When the summer arrives, it leaves many parents wondering what to do. With children out of school and eager to do as many things as they can before going back, sometimes finding something that suits our family needs turns out to be a hard task (especially if you are trying to stay within a budget). This is a list of my favourite things to do during summer:
Splash/spray pads: They are free (unless they are inside a natural park) and they are fun. You can find them everywhere, and if you combine it with a picnic and an ice-cream it will be the perfect playdate. Here is a list of the ones in Toronto: Splash pads
Beach: One of the best things about Ontario is that we don’t need to be next to the seaside to enjoy beautiful, natural beaches. Thanks to all the lakes in this region, there is a beach near almost any town. If you want to make it a day trip, you might want check one of the family friendly ones.
Movies: Summer time is the perfect time to enjoy a movie under the sky. I personally love going to the drive-in as much as I can. We used to go to 5 Drive-in when we lived in Burlington, and now we are lucky enough to live only 5 minutes away from Mustang Drive-in. Also, many cities around Ontario offer free outdoor movies in local parks. If you are lucky enough to live in Brampton, Mississauga, Burlington or Guelph, don’t miss the chance to have a lovely evening watching a movie with your children under the stars. Although Toronto has many free screenings, I find there are not many targeted for children. Check out the family fun at Earl Bales Park and The Beach Village Movie Nights.
Farms and animal sanctuaries: Summer and the beginning of autumn are the perfect times to visit a farm. Picking strawberries or apples is always fun. If you live in Toronto, don’t forget to visit the Far Enough Farm, located on Centre Island. There are numerous farms all around Ontario. My favourites are Springridge and Stroms, but you can find many others with this locator. If you are all about animals, then you might want to visit the animal sanctuaries. Last year we visited the Donkey Sanctuary, and my son fell in love with the donkeys.
Swimming pools: Swimming with the children is a very fun and cheap activity. There are many indoor and outdoor swimming pools in almost every city. Most of them offer affordable programs for children. Here you can find information for: Toronto, Guelph and Burlington. You can find also some swimming pools inside the parks - like Bronte Creek - although you will have to pay for the park admission and a small fee to access the pool. My favourite one is Brant as it is quite similar to Bronte, but less crowded.
Library programs: All the libraries in Ontario host special events and programs for children. They are fun and free. Check your nearby library. Here are the details for Toronto’s libraries.
Summer festivals: There are many festivals every weekend around Ontario. Several of them just dedicated to children, like the Burlington Children’s Festival. Check out this page for the top 100.
There is plenty more to do - picnics in green spaces (Friday July 15th is free day use at Ontario parks), visiting museums, music in the parks, and free trails all over Ontario. Go out and explore!
Don't forget to follow Miriam's adventures with her family on Instagram!
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