6 Summer Activities for Single Parents

June 20, 2024
Erika Holter

Article written by Erika Holter


Summer break is a magical time for kids and parents alike, especially for single parents looking to make the most of these sunny months. Combine long days, sunny skies, and a break from school...summer break has all the ingredients for creating unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re a single parent looking for a budget-friendly excursion or else you are in the mood to splurge, check out these six activities that are perfect for all ages and promise some guaranteed family fun!

Happy African American kid girl run with family on the beach

1. Hit the beach

It wouldn't be the summer without a family trip to the beach. From building sandcastles, splashing around in the water, and soaking up some vitamin D; this is an easy excursion that offers fun for the entire family. You might consider dropping your beach bag at Toronto's popular Woodbine beach. If you aren't from the GTA, Ottawa's Mooney's Bay Beach also provides a family-friendly environment with picnic areas, a playground, and great swimming spots. The best part? Apart from certain parking fees, most beaches are totally FREE!

2. Picnics in the park

Picnics combine the joys of outdoor living, quality time, and flexibility, all while being cost-effective and easy to plan. Whether you spread a blanket in a local park, a botanical garden, or even your backyard, picnics offer a chance to enjoy homemade meals in a scenic setting.

High Park in Toronto offers large green spaces, playgrounds, and even a zoo, making it ideal for a family picnic and a day of exploration. In Ottawa, you might consider unloading your picnic basket at Major’s Hill Park which provides stunning views overlooking the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill.

3. Museums & Educational Outings

Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean education needs to stop. Museums and science centers keep minds engaged during the summer months while providing fun and creative learning opportunities. They offer interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that can make education exciting and enjoyable for kids and parents alike.

Mom with kids are excited to interact with a robot, visiting together science museum.

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, for instance, captivates all ages with exhibits ranging from dinosaurs to ancient artifacts. Meanwhile, the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa features fascinating exhibits on geology and wildlife, making it both educational and entertaining.

The cost for admission will vary from place to place. Keep an eye out for family discounts and free admission days to help cut down on costs.

4. Outdoor adventures and nature walks

Canada is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, including national parks, forests, lakes, and mountains. Summer is the perfect time to explore these areas. Hiking, walking, or simply exploring local parks and trails provides a refreshing and no-cost break from indoor activities. The natural beauty of parks, forests, and conservation areas offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

Toronto Islands offer a day of biking, walking, and exploring nature trails with stunning views. In Ottawa, Gatineau Park is just a short drive away and features numerous hiking trails, lakes, and picnic areas, perfect for a day of outdoor fun.

5. Local Festivals and Events

Summer is festival season, and communities across the country host a variety of events celebrating music, food, culture, and more. Attending local festivals can provide a fun and festive atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy.

Mother and son smiling confident eating ice cream at theme park

In Toronto, the Toronto International BuskerFest features street performers, music, and family-friendly entertainment, creating a lively atmosphere. Ottawa's Capital RibFest and Music City Festival offers delicious food and live music, making for a vibrant summer outing. Festival admission is often free, although food and activities may come at a cost.

6. Farm Visits and Fruit Picking

Visiting farms and picking fresh fruit is a delightful summer activity. It allows families to enjoy the outdoors, learn about agriculture, and bring home delicious, fresh produce. Many farms offer additional activities such as petting zoos, playgrounds, and hayrides.

In Toronto, Brooks Farms is known for its family-friendly environment, offering fruit picking and a range of activities. In Ottawa, Proulx Farm provides berry picking, a petting zoo, and playgrounds, making it a great outing for younger children.

Making the Most of the Summer Months

Summer is a wonderful opportunity for single parents to create lasting memories with their children. Whether you're enjoying the great outdoors, exploring cultural exhibits, or hitting the beach, Toronto and Ottawa provide a wealth of activities to suit all interests and budgets. All the best for a wonderful summer for you and yours!