With school out, the learning doesn’t have to stop for you and your family. This region is filled with fun and educational things to do with your family
Find family summertime boredom busters in South Eastern Ontario! Grab the gang and make this summer memorable with one-of-a-kind experiences they’ll be raving about to all of their friends. These are just a few of the ways you can create a fun and educational summer this year. Read on for 26 things to do with the whole famn damily this summer!
Quality family time awaits in Brockville! Start at The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing and discover the magic of the 1000 Islands. Learn about this intriguing river region through interactive exhibits, live otters, fish of the St. Lawrence River, a ropes course, ships to explore and more – it’s guaranteed to be fun. All aboard! The Aquatarium Express Train is once again chugging along giving unique rides for kids and the young at heart departing from the caboose beside the Brockville Railway Tunnel!
From there, step through history at the Brockville Railway Tunnel, Canada’s First Railway Tunnel. Watch your family members’ eyes glow in amazement as the tunnel light show and train whistle sounds move past them during the walk right under the city’s downtown. Truly a one-of-a-kind experience!
Next, walk over to the waterfront and depart on a 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruise to get a real appreciation for the river life. Learn about the history and culture of the islands, immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery and enjoy being on the water. For a fun adrenaline rush, see the islands like never before aboard the islands’ fastest tour boat, WildCat. At speeds of up to 70 km/hr visitors see views of the famous Boldt and Singer Castles.
2. Reel in a big one on the Rideau
Grab your gear at Norris’ Bait and Tackle near Newboro or at Wings Live Bait and Tackle in Lyndhurst and head out on the Rideau Canal to reel in memories! There are several free family fishing days this summer, where families can try fishing license free. If you’re in Lyndhurst, be sure to swing over to the Lyndhurst Bridge for a photo with the oldest such bridge in Ontario! Be sure to take a photo of The Big Bass landmark at Norris’ – a 12 foot fish constructed with more than 2,000 beverage cans!
Giddy up and book a family trail ride at DeltaWood Farm – this is a fun family activity, but only suitable for kids older than 10 years old, according to the website. Saddle up to some mega fun and memory making, as this ride will be the “mane” event of your summer! But don’t stop there – tour down the road for an unbelievable donkey adventure at Berry Homestead Farm. This herd of donkeys loves being brushed, cuddled and will even pose for selfies! You’ll soon have a soft spot in your heart for these cuties who have loads of personality – and you’ll love learning more about them from the expert operators. Look for nourishing, handmade donkey milk soap here, too!
Visit Lower Beverley Lake Park and spend the day in Delta! Get your passes and enjoy a sandy beach with a raft for the older kids, a large and beautifully-maintained playground, hiking trails surrounded by magical hemlocks and a full service canteen! From there, walk through the village of Delta and see the new Millside Park and Amphitheatre opening this summer. Grab your fav flavour of ice cream at Millcreek Scoops or some food at J&S Goodies Food Truck. Of course, the Delta Old Stone Mill National Historic Site is once again open for tours so bring the family to marvel at the 200-year-old millstones as they grind heritage wheat into flour throughout the summer.
Take the scenic drive or cruise by boat to check out the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Waterway. Visit the Burritt’s Rapids Lockstation to watch Parks Canada staff operate the locks and a swing bridge using the same mechanisms used since the canal opened in 1832! Toss in a line from the dock, take a family bike ride or hike along the Tip to Tip Trail, a 4 km return trail that starts at the lockstation. It takes visitors through the picturesque historic village, past a large dam that you can climb, and ends at the tip of the island at two iconic Parks Canada red Adirondack chairs.
Take a leisurely stroll around to experience some amazing animals at Saunders Country Critters! From domestic to exotic, the critters here are something to behold. Kangaroos, lemurs, birds of prey, singing dogs, goats and a variety of cats are awe-inspiring for young folks. Look here for free educational talks, too!
Enjoy and explore Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville! With more than 1,000 acres managed, 22 km of trails, and 35,000 visits per years, Ferguson Forest Centre is a popular place for your next family outing in nature. Complete with a large arboretum, tree nursery, off lease fenced dog park and parks, pack a lunch and spend the day. Be sure to visit Anniversary Park, which offers a waterfront trail, Kinderwood children’s trail, picnic shelter and even a canoe, kayak and paddleboard launch on Kemptville Creek!
Prescott embraces the water and takes it to the next level! A free splash pad with ice cream, a beach and pool closeby – I mean, come on. This is what summer is all about! Cool off at Centennial Park, home to the outdoor swimming pool and the colourful splash pad. Kelly’s Beach is also located in the park and all three offer a beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River. Centennial Pool sees swimming lessons, public swim, lane swim, aqua fit and even the Prescott Piranhas swim team making waves there. Plan a quick visit to cool off or stay for the day!
Be among the first to tour the Prescott Museum and Visitor Centre! Uncover the story of Prescott, as you tour through the thematic displays and exhibits such as Prescott’s beginnings, military heritage, industry and commerce, sport and recreation and more. Look here for a dedicated children’s section as well!
Get prehistoric and step into the world of the dinosaurs this summer at the Quinte Museum of Natural History! Whether it’s gentle giants or the intimidating colossus Tyrannosaurus rex, families will be in awe discovering four exploration exhibits developed for this new museum in partnership with Research Casting International.
Berry picking – there’s nothing sweeter in summer. Take the family to the berry patch to pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and more at Brambleberry Farm! Known for its high quality small fruit, Brambleberry Farm is a summertime go-to for traditional family fun in the fields. Ask about booking a guided wagon ride farm tour here!
