Teen-approved ways to spend the day

Between summer sports schedules, part-time jobs and busy social lives, it can be tricky to convince the teens in your life to take time for summer travel. Enter the Great Canadian Day Trip. Day trips are a fantastic option for this sometimes hard-to-please demographic for a number of reasons, including the fact that they can be done in as little as four hours and it’s affordable to bring a friend along to make it more fun for them. Here are some day trip ideas that we think the teens in your life will love this summer.

View our complete collection of summer offers, or download a convenient printable version with 21 featured deals.

Try a new sport

Forget indoor climbing gyms. Take a family climbing lesson on the limestone cliffs of Milton’s Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area. Read this for some outfitter suggestions.

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Learn the in’s and out’s of mountain biking on Kelso Conservation Area’s new Mountain Bike Skills Zone, which features wooden bridges, rollers, rocks, and logs to help riders learn how to properly tackle technical features in a controlled environment.

The Grand River’s gentle currents make it a great choice for first-time paddlers. Area outfitters such as Grand Experiences, Grand River Rafting and Heritage River Canoe and Kayak Co. make it so easy to gear up and go. This summer, Grand River Rafting is offering a Turbo Tube Trip package for 4 for just $99.99 (plus hst). 

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See what all the buzz is about and take a stand-up paddleboard lesson on the shores of Lake Ontario in Burlington. Get the limited time offer.

Give wakeboarding a try at Binbrook Conservation Area. Boarder Pass Canada operates a two-tower cable wake boarding system that provides the ultimate wakeboarding experience and is appropriate for people who have never tried the sport.

Defy the law of gravity with a thrilling free-fall experience at Oakville’s iFLY Toronto. You’ll get a real sense of what skydivers experience during the free-fall portion of their jump at this indoor facility.

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Hit the beach

Stoney Creek’s Fifty Point Conservation Area, Brantford’s Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area, Hamilton’s Christie LakeValens Lake Conservation Area and Burlington’s downtown shoreline are all great choices for a few hours of sun and sand.

Score designer deals

Brand-conscious teens will be thrilled with the collection of stores that awaits at Halton’s Toronto Premium Outlets, including Coach, Kate Spade, J. Crew, Bench and dozens more. If your teen prefers to hunt for vintage finds, head to Hamilton’s Ottawa Street or the vintage shops of Paris.

Go ghost hunting

Show them you don’t have to watch a horror movie to get spooked by taking them on a paranormal night paddle. The Whisper to the Moon rafting trip includes a night paddle down the Grand River with a First Nations Haudenosaunee guide to the oldest pre-confederate Mansion on the Six Nations Territories where you’ll get a first-hand taste of the historic building’s spirited past. Or, visit Oakville’s Erchless Estate, where mysterious sightings of at least nine ghosts have been reported.

Inspire their artsy side

Plan a trip to the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It’s Canada’s third-largest public art gallery and is home to over 9,500 works of art. Just down the street you’ll find the Art Gallery of Hamilton Design Annex. Time your visit with one of the hands-on classes offered here, shop for unique art pieces in the Art+Design store, and take in one of the gallery’s experimental exhibitions. A great way for out-of-towners to tour through some of the city’s independent art spaces, including galleries, shops and studios, is to attend the monthly James Street North Art Crawl. It’s held on the second Friday night of every month.

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Fuel up on food truck fare

Spend a day exploring around Hamilton and Burlington and catching up with the region’s amazing collection of food trucks

Enjoy music together

Hamilton Halton Brant’s summer festivals are a fun way to enjoy music together. The lineup for August’s Harvest Picnic includes Jann Arden, The Jim Cuddy Band, Alan Doyle and The Beautiful Gypsies, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Rheostatics, Great Lake Swimmers and Cowboy Junkies. September’s SuperCrawl tends toward artists that are a little edgier. Past performers have included Monster Truck, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Daniel Lanois, The Sadies and Hayden. 

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Snap a sensational summer selfie

For today’s social media savvy teens, you didn’t do something cool unless there’s a selfie to prove it. Hamilton Halton Brant has some share-worthy spots for your teen’s summer posting pleasure, including:

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Want even more ideas for Great Canadian Day Trips? Become a Hamilton Halton Brant insider and receive the latest trip ideas, offers and promotions delivered right to your inbox each month. Sign up now.

Be sure to check our summer offers before you head out on your next Great Canadian Day Trip. There are several 2-for-1 admission offers for teen-friendly trips including Grand River Paddling experiences, rock climbing lessons, stand-up paddleboarding and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

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