Raise your hand if you like free stuff! Here’s our list of the best FREE summer fun for families in Thunder Bay in July and August 2018.
1. Go to a Border Cats game This summer, kids 12 and under get in free to Sunday afternoon home games, starting at 1:35pm at Port Arthur Stadium. Get some ice cream and cheer on the Cats! More info Thunder Bay Border Cats on Facebook
2. Visit a fire station
Big red trucks, big rubber boots, big fun: To visit a Thunder Bay fire station, all you have to do is fill out a request form and set a date. The firefighters will take you and the kids on a tour of the station, including seeing the equipment and asking them questions about their job. (Kids must be of school age.)
3. See wild birds up close
At the McKellar Island Bird Observatory, kids can help be citizen scientists and monitor migratory bird trends. Visit researchers John and Maureen Woodcock, who carefully capture birds using special mist netting, then weigh, band and release them. Open approximately 7:30am-1pm, starting August 1, closed when it’s raining. (Donations welcome too!)
More info McKellar Island Bird Observatory on Facebook
4. Bond with the alpacas Take a little country drive to see Bandito, Presley and Monsanto, three friendly alpacas at Alpaca Valley Farm in the Slate River Valley. Just call ahead to set up a time to hang out with these tall fuzzy dudes.
More info Alpaca Valley Farm on Facebook
5. Catch an outdoor movie
The Movie Nights on the Waterfront series at Marina Park features family movies on Fridays and Saturdays, August 17 to September 1, starting around between 8 and 9pm. Concessions are available, and bring your own blanket, lawn chairs and some cozy clothes if the lake breezes are cool.
6. Groove to the music Live on the Waterfront is a concert series that runs on Wednesday nights from July 11 to August 29, 6-9pm. Check out homegrown artists like Five Alarm Funk, The Northern Pikes, Shred Kelly and more. Plus, there are two special added dates: Friday June 29 (aerialist Sachicko Brayshaw performing with members of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra) and two shows on Saturday July 28 (circus artists Machine de Cirque).
7. Soak in some art
At the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, admission is “pay what you can” and Wednesdays are specifically set aside as a free admission day. For summer 2018, the exhibit “UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH—Christi Belcourt—A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch” showcases the striking and beautiful work of these two Indigenous artists and runs from June 22 to November 25. Or, take your bikes and enjoy your art outside with the self-guided Definitely Superior graffiti art tour that shows off the city’s mural artists.
More info www.theag.ca
8. Experience history Tuesdays are free admission days at the Thunder Bay Museum (and the rest of the time, adult admission is $3, kids 6-12 are $1.50 and kids under six are free). Top three kid attractions, according to staffers: the real jail cell, the wigwam and Albert the Albertosaurus. (Albert will be in a just-renovated gallery too.)
More info www.thunderbaymuseum.com
9. Love the library
Family Fun Days is just one of the programs offered at the Thunder Bay Public Library this summer. It runs four days a week, all through July and August. (Mondays at 10:30 or 2:30-County Park, Tuesdays at 10:30-Brodie, Wednesdays at 2:30-Waverley, Thursdays at 2:30-Mary J. L. Black). In summer 2018, check out giant board games, puppet shows, crafts, hip hop dance classes, live music, movie days, ice cream day and more.
More info www.tbpl.com page 14 in the pdf
10. Splash around
Shriek, giggle, spray: splash pads are always a winner. Why not take a tour of the city’s four splash pads to figure out which one is your family’s fave?