1. Summerside Lobster Festival Head on out to Summerside, PEI, for this annual festival that offers tons of family fun. Admission is $2 for kids and seniors and $3 for adults, and it gives you access to entertainment on the waterfront stage (with the exception of the Paper Lions show at 9 p.m. on Atlantic Canadian Day), as well as the Kids Summer Fun Zone. There, your little ones will be able to check out the Lego Lobster Zone, where kids ages 12 and under get to build and take home a Lego lobster while supplies last, as well as enjoy sandcastle building and bouncy castles. If you’re a family of thrill-seekers, you’ll definitely want to buy a pass for the midway (the cost per pass is $21 in advance, or $26 at the festival entrance) to enjoy all the rides. On July 24, the grounds are also the site of the DiverseCity Festival, an annual celebration of multiculturalism packed with activities, food and performances.
When: July 18 to 24 More info: summersidelobsterfest.com
2. The Guild The Guild theatre in Charlottetown is presenting several family-friendly musicals this summer. Anne & Gilbert is geared to slightly older kids (children under four aren’t allowed to attend performances), but everyone can travel under the sea with Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. or sail the ocean blue with the interactive Pirates Arrr Us!, which is full of singing, dancing and puppetry.
When: Disney’s The Lttle Mermaid Jr. performances are on Mondays and Thursdays in July and August at 11 a.m.; Pirates Arrr Us! performances are on Saturdays in July and August at 11 a.m.; Anne & Gilbert performances run six days a week at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. throughout the summer More info: theguildpei.com
3. 24th Annual Abegweit Pow-Wow on Panmure Island This annual powwow is the place to be to see amazing dancing and singing, enjoy a delicious Mi’kmaq feast, learn about traditional teachings and purchase merchandise made by indigenous craftspeople. Your kids will love seeing children’s performances in the youth and children dance categories, and every day there is a special candy dance, where little ones from the audience are encouraged to participate (and they’ll get candy if they do!). All of this fun is free, though donations are appreciated.
When: August 20 to 21 More info: ncpei.com
4. The Indian River Festival Share your love of music with your kids by taking them to a performance at The Indian River Festival in Indian River, PEI. The festival runs from June 19 to September 18, but two highlights for mini music fans are a family matinee of The Barber of Seville on July 31 and a concert by beloved children’s performer Fred Penner on August 27 (both shows are at 3 p.m). Tickets for The Barber of Seville are free for kids ages 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult, $13 for students and $32 for adults. Tickets for Fred Penner are $20 for children.
When: July 31 and August 27 More info: indianriverfestival.com
5. Happy Clammers Your kids will have a blast digging for clams at this unique experience (part of Experience PEI) run by John and Jackie Gillis in South Pinette, PEI, just 30 minutes east of Charlottetown. Everyone will learn how to dig for these shellfish (and how to tell if they’re too small to harvest) before the group heads to the Gillis home, where Jackie will cook up all that you’ve gathered and you’ll enjoy the bounty, along with bread and a treat. The entire experience lasts two hours and costs $25 for six- to eight-year-olds, while kids ages five and under are free. The price for those nine and up ranges from $85 to $100, depending on the number of participants.
When: Mid-June to mid-October More info: experiencepei.ca
6. Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada There are tons of great activities at this park all summer long, and many of them are available in both French and English. Some highlights include sandcastle-building workshops, beachcombing with an expert and the opportunity to look directly at the sun without damaging your eyes thanks to the safety of a solar telescope. Another cool event is Mi’kmaq Legends, a theatre performance at Cavendish Campground that shares five Mi’kmaq legends, which is being presented from 8 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays in July and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays in August and September. All of this fun is included in your park entrance fee ($3.90 for youths).
When: July 2 to September 5 More info: pc.gc.ca
7. Island Hill Farm Pack a picnic and head on over to this farm, located just 10 minutes from Charlottetown. There, you can hang out in the barn, stay for storytime, visit and hold some chickens, bunnies and kittens and take a walk through the meadow to spend time with the goats. The entry cost is $5 per person, though children under one are free. Island Hill Farm is having a couple of family-friendly special events this summer, including a barn party on July 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost to attend is $25, and they will be serving hors d’oeuvres and desserts made by local chefs, decking the barn out in chandeliers and having a bonfire outside, but reservations are required (and BYOB!). They are also hosting a tea on August 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., where you get to sample teas and try desserts made from goat’s milk and cheese for $10. Kids are welcome at both events. Summer hours at Island Hill Farm are Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m.
When: All summer More info: facebook.com/islandhillfarm