Canada is filled with so many cool things to do and places that make you say “WOW”! Come and experience some of our hidden gems in our National Parks and Historic Sites; where prairie songbirds sing, and whales flip their tails in the ocean; where you can uncover secret WW2 bunkers, and learn to build your own kite that really does fly, or sit and share bannock with Anishinaabe First Nations, and marvel at the wonder of stars in a Dark Sky Preserve!

Remember that starting in 2018, entry is free for those 17 and under so gather up the kids, nieces, nephews and all their friends and we’ll see you in 2018.

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site

A costumed interpreter helps two young visitors dress up in military costumes while Mom looks on.
A costumed interpreter helps two young girls dress up as part of an interpretive program.

Where?
Twenty minute drive from downtown Victoria, British Columbia.

Why?
Fort Rodd Hill's secret bunkers and military command posts. Fisgard Lighthouse's shining role as the first lighthouse built on the west coast of Canada in 1860. The Garry Oak Learning Meadow's ocean of colourful wild flowers. Be touched by the moving stories of soldiers, lighthouse keepers and nature's little creatures through summer programs, special events and the site's audio tour.

When?
Site and historic buildings opening hours vary. Summer programs offered from May to October.

Terra Nova National Park

Two young children playing with pebbles at the edge of the water during low tide in Terra Nova National Park.
Explore the ocean floor at low tide in Newman Sound, Terra Nova National Park.

Where?
On the east coast of Newfoundland along several inlets of Bonavista Bay, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Why?
A dramatic Atlantic shoreline, fringed in long headlands and fjords with views of whales and icebergs, gives way to marshland, tranquil ponds and wildlife-filled boreal forest – Terra Nova is accessible, wild Newfoundland for outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers of every age.

When?
Open for the season on May 16, 2018.

Fort Wellington National Historic Site

A young visitor looks out from under a wooden bed with a beautiful antique comforter in the family quarters at Fort Wellington.
A young girl explores the family quarters at Fort Wellington.

Where?
One hour south of Ottawa on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at Prescott, Ontario.

Why?
Built to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route from invasion in 1812 and 1838, you can explore authentic military family quarters, discover an underground tunnel, try on a costume, witness a cannon firing, and play games from long ago. Relive this precarious period when the fate of Canada hung in the balance!

When?
Opens to the public on May 19, 2018.

Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

A family gathers around a picnic table outside of an oTENTik in a green area at Saint Ours Canal National Historic Site.
Enjoying some family time before retiring for the night in an oTENTik.

Where?
Saint-Ours, Quebec.

Why?
Experience an oTENTik just one hour from Montreal! Enjoy the natural beauty of the area as you hike along the trails or enjoy a family pic-nic while watching boats go through the locks. Children will be fascinated by the fish ladder, a structure unlike anything else in the world.

When?
Park is open to the public all year (lock operates from mid-May to mid-October and oTENTik accomodations are available from June to September).

Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site

A young boy feeds the chickens during his visit to Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site.
A young boy feeding chickens as part of his visit to Motherwell Homestead

Where?
Just just south of the community of Abernethy, Saskatchewan.

Why?
Hear prairie songbirds sing and smell the sweet hay as you help feed the horses or chickens. Re-connect with Canada’s homestead life and bake bread with flour ground from grain harvested from the golden fields outside.

When?
Opens to the public on May 21, 2018.

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

A young boy wearing an antique aviator vintage pilot cap with goggles while visiting Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
Inventions take flight at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Where?
In Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Why?
Discover how Bell and his associates achieved Canada’s first powered flight, produced the world’s fastest boat, designed giant kites and, invented the telephone. Explore the life of one of the most influential figures in human history. The inventor is sparked in all of us as you try your hand at building a kite in beautiful Baddeck.

When?
Open to visitors on May 18, 2018.

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

A couple of young kayakers in yellow kayaks paddling in the waters of Royal Cove off Portland Island in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
Young kayakers ply the waters of Royal Cove off Portland Island

Where?
27 km from Victoria in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

Why?
Scattered throughout the Salish Sea, the Gulf Islands teem with wildlife, a haven for rare species and threatened eco-systems and a playground with a Mediterranean-like climate for hikers, campers, boaters, cyclists, and kayakers.

When?
Gulf Islands is open to the public and offers backcountry camping year-round. Front country campgrounds operate seasonally from May 15th – September 30th.

Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site

A family of four surround a Metis Interpreter as she cooks bannock over an open fire with tents in the background.
A Métis Interpreter cooks up bannock to offer a family of visitors at the Métis Campfire.

Where?
Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.

Why?
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site is one of Canada’s fine examples of how the fur trade helped shape the nation. Enjoy exhibits, walk through archaeological remains of the four forts and get hands on experience with Métis skills of the fur trade. This year, you can stay awhile and camp in Indigenous trapper’s tents and tipis or in a trapline cabin. Reservations can be made starting in January.

When?
Open to visitors on May 10, 2018.

Kouchibouguac National Park

A family of four walking away from the camera along a beautiful sandy beach with a clouded sky as the backdrop.
A family walking on the beach at sunset.

Where?
On the east coast of New Brunswick, in Kouchibouguac.

Why?
Golden sand dunes, estuaries brimming with life, warm ocean beaches, Mi’kmaq and Acadian culture, the starry spectacle of a Dark Sky Preserve and snowbound winter activities weave together the compelling tapestry of Kouchibouguac National Park.

When?
The park is open year round. Front country camping opens May 18, 2018.

Pukaskwa National Park

A young girl playing in the sand while her family is knee deep in the water behind her on the shore of Horseshoe Bay in Pukaskwa National Park.
Visitors enjoying the shore of Horseshoe Bay.

Where?
On Lake Superior, Northern Ontario.

Why?
Lake Superior crashes against granite shores with boundless boreal forest beyond; moose and bears roam the woodlands and the Anishinaabe intertwine a rich legacy. Pukaskwa National Park is a wilderness escape with an important human story.

When?
Opens to visitors on May 1, 2018.