Summer vacation is upon us and many families are planning their next great adventure. Excitement can be found close to home as our great nation boasts many amusement parks, natural wonders and exciting museums right on travellers’ doorsteps.
Day trips and weekend getaways are the key to creating fun family summer memories. Planning mini-trips with the kids every other weekend will keep them busy and give them something to look forward to.
1. Algonquin Park, Ontario: With campsites in 12 organized campgrounds, 14 different hiking trails, and almost 8,000 sq km of semi‑wilderness, Algonquin Park is a must-visit destination for adventurous Canadian families who love to bike, hike or just enjoy the great outdoors.
2. Niagara Falls, Ontario: Children will be amazed by the mist of the most powerful waterfall in North America. With one of the best views of the falls, the legendary Maid of the Mist offers affordable daily tours.
3. Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton, Alberta: A museum trip is a great activity to keep kids thinking over the long summer months. Ignite imagination and interest in the past with a visit to Canada’s largest living history museum at Fort Edmonton Park.
4. Churchill, Manitoba: The “Polar Bear Capital of the World” is more than a winter wonderland – Churchill offers summer snorkeling and kayaking alongside thousands of beluga whales in Hudson Bay.
5. Victoria Bug Zoo, Victoria, British Columbia: The Victoria Bug Zoo offers an excellent opportunity to view and experience multi-legged creatures from around the world, like giant walking sticks, hairy tarantulas, and glow-in-the-dark scorpions – even Canada’s largest ant farm.
6. Valcartier Vacation Village, Valcartier, Québec: Only 20 minutes from Quebec City, with over a dozen water-themed rides, including the six-lane Turbo 6, and the Pirates’ Hideout, Valcartier Vacation Village is the perfect hot summer day out for a family with eager kids.
7. Bay of Fundy, Hopewell, New Brunswick: Hopewell Rocks is a natural wonder with 100-billion tonnes of salt-water, which slowly fills the Bay of Fundy creating the highest tides on the planet. When the tide is low, kids can play around the four-storey flower-pot shaped rocks gouged out of the cliffs. Vote to make the Bay of Fundy one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature at VoteMyFundy.com.
8. Grouse Grind, Vancouver, British Columbia: For active, young families seeking a challenge consider the Grouse Grind also known as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster – a gruelling 90-minute climb up the mountain. After a long climb, the Skyride aerial tramway brings sleepy kids back to the base.
9. Dinosaurs and the Royal Tyrrell Museum , Drumheller, Alberta: The dinosaur capital of the world is home to the best badlands scenery in Canada, the richest deposits of fossils and dinosaur bones in North America, and the world-famous Royal Tyrrell Museum.
10. Metro Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario: Discover the wild, ferocious and seemingly cuddly animals beyond Canada’s backyard. From the 10-acre Tundra Trek with Polar bears to the Gorilla Rainforest, Splash Island, Waterside Theatre and rare African Penguins, the Metro Toronto Zoo is a full day of fun for the whole family.