You’ll never be bored this summer when you have options like spending the weekend camping, hang gliding, and exploring trails including the longest recreational trail in the world. So let the fun begin with this list of 80+ things to do in the Durham region this summer of 2021. Whether you are looking for a summer’s day date idea, food events, or outdoor adventure, you are sure to find something on this list!
**We have included some indoor attractions under the assumption that Ontario will continue to reopen as per the three-stage plan. New events and festivals announced as Ontario reopens will appear at the end of the article.**
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Welcome Summer at Pickering Village JAMFest
Experience the top-shelf talents of local musicians and eclectic bands at the Ajax GO Station Parking Lot. This year the music festival is held as a drive-in event.
June 18 and 19, 2021 @ Ajax GO Station Parking Lot, 100 Westney Rd S, Ajax
Ajax Rotary Ribfest – Drive Thru
Well, it’s Father’s Day and the official start of summer. Treat Dad to an awesome spread at Ajax Rotary Ribfest while supporting numerous local and international groups and charities.
June 18 and 19, 2021 @ Ajax GO Station Parking Lot, 100 Westney Rd S, Ajax
Bohemian Bliss Yoga
Bohemian Bliss Yoga holds outdoor yoga classes across Durham region including Frenchman’s Bay, lavender fields of Lavender-Blu, Ocala Winery, Heber Down Conservation Area, Ajax waterfront, Pingle’s Farm and more!
Various dates @ Various Venues
Experience a summer full of fun at Pickering Museum Village
Whether you want something to do with kids or on a date night, Pickering Museum Village has planned an entire season of events for you. Join for themed tours, Izzy and the Mystery at the Mill Drive-Thru Tour, 1920s Prohibition Escape Room, make ice cream or turn cream into butter, go on haunted ghost walks, and more at this living history museum.
Throughout Summer @ Pickering Museum Village, 2365 Concession Road 6 Greenwood
Roaring 1920s Drive-Thru Tour
This event starts at Pickering Museum Village. Learn about Pickering’s toe-tapping music scene and how the dry days of prohibition led to bootlegging. After your visit to the museum, download the Temperance & Temptation podcast and self-guided driving tour to visit local microbreweries and learn how the Bluenoses who supported Temperance openly clashed with the bootleggers and moonshiners who defied the movement.
June 18 to 27 @ Pickering Museum Village and Durham Region
Durham Region International Film Festival
Join DRIFF for an evening under the stars. The kickoff movie of the drive-in series is Shifting the Narrative with a Pride Toronto affiliate screening of 1:54 preceded by the short film Wanted: Strong Woman.
June 24, July 29, August 26, September 9 and 30 @ Town of Whitby Municipal Building (South Parking Lot), 575 Rossland Rd. East, Whitby.
Plays from the Past by Theatre on the Ridge
Enjoy an outdoor performance of Plays from the Past: A Collection of Short One-Act Victorian & Edwardian Plays by Theatre on the Ridge. Theatre on the Ridge looks back at the plays of the early 20th century and finds that comedy, tragedy, social commentary, and entertainment abound in this mixed staged reading program.
July 6 to 11, 2021 @ Scugog Shores Museum Village, 16210 Island Road, Port Perry
Strawberries, Sunflowers and Corn maze
Various Activities – Various Hours @ Pingle’s Farm Market, 1805 Taunton Rd, Hampton
Fish for Free
Fish for free at some of the best fishing spots in the Durham region with this extensive guide including descriptions of great fishing places, a fishing map, and a short breakdown of fishing in each season.
