Bay of Quinte’s abundance of freshwater lakes and rivers are perfect for aspiring anglers. Drop a line at Napanee’s Conservation Park, a local favourite, or head to Sandbanks Provincial Park where OFAH offers a TackleShare Program where families new to the sport can borrow rods and reels for free. During Family Fishing Week, you can even fish for free without an Outdoors Card!
Make a Sandcastle at Sandbanks Provincial Park
With three expansive, soft sandy beaches boasting warm shallow water, families flock to Sandbanks Provincial Park to soak up the sun. Bring your favourite sand toys and have a sand castle building contest with your kids – the winner buys ice cream!
Ride Your Bikes Through the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance
Grab your helmets and bikes for a day or adventure along the trails operated by the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance. This expansive network of trails throughout the northern edge of the region are mostly hard packed gravel, ideal for young cyclists. Plus, trailheads in Tweed, Kaladar and Madoc are close to our favourite food trucks!
Scream For Ice Cream
Whether it’s a creamy soft serve you savour or a savoury hard ice cream, the Bay of Quinte can satisfy your ice cream craving.
Fly a Kite at Presqu’ile Provincial Park
Go fly a kite…literally! The gusty winds along the shores of Presqu’ile Provincial Park have long been a draw for kite boarders and kite aficionados. On the next sunny day, grab your favourite store-bought kite or try making your own and let the summer breeze help your kite take flight.
Explore the Outdoor Exhibits at the National Air Force Museum of Canada
More than 20 expertly restored military aircraft have landed on the 16 acre Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Airpark in Trenton. Kids of all ages will marvel at the massive Hercules and Argus and the nimble Spitfire and Hornet on display at the National Air Force Museum of Canada.
Make a Farm-to-Food Connection
A visit to a fun farm not only provides an adorably furry photo opportunity, but it also teaches kids about where their food comes from. At Promise Land Family Fun Farm in Quinte West, kids get to move freely among the animals for a true-to-life farm experience. Discover your rural roots at the Hastings County Ag Museum at Stirling’s Farmtown Park.
Kick Up Your Heels at a Summer Festival
What do bubbles, lavender, lighthouses and classic cars all have in common? They’re the themes of some of the summer festivals that call Bay of Quinte home. Most summer festivals are free, and all of them are fabulous. Our events calendar can help you find the festival happening closest to you.
Get Wet at a Splash Pad
A dash through a local splash pad is sometimes the only thing you need to beat the heat on a sunny day. More than half a dozen splash pads can be found in the Bay of Quinte region, including 3 in Belleville, 2 in Quinte West and 1 in Napanee.
Go Stand Up Paddleboarding
One of the fastest growing water sports in the region, stand up paddle boarding is a unique way to enjoy our waterways. Older kids can paddle on their own in quiet spots like Murray Canal, and tykes can share a board with their parents. Based in Quinte West, Go Active offers beginner lessons throughout Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County; check their calendar for details.
Take a Hike in a Conservation Area
Quinte Conservation operates 23 conservation areas throughout the region, each offering a unique family-friendly experience. Potter’s Creek in Belleville has a network of gentle trails perfect for young hikers, whereas the rugged Sheffield Conservation Area is better suited to sure footed school age kids. Macaulay Mountain is a popular pick for families not only for their peaceful picnic spots, but for the Birdhouse City, a collection of miniature reproductions of the area’s historic buildings. Quinte Conservation will also host informative Wild about Wildlife Nature Days throughout the summer.
Hit the Beach
With thousands of kilometers of shoreline throughout the region, a beach in Bay of Quinte is the perfect place to spread out your towel and soak up the sun. While Sandbanks is the most famous, quiet spots like Oak Lake or North Beach Provincial Park are perfect for families looking to connect with each other in a peaceful locale.
When the sun is high in the sky, escape the rays and explore one of the cave systems in the Bay of Quinte. Canada’s oldest natural caves can be found at Tyendinaga Caverns and Caves, and Hell Holes Nature Trails near Napanee offers a family-friendly adventure for those new to caving. Not quite ready to head underground? Stroll the trail system around Marmora Mine instead.
Have a Berry Good Day at a Local Berry Patch
Nothing quite says summer like sampling a sun warmed strawberry, blueberry or raspberry straight off the bush. Strawberry season typically runs from mid-June to July, with blueberries and raspberry picking peaking in mid-July. Brambleberry Farm in Wooler, The Blueberry Patch in Picton and Wilson’s Organic Blueberry Farm in Tweed welcome pint-sized pickers to their patches. Check websites for picking times and dates.
Pack a Local Food Picnic After Visiting a Farmers’ Market
Take eating local to a whole new level by visiting a farmers’ market, where the freshest vegetables, cheese, meat and baked goods can be found. Bring your picnic basket and load up on your favourite goodies, then head to a nearby park or playground to work up an appetite. In Quinte West, visit the Front Street Farmers’ Market on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Belleville Farmer’s Market celebrated its 99th birthday this year, and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays year round. In Wellington, cultivate your young foodie’s love of artisan cheese and breads at the Saturday Market. You can also find roadside stands across the region, offering farm-fresh produce.
Climb to the Top of the Big Apple
More than half a million people visit this iconic Colborne attraction each year. Some visit for the flaky homemade apple pies, others for the train rides, and guaranteed all of them climb to the top of The Big Apple for views of the Bay and beyond. Be sure to check this fun activity off your summer bucket list!
Watch a Movie Under the Stars
Hit a Hole-In-One at Mini-Putt
Little legs may not be able to hit the links on one of our region’s fine golf courses, but they sure can enjoy a day of mini-golf. This classic family activity is fun for kids of all ages, and Bay of Quinte boasts a number of mini-putts, including an 18-hole course at The Big Apple, a pro worthy course at Bayview Golfing Centre and the Monster Mini Golf in the parking lot of the Quinte Mall.
Geocaching is the ultimate game of hide-and-seek and the best way to explore the Bay of Quinte region! All you need is a sense of adventure and a geocaching smartphone app to discover one of the thousands of caches hidden throughout the area. Napanee plays host to a Geocaching Mega Event on August 21 and 22, where those new to the activity can learn more from the pros.