What to see and do on a family vacation to Canada

The best places to visit to keep the whole family entertained

The safe and scenic adventures you can experience on a trip to Canada make the country a perfect place for family vacations. The list we’ve compiled below provides an overview of the best things to see and do on a family vacation to Canada. We haven’t just included the regular tourist jaunts, but a list of things that the locals would even make the time to see so you can be sure you’re experiencing Canada the way the locals do.

Algonquin Park, Ontario

An approximate 3-hour drive from downtown Toronto, Algonquin Park is a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors. With several outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained, you can expect a wide selection of things to do including camping, fishing, mountain biking, canoeing, picnicking and swimming in the beautiful lakes. If your kids are particularly fond of learning about natural history, the Park’s Junior Ranger Program provides a free booklet of fun activities to complete as they explore the park grounds. Booklets can be collected from the Park’s Visitor Centre.

Grand Bend, Ontario

Located 2.5 hours south west of Toronto by car, Grand Bend provides a mix of beach activities and heritage to keep the whole family entertained. If your kids are a fan of adventure, they can try parasailing or a banana boat ride on the warm beach waters. The Lambton Heritage Museum also provides a great place to learn about Lambton County, while the farmer’s market will keep hunger at bay with a wide selection of fresh food and treats for the family. The area has variety of accommodation including resorts, cottage rentals and campsites.

Eastern Townships, Quebec

The Eastern Townships are Montreal’s cottage country. With an exciting mix of cultural and outdoor activities, this part of Quebec has something to keep the whole family entertained. Outdoor lovers will love the heated pools and mountainside slides at the Ski Bromont waterpark and the nature trails at the Mont-Orford National Park.

Looking for something to entertain younger kids? The Zoo de Granby, the largest zoo in Quebec has a mini amusement park that has a ferris wheel and a waterpark. Another great place to take the kids is the large playroom at the Hotel Cheribourg in Orford which includes a bouncing castle, air hockey, foosball tables and a petting zoo making it the perfect place for the kids to enjoy while you relax. If all these activities leave you feeling hungry, try one of the townships’ traditional ‘milky bars’ for a sundae or milkshake.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia is the perfect combination of old-world charm and new-world experiences that will help you quickly forget the hustle and bustle of city life. The Victoria Butterfly Gardens provide a tropical oasis where kids can look at flamingos, tropical birds, geckos and thousands of free-flying butterflies. After the Butterfly Gardens, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with an ice cream or milkshake from the Soda Shoppe and stroll back to your accommodation, if you’re staying downtown.

If the kids are keen to run around, take them for a day at the beach near the West Coast lighthouse. It’s the perfect place for a picnic and has plenty of open area to run around and kick a ball. Other activities in the area that kids will enjoy include zip lining through leafy treetops, hiking or kayaking.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

It would be hard to visit Canada and not see Niagara Falls. The 170-foot waterfall is a spectacular site and a boat tour with Hornblower Niagara Cruises is the perfect way to see the falls up close, just remember to wear your poncho! Once you’ve viewed the falls up close, try zip lining near the falls or taking a short walk up to Clifton Hill. While this isn’t an entertainment or dining connoisseur’s destination, the arcades and fast food restaurants in the area are sure to put a smile on your kid’s faces. 

While the things to see, and do on a family vacation in Canada listed above are a great place to start for your vacation, there are several other experiences and places you are likely to discover along the way. Share your favourite family vacation experiences from around Canada in the comments below.