5 Day-Trip Adventures to Keep Your Family Busy This Summer

Are you looking for ways to make this summer your best one yet? Summer is a time for adventures that just aren’t the same at any other time of the year. Canada offers so many opportunities to experience the great outdoors as a family. The opportunities are endless, and you might find that you can experience more than one of these ideas on a single day trip.

From coast to coast to coast, find an adventure that suits your family and make the most of the summertime sunshine!

1.  Hiking

What better way to explore the outdoors than by fully immersing yourself in nature? Hiking can be a great experience for the whole family as it blends physical activity and learning opportunities with Canada’s great outdoors.

Visit Golden Ears Park, only an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, to experience the Coast Mountains. The West Canyon Trail is a family-friendly option, offering fantastic scenery and a waterfall. Pack a lunch and find a spot along the way to enjoy a picnic.

The Prairies also offer many family-friendly hiking adventures. Meewasin Trail, which runs along the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, is a great year-round trail for the whole family to enjoy. A colourful pedestrian footbridge will lead you to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market, where you can find some healthy treats after your adventure!

Even though school is out, summer is still a great time for learning new things as a family. Forth Whyte Alive, on the outskirts of Winnipeg, offers the opportunity for the whole family to learn about ecosystems and the importance of our environment. Explore the marshes to find out what species live in this type of habitat.

Looking for something local? Check your municipality’s website for family hiking trails near you.

2.  Biking

Grab your helmet, oil up your chain and check your brakes! A family bike ride is a great way to stay active this summer – especially with the many trails that Canada has to offer. From mixed-terrain trails to paved routes, there are biking adventures perfect for all ages. Pick a route that leads you somewhere new!

The Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island is a bike ride you will never forget. This is a perfect family ride with beautiful coastline views. Find a sandy beach and go for a swim to cool off after your ride!

Take the North Star Rails to Trails from Cranbook, BC to Kimberly, BC. The entire trail is 28km long, but simply find a starting point that works best for your family and get the most out of the experience. Stop along the way and see what wildlife you can spot.

3.  Paddling

There’s no better way to explore than by feeling the warm breeze and sunshine reflecting off the water. Grab your lifejacket and paddle and take your time exploring one of Canada’s many lakes. Have your own canoe? Find a lake near you!

If you do not have a canoe, there are plenty of places to rent one for your family adventure. Ask the around at local outdoor outlets for canoe rental opportunities or check with the nearest national park, as parks with lakes will offer canoes rentals.

If you’re in Ontario, rent a canoe from the Portage Store in Algonquin Provincial Park and venture out to Tom Thomson Lake to see where the famous Tom Thomson did many of his paintings.

In Alberta, paddle the Red Deer River for a unique experience. This paddle will take you through farms, ranches, early settlements and the Canadian Badlands! This is a palaeontologist’s paradise. Pair your paddle with a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum to learn all about dinosaurs. How cool is that?

Want to experience something more than a leisurely paddle? Check out New World Rafting in Quebec and take on the rapids as a family this summer. New World Rafting offers whitewater rafting experiences for ages 6 and up. You will even get the chance to swim or bodysurf your way down the river.

4.  Swimming

Why settle for a swimming pool when we live in the country with the most freshwater lakes in the entire world? Actually, Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined! Find a hidden gem and experience swimming in a way that surpasses any pool experience. You can even hike or bike your way to a special swimming spot to make it a family full-day adventure.

Experience the turquoise waters of the Niagara Escarpment. The Grotto in Bruce Peninsula National Park is known for being one of the most amazing swimming holes in North America.

St. Mary’s Quarry (in St. Mary’s, Ontario) offers more than simply swimming. Although there is an entry fee, there are water trampolines, volleyball nets and stand-up paddleboards – making this an adventure the whole family will never forget!

Heading west, seek out Cascade Pond in Banff, Alberta, for a well-rounded experience.  There is a small beach area and walking trails for a hike in the beautiful surroundings.

5.  Community Service Projects

Community service projects can be fun for the whole family and can really make you feel fulfilled. Choose a project that is important to your family, and start by asking your community representatives where they need help.

Your local park is a great place to start. You can plant trees, do a trash cleanup or perhaps plant a community garden. If you’re feeling creative, you might paint a mural or your local bench to add some colour and fun to your local park (get approval from your municipal authorities first, of course!).

Try organizing a Great Canadian Shore Cleanup in your community. This provides the opportunity to take action wherever water meets land. You can either join an existing cleanup or lead your own! As a family, find what works best for you and join in on making a difference for our valuable Canadian waters.

You can also build a bee hotel to improve bee conservation in your area. Create a home for these important pollinators with this Scout Trail Card.


Whether on the trail, paddling, cycling or more, take time to enjoy summer Scouting as a family. Happy adventuring!


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