Hello, September 2020! This much-anticipated month has been looming large on the horizon – stirring up myriad emotions and heated discussions – since the Covid-19 pandemic came to Prince Edward County 6 months ago. Like many of you, depending on the moment, my feelings around this most bizarre return to school oscillate between hope and trepidation. This post is meant to steer us towards a happier place on that spectrum – on top of gorgeously milder weather, a bountiful harvest, and more space on our beaches and roads, wonderful forces in and around our community are finding ways to safely bring us together. Read all about it below, and check back for updates as we move into proper autumn! And, as always, please stay safe – hop on over to our summer 2020 post for some friendly Covid-19 safety reminders.
- Parsons Brewery is hosting its annual Farmer‘s Tan Pop-up Market on September 5th and 6th – vendors, live music, delicious food, plus a play structure and green space aplenty for littles to run free – the total package.
- CANCELLED –
Zwick’s Centennial Park in Belleville is the place to be on Sunday September 13th – Market in the Park (10-3 in West Zwick’s Park) promises vendors, food trucks, buskers, balloons, and bubbles.
- The Kiwanis Club of Belleville is hosting a Kite Day on Sunday September 13th in East Zwick’s Park from 12-3 – first 150 kids receive a free kite!
- Sandbanks Music Festival (Saturday September 19th from 6-8 p.m.) is going virtual this year, but campsite / fireside viewings are encouraged! Tickets are $20 per household, and you can add on a snack pack filled with locally-sourced snacks and surprises ($30), and/or a custom kids’ cape ($10).
- Safety Dance (Sundays September 20th and 27th at 2 p.m.) is an all-ages group dance event brought to you by our local joy-makers at The Department of Illumination Artistic Company. Bring your bubble to a pre-marked physically-distant circle at Macaulay Heritage Park and get your groove on to a routine choreographed by Arwyn Carpenter.
- The Mustang Drive-In has a combo of classics for the younger crowd scheduled for the weekend of September 18th-20th – I’ve heard that Sponge Bob and Raiders of the Lost Ark pair perfectly with poutine and popcorn.
- The Picton Fair Board is planning an inaugural Prince Edward County Agricultural Society Road Show – a drive-thru agricultural safari, if you will! – for October 3rd. Follow their Facebook page for updates.
- The debut of the Picton Town Hall Farmers’ Market is finally here! The Market will be open on Sundays October 4th and 11th from 10-4 with Covid safety protocols (masks, one-way navigation through the stalls) in place.
- Get your Scarecrow-to-Go at this year’s Scarecrow Festival, an annual fundraiser for The Department of Illumination! Click here to book your bubble’s private half-hour visit ($35) at Small Pond Arts on October 10th or 11th (Thanksgiving weekend) to pick up everything you need to assemble your own scarecrow at home.
- The Department of Illumination’s Firelight Lantern Festival is perhaps our all-time County fall fave, and we’re thrilled they’ve come up with a safe way to continue the magic this year. The 2020 edition will feature free lantern-making kits and online tutorials, a community lantern gallery, a Main Street scavenger hunt, and some very special online performances on November 7th, the evening of the festival! Details to come – follow them on social media or sign up for their e-newsletter to stay in the know.
- Pick-your-own experiences
- Campbell’s Orchards currently has pick-your-own (PYO) apples and field tomatoes, and has adapted their wagon rides for Covid times, with plexiglass separators between each cart. Book a Labour Day Weekend ride to the PYO Paula Red trees and/or picnic lunches here. Ginger gold apples can currently be picked at your leisure; visit their site for up-to-date info.
- You had me at corn maze! A few minutes past the Glenora Ferry on the Adolphustown side, you’ll find Spring Meadow Orchards – a free corn maze, apple cider donuts, candy apples, and of course PYO apples, and pumpkins later in the season.
- You had me at moonlight corn maze! A bit further past Spring Meadow is Wynn Farms Apple Orchard – they currently have PYO apples on the go, and pumpkins are up next. This year’s corn maze has a Pioneer Village theme, with activities and recipes throughout. Older kids will love the moonlight maze edition, held every Friday and Saturday night until 10 p.m.
- Farmers’ markets
- The Wellington Farmers’ Market is running on Saturdays from 9-1 (last day of the season October 10th 2020); please note that mask-wearing (for kids 2 and up) and distancing protocols are in effect.
- As noted above, the Picton Town Hall Farmers’ Market will take place from 10-4 on Sundays October 4th and 11th, with safety protocols in place.
- Other farm experiences
- The Curious Goat General Store is offering family-friendly 1-hour group “bee experiences” for $60/family (County residents get a 20% discount!) – participants will learn about bees, taste honey, and make a beeswax salve to take home. Note – all ages welcome, though parental supervision is required with younger children as the salve-making involves heat!
- Visit the friendly farm animals at the petting zoo across the street from Waupoos Estates Winery & Restaurant. Please read and respect all of the posted rules, and consider sampling (at your own risk!) their extensive array of chocolate, candy, and gelato treats.
- Hops & Heifers offers 1-hour private “safari” tours to visit their buffalo herd – book tours here and pick up some of their buffalo cheese and meat products at their store.
Play & Learn
- Now that the beach crowds have subsided, book an educational experience with a Naturalist to experience a more peaceful version of Sandbanks Provincial Park with your family. The program runs from September 7th-20th and there is limited space, so book soon – 613-393-5085 / email@example.com.
- The PEC Public Library is running virtual Baby Rhyme Time sessions on Friday at 10:30 and Storytimes on Saturdays at 10:30. Ready Readers, an early literacy program for kids aged 5-7, is happening on Tuesdays at 11, and Learn to Doodle Draw (ages 7+) is on Thursdays at 3 p.m. They’re also hosting a new outdoor program called Adventure League at the Wellington Branch on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. All branches are now open (click here for hours) and offering curbside pickup.
- Escape Camp Picton is open for in-person (masked) escape room experiences, and is also offering a virtual version of their Spy’s Workshop escape room experience with live in-room proxies!
- The County Museums are offering Take-Away kits for kids aged 4-10 for $15 (tax included). They can be picked up at Macaulay Heritage Park from Wednesday-Sunday, 10-4 until the end of October; and after that by appointment – 613-476-2148 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also! Two of the County’s museums – Macaulay Heritage Park and Wellington Heritage Museum – are open for pre-booked tours from Wednesday – Sunday. Click on these links for exhibition info and hours and ticket info.
- The County’s mini golf destination, Caddy Shack, is open on Saturdays and Sundays – and Labour Day Monday – until at least September 20th from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. – $12/adult, $8/youth (7-15), and kids 6 and under are free with an adult or $5 each. Check their website or Facebook page for updates on when they plan to close for the season.