Summer fun for water-loving families
Ontario is blessed with more clean, fresh water than most places in the world, and summer beckons you and your family to jump in.
Build a giant sandcastle, learn how to ride white water waves, catch your first fish together, cruise in a houseboat or cannonball off the dock at a waterfront resort.
Share the water adventures you loved most as a kid and discover new ones while making family memories.
Here's a list of water-based things to do in Ontario this summer.
Lakefront family resorts
Looking for a one-stop-shop summer vacation with something for everyone in the family?
Resorts of Ontario features a great selection of waterfront resorts, cottages and lodges that cater to families with stay-and-play focused packages. With a host of onsite activities and programs geared for kids, parents can look forward to some illusive chill time.
- Oakwood Resort boasts private access to a portion of Grand Bend Beach on Lake Huron.
- All-inclusive Fern Resort is nestled on the shore of Lake Couchiching.
- Shamrock Lodge is one of Muskoka’s many lakefront gems where kids can enjoy endless hours tubing, swimming and paddling on the water.
Family friendly beaches
With four of the five great lakes and over half a million bodies of water, it’s no secret we have a lot of great beaches.
Check out these sunny spots:
- Inspire young engineers and architects at the Cobourg Sandcastle Festival.
- Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world on Georgian Bay.
- The second longest, Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron, boasts an aerial park for the climbers in your family. Plus there are several family-friendly motels, lodges, cottages and campgrounds nearby.
- Batchawana Bay is a warm, shallow beach on Lake Superior with all the basic facilities you’d need for a day of surf and sand.
- Check out the string of lovely St.Lawrence Parks beaches, followed by a unique overnight at Robin’s Roost Treehouse.
- Discover some of the best urban beaches in Ontario.
- Ontario’s blue flag beaches meet strict standards in cleanliness and safety.
Paddling and rafting
This is family bonding at its best.
- Set out on a river tubing adventure on one of Ontario’s scenic waterways.
- Become paddling experts together with the Zero to Hero program on the Madawaska River. Madawaska Kanu Centre offers a full day intro to rafting, canoeing or kayaking, starting on flatwater and moving into the river current. Accommodations vary from wooded campsites to private cabanas.
Combine the comforts of the cottage with the thrill of exploring on the heritage Trent Severn or Rideau Canal waterways.
Chart your own course and set your own schedule; drop anchor at one of the many locks, find secluded fishing and swimming spots and share in the awe of magnificent summer sunsets.
Treat your skippers and pirates to a houseboating excursion with:
- Egan Houseboat Rentals
- R&R Houseboats
- Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals
- Le Boat
- Find more houseboating operators in Ontario.
Getting away on a fishing vacation is the perfect opportunity for families to get outside and reconnect with nature and each other. Get started planning with:
- Ontario family fishing vacations
- Family fishing lodges in Ontario
- How to safely catch and release a fish
Wherever you find yourselves in the middle-to-end of June, be sure to have your fishing rods ready for Ontario Family Fishing Week.
This event is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card.
The Ontario Government has designated four periods throughout the year as license-free, and June has one of them.
Last updated: January 30, 2024