Ontario's Complete Guide to Summertime Fun

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AUGUST 11, 2016

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What are YOU going to do this weekend?

Places to visit the animals in Ontario

Studies show that animals can reduce tension & improve mood and we could all use a little stress relief, no matter what our age. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy visiting a zoo; it is a great place for a first date, a wonderful place to enjoy a beautiful day, and of course, it is the top choice if you are babysitting your nephew or grandchild! Ontario has some of the best zoos and animal conservatories anywhere, ranging from small zoos, perfect for a first taste, all the way up to one of the largest zoos in the world. So visit a zoo – your body will thank you! And don’t forget to check out the Fun Farms section on our website as they have lots of animals too – just usually the farm type rather than the wild or exotic.

Toronto Zoo

article1_aug11_2016.jpgYou can’t really talk about zoos in Ontario without discussing the Toronto Zoo. Always at the top of the list, and as mentioned, one of the largest zoos in the world, it has recently become an even bigger attraction due to its baby boom! Between its Giant Panda Cubs, its Indian Rhino Calf, its White Lion Cubs, and its Polar Bear Cub, the Zoo has been sending out a lot of birth announcements over the past year. Come and see the babies/toddlers and while you are there, don’t forget about the other 5000 animals who need a little love too!


article2_aug11_2016.jpgWhile Africa is still the gold standard for safaris, Ontario has its own versions that can give you a taste right here at home. At Parc Omega, an hour from Ottawa, you can drive through a safari and feed “safe” animals carrots when they come up to your car looking for treats. Jungle Cat World calls itself Canada’s most unique wildlife park and has a Behind the Scenes program where you can walk with a young Tiger, pet a Wolf or feed grapes to a Ring-tailed Lemur. African Lion Safari lets you view 1,000 exotic birds and animals from your own car or on their Safari Tour Bus.

Private Zoos

article3_aug11_2016.jpgSometimes a smaller, private zoo is the perfect place to help a younger child develop a life-long love of animals.  Killman Zoo has 30 species and an interactive Big Cat feeding demo. Brantford Twin Valley Zoo is all about education so that kids and adults learn to understand the importance of wildlife and the environment. Elmvale Jungle Zoo is a perfect size for little guys and they will love to touch and feed animals in the petting area. In addition to its regular daytime activities, Papanack Zoo has a night time Guided Torch Light Tour to see nocturnal animals. Stay for story-telling around the campfire & hot chocolate. Saunders Country Critter Zoo has 60+ species and loves when you bring your family to meet theirs!


article4_aug11_2016.jpgIf you are into butterflies, Ontario has 2 Butterfly conservatories – one in Cambridge and another in Niagara – both let you stroll among 1000s of free flying butterflies in tropical gardens.  Bring your camera!  Or visit rescued or protected animals at some of Ontario’s animal sanctuaries. From exotic wildlife at the Bear Creek Sanctuary, to Donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada to birds at the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary or the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, these places allow you to view and often feed or interact with animals/fowl that have are housed there.


Featured Events

Starry Night Studio & Gallery Tour

featuredevent1_aug11_2016.jpgIt’s a magical evening. That has been the general consensus over the last several years. The streets are closed to traffic; the Galleries are open and inviting. Everyone is friendly and the art is awesome. It’s a great opportunity to stroll in and out of the local galleries enjoying the richness of over 100 artists.

Aug 20, 7-11pm
Orillia (Central Ontario)

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

featuredevent2_aug11_2016.jpgLet’s go to the Ex! It is one of North America’s largest fairs and we pretty much guarantee you’ll have a great time. Take in some shows or a concert, watch a demonstration, enjoy midway rides & games, see a working farm, try some unusual but tasty food & do some shopping. The kids love Kids' World & everyone is awed by the extraordinary Air Show. The Ex is always worth a visit.

Aug 19-Sept 5, 2016
Toronto (GTA)


featuredevent3_aug11_2016.jpgDid you know Woodstock is the Dairy Capital of Canada?! It is. And the annual Cowapolooza festival is lots of fun for all ages. This year, they are celebrating their 15th anniversary. Events include the Soap Box Derby, Live music, Cow Milking Contest, Strongman/Woman Competition and more. In addition to cows, of course, you’ll also enjoy buskers, rides, food, crafts & concerts under the stars.

Aug 12 - 14, 2016
Woodstock (Southwestern Ontario)

Featured Aquarium:

feature_aug11_2016.jpgRipley’s Aquarium of Canada is Canada’s largest indoor aquarium with 16,000 aquatic animals & North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel. “Touch” exhibits with horseshoe crabs, sharks, and rays let you get up close & personal. Come after hours and “Sleep with the Sharks” or bring a date to Friday Night Jazz.



Scales Nature Park

onlyinont_aug11_2016.jpgIf you like reptiles and amphibians, this place is worth a visit! They have the most complete collection of native Canadian reptiles and amphibians in Canada. See over 60 different species of animals in their indoor reptile facility. Learn about them, touch them and hold them for a truly remarkable experience. They also have 21 acres of wetland habitats and nature trails. Makes for a memorable family or group outing.

Print Edition 2016

img11.jpgThe NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide is NOW available at ONroute centres, Yogurtys Froyo stores & other locations around Ontario. Pick up your FREE copy or email info@summerfunguide.ca to have one mailed to you.

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Coming In the next issue

6 experiences that will knock your socks off

Questions or comments?

Email Elisa or Shari at news@summerfunguide.ca

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