With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning how you’re going to spend your time with your family with a little bit of extra free time. Fortunately, if you live in Ontario, you already have access to a huge amount of fun places and activities to check out!
If you and your partner or your family need help keeping busy indoors or outdoors, look no further! Here, we’ve compiled a list of 11 fun summer activities to do in Ontario this summer!
Fingers crossed Ontario is not in a lockdown this summer, however, some of these the things listed below can still be done during a lockdown if they are in your region or city.
1. Visit a Lighthouse
There’s something special about lighthouses that combine beautiful scenery of the outdoors and a distinct connection to the past. Lighthouses make a great educational opportunity for family activities, but they also feature great natural resources as well.
With over 250,000 lakes in Ontario, there is no shortage of lighthouses to check out!
2. Check Out an Art Exhibit
Ontario is home to some of Canada’s top art museums, like the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, as well as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
These are especially great for older kids, but if you have younger kids, perhaps consider taking them to some art exhibits outdoors, like the Windsor Sculpture Park or the Toronto Sculpture Garden when they are open again, or if in lockdown, check out their virtual and online programming. In the Haliburton Highlands region you can check out the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, it’s outdoors, self led and best of all, free!
MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie has over a dozen exhibitions in their online virtual exhibition gallery.
3. Explore Some Caves
Ontario is also home to some fabulous caves, which are great for exploring the natural history of the region. These caves come in all shapes and sizes, from large and maze-like like the Marmora Maze Caves to the natural sea cave at Bruce Peninsula National Parks.
Definitely check out the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, situated within one of Canada’s eighteen UNESCO biosphere reserves and dating back 450 million years, this location is steeped rich in history and heritage. It also has a 420 ft suspension bridge that is one of the best places to get a view of Georgian Bay.
4. Take a Hike or Ride a Bike
If you maybe don’t love exploring in the dark as much, don’t worry! There are plenty of wonderful hiking and biking trails you can take outdoors. Ontario is home to many, many beautiful natural areas just waiting for you to experience them.
You can book guided hikes in The Blue Mountains with Blue Mountain & Collingwood Adventure Tours or Yours Outdoors in Haliburton. When the province or its regions are not in lockdown, check out and book one these awesome hiking getaway packages.
If biking if your thing, you can book guided or self-led bikes through Georgian Bay region, Simcoe or Haliburton with Humdinger Bicycle Tours. Choose a biking adventure that is right like one-day brewery tours or multiple-day tours and even workshops to help you pack.
You should definitely check out places like Lake Superior Provincial Park, Manitoulin Island, Algonquin Provincial Park, and Finlayson Point Provincial Park. These are the Ontario parks most loved by people of Ontario.
5. Go For A Leisure Cruise
If your kids love boats, there are a lot of great places to take them to enjoy a ride on the water. Alternatively, a cruise is a very sweet romantic date outing.
If you’re looking for a romantic cruise, check out Sunset Cruises board the Peerless II touring the lakes of Muskoka. Captain Randy Potts is a well of knowledge when it comes to the history of the area and he is happy to share his stories.
Ontario’s bays and waterways are endless. A day time or evening cruise is a great way to enjoy the fresh air feeling of boating without having the responsibilities of a captain or boat-owner. Vessel sizes range along with long or short trips. Island Queen out of Parry Sound provides a broad range of fun cruise options. They will take you to famous Henry’s Fish Restaurant (boat-only-access) and even quick trips to Huckleberry Island on Georgian Bay. These are places you can only access by boat. Their two-hour Big Sound morning cruise is perfect for families!
6. GPS Rally
Looking for a fun new way to explore the great outdoors? Check out a GPS Rally this summer!
With your GPS, explore the forest with specific waypoints and answer fun riddles to earn points. Check out this one in Stouffville and many, many more!
7. Explore the Treetops
If you’re tired of having your feet on the ground, why not try exploring the treetops from a new point of view? Ziplining or treetop trekking is a great place to explore new heights and have a ton of fun doing it.
Check out places like Treetop Trekking (multiiple locations), Long Point Eco-Adventures in St. Williams, Treetop Eco-Adventure Park in Oshawa, and Skywood Eco Adventure in Mallorytown for fun times filled with ropes, obstacles, and ziplines.
For wee kids, check out Rounds Ranch in Elmvale. It has so many fun activities and at peak season has beautiful fields of flowers that are perfect for photos.
8. Chasing Waterfalls
No one does waterfalls quite like Ontario. Niagara Falls is of course a must-see if you haven’t already (along with the many tours and activities you can check out in the town itself).
However, there are also lots of other waterfalls in Ontario that you may never have even heard of. Check out Inglis Falls in Owen Sound, Rideau Falls in Ottawa, or Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park!
9. Go Rock Climbing or Hounding!
Rock climbing is a great activity to participate in both indoors and outdoors. Indoor sites are a great place to learn the basics of rock climbing in a safe environment.
If you’re a bit more advanced, you can start exploring outside. For a particularly exciting challenge in beautiful scenery, check out Niagara’s Glen and Lion’s Head Provincial Park.
If you like to dig and chip, no matter your age or skill level, check out the Yours Outdoors Rock Hounding experiences and find your own special rock, mineral or crystal in the hills of the Haliburton Highlands. Pretty neat!
10. Hit the Beach
Ontario may not be known as much for its sunny beaches, but with so many natural lakes in the province, the summer is a great time to catch some rays (or even some waves) on the beach.
11. Golf & Driving Range
Golf is a very popular activity in Ontario. Even for older kids and teens. Fresh air and body movement associated with golfing are a great way to stay healthy, keep your mind sharp and have fun. Ontario golf courses and driving ranges are a fun place to meet new friends and see beautiful areas of Ontario.
Fun Summer Activities for Kids in Ontario
No matter what your family is looking for in summer activities, there’s something for them in Ontario. There is no shortage of fun summer activities for kids in Ontario – you just have to know where to look!
Check out To Do Ontario for more fun summer activities for a hot summer day, and don’t forget to check our events page so you don’t miss anything while you’re here! Remember to tag #ToDoOntario so we can share in your fun!