10 Canadian Attractions Every Kid Should Experience

Canada is loaded with both adult and kid-friendly attractions from coast to coast and whether you live in this beautiful country or are just here for a visit, there are a few key ones not to miss. From the highest point in Toronto to the red sands in Prince Edward Island to the frozen city of Quebec, here are 10 Canadian attraction that every kid should experience in their lifetime.

10. The Carnaval, Quebec City, Quebec

If there is a winter experience that every kid should have in Canada it would be the Carnaval that takes place every year in Quebec City. Every year thousands of visitors flock to this cold weather event which plays host to a slew of activities including snow sculptures, human foosball, snow slides, night parades, outdoor dance parties, sleigh rides, skating and more.

Kids love to meet the mascot of the Carnaval, Bonhomme-the giant real-life snowman who loves to meet with the kids. Make sure to visit him in his epic Ice Palace that is created especially for him and serves as a focal point for several of the activities. Visit a traditional sugar shack, watch as brave men and women frolic in the snow in only their bathing suits at the snow bath and take in one of the family-friendly shows. Whatever you do, make sure you bundle up!

9. Green Gables, Cavendish, P.E.I

Every year hundreds of thousands of people come to the tiny island of Prince Edward Island to visit the site that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s famous Anne of Green Gables novel. This is the perfect place to take the kids and one of the most famed attractions across the country. Located in the popular town of Cavendish visitors to the site will have the opportunity to tour the house and take part in interpretation programs, as well as a stroll through the Haunted Woods and Balsam Hollow trails as found in the book.

Head down to Avonlea Village, a recreated rural community based on the village where Anne lived. Here you can enjoy a children’s music show, browse electric shops and join an authentic PEI kitchen dance party with the kids. Don’t miss the chance to let the kids dress up as Anne at Gateway Village where they can get a replica photo taken, memories that will certainly last a lifetime.

8. Santa’s Village, Bracebridge, Ontario

This 60-acre family entertainment park is nestled in a beautiful setting on the Muskoka River in Bracebridge, Ontario, just a couple short hours from Toronto. It was established in 1955 and this particular location was chosen, as it is exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole, a place where Santa chooses to spend his warm months. This park is only open in the summer and plan on getting there early in the morning to enjoy breakfast with Santa, every day between 9:30-10:30.

Younger ones will love the rides such as swan paddleboats, air bouncers, a miniature Santa roller coaster and more. The splash pad feature giant water buckets that tip and towering candy cane fountains. Come decorate your Christmas cookies at the bake shop, head to Santa’s cabin to grab a photo or visit the farm where there are plenty of deer, sheep, and goat. It is truly Christmas in July here at this unique Canadian attraction.

Via Groupon

7. Algonquin Park, Ontario

If you are looking to get outdoors in the summer and hit the campgrounds there is no better place than Algonquin Park in Ontario. Let’s face it, as much work as it is for parents to take their kids camping, kids absolutely love being able to explore the outdoors. A canoe ride in this park should be on anyone’s bucket list, slicing over the still water with an expanse of water, rock and pine trees in the distance.

Although this park offers a ton of backcountry experiences, they have also made it extremely family friendly with kid-friendly camping areas, rentals on-site and recommended short canoe trips. There is no shortage of beaches to explore, hiking trails, wildlife and enough room for any kid to run around until they can run no more. Hey, maybe they might even sleep in past 7 am.

6. Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario

With a name like that, it’s hard to write this list without recommending that this Canadian attraction is visited. The CNE, also known as The Ex is an annual event that takes place for 18 days leading up to an including Canadian Labour Day. Activities here range from an incredible air show, rides, and games, a farm, special kids world, talent shows, special demonstrations and foods that kids will go crazy for.

Every year there is one day during the event that has super discounted prices for kids with the purchase of adult admission. It is here where you will find sing-along with Dora, meet and greets with your kid’s favorite characters, art studios, toy workshops and enough activities to keep you busy for days. Bring a stroller for the wee ones though as it does require a lot of walking.

