Ask any parent of ‘tweens or teens when the sweet spot of parenting is and they’ll likely tell you it’s when kids are between the ages of six and ten. They’re much easier to travel with than toddlers, yet still enjoy spending time with their parents and are interested in discovering new things. All of these factors make them an ideal age group to take on a Great Canadian Day Trip this summer. Here are some easy escapes that the grade schoolers in your life are sure to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1

    Treat them to some time travel...

    Teach them the roots of that smartphone they can’t stop staring at with a trip to learn about one of the most important scientific breakthroughs in history, the telephone, at Bell Homestead National Historic Site.

    Westfield Heritage Village is an amazing place to visit to give kids a great sense of what life was like for pioneers. There are over 30 carefully restored heritage buildings, costumed interpreters and fun events throughout the summer.

    Dundurn Castle is a 40-room castle that tells the story of the family who lived above stairs and the servants who lived and worked below stairs to support their affluent lifestyle in the late 1850’s. Be sure to check out the Hamilton Military Museum, also on site, so the kids can see original uniforms from the War of 1812.

    Head for the Hamilton Harbour and climb aboard the HMCS Haida for a tour of Canada’s most decorated war ship.

  • 2

    Have an amazing animal encounter...

    For children eight and up, it doesn’t get any more exciting than the behind-the-scenes access of African Lion Safari’s Wake Up The Wild experience. One of the park’s game wardens will guide you on an unforgettable open-air truck tour where you’ll watch lions devour their breakfast, hand-feed a giraffe and create memories that will last a lifetime.

    Mountsberg Conservation Area’s Douglas G. Cockburn Raptor Centre is home to two dozen different birds of prey, each with their own unique story. Learn about native birds of prey, ask questions and see Mountsberg’s raptors up close at daily shows.

  • 3

    Take them on a dinosaur dig...

    Thrill your favourite budding paleontologist with a day of searching for ancient fossils embedded in the Niagara Escarpment. In addition to miles of trails for exploring, Dundas Valley Conservation Area has a fantastic Discovery Centre where visitors can examine fossils found along the Escarpment and kids can make fossil crafts.

    Then, head to Robert Hall Originals in nearby St. George, where you can browse through the fascinating showroom that houses the largest worldwide collection of rocks in Ontario. See Orthoceras, which are 400-million-year-old squid-like fossils found at the bottom of the ocean, and Apache’s Tears, which are volcanic rock glass created by the sudden cooling of drops of lava coming into contact with water or ice.

  • 4

    Fascinate them with first nations culture...

    Let them explore a 15th Century Reconstructed Iroquoian Village and learn from hands-on displays, exhibits and seasonal demonstrations at Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

    Spend the day dancing to a new beat at one of the region’s amazing Pow Wows. The Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow in July and the Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow and Traditional Gathering in August are great options.

  • 5

    Stimulate their stem (science, technology, engineering and math) cells...

    Introduce train fanatics to a steam engine that puts Thomas the Tank Engine to shame at the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

    Give them the ultimate lesson in physics and a thrill. Visitors to Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum can navigate the legendary Lancaster bomber or a supersonic CF-101 Voodoo jet on a flight simulator.

    Biology lessons don’t get any more beautiful than a trip to Canada’s largest botanical garden. Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens is filled with trails and exhibits that make for a really fun day of exploring. Read a blogger’s account of her afternoon of blooms at Royal Botanical Gardens.

  • 6

    Take it outside...

    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.

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

    Cool off and splash the day away in one of Canada’s largest wave pools at Wild Waterworks.

    Learn the ins and outs of mountain biking at 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.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru November 3

Cook the Trout Survival Challenge

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

December 6

Delicious Desserts: Historic Cooking Workshop

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

Ages:       14 years and up Cost:        $50 per person. Pre-registration is required. Time:        6:30 PM...

September 28 - October 27

Pumpkin Patch Hamilton – Merry Farms

Merry Farms Inc

1974 Concession Rd 2 W, Hamilton (Lynden), Ontario

Open weekends only 10-5pm, Admission during opening is $7.96 + HST, otherwise the fee is $9.73...

Now thru November 16

Puddicombe Farms – Pick Your Own

Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery

1468 #8 Highway, Winona, Hamilton, Ontario L8E 5K9

May - June & November - December: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm or by appointment. July - October:...

Now thru December 31

Float High in the Sky at iFLY Toronto(Oakville)

iFLY Toronto

2007 Winston Park Drive Oakville, L6H 6P5

FLIGHT HOURS Monday: CLOSED Tuesday to Thursday: 2 PM - 9 PM Friday: 11 PM...

Now thru October 6

Grand River Dinner Cruise

Grand River Dinner Cruises

36 Brant County Road 22 Caledonia, N3W 2G9

Lunch Cruise - 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $55 per person (taxes included) Dinner Cruise...

Now thru May 1

The Collection: A Hands-On Experience

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Duration of Experience: 3.5 hours Availability: Year-Round, Afternoons Only Minimum Person: 12

November 22

Sip and Paint

Art Gallery of Burlington

1333 Lakeshore Road Burlington, ON L7S 1A9

6:30-9:30 pm, Cost: $73.45 includes HST

Now thru October 16

Myers Apple Farm – Pick your own

Myers Apple Farm

37 Highway 52, Copetown

Open 9am-6pm 7 days/week

November 23

An Evening with Jane Austen

Battlefield House Museum & Park – National Historic Site

77 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8G 5E5

Call or email to book Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Ages: Adults Cost: $25.00 (including HST)

October 18 - 27

Hamilton Fall Garden & Mum Show

Tourism Hamilton

1000 Main Street East, Hamilton, L8M 1N2

Time: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Children (6 to 12): $6 Adults (13 to 54):...

Now thru October 1

Rose Garden and Hendrie Park Experience

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Duration of Experience: 1.5 to 2 hours. Hours are 10am to 5pm; not hours are...

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