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 and Grand River Rafting 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 September 17

Expressive Abstract Painting Party with Studio K2

studio k2

The Cotton Factory, DyeWorks Building, 9 Landsdowne Avenue, Hamilton

Date & Time: Third Wednesday each month, 7:00pm - 9:00pm Workshop Price: $50/person +HST

Now thru January 1

Woodland Cultural Centre – Virtual Museum Tour

Woodland Cultural Centre

184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON, N3T 5V6

Now thru December 19

Trivia Nights at the Arlington

Arlington Hotel

106 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M5

Dates and Times: every Thursday from 7:00pm to 9:00pm Max 6 people per team, must...

Now thru October 20

Grand River Rafting: Paris to Brant Park (Self-Guided)

Grand River Rafting Company

119 Jennings Rd, Brantford

Date & Times: Various across Seasons and Days Price: Ranges from $40 to $100 depending...

July 13 - August 18

Pick Your Own Blueberries at The Blueberry Patch

The Blueberry Patch

289 Brant County Hwy 53, Brant, ON N0E 1A0

Picking Season: mid-Jul to mid-Aug Call ahead to check picking conditions!

Now thru August 16

Exhibition: Poetry in Stitches

Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum

64 Sulphur Springs Road, Ancaster, ON, L9G 1L8

Dates: Apr 23rd to Aug 16th (Tuesday to Saturday) Times: 12:00pm to 4:00pm Cost: Regular...

Now thru October 31

Pick Your Own Produce at Murphy’s Country Produce

Murphy’s Country Produce Ltd

2040 Guyatt Road, RR # 1, Binbrook, ON, L0R 1C0

Days and Times: Mon to Fri - 7:30am to 7:30pm, Sat & Sun - 7:30am...

Now thru December 7

Oakville Museum Guided Tour

Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate

8 Navy Street, Oakville, ON, L6J 2Y5

Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. General admission by donation (Suggested $7 per...

Now thru June 30

Winter Staycations in Brant

Brant Tourism

31 Mechanic St, Paris, ON N3L 1K1

Some winter activities but enjoy others all year round!

Now thru December 31

A Taste of Paris – Sip, Savour & Shopping

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This tour includes three tasting locations with timed stops to make your day...

July 6 - August 24

Yoga at the Gardens: Summer

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON, Canada

Dates and Times: Saturdays, Jul 6th to Aug 24th, 10:00am (1 to 2 hours) Registration...

Now thru December 31

‘To Market We Go’ – Brantford & Brant

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This Tasty Road Trips Tour is a full-day trip experience with a customized...

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