The best family attractions along the Lakeshore
Bruce County is home to one of the most staggering freshwater coastlines in the world. Along over 3500 km of shoreline, you’ll find some of the most charming and unique communities in Ontario, each with their own character, ready to welcome you. Fill your days with family fun on the Lakeshore and watch your kids become animated and engaged. Amazing hiking trails, stunning scenic lookouts and miles of safe, sandy beaches await. Did we say sandy beaches?
Explore the wonders of Sauble Beach
Sauble Beach, home to the world’s second largest freshwater beach, is known for it’s laid back vibes and exceptional swimming. This destination is a staple in every summer’s bucket list and will create childhood memories that are guaranteed to last forever. Plan a full day-trip or an entire weekend by not only visiting the Main Beach, but also discovering what makes this lively beach destination the perfect family getaway.
Where the wonders of the Bruce Peninsula begin to emerge; Sauble Falls make for one of the most memorable swims in the area not to mention, an incredible destination for a family paddle. When you’re ready to recharge, head into town and check out the now-famous June Motel, featured in Netflix’s Motel Makeover, stroll the strip and check out the shops that line the street. If you’re looking for things to appeal to the young-at-heart or the adventure seekers in your family, checkout mini-golf at Just Puttin’ Around Mini Golf or Putterama Mini Golf, have a friendly family competition of Laser Tag, or test out new heights at the Ascent Aerial Park.
Explore some high-flying fun. Ascent Aerial Park features three climbing walls and about 30 different climbing activities ranging from 12 feet to 40 feet in the air, including bridges, vertical and horizontal net obstacles, and swinging elements like tires. Explore the thrilling free-fall activity QUICKjump to step off a 45-foot tower. Or, test out your skills at the outdoor axe throwing lanes – how close can you get?
End your evenings in Sauble by attending a racecar event locally! Discover a love for speed and turn your family into car racing enthusiasts in no time. Sauble Speedway offers a fun, exciting activity for the whole family all summer long. Thrilling races and theme nights are just a couple of the things you’ll see at the Speedway.
Experience the beauty of Kincardine
Station Beach, located within Kincardine, is the perfect getaway that is suitable for all ages! With shallow water, a gradual slope, and a sandy beach, visit here for some exceptional swimming and sun-tanning. Station Beach is also known as Ontario’s surfing hotspot. With many local surfers hitting the waves, this beach brings spectators loads of entertainment. After relaxing on the beach, be sure to take a stroll down the boardwalk for the ultimate beach experience.
Discover something really unique by ending off your evening with the sound of the Phantom Piper’s bagpipes carrying along Kincardine’s shoreline at dusk during July & August (with the exception of Saturday evenings due to the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Parade). Be sure to plan your visit around the Scottish Festival and immerse yourself in the history of this quaint town. Fun fact: Pipe Band members take turns playing from on top of the Kincardine Lighthouse, or on the front steps in honour of Donald Sinclair who was long ago, a well-known bagpiper in Kincardine.
Family Fun in Port Elgin
North, along the same shoreline, visit the white sandy beaches of Port Elgin, enjoy the sunset over an ice cream with your loved ones as the Sunday evening music from the pavilion washes over the sand.
Port Elgin’s Farmers’ Market will beckon you up tree-lined streets to a downtown with impressive buildings as old as the town itself, coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and even a microbrewery. Here ou will discover an amazing selection of fresh local produce, unique local artisans and all types of delicious treats and goodies. It’s on every Wednesday from 9 am – 2 pm, be sure to arrive early so not to miss out. Here are some more ideas for family outings in Port Elgin: MacGregor Provincial Park, Port Elgin Gobbles Grove Beach, Port Elgin Biking the North Shore Trail, Port Elgin to Southampton
Spend a day in Southampton
Just up the shore, Southampton awaits to charm you, and seemingly transport you back to a bygone era, but with some of the best food and drink around. At the mouth of the Saugeen River, take in the breathtaking views of Chantry Island at the base of one of the largest flags on the Lake Huron coast. Home to the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, take a stroll around the quaint trails of Fairy Lake where your children will be in awe of the turtles, fish, and duck sightings. A visit to the state of the art splash pad and accessible playground at Jubilee Park is also a must!
Chantry Island and the 1800’s lighthouse beckon off the shore of Southampton, accessible by tour boat. Explore the beautiful grounds and count the butterflies. Dare yourself to climb the 106 steps to the top of the lighthouse, you’ll discover the view is worth the climb. The tour involves an easy hike but requires a degree of agility and fitness. For safety, children must be a minimum of 4 feet tall and must be accompanied by an adult. Footwear suitable for hiking is mandatory. The tour takes about two hours and reservations are needed.
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Learn all about visiting Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe counties here.
Please be aware that this article list contains activities that may be out of season for the winter.