5. West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta

It is the largest shopping mall in North America and absolutely littered with things to see and do, from amusement parks to theatres to an indoor water park. Galaxyland, the indoor amusement park features 24 rides and attractions including roller coasters and thrilling launch rides. World Waterpark is the second largest indoor waterpark and features the world’s largest indoor wave pool and towering twisting waterslides.

The Ice Palace invites skaters of all levels to skate on this scaled down version of an NHL ice rink in the center of the mall. Other exciting things to do here with the kids is indoor mini-golf, an arcade, bowling alley, indoor skate park and explore the theme areas throughout. We promise you could spend 5 days here and still not run out of things to do.

4. CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario

It is Toronto’s most famous landmark and going to the top as a kid is absolutely one of the most memorable moments. For a long time this city attraction was the tallest free-standing structure in the world, and although it lost that title in 2010 it still remains a popular tourist attraction. Kids will love riding in the glass-fronted and glass-floored elevator up to the SkyPod for fantastic views over the city, especially if the kids are a little older to appreciate just how high up they actually are.

The lookout level offers the chance for kids to step out onto the glass floor and really feel like they are floating. If you have kids under the age you will want to make your way to the KidZone, a recent addition to the CN tower which features over 1,500 square feet of space for kids to play. Kids also happen to love the short 14-minute film that features streetcars and propels the audience through the city. Fun for both kids and adults, visit this iconic landmark next time you are in Toronto.

3. Calgary Stampede, Calgary, Alberta

This annual rodeo, exhibition and festival is held every July in Calgary, Alberta and calls itself the greatest outdoor show on earth. Kids love the chance to get up close and personal with the animals at the Stampede including cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, dogs and more. Captivating shows such as superdogs, acrodunk, Thomas and friends, Dora the Explorer and more happen throughout the festival.

Fun interactive activities and rides are located throughout the park, along with enough deep-fried chocolate treats to keep them going all day long. With a midway, market, one epic parade, the rodeo and plenty of parties; the time is now to put on those cowboy boots and hit this epic Canadian attraction with the kids.

2. Canada’s Wonderland, Toronto, Ontario

It is one of the best theme parks in Canada and the largest, opened in 19981 and improving each year that passes. Located in the north of Toronto, it is the perfect day trip for families with kids of all ages. Open daily from May to September and then weekends only until November your best bet to avoid lines is to go during the week before school is out for the summer. Featuring 16 roller coasters, a waterpark, many thrill rides and a special kids-only zone; this park has something for everyone.

Planet Snoopy and Kidzville is perfect the wee ones in your life and features character meet and greets, miniature roller coasters, live entertainment, bumper cars, train rides, swings and more. If you have older kids you won’t want to miss the Halloween Haunt where the park transforms into one giant spooktacular experience complete with rides, mazes and scare zones with live actors throughout the park.

1. Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario

It is well known that the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is far prettier than the American, but truth be told how many kids really care about that. Sure they love to see the gushing waterfalls but what makes this attraction really awesome in Canada is the amount of kid-friendly attractions near the falls.

The best-known attraction has to be the Maid of the Mist boat cruise which takes passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls, an exciting experience for all ages. Lundy’s Lane is where the kids will want to head in this town as it offers activities such as bowling, arcades, mini-putt, haunted houses, laser tag and an indoor waterpark. Watch the fireworks over the falls during the summer, grab a bite to eat and wander alongside the impressive thundering falls.

The 8 Most Romantic Cottage Destinations in Canada

From coast to coast, the country of Canada is packed with magnificent scenery, charming small towns, snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, and thick, lush nature. If you are looking for a romantic getaway there is no need to look further than this country packed with hospitality and romance. Choosing to stay at a cottage rather than a hotel doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort and amenities. What it does mean is more privacy, seclusion and opportunity to rekindle that romantic spirit. From Newfoundland to Ontario to British Columbia, these eight romantic cottage destinations are sure to make you swoon.