Free Fishing: Father’s Day Weekend and National Fishing Week @ Ontario Waterbodies
Snap a selfie and win $50
Snap a selfie with one of the 90+ fabulous sculptures in your neighbourhood, tag it #sculpturesofdurham and post the image on Facebook and Instagram pages. At the end of each month, PineRidge Arts Council (PRAC) will select the social media post with the most likes and award the photographer $50. You can also win a $50 gift certificate from Central Counties Tourism. Rules and details
Visit Parkwood Estate
Take a house and garden tour of this stunning national historic site. Learn more about the design, construction and the social and family history.The site was part of the movie set for films like X-Men, Amelia, and T.V series like Anne of Green Gables and Murdoc Mysteries. ( Grounds Open. Tours of the museum will begin once in Step 3)
Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens
This network of parks encompasses amazing gardens, pathways, scenery, architectural features, and natural surroundings in the Oshawa Valley. See more than 300 Peony plants in glorious bloom in the gardens during mid-June.
Throughout summer @ The Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, 155 Arena St, Oshawa
See Theodore Too
The Theodore TOO Tugboat, a reproduction of the original TV character Theodore Tugboat from the beloved CBC series “Theodore Tugboat”, is going to be a Hamilton native. See him in Oshawa. Details
July 14/15 @ Port of Oshawa’s west dock
Ocala Orchards Winery
Tour Ocala Orchards Winery and shop at their boutique. With over 30 varieties of wines as well as non-alcoholic juices, there’s something for everyone. Come by for a tasting, tour or simply to be taken aback by the beauty of this land. Enjoy wine tasting or pick out a gift basket or a beautiful wooden charcuterie board. A variety of apples, pears and grapes will be available for picking in late summer.
This year Whitby Ribfest will be held as a drive-thru fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise.
July 16 to 18, 2021 @ Whitby GO Parking Lot, Brock Street South, Whitby
See Racing at Ajax Downs
Ontario plans to reopen racing to spectators in Stage 2. So visit Ajax Downs, and enjoy a day of free fun. Ajax Downs is also the venue for various festivals in the region. Keep an eye out for events as Ontario continues to reopen.
Various Dates @ Ajax Downs, 50 Alexander’s Crossing Ajax
See what’s on at Downtown Oshawa
Dive Into the World of Anne of Green Gables
This year you have the unique and wonderful opportunity to dive into the world of your favourite childhood novel character, Anne of Green Gables and her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery. This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows you to learn all about your favourite freckled, redhead and explore parts of the book while walking around Pickering Museum Village—the set of several Anne productions for almost 40 years and around the Durham Region.
Various events around Durham Region.
The Automotive Walking Tour
Go on an Automotive Walking Tour that highlights the history of auto manufacturing in downtown Oshawa. Oshawa has been home to the McLaughlin Carriage Company, McLaughlin Motor Company, and General Motors of Canada, but today only a few remnants of the city’s former industrial past remain in the downtown core. Expert guides will explore the streetscape and bring to life the people and places that made Oshawa “Canada’s Motor City.”
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Do not miss any of the exciting events at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park once racing is allowed to restart as part of Stage 2.
Try outtasty ribs from popular food vendors.
August 13 to 15, 2021 @ Location TBA
City Centre Farmers Market
Check out this community market for local produce, other fresh foods and art in the heart of the city.
Every Tuesday starting from June 15th to October 5th, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM @ next to the Civic Complex, Pickering
Autofest Outdoor Classic
Annual Autofest outdoor classic features over 1400 cars and trucks with plenty of children activities including face painting, Bouncing Castle, etc. This is a First Canadian AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) judged show.
2021 TBA @ Lakeview Park, Oshawa
Go Hang Gliding
Fly high like a bird with an instructor or learn how to with Fly High. Experience the freedom of flight by the side of a certified professional and enjoy views of Lake Ontario, Lake Scugog and even Lake Simcoe.
Rouge National Urban Park
This urban park has great trails and forest areas filled with wildflowers and other plants. You can spot great wildlife including birds like hawks and swans. The scenic landscapes also provide great photo opportunities.
This scenic waterfront, which borders the shores of Lake Ontario, is great for walking or cycling. There are also great spaces for picnics to take in the beautiful views.
