2020 is not your usual summer…but there are still lots of ideas in our list of 50 fun things to do with the kids in Thunder Bay. Bring on the staycation!
1. Take a family bike ride in your neighbourhood or a whole new one. Safe Cycling Thunder Bay has 34 different routes mapped out for different areas. You can brush up on your bike skills too with bike rodeo and learn-to-ride videos.
2. Throw rocks in Lake Superior. Can you skip a stone across the water?
3. Look at the view through your binoculars at Hillcrest Park.
4. Go on a “photo safari” to Vickers Park and take close-up pictures of bark, shadows, bugs etc.
5. Plant your own little garden.
6. Fly a kite at Boulevard Lake.
7. Go to a virtual event like an author reading or storytime at Thunder Bay Public Library’s Facebook page.
8. Spot a rainbow at Kakabeka Falls. Visit some other local waterfalls too.
9. Hike the Middlebrun Bay trail at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Check out other hikes too!
10. Watch the skateboarders and BMXers at the Marina Park skate park (and maybe give it a try when you’re ready!)
11. Get your picture taken at the graffiti alley on Cooke Street.
12. Take a grown-up out for ice cream.
13. Try a Coney dog.
14. Paint some rocks.
15. Make an obstacle course in your yard.
16. Watch the stars come out. Try the free SkyView app—just point the app at the night sky and it shows you what constellations you’re looking at.
17. Make a DIY slip-n-slide. Or run through a sprinkler!
18. Go to www.portofthunderbay.com/vessels and click on the yellow anchor see where the ships in the harbour are from.
19. Go on a road trip to Ouimet Canyon.
20. Make up a “street scavenger hunt” in your neighbourhood (clue example: “which building has a yellow door?”) and challenge another family to match a street number to all the clues.
21. Create a dance routine using music from a local band, musician or performer. Ideas: The Honest Heart Collective, the Cartwrights, Nick Sherman or DJ Big D.
22. Visit www.geocaching.com to see where the 700+ local geocaches are, and plan a trip to one.
23. Take a sketch pad to Marina Park and draw the Sleeping Giant.
24. See if you can find monarch caterpillars or butterflies at the Adelaide Monarch Garden (south end of Adelaide Street near Boulevard Lake).
25. Learn to identify three local boreal bird calls. (Ideas: raven, white-crowned sparrow, ovenbird, robin…)
26. Get a baseball mitt and baseball and play catch. Bonus points for wearing Border Cats gear.
27. Watch the sun set, then create some art inspired by it the next day.
28. Go for a trail run or nature walk at Kamview Nordic Centre.
29. Find some amethyst.
30. Decide which is your favourite: Persians, Finnish pancakes or Sally Anns?
33. Build a fort and fly a flag from it.
34. Try the mountain bike tracks at Centennial Park and Trowbridge.
35. Blow bubbles at Waverley Park.
36. Go for a bike ride, inline skate or walk at the International Friendship Gardens.
37. Play mini golf (or make your own course).
38. Pick berries.
39. Go to a drive-in movie.
40. See if you can spot any fireflies, and learn how to safely catch and release them.
41. Throw a Frisbee at Wayland Park.
42. Climb a tree.
43. Read a book by a Thunder Bay author, like Jean Pendziwol, Donna White, Sheila Burnford, Holly Haggarty, Elizabeth Kouhi, Tonya Muchanao, Ruby Slipperjack or Duncan Weller.
44. Got to www.nfb.ca and watch the documentary “Rosies of the North” about local women who built planes during WWII.
45. Lie on your back and watch clouds.
46. Record the sounds of different forms of water (raindrops, waterfall, creek….)
47. Make a meal or snack using some ingredients grown or made in Thunder Bay.
48. Go fishing.
49. Visit a conservation area (see www.lakeheadca.com for locations).
50. Have a picnic—breakfast, lunch or dinner!