again offers heritage tomatoes, cabbages, peppers, squash, herbs, pumpkins and many unique vegetables. Check out the self-serve roadside farm stand or visit the farm house for eggs, meats, fleece and more.
A family favourite year-round, Campbell’s offers the most diverse selection of apples by at least a country mile. Get lost in the corn maze! Kids will love the animals and the country playground. There’s a vast array of vegetables and fruits (including pick-your-own) at the quaint market, plus home-baking. Or, discover preserves, pickles and relishes, locally-milled flours, ferments and of course, fresh-pressed sweet cider.
Danforth Acres is the place to head for local sweet corn. They also offer new potatoes, peas, garlic scape pesto, kale, Swiss chard, as well free-range chickens and eggs. This is a typical County farm stand: there’s rarely anyone on site, just a couple fridges and a table of fresh-picked produce, a price list and a box to leave your cash.
A huge selection of lavender-inspired products awaits, including vinegars, teas, sugar, chocolate, gelato and more. Pick up lavender and herb plants and explore the blooming lavender fields in July.
SHED is an alpaca farm with a retail shop attached. You can find the softest teddy bears, cloud-like shawls, alpaca-themed tea towels, ridiculously soft dryer balls or pick up a bag of SHED [poop] for your garden.
Not your average farm stand, Portico Gardens on County Road 2 proudly displays its certified organic status. It boasts a rustic barn and an eclectic mix of produce. Check in for artichokes, beans and beets, heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, herbs and microgreens. And garlic. Lots of garlic! Or try the roasted garlic pearls known as garlettes or the bruschetta kits.
A fixture at the far west end of Wellington Main Street, Lakeshore Farms offers top-quality, farm-fresh produce. Try their freshly-baked delights (including legendary doughnuts). Their farm also does pick-your-own strawberries in the spring.
Don’t have time to tour all the farm stands? Check out the market instead. This iconic County market still features actual farmers! You can usually find Blue Wheelbarrow, Sunset Farms, Waupoos Acres, Cloven Farms, Lakeshore Farms, Roblin’s Maple Syrup at the market.
Van Grootheest offers a shady spot to choose from a wide array of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. In addition to huge buckets of gladiolas, they offer a huge selection of peppers, eggplants, squash, sweet corn and decorative gourds.
Give peas a chance. | Photo Courtesy: @VanGrootheestFarm
Laundry Farms knows produce: the offerings from these third-generation farmers are extensive and include veggies, apples, corn on the cob. All this, plus a splendid selection of pumpkins and honey.
Specializing in reintroducing the old and obscure, Haystrom boasts 400 varieties of heirloom and exotic fruits and vegetables. They also have pickled exotic beets, maple fire chili sauce and Arabiatta tomato sauce. You’ll find them at markets around Toronto, as well as on Bethel Road, north of Picton.
Honey Wagon is proud to offer produce containing no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides. The self-serve farm stand offers a good range of produce and a wow-factor display of fall squash and pumpkins. This makes them a favourite on Countylicious menus, but they are most famous for their maple syrup: they tap 550 trees at the back of their 86-acre farm.
Just off of Hwy 49 is the Elmbrook Farm on Elmbrook Road. Specializing in organic vegetables and microgreens, as well as honey, they offer overnight stays in an on-farm yurt!
Don’t miss the delicious asparagus at Greenridge Farm in the spring: it’s a County tradition. This Picton-area farm grows 60-acres of the tall, green stalks, which you can buy at the on-site farm stand or on the plates of County restaurants.
Hagerman is one of The County’s most popular farm stands, found on the outskirts of Picton on Highway 33. The family-run, multi-generational farm dates to 1905 and offers a wide range of vegetables through the growing season and is known for its pumpkins and squash. Plus, there’s a fabulous on-site bakery, chickens pecking at the dirt, and super-friendly and informative staff. And if you look up, you’ll see the farm has five barn quilts to admire.
Stop in at this small family that focuses on sustainable farming practices, meaning they grow without chemicals, plastics and fossil fuels. One of the more adorable farm stands, it’s on County Road 4, just north of Picton. They feature chicken and duck eggs, fruits, veggies, maple syrup and more.