Beaver River Wetlands Conservation Area
This conservation areais great for cycling and wildlife. Along the trail you could see a variety of bird species and perhaps even beavers.
Enjoy the gorgeous lake views while watching the sun go down. It’s also a great place for walking and you may even get to try food from the chip truck. While here, enjoy a nice dinner at the Port Restaurant Patio.
During a normal summer, you can enjoy free concerts are Millenium Square located at the Beach Front Park. If you continue your walk east along the waterfront trail via the giant windmill (OPG Nuclear Generating Station), you can reach Alex Robertson Park and see fabulous artworks.
If you like canoeing and kayaking, rent a canoe or kayak from Kayak Pickering (591 Liverpool Rd, Pickering).
You can join for canoe classes by Pickering Rouge Canoe Clubat Frenchman’s Bay West Park. You can not access it from Frenchman’s Bay Marina.
Bonner Boy’s Cruise-In
The incredibly popularBonner Boy’s Cruise-In every Thursday night at Elgin Park. See custom hot rods and vintage classics to enjoy live entertainment!
2021 TBA @ Elgin Park in Uxbridge.
Beachfront Park and Millenium Square
This is a great place to spend the day. It has a main public square,a beach, great children’s play area. Enjoy some beach volleyball, fishing and bird watching or if you prefer relaxing, take in the stunning Lake Ontario views.
Treetop Eco-Adventure Park
Want to try something new? Spend theday zip-lining, axe throwing and trying out combat archery at this adventure park.
Jungle Cat World
Check out this wildlife park for unique experiences and an incredible look at species from all around the world. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the environment and wildlife.
Petticoat Creek Conservation Area
Spend the morning cycling or running the waterfront trail, the afternoon by the pool followed by a picnic and end the day enjoying views of Lake Ontario and various wildlife.
Historic Downtown Port Perry
Visit this beautiful area for shopping, great food and drinks, golf clubs and much more. Don’t forget to check out Nonquon Provincial Wildlife Area, which is a great place for fishing, canoeing and of course, seeing wildlife.
Picnic in Whitby
Address: 939 Dundas Street West Whitby
Darlington Provincial Park
Spend the weekend camping, hiking on nature trails and lounging by the beach at this provincial park in Bowmanville.
Free visit on Mondays to Thursdays
Spend the day with all kinds of animals fromexotic creatures like lemurs to farm animals like sheeps and cows.
Greenwood Conservation Area
Explore the forest by hiking the trails in this conservation area. Don’t forget your fishing gear as it’s also an amazing place for fishing.
Forsythe Family Farms
Explore nature and walk the Fairy Tale lane, go on wagon rides, enjoy barnyard adventure playground, feed farm animals, have a farm learning experience during special summer guided tours and pick your own fruits and vegetables.
Ride a Tank
Visit the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum in Oshawa and join for Aquino Tank Saturday. This museum is the only place in Canada where you can have an up-close unique Armour Experience including Tank rides. Enjoy a live vehicle demonstration with Tanks and Armoured vehicles! Followed by a knock-out finale and simulated Tank Battle!
September 17, 18 @ The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, 1000 Stevenson Road North, Oshawa
Eat at Melanie Pringles. This diner famous for homemade comfort foods has a tasty “Brunch-Cuterie” menu.
Address: 80 Thickson Road South, Whitby
Old Flame Brewing Company
Go on a free brewery tour of the award-winning Brewery in Port Perry. Old Flame Brewing Company won Gold Medal for their Brunette Munich Dunkel in the North American Amber to Dark Lager category and a Silver Medal for Raven the Black Lager in the European Amber to Dark Lager category at the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards.
Archibald’s Orchard and Winery
Pick your own apples and get great tasting ciders from Archibald’s Orchard and Winerylocated at 6275 Liberty St N, Bowmanville
York Durham Railway
Ride the heritage train through Oak Ridges Moraine! Hop on board and enjoy a ride in one of the heated/air conditioned heritage coaches from the 1950’s and enjoy our doors open baggage car. For extra fun ride the teddy bear train, you might even get a free pizza or an ice cream!