A popular waterfront gathering spot for local families, this summer’s Pop Ups on the Bay in Belleville’s West Zwick’s Park, is promising adventure, food and fun. This year, there will even be mini golf at the park, as Park Play Micro Golf is opening a 9-hole mini golf course there! Things to buy, things to do and things to eat – all in a waterfront outdoor setting. Swing into summer!
13. Pick your way into summer
Swing into Dentz Orchards and Berry Farm in Iroquois, partaking in the traditional family summer rite of passage: picking strawberries in the field. Further up the river near Cornwall, Avonmore Berry Farm has berries ready for luscious summertime eating straight from the field – and pumpkins ready for fall, with children’s play area and even wagon rides! Cannamore Orchard has been a go-to stop for apples, strawberries, and pumpkins since 1982. Look here for family activity weekends!
The masterful representation of life in 1866 at Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg is one of the largest living history sites in the country. It allows visitors to travel back in time, showcasing traditional farming practices, functioning mills and trade workshops and life demonstrated by staff in period clothing. It all adds up to a memorable glimpse into how life was lived more than 150 years ago. Hands-on history at its best! Journey up the road to go even further back to prehistoric times – at Prehistoric World. This is the young dinosaur-lovers dream destination. Families can tour a forest trail of over 50 life-size replicas of dinosaurs, with different dinos around every corner. Watch your little’s excitement grow discovering each one!
15. Nature time is the best time
Cooper Marsh Conservation Area and Charlottenburg Park Beach offer a large green space, walking trails and sandy beach, just east of Cornwall. Look here for overnight camping accommodation, too! A canteen is open on weekends during the summer, so you can pack light.
Where can you find axe throwing, archery, late night bonfires, trails to explore and hot chocolate at dusk? At Countryside Adventures! This place is well known for its legendary skate trail through the woods in winter, but this summer things are heating up at Countryside Adventures in Moose Creek, with kayaking and paddleboarding, fishing and good old family time on the agenda. Start your summer adventure here!
17. Get creative with culture
Step into one of Canada’s oldest original waterworks where steam-powered pumps provided the first running water to Kingston residents and businesses beginning in 1851! The PumpHouse is history in motion. This historic building houses steam machinery that played an important part in building Canada’s success. Be sure to check out Fort Night family STEAM activity events here, the stunning collection of model trains, and the new exhibit, On the Move: 400 years of Transportation in Kingston. Down the street, The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning takes family art to a new level on Saturday mornings, when the Kids Creativity Club takes over. This stellar art program allows children and their families to enjoy a variety of hands-on, creative arts activities with local artists!
18. Escape the dull
Immerse yourself in a different world and work together to solve puzzles and mysteries! Entertainment and adventure combine at the award-winning, Improbable Escapes. Family-friendly indoor and outdoor escape rooms, theatrical games, a board game café and more await in this fun and unique experience! Be sure to try out the new escape room – the Undersea Overthrow. Let the sleuthing begin at Sherlock’s Escapes! Sherlock Holmes has disappeared, and it’s your job to help find him. Each escape room is unique to the brand and builds off the last one. Look here for virtual options, as well as Unsolved Mysteries.
Are the kids bouncing off the walls? Bring them to Xtreme Trampoline Park in Kingston where it’s ok to do just that! Kingston’s largest trampoline facility has wall-to-wall trampolines, a dodgeball court, ninja warrior course, crash pad and more. Bring the gang for a fun activity the whole family will enjoy.
With more than 100 lakes for you and the fam to explore and stunning views awaiting – the water is calling your family this summer in Lennox & Addington. Go boating, dip yo paddling or even scuba diving. This region is also a favourite for anglers, with most of the tall fish stories actually being true here! Don’t forget to explore on land, too! Trails abound here so find your groove off-road cycling, hiking or even just picnicking and birding on some of the most scenic parks in the area.
Treat your sweet tooth and introduce the kids to an old-fashioned candy store experience at the Convenient Candy Shop. We’re talking novelty sweets, chocolate galore, soda, lollipops and fun candy, gummies and more. Ask about the world’s largest gummy bear – it’s 5 lbs.! The Convenient Candy Shop will be the sweetest thing on your summer to-do list.
READ ALSO: Things To Do With Kids In Lennox & Addington
Get out on a St. Lawrence River cruise with the whole family on a Rockport Cruises or City Cruises Gananoque boat tour; a perfect activity to get kids of all ages out on the water and taking in the beautiful scenery of the 1000 Islands. Rockport Cruises is a world-class leader in tourism with an ideal location in the picturesque historic village of Rockport – right in the heart of the 1000 Islands. Whichever cruise you decide to go on, you’ll either stop at or cruise by the famous Boldt Castle. Step aboard City Cruises Gananoque to see a variety of sightseeing day cruises as well as special event night cruises with first-rate entertainment that will have you dancing the night away.
Get a birds eye view of the mighty St. Lawrence River and stunning 1000 Islands! Look out as far as the eye can see from the 1000 Islands Tower, a scenic observation deck sitting 400′ above the river on Hill Island. An elevator whisks visitors to the top in only 40 seconds. An unforgettable view of the beautiful landscape of the 1000 Islands – perfect for all ages!
River heritage comes alive here! Catering to families through a children’s centre, summertime events, fun café, and real boat exploration at the museum docks, the Thousand Islands Boat Museum is a must-see along the waterfront in Gananoque. This summer the museum is even offering River Rides in an antique wooden boat so visitors can not only see their floating exhibits, but they can experience the river in one of their stunning wooden boats!
Whether you want to spend the day in the water, or take the weekend to visit a new part of the region, you have plenty of opportunities to be entertained in South Eastern Ontario. Discover your new favourite way to spend time together this summer!