In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I love to travel with my family though most of our travel has been outside of Canada. Maybe it’s because of the exchange rate or the fact that a lot of fun is planned this year to celebrate Canada 150, but this summer I think we’ll stay closer to home. But home doesn’t have to mean a boring summer and our amazing Ontario summer bucket list proves it.
Summer Bucket List Ideas to Tackle in Ontario
Ontario may be the largest province in Canada based on population but it is also home to a number of amazing wonders worthy of any family’s summer bucket list. This summer I hope to load up the car, pack up the kids and cross off a few of these “must do” destinations from my list. Of course a stop a Shoppers Drug Mart makes it easy Get Your Summer On by stocking up on summer bucket list supplies all in one spot.
Visit the Southernmost point in Canada – Point Pelee National Park
There’s something awe inspiring about roaming a boardwalk, a manmade path through the middle of nature. The Marsh Boardwalk (1km loop, 45 minutes) offers the perfect escape from the busy sidewalks of the city. In addition to the boardwalk, Point Pelee offers families a number of trails to explore by bike or foot, spying plants and animals and even the Trillium, the provincial flower. No need to worry about blisters and skinned knees from an afternoon of walking and exploring with Life Brand Flexible Fabric Bandages tucked in your backpack.
Swim in one of the fresh water Great Lakes – Lake Huron
Our early family travel memories were forged at a Bayfield cottage on the cliffs overlooking Lake Huron. From s’mores by the campfire to skipping rocks and jumping waves, my kids loved spending the weekend in a shack by the water. Lake Huron also has the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, offering a number of beaches for a day trip away without a border crossing. Be sure to nourish your hair after a day of sun, sand, and surf. I especially love OGX brand and nothing says vacation like coconut, found in their Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo.
Picnic on the most extensive lake island – Manitoulin Island
Turn an everyday picnic into an adventure by heading to Manitoulin Island, the largest island on a lake (Lake Huron). You can get to it by car but how fun would it be to take the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry. Slipping a Nerf water blaster or two into your bag can extend the Summer afternoon fun after a long car ride.
Take a road trip on the longest road in Ontario – Yonge Street (Hwy 11)
Any visit to Toronto will take you down Yonge street (or under it if you happen to ride the Yonge-University subway line). What I want to do is road trip from the start of Yonge, north past North Bay and Kirkland Lake and even further west past Thunder Bay, ending at Rainy River. According to Google maps the drive is an estimated 19 and a half hours. Certainly not the longest trip we’ve ever taken with the kids but a great way to explore parts of Ontario we wouldn’t normally visit. And no road trip is complete without road snacks like Chips Ahoy! Thins, Skittles, and Twizzlers.
Attend the largest Elvis festival in the World – Collingwood Elvis Festival
Experiencing the Elvis phenomena was crossed off my bucket list years ago, from visiting Graceland with my husband before kids to driving across country to Las Vegas to witness the man himself marry my brother-in-law. It seems you don’t have to travel as far as we did to get a dose of Elvis with the world’s largest festival right here in our backyard of Collingwood. A gospel brunch, Elvis impersonators and tribute performers are just a few of the events planned to fill this weekend but like any outdoor festival you’ll want to ensure you have you and the kids protected from the sun. I like the Sun Bum Face Cream as I tend to easily burn but Banana Boat Kids sunscreen will keep the kids covered.
Celebrate Canada Day in the country’s capital – Ottawa, Ontario
No Ontario summer bucket list can be complete this sesquicentennial without a visit to Ottawa. To visit for the Canada Day weekend is an amazing experience (I can say that as I lived there for my high school years and experienced this first hand). From fireworks and festivals, to the canal and parliament buildings, the city has so much to offer families Canada Day weekend or any summer weekend, especially with their 150-year celebration. For added fun, and an item on our Kindness Acts for Kids list, leave random messages or happy pictures on the city sidewalks. I love that I can grab a box of assorted colours at my local Shoppers Drug Mart when I stock up on other summer travel bucket list needs.
Sure there are other destinations in the world you could visit for palm trees and tropical breezes but there’s something to be said about being a tourist in your own backyard, especially if that backyard is Ontario. In addition to these bucket list worthy family destinations, don’t forget to take advantage of your free Discovery Pass from Parks Canada giving you access to over 148 national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas as well as national urban parks.
Get Your Summer On Around the GTA
No matter what’s on your family’s summer bucket list Shoppers Drug Mart makes it easy to stock up on all your needs in one easy place. Get Your Summer On with Shoppers Drug Mart for a chance to win great prizes. Just look for their giant summer bucket at various locations throughout the GTA:
- Toronto Harbourfront – Harbourfront Kids Circus (May 20 -22)
- Square One Celebration Square Movie Nights in Mississauga on Thursday nights (May 25, June 1, June 8, June 15)
- Barrie Waterfront Festival (May 26 – 28)
- Riverside Eats & Beats Streetfest (June 3-4)
- and other fun-filled events!
There are also chances to win prizes in store starting on Saturday AND find out how you can win 1 of 5 prizes of 1 million Optimum points by visiting shoppersdrugmart.ca/summeron.
What’s on your summer bucket list?
This post is sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart but as always, thoughts and opinions shared are my own.
2 thoughts on “6 Amazing Ontario Ideas to add to Your Summer Bucket List”
I’m actually from Ontario, and I can confirm that this is a great list of places! Thanks for putting this together!
I thought I have been around Ontario, but surprisingly I’m happy to not have done any of these things. Would love to know more about your experiences at Point Pelee. That is next on my Ontario bucket list.