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Select days in Summer once Ontario enters Stage 3. The train departs Uxbridge Station at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm and from Stouffville at noon.
Lavender-Blu is a small family business comprised of a hobby farm, a lavender garden and a lavender artisan studio that creates unique hand-made artisan products. July is Lavender Blossom time and Lavender-Blu eco garden is open to the public by reservation from 10am – 4pm every day. Pick-Your-Own lavender $10/ bundle
Orono Antique Street Festival
Get to Orono for this popular festival and scavenge for antiques, vintage furniture, collectables and retro finds.
2021 TBA @ Main Street in Orono
Christel Lake Lavender
weekends for the 2021 season until the Labour Day weekend in September. @ 1381 Scugog Line 12, Greenbank (30 km north of Whitby)
Travel back in time as you visit Tyrone Mills, Clarington’s traditional water-powered mill built in 1846. Don’t forget to sample their famous apple cider doughnuts.
Gold Point Marsh
Check out this coastal wetland for unique views and don’t forget your camera.
Linton’s Farm Market
Linton’s Farm Market sells a wide variety of homegrown vegetables and fruit, cheese, honey, maple syrup, jams, preserves, fall decorations and many more. The farm’s 2021 U-Pick Strawberry Season has now started and there is no better time to visit the original North Oshawa farmer’s market. They also have a kids area.
Pick-Your-Own Strawberries Opens on Thursday June 17th @ 571 Raglan Rd. E. Oshawa
Explore Durham’s Trails
Historical Walking Tour of Uxbridge
37 destinations await you as you pass through residential neighbourhoods and the historic downtown core. You’ll see where merchants, doctors, beekeepers, carriage makers, shoemakers, masons, and politicians lived. Take a break to shop and dine, and soak up the architecture that holds the stories of years gone by.
Spend the day at a beach dipping your toes in Lake Ontario, enjoying a picnic and a walk along the water.
Eat out at Port of Newcastle Marina
Eat out at the patio of The Brig Restaurant located at Port of Newcastle Marina, the site of the annual Wooden Boat Festival.
The Sunflower Farm
Visit this 10 acre Sunflower farm at Beaverton. Take a stroll and grab that perfect picture on the tractor along the sunflower trail.
Opens in August @ B24430 Sideroad 17, Beaverton
Nebs Fun World
Spend the day in the arcade, on go karts, rock climbing, in the play centre or any of their other activities. Check out their website for all the fun things you could be doing this summer.
Durham Cycle Tours
Love cycling? Check out some awesome areas throughout the Durham region in this guide of 14 cycling routes.
Cool off at one of the many splash pads in Whitby like Darren Park or Willow Park. Check out the full list.
Leash-free dog parks
Spend the afternoon letting your dog run free in any of the leash-free areas around the Durham region.
Newcastle Leash-Free Dog Park
Greenwood Conservation Area: Located north on Westney Road, north of Taunton Road
Westney Road South & Clements Road: Located on the west side of Westney Road South, north of Clements Road
Spend the day exploring one of the many art galleries viewing contemporary and traditional art around the Durham region.
Ajax Skateboard Parks
Check out over 70 playgrounds and skateboard parks in various neighbourhoods around Ajax like Cedar Park, Terry Fox Park and Mullen Park.
Willowtree Farm Market
Willowtree Farm Market is a place that ensures that your tradition of picking your own strawberries will always be a well cherished experience for years to come through their sustainable and good-natured farming practices. You also can get fabulous tasting food at the market. There is also a petting zoo at the farm – 975 Durham Rd. 21 Port Perry.
Pick Your Own Flowers
Did you know that you can pick your flowers at this Flower Farm in Beaverton? You can also get a small selection of indoor plants, and local artisan goods. They provide you with mason jars, clippers, and water.
