Exciting & Educational: Top Things to Do with Teens in Ontario

Outdoor Adventures in Ontario for Teens

Ontario’s diverse world turns a simple day out into a thrilling adventure. Miles of lush green trails, ancient forests, mountain ranges, and crystal-clear water bodies beckon the explorer in you.

Exploring Provincial Parks

Provincial parks in Ontario offer a mixed bag of thrill and tranquillity. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, skimming over the treetops on a zip line, or camping under the stars – you’ve got plenty to choose from.

For example, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario’s most famous, sprawls over 7,653 square kilometres of lush forests and sparkling lakes. And when winter drapes its white blanket over the park, your adventurous spirit finds expression in dogsledding, ice fishing, or cross-country skiing.

The Pinery Provincial Park, with its rare Oak Savannah ecosystem, ranks high among hiking and camping enthusiasts. You find here trail sections with every degree of difficulty, matching your fitness levels perfectly.

Water-Based Activities: Kayaking and SUP

Bursting with freshwater lakes and crisscrossed by rivers, Ontario doesn’t lack in water-based fun. Kayaking proves a favourite with teens, whether it’s gliding across calm lakes, exploring isolated inlets, or taking on the frothy rapids. The scenery you remember from the water is entirely different from what you’ve seen from land perspectives.

Paddleboarding, traditional or stand-up (SUP), extends the water fun beyond kayaking. With vast expanses of flat water bodies in Ontario, SUP becomes an excellent choice for beginners. It’s fun, relatively easy, and works as a fantastic full-body workout.

It’s also worth noting that several companies offer guided kayak and SUP tours, ensuring safety while introducing you to the hidden gems of Ontario’s waterways.

Remember, the action doesn’t stop here. Ontario’s outdoor wonders cater to every conceivable desire of your adventurous heart.

Cultural Experiences in Ontario

Ontario boasts not only natural beauty but also abundant cultural experiences perfect for teens. The shift from outdoor exploits serves to enrich young minds and infuse in them an appreciation for art, history, and the culture of Ontario. An ideal way to foster this appreciation involves visits to historical sites and museums, and experiencing live theatre and music.

Visiting Historical Sites and Museums

Ontario’s historical sites and museums promise an adventure into the past. Nestled throughout the province, these locations provide glimpses into a rich and diverse history. For instance, the Royal Ontario Museum, the largest museum in Canada, houses six million items spanning art, world culture, and natural history. Its diverse collections, which rang from dinosaur bones to ancient Roman relics, captivate the young and old alike.

Similarly, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa provides a sobering yet instructive tour through Canada’s military history. It’s an esteemed landmark brimming with artefacts, immersive exhibits, and first-hand testimonies right from the country’s earliest conflicts to its role in recent global affairs.

An alternative lies in Ontario’s many historic sites. Take, for example, Fort Henry in Kingston, offering you a peek into 19th-century military life with detailed restorations, re-enactments, and guided tours.

Experiencing Live Theatre and Music

Ontario’s vibrant arts scene offers unforgettable experiences too. A prime example resides in Stratford. Renowned for its annual Stratford Festival, hailed as one of North America’s best classical theatre events, Stratford introduces Shakespeare and other playwrights to teens in a way that YouTube videos can’t capture.

Also, the city of Toronto, dubbed as Canada’s Downtown, brims with live music performances. From world-class events at the Rogers Center to intimate gigs at The Horseshoe Tavern, the city’s music scene crosses all genres. Whether your teen swings to jazz, rocks to punk, or grooves to hip-hop, Toronto’s eclectic music scene has got you covered.

In the area of cultural experiences, Ontario unveils depth and diversity. Historically rich museums and sites and the thriving performing arts world can make your teen’s time in Ontario a uniquely enriching experience. Ontario’s cultural canvas doesn’t disappoint, proving a worthy sequel to its natural charms.

Urban Exploration with Teens

Exploring city life can unlock a whole slew of lively experiences that are often overlooked when considering holiday plans. Investigate into urban explorations, suitable for teens in the bustling cities of Ontario.

Top Urban Attractions in Toronto

Dip your toes into the urban side of Ontario by starting with Toronto, known for its striking skyline dominated by the iconic CN Tower. Plan your day around visiting attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, a world-renowned underwater world where your teens can learn about marine biodiversity and conservation. Don’t miss out on the Ontario Science Centre, an interactive space that cultivates curiosity and encourages a love for science in young minds, drawing over a million visitors every year.

