Fun Things to Do This Summer for Water-Loving Families

Two laughing children jump out of shallow water in front of a vast expanse of water. 

Looking for things to do in Ontario this summer? Well, you’re in luck for summer activities in Ontario because there are so many wonderful water-based activities, and summer is when they get a special time to shine. Ontario is blessed with more clean, fresh water than most places in the world, and summer beckons you to jump in.

Build a giant sand castle, learn how to ride white water waves, catch your first fish together, cruise in a houseboat or cannonball off the dock at a waterfront resort. Share the water adventures you loved most as a kid and discover new ones while making family memories.

From low key to thrilling, here are some of Destination Ontario’s favourite summer activities in Ontario.

Things to Do in Ontario This Summer

Resorting

Looking for a one-stop-shop summer vacation with something for everyone in the family? Resorts of Ontario has a collection of wonderful waterfront resorts, cottages and lodges that cater to families with stay-and-play focused packages. With a host of onsite activities and programs geared for kids, parents can look forward to some illusive chill time.

Oakwood Resort boasts private access to a portion of Grand Bend Beach on Lake Huron, all-inclusive Fern Resort is nestled on the shore of Lake Couchiching, Shamrock Lodge is one of Muskoka’s many lakefront gems where kids can enjoy endless hours tubing, swimming and paddling on the water.

Beaching

With four of the five great lakes and overhalf a million bodies of water, it’s no secret we have a lot of beaches. What will surprise you is how diverse and beautiful they are.

Inspire young engineers and architects at the Cobourg Sandcastle Festival. Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world wrapping around the bottom of the Georgian Bay, followed by the second longest, Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron, boasting an aerial park for the climbers in your family. Plus there are loads of family friendly motels, lodges, cottages and campgrounds nearby.

Batchawana Bay is a warm, shallow beach on Lake Superior with all the facilities you’d need for a day of surf and sand. Check out the string of lovely St.Lawrence Parks beaches, followed by a magical overnight at Robin’s Roost Treehouse.

Paddling & Rafting

This is family bonding at its best. Become paddling experts together with the Zero to Hero program on the Madawaska River. Madawaska Kanu Centre offers a full day intro to rafting, canoeing or kayaking, starting on flatwater and moving into the river current. Check out the other kid friendly programs on and off the water during Family Week and Family Weekend.  Accommodations vary from wooded campsites to private cabanas.

Houseboating

Combine the comforts of the cottage with the thrill of exploring on the heritage Trent Severn or Rideau Canal waterways. Treat your skippers and pirates to a houseboating excursion with Egan Houseboat RentalsR&R Houseboats, Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals or Le Boat. Chart your own course and set your own schedule; drop anchor at one of the many locks, find secluded fishing and swimming spots and share in the awe of magnificent summer sunsets.

Fishing

Wherever you find yourselves in the middle-to-end of June, be sure to have your fishing rods ready for Ontario Family Fishing Week. This event is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card. (Convenient, right?) The Ontario Government has designated four periods throughout the year as license-free, and June has one of them.

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information on where and when it is safe to travel please visit: covid-19.ontario.ca