25+ Things to do with Kids in Prince Edward County 🍦
The County is kid paradise. In addition to beaches and baseball fields, alpaca farms and apple orchards, there are a wealth of year-round outdoor activities to keep your half-pint County-ites busy.
PLEASE NOTE: COVID-19 containment measures are keeping us hopping – new announcements about what’s open are being made every day. Please call ahead to be sure activities are still available. Find essential COVID travel info here.
Beyond the beach.
1. There’s a splash pad on the historic fairgrounds in Picton, for when you’ve had it with sand in swimsuits. Built with a nautical theme – ships and water cannons firing water around the pad – it has the latest in high-tech to manage water runoff. Check COVID protocols
2. Caddy Shack is a mini-putt place right outside the entrance to Sandbanks where the 18-holes have been professionally designed with water hazards and sand traps, enough to challenge any golfer.
3. Of course, there is no shortage of water sports here, from stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, ice fishing, fishing, even kite surfing. In the winter months there’s snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Find rentals at Cabin Fever Kayak or PEC Kayaks.
Experience life on the farm.
4. For all its hip restaurants and vibrant artistry, The County is, at its heart, a rural destination. Visit the Millefleurs Lavender & Honey Farm, The SHED (an alpaca farm with a great gift shop), Honey Pie Hives and Herbals, Campbell’s Orchard (with playgrounds and walking paths), Curious Goat General Store, Quinta do Conde or Hagerman Farms to get a sense of how what’s for sale at the grocery store gets grown.
5. Field of Friends welcomes families – especially your littles! – to meet the herd at Mayrose Farm Miniatures: Tori, Buddy, Peanut, Polly and Harley! Grab a brush and build a bond with the farm’s little teachers, who love to share lessons on building relationships. Groom, pet and cuddle the ponies before leading your horse through an obstacle course custom designed to learn valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere with each interactive challenge. These miniature horses are used for equine-assisted learning, and they’re seasoned pros at helping kids and adults discover new ways of speaking without saying a word! Memories of a lifetime are made here at Mayrose Farm Miniature Learning Centre. Make a booking at mayrosefarmminis.com.
6. See the world through a bee’s eyes at Curious Goat General Store. Join beekeeper Elis for their Bees & Blooms experience, which highlights how the hive works together and pollinates the plants that put food on our tables. Guests will taste honey collected through the season, make their own bee balm, and plant or harvest from The People’s Garden, depending on the time of season. Make a book at curiousgoatgeneralstore.ca
7. To get up close and personal with farm animals, stop by Carsons Garden + Market to commune with their small herd of highly entertaining goats. The petting zoo at Waupoos Winery also fits the bill, with pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, mini-mules and chickens. (Remember that other farms are working farms – please refrain from feeding those cute cows or fancy strutting chickens and keep the safety of you and the animals in mind by staying off fences and out of fields.)
8. Alpaca No Zoom Zoom takes kids and grown-ups away from their screens and shows them what they wouldn’t normally see on a farm tour, encouraging visitors to connect with the land and the animals and see how they work together. There’ll be plenty of time to spend with the alpacas, and guests will also be encouraged to keep a keen eye for how Noble Beast Farms works to create a welcoming environment to native flora and fauna, and give back to the land. Full details and booking information for a variety of farm experiences can be found at noblebeastfarms.com.
Catch a flick
9. When you need a break from sun and surf, try the historic Regent Theatre for blockbusters, art films and documentaries. (The theatre is currently unable to open, but is offering films and other cinematic delights online.)
10. The famous Mustang Drive-in opens June 24 and they’re eager to take film-goers back in time. It’s a memorable experience for any kid! Check out their Sunday trunk sales in July and August.
History and heritage.
11. The County has a rich history, reflected in our museums. Visitors are welcome at Macaulay Heritage Park, Mariners, Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, Wellington Heritage – each presenting a slice of life in Prince Edward County by different people at different times. Ameliasburgh Heritage Village lets kids literally step back in time, with 20 buildings to explore and volunteers in period dress.
12. Take a walking tour where History Takes Flight, featuring the highlights of both Macaulay Heritage Park and Birdhouse City. Download the free GooseChase scavenger app and play for points, or follow the tour with this informative blog.
14. A visit to Macaulay Heritage Park includes displays on early life in The County and a new exhibit made in collaboration with our neighbours at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory that focuses on Indigenous history, an under-told story from this region’s past, present, and future.
