The warmer weather brings lots of opportunities for outdoor fun, and with so many concerts, activities and competitions to choose from, there really is something for everyone in your brood. We’ve rounded up some family-friendly events across Canada for you to check out.
A version of this article appeared in our June 2013 issue with the headline "All the best: Summer fairs & festivals," pp.123-128.Photo: Redpath Waterfront Festival
When looking to celebrate summer, why not go where there’s almost 24 hours a day of sunlight? The only thing shining more brightly is the northern talent, including artists, street performers and musicians. It’s also a great way for kids to learn about community outreach, and indigenous history and culture, as the event features presentations and displays from many non-profit organizations. The festival kicks off on National Aboriginal Day.
Sombak’e Park, YellowknifePhoto: Rhythmatism with Dan
Have some fun while fundraising for the community of Cherryville. We’re enamoured with the baking contest and tea garden, and so are our little princes and princesses. The kids’ dance is very cute, and the live music keeps everything groovy. Pony rides are a perennial hit with the children.
Free admission, varied activity charges.
Cherryville Community Hall, 158 North Fork. 250-547-6540Photo: Cherryville
This nostalgic event celebrates entertainment from another era with a gamut of heritage activities, like horse-drawn wagon rides, panning for gold and even ice cream making. The hamburgers-and-hot-dog BBQ is delicious (and thankfully not leftover from heritage times!).
Admission to the site is half-price ($5) for the whole family.
4660 Barkerville Hwy, Quesnel. 250-992-2071Photo: Cottonwood House Historic Site
It’s all about the wide array of activities here: Decorate a hat, tie, pinwheel or flower; take part in a tae kwon do demonstration, or learn about healthy living at the Heart and Stroke Activity station; play with clay, perfect a puppet, or get immersed in an animal tale with storytellers. There’s also a Kindermusik session, wand-making fun, a fossil discovery centre, and an orchestra petting zoo, where kids can play with a variety of instruments.
Advance tickets $14 each or a family pack of four for $48; kids younger than two free.
The Forks, Winnipeg. 204-958-4733Photo: Winnipeg International Children's Festival
Mudcats — a.k.a the unofficial catfish mascot of Dunnville — will be doing the rounds at this fun-filled event. They’ll be swimming between the parade, midway, fireworks, reptile show, bed races, duck and canoe races, magician and juggler. Good luck getting your kids to leave as they experience everything this town has to offer.
Get more information at dunnvillechamberofcommerce.ca
There’s so much to do in Place de la famille le Lait (the kids’ section of this festival) that we don’t even know where to start. There’s the skateboard park, equestrian workshops and children’s performances every day, as well as wacky stage makeup artists who can turn your kid into anything from a clown to a canary. A bevy of hands-on events will tire out the kids so that you can book a babysitter and check out the hundreds of evening shows (like the UK’s Belle and Sebastian).
12 years old and up $30; kids 11 years and younger accompanied by an adult are free of charge. Place de la famille le Lait free at all times.
Espace 400e, Port of Québec; 418-529-5200Photo: Festival D'Ete De Quebec
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