8. Heart’s Delight, Newfoundland

With a name like Heart’s Delight it would be hard to expect anything but romance from this destination. Located on the Atlantic Coast in rural Newfoundland, it is truly a getaway from everything and everyone. Visitors looking for romance coupled with nature should put this small town on the top of their list. With views of Shag Rock, icebergs outside your window and visiting whales that you can see from your porch; the conditions are ideal for a whole lot of snuggling, candlelight and romance. There are many choices to choose from in terms of cabins and cottages along Trinity Bay and if you fancy a road trip, make sure to check out the two neighboring towns, Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire. Take a sunset hike, watch the fisherman gather their catch and enjoy the tranquil and peaceful nature of beautiful Newfoundland.

Heart's Delight

7. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Whatever season you choose to visit Cape Breton, one thing remains the same. The slow paced laid-back lifestyle is perfect for a romantic getaway. Choose a cottage located along the Cabot Trail and awake to the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs. The beauty of the landscape here is almost poetic and it’s as if you have stepped into another world once you cross over to the island from the mainland. Delicious seafood dinners in cozy pubs with fiddlers playing a quiet jig are ideal for reconnecting with your partner. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the landscape by hiking or cycling in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. If you are looking for the ultimate relaxation getaway to rekindle the romance, where cell phones are turned off and the only sounds are the waves crashing and the birds chirping, Cape Breton should be at the top of your list.

Cape breton highlands

6. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

It is known as one of the prettiest small towns in all of Canada, with its historic houses and theatres, garden boxes lining the streets and boutique shops. With every season come new surprises in terms of landscape and scenery, making it a year-round romantic destination. The cottages here are more than likely houses that are hundreds of years old, adorned with original features and charm. In a region full of world-renowned wineries, it isn’t hard to find romantic experiences here. Winery tours and dinners are a must for anyone visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake and prepare to open your senses to an exhilarating culinary experience. Get around town by horse-drawn carriage or rent a bicycle and tour the historic downtown. The Niagara River meets Lake Ontario here and days are passed by sitting on the sandy shores, or walking the trails along the river. One of Ontario’s best kept secrets; this town was made for the romantic couple.

Niagara On The Lake
LesPalenik / Shutterstock.com

5. Algonquin Park, Ontario

The pristine wilderness setting of Algonquin Park sets the stage for romance for the true nature lovers. Thousands of lakes, rocky ridges and forests are yours to explore on one of many romantic getaways that await visitors. Most of the romantic cottages you will find around Algonquin Park feature luxury accommodations and fine dining. Think wood burning fireplaces, handcrafted furniture and private hot tubs on the deck. This region of Ontario is full of upscale, high profile cottage owners and for the right price; you could have the romantic getaway of a lifetime. Paddle your way through one of the thousands of lakes without seeing another soul, hike through the wilderness to watch bears and moose in their homes and return to your cottage retreat for a 5 star dining experience. It is one of the most breathtaking natural scenic experiences in Ontario and begs to be explored, made better only by the company you are with.

Algonquin

4. Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City remains one of Canada’s top romantic getaway destinations year after year. The Rue du Petit Champlain has been called one of the prettiest streets in all of North America and while taking in the sights from the top of the stairs, it is easy to see why. Visiting in the wintertime is actually when Quebec City is at its most romantic. The charming shops and boutiques are decorated with twinkling lights, horse-drawn carriages clop along the cobblestone streets and fires crackle in the confines of your cottage. Choose to stay in a cottage outside of the city where you can escape from it all and take in the breathtaking landscape. Many have beautiful views of the Saint-Lawrence River or are placed on the banks of the many surrounding lakes. Cozy up in a quaint café, stroll hand in hand through the historic city and dine in luxury at one of the award-winning restaurants.