Please note that County Museums will have limited availability for the summer 2021 season. Please call ahead.
Build art appreciation.
15. The Sculpture Garden at Oeno Gallery is a great way for kids to experience art in the great outdoors. Contemporary and abstract sculptures of vibrant colours and head-scratching construction pair beautifully with the perennials around them. The garden was designed to make use of the limestone, sand dune and grass paths that shape the garden’s acres acres, with the art nestled perfectly among groves of maples and poplars, a grapevine arbour, an herb garden, a quarry and a rose garden. By appointment only for Summer 2021.
For bigger kids.
16. The state-of-the-art skate park, also on the Picton fairgrounds, caters to beginner and intermediate skaters, and features bowls, hips, spines, a clam shell, flat banks, rails, hubbas, manual pads, ledges, curbs and gaps. (If you know what any of that means, then you know where to go!)
17. Escape Camp Picton takes inspiration from its location at a decommissioned WWII air base – blending heritage, history and an unforgettable game experience. New for Summer 2021, Escape Camp Picton is offering an outdoor adventure and puzzle, incorporating the history of the site and brain-scratcher suitable for teams and families with children of all ages.
18. Spend a day riding horses at Diamond J Ranch, which offers group or private lessons and day or summer camps, giving kids a taste for life on the ranch. Diamond J also offers scenic rides for families, with ponies for kids and inexperienced riders of any level welcome. Archway Connections also offers day camps and retreats with horses and donkeys – for kids big and small alike. Please contact outfitters directly for availability.
19. Outside Bloomfield, Rapidfire Paintball & Airsoft offers junior paintball for kids as young as eight: junior paintball uses low-powered guns that are lighter and easier to hold, as well as smaller paintballs that leave no bruises.
21. For charcuterie or picnic items, try the Agrarian Market, GOOD Place PEC or Hagerman Farms, a veritable cornucopia of fresh vegetables grown nearby plus their bakery in the back. Taste of Country and Bloomfield Public House Market offer grab-and-go options and Enid Grace Culinary can fill a box with Italian-inspired pastries and savouries. Angry Bird’s has a menu reminiscent of a certain Swiss chicken Chalet, with a wallet-friendly price point to match.
But what about wine?
22. It is a family holiday, so there’s got to be some activities for the grown-ups too, right? And yes, it is possible to taste the terroir with little ones in tow.
- Sandbanks Winery helps kids feel like VIPs, with popcorn and juice boxes on offer. (Speaking from experience, the steampunk moose sculpture at the winery’s entrance is surprisingly entertaining – the village at its feet has roofs that move and my nephews spent a good deal of time moving fallen pine cones from one to the other.)
- The Grange has an absolutely gorgeous setting and board games for kids and kids-at-heart. In cooler months, their grand fire place makes an excellent place for a fam-jam huddle.
- Hinterland has bubbles for the grown-ups and lots of toys and outdoor games for the kids – plus a fleet of those iconic orange and yellow tiny cars that will take just about anyone who can squeeze in.
- Sugarbush Vineyards has an outdoor space and a 2-km loop around its vines, which becomes a snowshoe path in the winter, perfect for kids who need to let off a little steam.
23. Parsons Brewing is just north of Picton and has an excellent selection of beers, a gorgeous patio, big fire pit, great South American food and a huge playground for the kiddos. Socially distant circles help mark the perfect picnic spot.
24. Sweet and alcoholic cider are part of The County scene too. Loch Mor Cider Company has a kids’ corner, complete with pint-sized kitchen, while Apple Falls Cider Co. at Campbell’s Orchards has a pretty awesome playground, hilariously large Muskoka chair you can climb into for pictures, a network of walking trails and usually some sort of festival or special programming on the weekends. Add their ‘all you can carry‘ pumpkin patch event to your fall calendar.
25. Kinsip distills spirits – and hand sanitizer! – in an ancient barn and oast house (where they used to dry hops) and it’s got a venue that is Insta-worthy, with a tree swing and friendly chickens strutting about the farm, both sure to entertain curious kids. Their over-sized jenga and appropriately necessary jenga-hammer also keep the adults entertained while you sip your cocktails.
BONUS: If after all that you just need a little time away from the family, the Bloomfield Beauty Co. offers upscale mani, pedi and massages or dash in to Picton’s Natural Beauty Mini Spa which has been getting raves for its facial massages and nail work.