We hate to say it, but blink and before you know it summer will be over. But there’s still time to make 2017 the Best Summer ever! See how many of these iconic Parks Canada summertime fun activities you can tick off before fall, from building a sandcastle on a pristine beach to waking up surrounded by wild natural beauty on an island. Don’t forget, this year with your Discovery Pass, entry is free!

So here’s to a few more weeks of summer lovin’!

1. Build a sandcastle in a national park

Canoeists take a rest on shore.

Is it the Caribbean? No! That white sand and turquoise water belongs to Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, a protected wilderness on the Atlantic coast that’s the picture-perfect spot to build your castle.


Pick your pleasure at Thousand Islands National Park! The traditional summer home of Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Anishinaabe First Nations is also the first national park east of the Rockies. Paddle in by kayak or hop on a water taxi to find a sandy beach lapped by emerald green waters.

2. Hitch a ride in the sun

Visitors take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon.

Climb on board and listen up to the fascinating stories of George Lane and his herd of ‘gentle giants’ —the beautiful Perchon draft horses —on a horse-drawn wagon ride back to the early 1900s at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.


Make it an eco-adventure at Lachine Canal National Historic Site when you set sail with the Petit Navire, an electronically powered pleasure boat which silently sails the calm waters of the Lachine Canal. Go back 150 years and imagine the time of the fur trade as you pass through this historic lock.

3. Eat just one more s’more next to the campfire

Visitors playing music around their oTENTik.

Book a night at Forillon National Park to sleep soundly in the funky two-person Micro-Cube at Des-Rosiers campsite, and enjoy late night treats as the wind gently sighs through the forest.


Five fabulous oTENTiks standing proudly within Fort Langley’s historic walls, all named after the diverse peoples who lived and worked here. Where will you stay? In the hǝn Ɂǝ́mǝt First Nations tent or the Stromness Scottish boat builder’s tent? Make a booking and enjoy the crackle of the flames and that ooey-gooey marshmallow bliss.

4. Take part in a BioBlitz!

Visitors take part in a BioBlitz event.

Want to learn something new about the natural world, and team up with scientists, and animal and plant experts? Then sign up and come take part in a BioBlitz in one of our National Parks or National Historic Sites. Make your visit really count and be part of the annual tally of marine life, birds, bugs, and plants in a fun, interactive and educational day with Parks Canada staff.

5. Wake up on an island!

A woman having breakfast by the shore.

After a blazing scarlet sunset, sleep soundly in a secluded campsite overlooking the tranquil shore of the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, where the rugged Canadian Shield meets the dense hardwood forest. Wake to the sound of bird song on Beausoleil Island in the inspirational landscape of Georgian Bay Islands National Park.


Covering 36sq km over 15 idyllic islands surrounded by the Salish Sea, discover West Coast heaven on a sunny shore in the protected Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Brew cowboy coffee at first light over your camping stove as eagles soar overhead and whales play in the water. Magical!

6. Curl up on a blanket and stargaze

Visitors take in the Dark Sky from Red Chairs.

Enjoy the rare treat of seeing the night time sky shimmer in Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve, at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. Rent a Dark Sky kit to brush up on your constellations, visit the Sky Circle to view twinkling celestial bodies through the on-site telescope and binoculars, hear Mi’kmaq stories and songs of the sky and the stars.


Those endless prairie skies blanket Canada’s darkest Dark Sky Preserve at Grasslands National Park. Head out on a self-guided night time adventure to feel close to the wonder of the universe. Download a stargazing app, use red cellophane over your flashlight and smartphone to retain your night vision and get ready to have your mind blown!

7. Challenge yourself to try a new water activity

Visitors paddling.

Grab an oar and step inside a replica Voyageur Canoe and get ready to paddle back to the days of the fur trade in Kouchibouguac National Park. Follow the same waterways as the Mi’kmaq First Nations and French fur traders paddled in the 1800s, visit a grey seal colony, spot bald eagles and osprey circling overhead.


Rent a stand up paddle board from the Pukaskwa National Park Kiosk and contemplate the beauty of Ontario’s only wilderness national park from the vantage point of a SUP as you sail across Lake Superior past near-endless stretches of spruce, fir, pine and hardwoods.

8. Sign up for that cool workshop at a national historic site

Children play in the dig tray.

When a historic site serves as a playground, it's impossible to get bored! Be charged with a mission of utmost importance: find traces of the past with an Archaeological Excavation at Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux! Armed with shovels and trowels, dig up the soil to unearth artifacts from another era - it’s an original way of playing in the sand, regardless of your age!