What to See and Do When Traveling with Kids to Canada

Find child-friendly places to visit and explore in Canada

|February 25, 2021
Ruta is a country-hopper, having lived in 6 different countries, but Vilnius is the city where she always returns. She enjoys chasing the latest travel trends and creating soul-filled content.

When traveling to Canada, the first thing that families think about is how to decide which places to visit? Then the second question that follows is are all of them children-friendly? Narrowing down the list of activities can be a tricky task even for a solo traveler. Not to mention if you're a close-knit family of five or more.


Canada's rich mix of cultural sights, leisurely activities, and natural attractions makes it the perfect destination for your little ones. From dinosaur fossils to outdoor camping to cowboy encounters, all you have to do is pick and choose what to add to your route. With a broad selection of things to see and do, it is challenging to make a poor decision. 

Savvy parents can discover kid-appeal in almost every sight across Canada. If you’re currently creating your itinerary, you can find some location and activity-specific suggestions for your family’s trip below. 

happy big family camping near a lake

Before you take off

Canada stretches from the top of North America to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Its vastness promotes imposing landscapes, unspoiled wilderness, and easy-going cities. With such a diversity in terms of climate, time zones, activities, and nature, deciding on the best season to visit and how to get around is a key step. 

For a destination like Canada, you might want to set aside at least 3-4 weeks to explore the country. The warmer months are ideal for a trip with kids, not only because more outdoor activities are available but because you get to pack less. Since the temperature averages 18-25°C (64-77°F) during the summer, you are likely to spend more time outside than indoors.

hiking woman with mountains in the background in canada

The lush greenery and forests, mountainous areas, and water terrains are within easy reach from most major cities. Make sure to bring capacious backpacks packed with hiking boots and camping necessities for your kids. All this access to open spaces and wilderness calls for a road trip. Book your flights six months in advance for the best price. You’ll also want to get a rental car or a van.   

Locations to visit on a family trip in Canada

Niagara Falls

niagara falls view from a helicopter flying past

Families can admire the falls from above or book a Hornblower boat tour and explore the area from the water. During your visit, take your kids to watch the aquatic animals at the Aquarium of Niagara and explore flora at the local botanical gardens. For parents, the area is vibrant and filled with cafés, restaurants, and bars for a romantic evening.  

Vancouver

a view of vancouver city from high above

Vancouver is a young city, offering a treasure trove of entertainment squeezed in-between mountains and sea. Start with a visit to the cultural hub of Granville Island, which is brimming with Indigenous-owned galleries and quaint stores. A short ride from the island can take you to Wild Whales Vancouver for a whale-watching adventure. 

Prince Edward Island

a small harbor in prince edward island in canada

From coastal lighthouses to water sports, Prince Edward Island packs a punch when it comes to outdoor experiences suitable for both adults and children. Whether you want to go on a kayak clamming excursion, take a sunset walk around Seacow Head Lighthouse, or visit the sites from the Anne of Green Gables novel, you are guaranteed to have a great time 

Banff

a viewing platform in banff national park

Situated in the Canadian Rockies, Banff town is a must on any traveler’s agenda. With year-around activities, the location caters to families who enjoy luxurious stays and those who prefer staying at campgrounds. Begin creating your itinerary around lakes like Moraine where you can canoe, hike, and absorb surreal vistas from its lookouts.  

Jasper National Park

Brazeau River in jasper national park

When visiting Alberta, Jasper National Park offers plenty of outdoor activities for kids of all ages. From boating to ranger-led expeditions, this park is the place to go for nature enthusiasts. There's Alberta’s tallest mountain the second-largest glacial-fed lake in the world, and a diverse animal kingdom including elk, goats, and even grizzlies. 

Montréal

summer flowers near montreal city gardens in canada

French culture is an integral part of Montréal's cultural identity. Located in Canada's Québec province, the city is brimming with art, history, and French-inspired eateries. At Montréal Biodôme, you can explore five ecosystems in one place where penguins are the stars of the show! Jean-Talon Market is a mandatory pitstop for a family of foodies. You can indulge in cheeses, meats, pastries, and other local Québec produce.

Activities to do with kids

If your trip involves more destinations, here are some generally-applicable tips to help guide you to the best child-oriented activities that are available in most large Canadian cities. Your kids will love to scout museums and sites focusing on history and science as well as hands-on activities. Canadian Children’s and Royal Tyrell museums are both great places to start your educational venture. 

Since the Great Trail is within easy reach throughout Canada, you can go on a hike or walk in nature whenever you feel like it. You can spot a moose if you’re lucky or try horseback riding, especially around Calgary. As parks and promenades are prevalent in most cities, you can choose to tour them on foot or with bicycles 

narrow hiking paths in canadian rockies in canada

Summertime amplifies the number of outdoor activities in Canada. Playing on the sandy beach and catching sea waves make it a great recipe for any family outing. If you’re staying near the water, look out for paddling, rafting, and fishing spots. If your kids are age-appropriate, you can try out water sports like rafting or free diving for an adrenaline rush.  

On rainy daysindulge in food! There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to Canada’s dining scene. From artisanal cooking to sweet puddings, every opportunity to eat out can be an adventure for your taste buds. Most restaurants also provide booster seats and child-friendly menus. While you indulge your culinary palate, you can try iconic dishes like Saskatoon’s berry pie, Nova Scotia’s lobster roll, and Swiss Chalet's rotisserie chicken. After all, food always tells a story about local people, culture, and the place you’re visiting.  

canadian lobster roll seafood sandwich

Recommended tours

Related blog posts