A Tourist In My Own City: Parry Sound, Ontario

When I was asked to write about things that you can do with your child in the north, I got excited!  And strangely enough, researching things to do this summer (as I am working part time during the summer) was already on my list.

I am that person that has a list for pretty much everything. Having loose plans/places to go on the days I am not working is something that helps me plan. So, I pulled out the recent Fun in the Sun magazine, questioned some of my friends with children that are a few years older, and I started the 2016 summer to do list!

I was quickly able to compile a list of 10 things to do in the Parry Sound area (aka “up north”  or “cottage country” to many) for my son and me. Please note – these are in no particular order…they’re all appealing pending on the day, weather, finances, time of day, if we have company, etc.

1. GET OUTDOORS

I know that this is a tag line used by several businesses in Parry Sound and I think it’s a brilliant “line”. Sure, my list is based on summer activities, but we really are one of the nicest places to not only live, but play/spend time outdoors. Although most need no details, here they are:

Swimming

We have some of the most amazing lakes, and of course Georgian Bay. We have beautiful  sandy beaches, and many beaches that offer lifeguards and swimming lessons.

Fishing

As mentioned above that we have a lot of bodies of water, we also have a wide variety of opportunities for fishing. From land. A dock. A boat. A canoe. An island. Just fishing. My husband took Tyson out for his first boat ride where he caught his first fish last month.

TysonFirstFish

Boating

Continuing on with lakes and bays, get out on the water in a boat. Or canoe. Or kayak. Or sailboat. Sail Parry Sound is on the shore of Georgian Bay, and you can see it when walking on the Fitness Trail. Or whatever method of boat you can get your hands on. There are SO many bodies of water to explore and enjoy. And if you don’t own one, you can rent one!

Golf

For the older child (as our mini golf is no longer an option), there are several beautiful golf courses in the area. (Too many to list!)

Other outdoor fun  – Plane & ATV

Georgian Bay Airways and BearClaw Tours would be great for those who have an older child, and a bit more $ to spend when it comes to an activity. Both offer a unique “Northern” experience!

2. Playground

Although it seems basic, there are quite a few nice playgrounds for the kids. Of course many are close to some of the beaches that we are going to visit, and others that are at a school or municipal building that offer some great free outdoor time.

TysonandTitusNOBEL

3, Tower Hill, Museum and Gardens

The TOWER on Tower Hill has been a well known/visited spot in Parry Sound for years; it’s a tower that looks out over the town of Parry Sound. It also is the home to the Museum on Tower Hill, that showcase beautiful gardens. It’s a great place to take any visitor in Parry Sound to. The museum has great exhibits throughout the summer.

4. Farmer’s Markets

In addition to the market’s listed in the Fun in the Sun magazine, there are a few other regular Farmer’s Markets.

Tuesday’s – at the library

Friday’s – Rosseau

Carling – Saturday’s

McKellar – Saturday’s

5. Rainy Day Activities (or not rainy days….just wanted to group them together or my list would be more than 10!)

Bowling

Georgian Lanes offers several options, as well as birthday parties. It’s an affordable way to spend some time inside.

Library

The Town’s library has some great programs (that run all year long). There’s lots more than just going to read a book – there are crafts, reading tale sessions, learning sessions, reading club and a kids zone to name a few!

Skating

If up for the short drive, one could drive to the Humphrey Arena for some summer skating!

Bobby Orr Hall of Fame

Speaking of skating, our town is “on the map” due to Parry Sound hockey legend Bobby Orr.  I worked at the Hall of Fame for 10 years, and can attest that a rainy day in the summer is BUSY! (If you’re a hockey lover, you might want to visit on a super hot day where you can enjoy hours of games, artifacts and memorabilia of the greatest hockey player.)

6. Music

For those that follow my personal blog Mommy Loves Music you’ll know that music is a big part of my life.  And in Parry Sound, there’s usually some sort of musical event; be it a free outdoor concert series, music cruise on the Bay, a full fledge concert at the Stockey Centre or one of the weekly artist’s at The Brunswick. (And I couldn’t resist the plug for my friend’s putting on this show….Dolly Parton is coming to the PS area!)

7. Sports

Obviously I will include swimming and fishing again, but there are some other great options!

Baseball – there’s a great little league program.

Soccer – another great program.

Biking – so many great places to do so…especially the Fitness Trail, or the Rugged Trail. Or take note of the BOHF Triathlon (there’s a category for kids), or come and watch the Pedaling for Parkinson’s race. And there’s a great local bike shop (http://parrysoundbikes.com)!

8. Santa’s Village

This attraction is in Bracebridge (about an hour away from Parry Sound) and although I haven’t been there, I have heard nothing but great things from family and friends. We will attend this summer! (And if you register ahead of time, they’ll email you coupons and discounts so you can plan your visit and save a bit.)

9. Camping

I know that I have mentioned boating, fishing and swimming already, but these are an integral part of the camping experience. Although my camping days (both past and present) are limited, I do know how important the camping experience is. There’s really nothing better than pitching a tent, cooking over open fire (of course more than fish and hotdogs. ’Smores is mandatory at my campfires) and singing tunes.

10. Do nothing

Just breathe. Sit outside and smell that darn fresh air. Take a walk. Smell the flowers. Just chill out (ok, maybe bring a camera and book)…but honestly, life is so busy 95% of the time, I think that just taking time to do nothing is an essential part of enjoying summer in the Parry Sound area.

Obviously I have kept to the Parry Sound—Muskoka area for my 10 things to do. I hope that if you find time to come to the Parry Sound area, that one of these 10+ things to do will result in a great experience for you and your child!

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