quebec city

3. Whitehorse, Yukon

The choice is yours, the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. Whichever one you choose, visiting the Yukon is like visiting another planet all together, and although it may not be your first thought when you think romance; this cottage destination has it all. The luxury log cabins that are located outside of Whitehorse offer everything from outdoor hot tubs to saunas to luxury linens to satellite TV. Combine that with the endless opportunities to explore one of the most uninhabited regions in the world and this promises to be a trip of a lifetime. Couples can hike, canoe, mountain bike, horseback ride, ice fish, ski, snowboard and more through the Yukon’s epic landscapes. The Yukon also happens to provide incredible views of the breathtaking natural phenomenon referred to as the Northern Lights. What’s more romantic than witnessing this incredible natural light show that occurs in the sky?

Yukon, Northern Lights

2. Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy’s Cove is full of cozy cottages, romantic B&B’s and picturesque landscapes that will create unforgettable memories. The small fishing village is famous for its lighthouse and the story of Peggy, which can be romantic or practical, depending on who you ask. Nestled amongst glacier rock formations and surrounded by nature, this romantic getaway is best spent relaxing and exploring the landscape. Long walks on the beach, sunset picnics with a nice bottle of wine and ocean views as far as the eye can see are just a few of the activities that romantic couples do here. Bask in the sun, feel the ocean salt as it hits your cheek and dine in one of the intimate seafood restaurants nearby. Above all, Peggy’s Cove gives couples the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the sounds of nature around them.

1. Banff, Alberta

The West Coast of Canada is truly breathtaking with its awe-inspiring mountains, colorful lakes and romantic hot springs. Lake Louise in Banff has been named as one of the top honeymoon destinations in Canada year after year for its romance factor. Secluded, pristine, cozy and unbelievably beautiful; this area of the country offers hidden cottages in the mountains and a setting for romance unlike any other. Vacation goers can choose from luxury cabins on the shores of the lakes or secluded cottages hidden in the mountains reached only by hiking. Winter brings wood fires, snowshoeing and the experience of a  winter wonderland while summer lets visitors canoe, swim and hike through the beautiful land. Whichever season you prefer, we promise this won’t be your last romantic cottage getaway here.

Banff National Park

Best Ways to Spend a Long Weekend in Ontario

The many different options for spending a long weekend in Ontario can be dizzying. Throughout the mammoth province there are vibrant capitals, white sand beaches, back country adventures, charming small towns, and over 250,000 lakes creating an ideal backdrop for cottage getaways, camping trips, scenic road trips, and so much more. Arts and entertainment, cultural attractions, world class shopping and some of the country’s best festivals and fairs are all found throughout Ontario. When a long weekend finally arrives, scores of choices are available for almost any mood and lifestyle. Here are six ways to spend a long weekend in Ontario:

6. Niagara Region

The Niagara region of Ontario is a scenic summer destination that doesn’t disappoint. There are scores of attractions for families with kids of all ages and a ton of things to do for adults both day and night. During official Canadian holidays and long weekends, Clifton Hill entertainment district is ripe with deals, offering up deep discounts on attractions like the Niagara Skywheel, indoor water park, Wild West Coaster, and countless other kid-friendly and adult-focused stops. The many popular Niagara restaurants and bars also contribute to the overall savings with some great bargains on dining and cocktails, wine tours and tastings, and exciting helicopter rides over the falls. Pair the attractions with some great hotel and B&B deals (and an incredible fireworks show above the falls) and you’ve got one fantastic long weekend adventure. Journey beyond the falls to hot spots like the escarpment, Queenston Heights historic park, and Crystal Beach.

