The weather is heating up and everyone’s heading North, but where’s the best place to take the kids this summer? We’ve partnered with family travel expert, Erin Bender of Explore With Erin, to reveal 5 of Eastern Canada’s fabulous family summer vacations.
Toronto is a beautiful big city that’s easy to get to and easy to get around. I love the mix of modern skyscrapers right next to historic buildings. Plus, there are plenty of beaches along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, which is another big perk for families!
3 things to do with kids in Toronto:
- Indoor Skydiving at iFly – Looking for a safer alternative for the kids? Take them for indoor skydiving with iFly. Kids as young as 4 can fly and you’re going to want to have a fly too.
- Ride the Rollercoasters at Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s answer to Disneyland did not disappoint, with over 200 attractions and 69 thrilling rides. Make use of parent swap so both parents can have a turn without the long lines.
- Play with Pirates – On Centre Island, you will find Pirate Life, a 45-foot pirate ship that takes kids on a 1.5-hour adventure. Kids will get to dress up as pirates, interact with pirates and shoot water cannons at unassuming pedestrians.
Moncton, New Brunswick
Family summer vacations in Moncton might not be your typical Canadian choice, but it is the perfect place to base your family to see the Maritime Provinces. In fact, that’s the reason Moncton is nicknamed “Hub City.”
3 things to do with kids around Moncton:
- Fun at Magic Mountain Water Park – Kids will absolutely love the wave pool and the variety found at such a local, small water park.
- Witness the world’s highest tides at Hopewell Rocks – Take the kids to see water as high as the cliffs and then return the same afternoon for them to walk the ocean floor. Bring a change of clothes, because it’s sure to be a muddy afternoon.
- Visit Anne of Green Gables – First published in 1908 this spot is a must for lovers of the book or movie. Deep in the heart of Cavendish you will find Green Gables Heritage Place, Avonlea Village, and the Site of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home, where the famed writer’s descendants still live.
As Canada’s largest city, Montreal has no shortage of culture, art, food, sport and entertainment. And of course, it’s a prime spot for family summer vacations. Narrowing this list down was exhausting!
3 things to do with kids in Montreal:
- Ride Goliath at LaRonde Amusement Park – This theme park opened as part of the Montreal Expo ’67 and now has over 40 rides, including North America’s highest and fastest roller coaster, Goliath. It’s only open 6 months a year, so make sure you check the website before organising a visit.
- Walk through Montreal Biodome – If you are looking for something a little different, check out the Biodome where you and the kids can make your way through 4 different ecosystems found in the Americas. There are plenty of touch screens and built-in slides, so the kids will love it as much as you.
- Find Creepy Crawlies at Montreal Insectarium & Botanical Garden – This is one of the largest insect museums in North America with over 250,000 specimens on display. Since it’s in the Botanical Garden, you also get to take a walk around 20 thematic gardens spread over 75 hectares.
One of my favorite cities in Canada is the capital, Ottawa. It’s a great city to visit, and it’s also one of the most kid-friendly places you will find in the country.
3 things to do with kids in Ottawa:
- Time to get wet at Calypso – This is Canada’s biggest water park with 35 waterslides, including a 500-metre jungle river ride. Our favorite thing about this park, other than the fact that they let you bring in your own food? The water temperature is heated at a constant 27°C (80°F). It’s the perfect activity for family summer vacations!
- Watch the Parliament Hill Sound & Light Show – If you have older children that don’t mind being out at 10 pm, then make a point to visit Parliament Hill for the Sounds & Light Show. It’s a great introduction to Canadian history with plenty of laser lights to keep the kids interested.
- Eat a BeaverTail – Head to one of the oldest and largest farmer markets in Canada, the famous ByWard Market. There you will find BeaverTails, a pastry store serving a stretched donut-style pastry hot with a choice of several decadent toppings.
Quebec City, Quebec
Fancy a trip to Europe without the long airfare? Quebec City is a dream for adults searching for culture and art, but don’t be fooled. It also holds a few kid-friendly surprises!
3 things to do with kids in Quebec City:
- Visit Montmorency Park Falls – Not only will the family be impressed with this 275 feet high (84 meters) and 150 feet wide (46 meters) waterfall, but a trip to the top on the aerial tram is also a lot of fun.
- Explore the Fortifications of Quebec – Children receive an activity book to make the underground Ramparts come alive. The Ramparts are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America and are recognized as a World Heritage site.
- Take a peek under the water at Aquarium Du Quebec – More than just an aquarium, this park includes an outdoor animal exhibit featuring walruses, seals and polar bears. Stick around for the walrus show and leave plenty of time to watch the polar bear playing. He’s adorable!
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