10 Fun Things To Do In Guelph With Kids
Canadian summers are typically highly anticipated and shorter than we’d all like. After enduring a long cold winter and a slow to start spring, it seems our summer is finally in full swing.
Guelph is a great place to enjoy a staycation with your kids, or to spend evenings and weekends in the great outdoors. There are many family-friendly spots in Guelph, including a few hidden gems that many may not know about.
We’ve compiled a list of our top ten favourite things to do in the summer with kids.
- Explore Exhibition Park: Spend an afternoon at one of Guelph’s most beloved parks. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your bathing suits, and get ready for a fun afternoon. You can find large and shady trees perfect for a picnic, a wading pool for younger kids and their parents to cool off, and a newly constructed playground made from natural materials. If you look carefully, you may even find some fairy doors hidden among the trees.
- Enjoy ice cream at The Boathouse: Number two on our 10 Fun Things To Do list and One of Guelph’s favourite spots in the summer is The Boathouse, known for its amazing ice cream and picture perfect views. You can also rent canoes and kayaks through The Boathouse, or enjoy a sophisticated afternoon complete with high tea, appetizers, and entrees.
- Cool off at Downtown’s Market Square Splash Pad: The City of Guelph operates many free splash pads and wading pools throughout the city, however its most popular is likely the Market Square Interactive Water Feature, located outside of Guelph’s City Hall. You can even find a variety of free events open to the public, including Movies in the Square a few Fridays in the summer.
- Stay indoors at The Children’s Art Factory: Need a break from the outdoors? Spend the day inside letting your children explore their creativity at the Children’s Art Factory. Children with an entrepreneurial spirit can set up as a vendor at their pop-up shop right outside the studio. Lemonade, anyone?
- Watch the planes at Guelph’s Airpark Cafe: The Airpark Cafe is one of Guelph’s hidden gems; it’s a quaint and small cafe that takes you back in time. Serving breakfast and lunch, the cafe is located at Guelph’s Airpark, where small planes take off and land regularly in the summer. Sit by the window, and enjoy the view.
- Pack a lunch and head to Guelph Lake: Located at Grand River Conservation, Guelph Lake offers a variety of outdoor activities, from swimming at the beach, fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and even camping. This is a great spot to spend the day, or even an inexpensive weekend camping trip.
- Volunteer together: There are many opportunities to volunteer in Guelph, and typically over the summer non-profit organizations are low on volunteer labour. Consider taking your family on a volunteer day, and choose an organization that you’d like to lend your services to. HOPE House is often looking for volunteers, especially as they gear up for their summer backpack project. You can find a variety of opportunities at Wellington District’s Volunteer Database.
- Take the kids on some rides at Riverside Park: Number eight on our Top Ten Fun Things To Do list is Riverside Park. This park boasts 80 acres of green space, covered picnic areas, gardens, an accessible children’s playground, and so much more. Spending a day with your family at Riverside Park is easy to do, especially with the antique carousel and miniature train rides that are popular with younger children.
- Enjoy wildlife at The Arboretum: Grab your hiking boots and camera and head to the University of Guelph’s Arboretum. Find gardens and botanicals, and enjoy the nature and wildlife in peaceful paradise. Kids will enjoy exploring the area and learning more about wildlife in the area. For older children, try Geocaching at the Arboretum.
- Catch a summer movie: Some of the year’s biggest blockbusters are released over the summer months. On a rainy day, or when a heat warning has been issued, consider heading to a nice cool theatre to watch the latest hit movie. Guelph has three movie theatres: Woodlawn Cinemas, Galaxy Cinemas Pergola Commons, and the independent theatre at The Bookshelf.
Do you have any family-friendly spots that you’d recommend in Guelph? Leave us a comment below!