July to Fall @ 1125 Concession 7, Beaverton
Okay, you you have picked sunflowers, seasonal flowers, strawberries, apples and bought fresh farm food. What about blueberries? Well, head to Wilmot Orchards. They offer high bush blueberries during the month of August. Don’t forget tp visit AppleBerries Cafe to enjoy one of their delicious blueberry desserts and a refreshing drink on the terrace. — 3337 Concession Rd, 3 R,R, #8, Newscastle
Clarington Historic Tours
Enjoy a day at Port Whitby Marina and go paddling, fishing, enjoying a sunset, walking the Waterfront Trail or picnicking at Kiwanis Heydenshore Park.
Learn horse riding
Learn to horseback ride this summer at Belle Wood Equestrian. They offer camps and lessons based on different riding capabilities.
Go Horseback Riding
Enjoy over 225 acres of breathtaking tranquil forest trails on a horseback trail ride at Pathways on Pleasure Valley located at 2499 Brock Rd, Uxbridge.
Try out this treasure hunt like experience for a day full of family fun. Chances are there are some geocaches near you. Create a free account to get started. Visit their website for more details.
Spend an evening working together as a family solving puzzles, finding clues and attempting to escape from a locked room with a limited amount of time.
Clarington Honey Festival
Celebrate honey harvest, learn about the benefits of raw honey and the importance of all pollinators to the local agricultural industry during the annual Clarington Honey Festival. You can also explore Kendal Crown Lands and their numerous walking trails.
Usually held in August @ Kendal Community Centre,6742 Newtonville Rd, Orono
Canadian Automotive Museum
Take your toddler to see lightning McQueen. Visit Canadian Automotive Museum and discover unique Canadian cars! Learn about the automotive pioneers, success stories and scandals.
Spend the day jumping around at this trampoline park. Try the foam zone, freestyle jump, dodge ball, sky slam and much more.
Trans Canada Trail
Check out the longest recreational trail in the world that offers a variety of different activities through various landscapes. Why not start with exploring the Durham Region Trans Canada Trail.
Explore the village of Brooklin. Downtown Brooklin is a designated heritage conservation district under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.
McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve
This is a great place for hiking some easy trails and there are also great opportunities tospot wildlife. Time will fly when you are bird watching and enjoying the sunset.
Enniskillen Country Store
Check out one of the Oldest General Stores in Canada that showcases local home décor items, cottage décor, unique drinks, candies and more.
Visit Courtice Flea Market
Explore this indoor and outdoor marketthat provides shoppers with a great selection of new and vintage, collectibles and farm-fresh produce. Stop by the food court to refuel as you visit over 100 vendors.
Outdoor Farmers Market: Every weekend from May to the end of November
Summer Corn Festival & Jamboree – TBA
Explore Thomas Foster Memorial
Visit Durham Region’s Taj Mahal. Explore the building built in 1936 by the former mayor of Toronto inspired by Taj Mahal mixed with Byzantine Architecture, with solid bronze doors, stain glass windows hand-painted and fired.
In a normal year, you can enjoy outdoor concerts too.
There will not any concerts in 2021, but you can enjoy the building from outside.
You can see from outside @ Thomas Foster Memorial, Uxbridge
Long Sault Conservation Area
The largest conservation area in the Durham region, Long Sault is tucked into the Oak Ridges Moraine and offers more than 18 kilometres of trails ranging in difficulty. Well-marked trails bring hikers past plantation, wetland, mature forest, and lots of wildlife.
Address: 9293 Woodley Rd, Bowmanville
Is it raining cats and dogs? No worries, from Reptilia to Playdium and awesome arcades, the Durham region has plenty of fun indoor attractions.
Welcome Fall on A Country Path
Meet a Pumpkin Farmer, Organic Beef Farmer, Country Herbalist, Local Potter, Miller by the pond, Cider Maker & a Wine Maker as you drive or cycle across Clarington.