Just a few minutes outside of Picton on White Chapel Road, Jubilee Forest Farm offers a farm stand with Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Beef, Pastured Organic Chicken and Eggs. Book a Farm Tour with Farmer Tim and discover their regenerative farming practices. Epiphanies are normal!
Established in 1924, Fosterholm Farms offers a great selection of vegetables and fruit. They offer high-quality dairy products, baked goods (seriously delicious butter tarts!) and pure maple syrup and maple products.
Kleinsteuber Farms is conveniently situated on the way to Sandbanks Provincial Park on County Road 12. The fourth generation farmers grow a large variety of vegetables, fruit, fresh-cut flowers and plants within the 35-acre market garden.
A 25-acre heritage farm, Hawkridge Homestead is dedicated to sustainable and organic farming practices. Its product range includes spicy Thai sausages, free-range guinea eggs, blackberry gin jam, pickles, pesto and much, much more. They also offer a CSA, and will deliver some products to larger cities for an additional fee.
Vicki is synonymous with County tomatoes. She offers more than 100 types of heirloom tomatoes, plus other farm-fresh finds at the post office-turned-farm stand on Morrison Point Road. Vicki’s seedling sale is legendary, offering a carnival atmosphere over the Victoria Day weekend. The event welcomes the true start of gardening season.
Nyman Farms is known for its animals including lamb, chicken, beef and pork as well as turkeys and eggs. Be sure to try the amazing maple syrup. Nyman is a must-stop for families during Maple in The County with sausages and syrup to taste, plus baby animals on display.
Floralora grows approximately three acres of annuals, perennials, shrubs and vines. You can purchase mixed bouquets and single variety bunches all season long at their self-described humble, self-serve farm stand. Visit here to put a little County beauty into the bounty.
Quinta do Conde sells fresh-pressed olive oil, free-range eggs and an ever-rotating selection of veggies from their three-acre market garden. Nestled on the north shore of the Black River, the farm is home to a wonderland of farm animals. Check out their hens, waterfowl, guinea fowl, sheep, pigs and Alabaster, the great-Pyrenean, who protects them all. Quinta do Conde also hosts a summer camp program that helps kids connect with food and farm life. They present long, slow summer dinners that are truly farm-to-table and workshops on such farm life staples as fermenting your own wine.
Tucked off the road south of Milford, Honey Pie offers a farm stand and tasting room. Known for their mead (wine made from honey), they are beekeepers and herb growers. Try their herbal teas and extensive range of honey, which includes chocolate honey and lavender honey.
Known for their extensive orchards, stop in at Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm late-summer through fall for apples, apples and more apples. Creasy’s is one of the many farm stands dotting the road through Waupoos.
At The Blueberry Patch you can pick-your-own strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples and, of course, blueberries or purchase ready-picked at the farm stand.
“Fields of gold” best describes the 35 acres of sunflowers blooming at Sunnydale Farms in July and August, but the sixth generation farmers are also known for their tasty kettle corn and popping corn. Sunnydale is a true family farm with deep local roots. Look for asparagus at the roadside stand in spring.
Pick-your-own or purchase ready-picked blueberries at the pesticide-free Little Highbush (est. 1979). On the hottest days of summer, giant walnut trees on the property provide valuable shade.
They grow lettuce, onions, cucumbers, snow peas and more at Waupoos Acres Farms. Sign up for the CSA program to receive goody-boxes of seasonal produce or drop in for pick-your-own strawberries.
Six acres of glorious veggies grow at Fiddlehead Farm, from radicchio and rutabaga to turnips and tomatoes, celeriac and cabbage. You’ll find eggplant and edible flowers, herbs galore, Jerusalem artichoke, melons and more.
Farmer Matt at Sunset Farms is known locally as “The Pepper King.” With 60 varieties of peppers started in their 50-foot greenhouse, they have everything for pepper lovers from sweet to hot. This fourth generation farm boasts a wide variety of produce and fresh cut flowers at their County Road 15 farm on the Bay of Quinte.