Niagara Falls 1

5. Haliburton Tour de Forest

The county of Haliburton, called Haliburton Highlands, is an important part of Ontario’s popular cottage country area with Haliburton village holding the central spot. Brimming with more than two dozen lakes and rivers, Haliburton boasts swimming, fishing canoeing, kayaking, and beach combing. The incredibly scenic backdrop lures and inspires artisans, the catalysts for Haliburton Tour de Forest which happens annually over the August civic holiday long weekend. This tour of local work is a big deal and a terrific way to meet talented local artists; anyone appreciating art and culture will love it. Works from 20 artists throughout eight fine studios are displayed and include intricately formed pottery, extraordinary glass works, fine jewelry, textile arts, woodworking, an array of paintings, photography, and much more. For those road-trip adventurers, the area beyond Haliburton is home to many impressive tourist towns including Huntsville, Dorset, Bracebridge, and Gravenhurst, each within easy driving distance.

Haliburton

4. Ottawa

As Canada’s capital, Ottawa is one of the most interesting and entertaining places. Located picturesquely along the Ottawa River inside southern Ontario’s east side, the city presents a remarkable number of things to do and see. Ottawa presents big-city with a small-town feel; locals are friendly and unhurried, the streets are wide and clean, and the diversity of experiences on hand is incomparable. Every Canadian long weekend in Ottawa features a host of events happening all around the area. There’s always a long weekend festival to check out—Ottawa knows how to make things happen! Kid’s attractions, live music events, carnival games, midway rides, and more are usually on the long weekend celebration roster and coincide with a fun festival and exhibition along with special outdoor markets and theater shows. Outside of planned celebrations, there are museums and galleries, country drives, neighborhood tours, and tons of outdoor excursions in the vicinity.

Ottawa, Ontario

3. Blue Mountain Village Beach Party

Each year, Blue Mountain Village throws a long weekend bash filled with special events, activities, and attractions during the August civic holiday. The village is the heart of the resort area and where you’ll find shops and restaurants lining cobblestone streets brimming with buskers, outdoor music, and an evening fire pit. The cool beats of Calypso and Reggae music spill from the Blue Mountain Village Beach Party while interactive drumming lessons, face painting booths, lively dance parties, scavenger hunts, and more are hosted. There’s live music all weekend long and a flashy fireworks show too. The most enterprising souls might want to check out the triple zip line, a boat rental, a segway tour, or some local rock climbing. For a completely action-packed weekend, there are also gondola rides, an aquatic center, and a putting course available. Enjoy it for a day or stay overnight to experience all the festivities.

Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock.com
Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock.com

2. Algonquin Provincial Park

The vast, seemingly endless interior of Ontario’s gorgeous Algonquin Park offers an incredible number of things to do during a long weekend. Historically home to some of Canada’s Aboriginal groups, the park is the largest in Ontario (almost ¼ of the size of Switzerland). Picture Algonquin and imagery leans to the great outdoors, but that doesn’t have to mean roughing it in the least. The park accommodates every option imaginable: rustic interior campsites or those with convenient utilities, unique historic cabins, cheap motels, and even five-star luxury lodges. From most points, visitors can fish, swim, canoe, kayak, and hike. Incredible trails, scenic boardwalk paths, a host of museums, panoramic picnic grounds, visitors’ centers, and a smattering of gift shops are available. The number of different campgrounds is staggering; some in-depth research does wonders for finding the area best suited to particular interests—and be sure to book well in advance.

Algonquin Park, Canada

1. Prince Edward County

Famous for award winning wineries and beautiful beaches, Prince Edward County boasts beauty, adventure, and an ideal climate. Spending a long weekend exploring back road scenery, visiting wineries, and willing hours away on the beach is a little slice of heaven. A trip to this lovely county is just two easy hours from Toronto but it feels more like a million miles from everything. On the southern side is Sandbanks Provincial Park and it looks just as it sounds. This is where to ditch the daily grind, bask on one of Ontario’s finest stretches of sand, stroll along the dunes, pick up local roadside produce, and rest your head in a charming bed and breakfast. The artist community has jammed the area full of quirky browsing galleries and studios, adding to the already-charismatic landscape. Sure, top-notch wineries are a definite attraction here, but the area features far more than just wine.

Sandbanks Park