GBay Life Blog

We make the best of our days here in the Heart of Georgian Bay. Check out our blog for stories about the fun and cool things to do and see, all year long. Check back as often as you can for travel inspiration and good reads. Make memories and share them with us, using #GBaylife on social media.

Countdown to Summer!

Posted by Brianne Dubeau | April 25, 2019 | attractions, beach, summer, things to do
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What are your plans for the summer? Have you even thought about it yet?
We know it's not warm enough yet to jump into Georgian Bay, but it is time to start thinking about what you could do with your time this summer. So dig out your bathing suit and sunglasses, because believe it or not the warm weather is just around the corner. Whether it's with your kids, grandkids, spouse or friends, you can always find something fun to do in the Heart of Georgian Bay, especially when the sun comes out and the weather gets warmer. The downtowns come alive, the sand is warm at our many beaches, and attractions open up for the season.

Here is our list of things to do that you can only do during the summer months, and when they open up for the season. So read on and get some ideas, and we hope to see you this summer!

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Sainte-Marie among the Hurons | Saturday, May 4th

This historic site has long been a family favourite for summerime fun. At Sainte-Marie, you can learn about the the lives of some of the first Europeans in Ontario and their interactions with the Indigenous people of the area. The site comes alive with costumed interpreters in most of the 31 buildings, demonstrating tasks like blacksmithing, cooking over an open fire, carpentry and more. 

Special Events this year include:
  • National Indigenous Peoples' Day on June 21st
  • Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, 9:30AM - 12:30PM, starting July 7th

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Martyrs' Shrine | Saturday, May 4th

The National Shrine to the Canadian Martyrs welcomes hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths and cultures every summer, to walk where Saints walked. It honours Fr. Jean de Brebeuf and other martyred Jesuit fathers who lived, worked and died in Huronia. Visit it on your own, or as part of one of their many cultural pilgrimage days. Admire its unique architecture and stroll the peaceful 75 acres of groomed property, and then use the trail that to the gravesites of two of the Canadian Martyrs' which are right across the street at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. 

Special Events this year include:
  • Expressions of Divine Mystery, an evening of classical music at the Martyrs' Shrine on June 7th

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Midland Drive-In | Friday, May 10th

The drive-in is a fun and inexpensive activity for any age! Load everyone in the car, pile it with blankets and watch a movie under the stars. See not one, but two movies for $9 per person, and kids under the age of 13 are free. Plus, they have a full service snack bar with buttery popcorn, chocolate, freezies, and hot food too, all at reasonable prices. Try our favourite; the indecisive special! Find out what is playing HERE and keep an eye out for their Feature Nights where you can pull an all-nighter and watch 3 or 4 movies!

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Awenda Provincial Park | Friday, May 10th

Although this Provincial Park is open for day-use year round, it opens for camping in May. The park sits on 2,900 hectars of forested land, with trails throughout, right on the shores of Georgian Bay. It offer campsites for all types of campers, and one roofed accommodation option for those who aren't so comfortable roughing it. You can reserve your campsite up to 6 months ahead by clicking HERE and we recommend booking sooner rather than later. Bike, hike, paddle , swim, and don't forget to have a s'more!

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S.S. Keewatin | Thursday, May 16th

Step back in time and experience travel in a more luxurious era. The S.S. Keewatin operated between 1907 and 1965, transporting passengers and cargo from Port McNicoll to Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), often heading to make a life in the Prairies. Guided tours depart every half hour and allow you to explore the cabins, common areas and the boiler room, where you can see her 112 year old engine perform with your own eyes.

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Discovery Harbour | Saturday, May 18th

There are lots of exciting things happening at Discovery Harbour this summer. Open daily, this historic site depicts the life of soldiers and naval officers in the 1800s. Climb aboard the tall ships, learn about the characters that once walked the grounds and how they lived. Guided tours of the site depart every half hour, or you can explore at your own pace.

Special Events onsite this year include:
  • Ghost Tours on Wednesday and Saturday evenings starting July 3rd to August 28th
  • Pirates of the Bay on Saturday, August 3rd
  • Battle of Georgian Bay: War of 1812 Reenactment on August 8-10th
  • Pumpkinferno every Thursday to Sunday in October

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Miss Midland 30,000 Island Cruise | Saturday, May 18th

To really capture the beauty of Georgian Bay, hop onboard the Miss Midland for a cruise through the 30,000 Islands. Afternoon cruises run daily in May and June and up to three tours a day in July and August. But it doesn't stop there! Fall cruises run in September and October up to twice daily, to take in the fresh fall air and beautiful colours of the changing leaves. Check HERE for up to date schedules, rates and details on lunch and dinner tour availability.

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Balm Beach | Victoria Day Weekend

Now that the snow has melted, you can look forward to sinking your toes in the sand at Balm Beach. Although each business owner has a slightly different opening date, things really liven up over Victoria Day Weekend (May 18-20). Find all your food needs at the Georgian Grill, The Surf and the Balm Beach Bar & Smokehouse. Reserve your room at one of the beach resorts or rent a quaint cottage near the water. Click HERE to learn about parking restrictions. Enjoy a lively day with the kids in the arcade, go-karts and mini-putt, or park yourself with a good book and an ice cream cone.

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Georgian Bay Islands National Park | Sat. May 18th

This nearby National Park is located on Beausoleil Island and offers camping for every level of experience, from Primative Campsites (water access only) to semi-serviced campsites to cabins. If you are looking for a unique experience, try oTENTik, which are a cross between an A-frame cabin and a prospector tent, up on a raised wooden floor. If camping isn't your thing, explore the trail system by foot or by bike and take a dip in Georgian Bay. Don't have a boat? No problem. Take the Daytripper from Honey Harbour to gain access to the island.

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King's Wharf Theatre | Wednesday, June 5th

When you walk down the boardwalk that lines Penetang Bay, you can't help but be drawn to the big red theatre that is nestled within the historic buildings of Discovery Harbour. ‚Äč This award-winning theatre operated by Drayton Entertainment offers a wide variety of entertainment options. From a family-oriented panto to a British farce, musical impersonators and a Disney classic, the upcoming summer season will not disappoint!

This summer's line-up:
  • June 5 to June 22: Jack and the Beanstock: The Panto
  • June 26 to July 6: Glory
  • July 11 to August 10: Disney's Beauty and the Beast
  • August 14 to August 31: Shear Madness
Special Events:
  • May 4: Green River Revival, a CCR Tribute Show
  • September 14: Simply Queen, tribute to Queen
  • September 21: Face 2 Face, tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel
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Whether you prefer spending your time by the water or indoors, learning about Canadian history or appreciating Canadian landscape, you can find something to do that is perfect for you. Flip through our Discovery Guide to find out more about all of the amazing things that you could experience this summer and year-round. And don't forget to keep an eye on our Events Listing for all the fun festivals and events coming to the Heart of Georgian Bay this summer!

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