Include also a brief visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the largest art museum in North America. Here, your teens get exposed to over 90,000 works of art, fostering an appreciation of creativity and pushing the boundaries of their imagination.

Shopping and Dining in Ottawa

Next, lead your journey to Ottawa, a city celebrated for its gastronomical delights and unique retail experiences. Start at ByWard Market, one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets. Boasting over 260 stands, it’s an oasis for foodies and bargain hunters alike.

For dinner, consider dining at the trendy restaurants along Wellington Street West. Here, you’ll stumble upon a selection of restaurants offering global cuisines at affordable prices. This area is renowned for eateries like Supply and Demand, famous for their fresh oysters and adventurous seafood dishes.

When it comes to shopping, your teens can hit retail hotspots like Rideau Centre, home to a range of high street to luxury brands. Don’t forget to explore boutique stores in the Glebe neighbourhood that offer an eclectic mix of vintage finds and one-off pieces.

Educational Activities

Fostering a passion for learning in teenagers isn’t always easy. But, Ontario’s treasure trove of science centres and interactive museums could help.

Science Centres and Interactive Museums

Direct interaction sparks curiosity and engagement, and Ontario’s science centres and interactive museums allow for just that. At the helm, The Ontario Science Centre, a world-renowned cultural attraction, offers more than 500 engaging experiences. Here, teenagers get a hands-on approach, involving experiments that range from the human body’s intricacies to the wonders of outer space.

Located in Sudbury, Dynamic Earth is another recommendation. This geoscience centre lets teens investigate deeper into Earth’s geological history, including mining processes and the intriguing area of minerals. Teenagers interested in aviation won’t want to miss the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. Home to the most extensive aviation collection in Canada, its youth programs include an interactive flight experience and knowledgeable guides when examining historical aircraft and artifacts.

Similarly, The Royal Ontario Museum never fails to captivate young minds, offering a variety of exhibitions from ancient civilizations to contemporary art. A bit more specialized, The Textile Museum offers a unique perspective of fabric and fashion through its engaging artifact collection, artist talks, and workshops.

Your teenager’s educational journey can’t miss the immersive exhibits at The Great Lakes Science Centre in Cleveland, just across Lake Erie. Here, they explore technology, environment and even the music industry. Don’t forget about the Art Gallery of Ontario, where your teen can learn about creative expressions from a variety of cultures and eras.

Remember, an educational journey should be stimulating and delightful as it gets. After all, isn’t that the best way to learn?

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Ontario presents a multitude of seasonal festivals and events catering to a broad range of interests that teens might find captivating. Showcase numerous events and let’s start with winter festivals.

Winter Festivals

Ontario, featuring the luminescent Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, becomes a winter wonderland. Imagine over a million lights in a dazzling display that brightens any winter nights. You’d love the intensity and diversity of events in the Ottawa Winterlude. Sculpture completions in snow, outdoor concerts and contests on the frozen Rideau Canal turn the city into an icy playground.

Spring Festivals

With the arrival of spring, Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, Canada Blooms, transforms Toronto into a floral haven. You can’t miss the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival either. Recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest single-day maple syrup festival, it’s a sweet delight.

Summer Festivals

When the heat of summer hits, Ontario offers the iconic Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. With a midway, exciting exhibitions, live performances and food stalls, it’s a teen’s dream come true. Also, don’t overlook the Shakespearean Stratford Festival. Even if you’re not a bard buff, the performances are awe-inspiring.

Autumn Festivals

Autumn sees the arrival of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, the largest Bavarian festival outside of Munich. It combines German heritage with Canadian charm for a party packed with lederhosen, schnitzel, and of course, beer (for the adults!).

Ontario’s rich world of seasonal events and festivals provide an array of engaging opportunities for teenagers. Amidst all these events, teens not only have fun but also learn from diverse cultures and traditions, adding a further aspect of educational enrichment to their broad spectrum of experiences in Ontario.


So you’ve got it all – Ontario’s brimming with teen-friendly activities. From the thrills of outdoor adventures in provincial parks to the rich cultural experiences at historical sites and museums, there’s something for every teen. Ontario’s vibrant arts scene and urban exploration in Toronto and Ottawa offer a unique blend of education and entertainment. With interactive museums and science centres, your teens are in for an enriching journey. And let’s not forget about the seasonal events and festivals – they’re the cherry on top, adding a dash of fun to the mix. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or autumn, Ontario’s always got something exciting in store. So why wait? Get out there and start exploring! Ontario’s just waiting to be discovered.

Author: Ryan

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