With its diverse landscape, unparalleled beauty and spectacular wildlife, Canada is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
With its diverse landscape, unparalleled beauty and spectacular wildlife, Canada is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From the coastal areas where you can drive, hike, bike, sail or paddle, to the breathtaking views from atop the Canadian Rockies - Canada is truly an amazing country for active adventurers, both young and old. For travelers with festivals, museums, or arts and cultural events at the top of their list, the abundance of year-round educational and entertaining destinations within the metropolitan cities in Canada are sure not to disappoint! Rich in history, delving into the Canadian past can be an exciting adventure for both children and adults today - and there are plenty of learning opportunities spanning across the country.
Experiencing any of these top 10 authentic Canadian adventures, particularly with children, invites spontaneous discovery and will be sure to create lifelong memories.
Whale Watching off the Maritime Coast
If an up close and personal experience with a giant whale sounds exciting, then the whale watching tours and expeditions off the Maritime coast of Canada will be sure to impress. With a large populations of whales, including many different species, seeing these giant creatures breach, lunge, play and show off, is truly awesome. Whales are often described as colossal, yet unusually graceful. As an added bonus, whale watchers also often get to see many other types of marine life. For those that enjoy kayaking, some tours offer this option for experienced paddlers. You don’t miss the opportunity to whale watch when visiting the east coast.
Tasting Pure Maple Syrup at a Quebec Sugar Shack
A famous, sweet Canadian treat, maple products and syrup are available to purchase year round. However, only during the early spring months do the plentiful Quebec maple trees run the sap, the key ingredient for this flavorful delight. The appropriately called, Sugar Shacks, are where producers gather the sap that is boiled down and visitors eagerly await their first sweet samples. A special way to serve the fresh sticky, sweet syrup is to pour it over snow, then roll it up - turning it into an instant taffy! An age-old tradition and a chance to indulge a sweet tooth, tasting pure maple syrup is a fun and delicious Canadian adventure.
Ride in a Tundra Vehicle to See Polar Bears
A tundra vehicle is especially designed to travel smoothly over ice and snow. Each year, particularly during October and November, polar bears in the wild can be seen in Churchill, Manitoba as they make their migration between summer and winter habitats. Safely riding in a tundra vehicle, passengers can experience the once in a lifetime thrill of being close to these amazing, large and beautiful bears. If you really want to explore Canadian wildlife and see the iconic polar bear, this is an awesome adventure. Polar bear sightings are also possible through guided tours, or by staying at a wilderness retreat (most often enclosed by fence), at other times of the year.
Have a Scientific Sleepover at the Ontario Science Center
For any budding young scientists (and their families), the Ontario Science Center is an incredible exploration into all things relating to science and technology. Prepare for sensory overload at this center for learning and discovery. With 10 rotating exhibits, over 600 activities designed for all ages, including an IMAX dome theatre, there is certainly something for everyone. They have special Sci-Fri Friday nights, and some amazing day camps for kids. For a family outing that won’t soon be forgotten, plan to be part of theirsleepover science nights and have truly unique indoor camping experience.
Discover the History and Culture of First Nation Tribes
In Canada, the First Nation groups invite visitors to immerse themselves in the Aboriginal culture. Art, music and dance, food, stories, historic artifacts and all of the traditions that makes these people inspiring by their culture and heritage await discovery. Some aboriginal workshops include hands on craft making that teaches time-honored traditions like masks and totem poles. Galleries, museums, and villages steeped in history give children and adults an opportunity to step into the past, and see traditions, many of which are still thriving in Canadian First Nation tribes today.
Dog Sledding in the Canadian Rockies
Imagine seeing the breathtaking snow covered mountains and wilderness, waterfalls, lakes, ancient glaciers, broad valleys - and even possibly catching a glimpse of numerous Canadian wildlife, all while feeling your heart race as you are pulled across the snow by a team of expertly trained dogs! Most often, Huskies make up the teams of 5 to 6 dogs that will take you to speeds of 10 - 20 km per hour. Experiencing the scenic views of the Canadian Rockies is incredible, however, by dog sled transport this becomes an adventure that is worth traveling the distance to experience!
Build an Igloo at an Inuit Village
The Inuit population of Canada reside primarily in the Arctic regions of Canada. A unique culture that is innately spiritual, and governed by honor and respect for their elders, these people are survivors in what can at times, be hostile weather conditions. Primarily hunters and fishermen, many live in Igloos, which are domed shaped homes made from snow. Surprisingly warm within its walls, learn about how the Inuit people live within these homes, and how they are built. Experience life within their village to see how they achieve long distance schooling, how they adjust to life under extreme conditions and the culture and traditions that keeps their families happy.
West Edmonton Mall
The West Edmonton Mall is so much more than a shopping center. Although it does boast exclusive retail stores and incredible fine dining, the mall is also a one of a kind indoor entertainment center. With a water park, thrill rides, indoor ice skating rink, a marine aquarium, a replica of Christopher Columbus’s sail ship, blacklight mini golf and live entertainment - this center is not only unique, but an incredible destination that the entire family will enjoy. It’s hard to see it all in one day, so this destination might be best planned over the course of 2 or more days. West Edmonton mall is the 10th largest mall in the world, and the largest in North America. Accommodations are available on site at the Fantasyland Hotel, with fantasy-themed rooms decorated to recreate an era or place. An incredible overall adventure for kids!
The Calgary Stampede is an annual event hosted in Calgary, Alberta that hosts an incredible showcase of cowboys, and all things rodeo. From bucking broncos to stock and barrel racing, equestrian events and live concerts, this is western living at its very best. Experience the ultimate in western entertainment and self proclaimed ‘greatest outdoor show on earth’, incredible dining and the biggest of western welcomes at this 50 year old Canadian annual tradition. Although dates for this show vary from year to year, it usually falls within the month of July - perfect for summer food and fun at its finest. Be sure to take in the Calgary Stampede Parade, one of the most colorful Canadian events!
Play the Greatest Canadian Game: Ice Hockey
World renowned as a truly Canadian experience is the sport of ice hockey. Historic hockey champions are honored at the Hockey Hall of Fame. It is a game played year round on both indoor arenas and outdoor rinks and ponds - one that even those experiencing it for the 1st time will enjoy. Lacing up the skates, and heading out onto the ice with hockey stick n hand (with hopefully a little padded body equipment to protect from those likely falls) - young and old feel a rush as they either proudly look on, or are able to call out for themselves, a scored ‘goal’! Canada would certainly not be the same without the good, old-fashioned hockey game.
Canada, although known for its Northern climate, is a four season playground. With sandy beaches and warm saltwater oceans on both coasts to enjoy during the summer months, in addition to world renowned winter activities such as skiing, skating, tobogganing, and more - it is a great year round destination, and an ideal vacation place for traveling with children.
The Canadian people are known for their friendly, approachable nature and the hospitable welcome they always offer to visitors. Cities in Canada are extraordinarily multi-cultured which offers plenty of options for trying new foods, learning about life from all over the world and feeling at home - no matter where you are from.
There is nothing quite like a Canadian vacation. The Canadian wilderness is vast, diverse, and always impressive. Canadian cities are also outstanding for their incredible architecture that blends old world charm, with modern day elegance. The combination of outdoor activities with urban adventures makes for a destination that exceeds everyone’s expectations. For a vacation that is unlike anywhere else in the world, take your family to Canada - and discover a world of beauty, culture, history and fun for all ages.