Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, enjoys a milder climate than many other places in Canada, and is well-known for its culture, arts, and learning. You’ll find lots of variety in terms of ethnic cuisine, and a great music and art scene, plus a variety of outdoor stuff to do with the whole family. Here are some highlights for things to do with kids in Fredericton.
Festivals and Special Events. (http://fredericton.foundlocally.com/Entertainment/FestivalsList.htm) Fredericton has lots of cool events throughout the year that offer tons of fun and entertainment for the whole family, including:
- Dragon Boat Festival. Second Sunday in September, at the Aquatic Center. The kids will love the dragon boats racing on the waterfront, as well as the food, live music, and other activities.
- Sugar Bush Weekend. March, at Kings Landing Historical Settlement. Period costumes, candy- and syrup-making demonstrations, sleigh and wagon rides, a day-long pancake breakfast…and free candy!
- Annual FredKid Fair. (www.fredkid.com ) This May festival is all about the kiddos: held in the Fredericton Exhibition Centre, and it features science, cultural, and music exhibits…plus bouncy castles, food, petting zoos, face-painting, and more, all aimed at kids from 0-10.
- Fredericton RiverFest. (www.frederictonriverfest.com) This annual June event celebrates the Saint John River, upon which Fredericton sits, and the local native and modern culture, especially all things fiddlehead! Live music, a salmon and fiddlehead community supper, exhibits, lots of kids’ activities, and more.
Family Fun Parks. Fredericton has several great outdoor family fun centres that can entertain everyone, such as:
- Kingswood Park. (2 km from Hwy 2, on Route 640 (Hanwell Rd) The biggest of its kind in Fredericton, it has waterslides, candlepin and ten-pin bowling.
- Bucket Club Activity Park (Route 102 Woodstock Rd, 10 minutes w of downtown Fredericton) This park has waterslides, miniature golf, a driving range, and bankshot basketball.
- Woolastook Family Park. (5171 Route 2, Upper Kingsclear NB E3E 1P9, 25 km west of Fredericton, 5 km off TCH Exit 258) This great outdoor centre has three beaches, four waterslides, volleyball, canoeing, 18 holes of miniature gold, a 9-hole regular golf course, and camping…plus miles of trails for hiking and biking.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement. (www.kingslanding.nb.ca) This faithfully preserved and restored working historical village depicts the transformation of a town during the 1800’s to the 1900’s. Actors in period costumes do traditional, authentic tasks in beautifully restored buildings, all faithful to actual events and personal stories from those who lived long ago. Families can take self-guided tours, and there are events year-round. Check the Kings Landing website for more details.
Outdoor Summer Theatre/Haunted Hikes/Drama Camps. (www.calithumpians.com) The Calithumpians are Fredericton’s local theatre troupe, and they present free daytime performances all week long from Canada Day till Labour Day on Officer’s Square lawn. The troupe also gives Haunted Hikes, a guided nighttime tour by lantern-light of Fredericton’s historically haunted homes and buildings, made even spookier by a phantom theatre troupe! The troupe also conducts weeklong drama camps during the summer months for kids and teens. Consult their website for scheduling, pricing, and more details.
Science East Science Centre. (www.scienceeast.nb.ca) Located in the former York County Jail, this interactive, informative, and fun hands-on experience is designed to spark and develop kids’ interest in the basic principles of science. There are more than eighty interactive exhibits, including a giant kaleidoscope, a gigantic air cannon, the ability to direct laser beams, a dungeon, a jail museum, and much more. Check out the Centre’s website for hours, costs, and special events.
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