A father wearing a big backpack walks with his two young daughters on a path through an old-growth forest.

5 active & educational outdoor adventures for families in Canada  

Canada is full of beautiful landscapes and stunning nature to explore. Not only are there endless ways to get active outdoors across the country, there are also many opportunities to learn—about nature, history, science, and art—while you’re at it. Add these five educational, outdoor adventures to your family’s Canadian bucket list to make unforgettable memories while learning together.

1. Go digging for dinosaur bones at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

What’s a cooler way to learn about dinosaurs than to actually discover your own fossils? At Dinosaur Provincial Park, kids (especially dino lovers) will never forget the magical experience of waking up in a campsite where the dinosaurs once roamed, trekking around the sandy and rocky embankments, and getting a chance to discover dinosaur bones and imagine which great creature they once belonged to.

A group of adult and youth hikers stand in Dinosaur Provincial Park, listening to a guide talk.
Photo: Dinosaur Provincial Park

2. Learn about the tide at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

There’s something magical about the extreme tides at Bay of Fundy, home to some of the world’s highest tides. Hopewell Rocks are visually stunning in their own right (formed by tidal erosion) and they provide a visual marker for kids to see just how much the tide changes as they experience it in real time. After all, what better way to learn about the tide than to walk on the ocean floor one day and kayak around in the very same spot the next?

On a sunny day, groups of people walk around on the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks.
Photo: Hopewell Rocks

3. Explore and marvel at the Indigenous pictographs at Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario

An art and history lesson rolled into one (all while getting active and exploring in nature): kayaking on Mazinaw Lake will take you to the stunning 260+ Indigenous pictographs that dot the cliffs in Bon Echo Provincial Park, where you can see a slice of history and try to imagine a time, hundreds of years ago, when the incredible pictographs were first created.

A wall of cliffs rises up from Mazinaw Lake in Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Photo: Evan Holt, Ontario Parks

4. Hit the trails to explore ancient old-growth forests in British Columbia

What is it about ancient trees that is so majestic? There’s no better way to teach your child about the value, beauty, and importance of old-growth forests than to take them on a trek through the fresh, misty, stunning forests of British Columbia. At Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park, you can get up close to 1,000-year-old western redcedars and a rich biodiversity of plants, mosses, lichens, and fungi—as well as learn about the Lheidli T’enneh’s traditional use of the area. Scramble over tree roots, explore the trees’ nooks and crannies, and make memories, all while getting an educational experience. 

A boardwalk winds through an old-growth forest in Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park.
Photo: Lheidli T’enneh

5. Take a walk through Old Quebec 

Make sure the whole family is wearing their most comfortable walking shoes, because the best way to explore Old Quebec (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is on foot. Not only are there plenty of stairs and hills to climb, there’s also an abundance of learning to enjoy. Visiting Old Quebec is a little bit like time-travelling: Historic treasures abound at every corner, including a castle (Chateau Frontenac), the Plains of Abraham and the Citadelle of Quebec. But make sure you take a rest too. Riding the Funicular—a steep railway that takes you up one of the region’s larger hills—is a can’t-miss experience (and a good opportunity for a snack break).

People mill about on a commercial street in Old Quebec on a summer day.
Photo: Québec Cité

What else would you add to this list from across Canada? Let us know where you’ve been and what you’d recommend!

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