85+ things to do this summer in the Durham region
You’ll never be bored this summer when you have options like spending the weekend camping, hand gliding and exploring trails including the longest recreational trail in the world. So let the fun begin with this list of 85+ things to do in the Durham region this summer of 2018. Whether you are looking for a summer’s day date idea, food events or outdoor adventure, you are sure to find something in this list!
1. RCMP Musical Ride
Kick off summer by enjoying a show by Canada’s most recognized icons — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride.
2. Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Enjoy this Cirque du Soleil show that brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.
June 21 to 24, 2018 at Tribute Communities Centre, Oshawa
3. A Day at the Circus
Be awed by the gravity defying performers of the Royal Canadian family Circus Spectac! 2018.
July 19 – 22, 2018 @ under the Magnificent Big Top at Pickering Market, 1400 Squires Beach Rd, Pickering
4. Celebrate Canada Day!
Sing Happy Birthday Canada at your favourite location!
5. McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve
This is a great place for hiking some easy trails and there are also great opportunities to spot wildlife. Time will fly when you are bird watching and enjoying the sunset.
6. BRITFEST Canada
Join for the 1st Annual BRITFEST Canada, bringing together the British and Canadian community.
The day will compose of British Vendors & Cars, British Modern DJ’s, Live Bands and Giveaways.
Rain or Shine the party will go on.
Saturday, July 21, 2018 | 12:00PM – 5:00PM @ Holiday Gardens, 3315 Sideline 4, Pickering
7. 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.”
8. 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!
You may like: Scenic Train Tours in Ontario
Select days in Summer. The train departs Uxbridge Station at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm and from Stouffville at noon.
9. Whitby RibFest
For a day full of live entertainment, award-winning ribs, eating contests and family fun, check out this awesome event.
July 6 to 8, 2018 at Victoria Fields
10. Free Outdoor Concerts
Pickering: Spend an evening being entertained at during free summer concert.
Sundays and Wednesdays at Millenium Square or at One The Esplanade, Pickering
Oshawa: Head on over to Memorial Park Bandshell for free outdoor concerts of various music styles including jazz, rock, pop and country.
Wednesdays & Thursdays at Memorial Park Bandshell, Oshawa
Ajax: Enjoy free entertainment on Wednesday nights including live concerts and children’s performances.
Wednesdays at 65 Harwood Ave S., Ajax
Whitby: Enjoy musical performances of various genres throughout the summer like country rock, blues and children’s music.
Wednesdays at Rotary Centennial Park
Thursdays at Grass Park
11. Switch Skateboard Competition
Get ready to boardslide, ollie and tailgrab at the annual skateboard competition, hosted by Switch Skate & Snow and the Town of Ajax.
Sunday, August 19, 2018 | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM at McLean Community Centre – Skatepark, Ajax
12. Free Outdoor Movies
Ajax: Spend the evening watching a movie outdoors on a giant inflatable screen.
Friday, July 20 and Friday, August 24, 2018 | 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. @ Millers Creek Park (North Diamond) – 275 Westney Rd N, Ajax
Whitby: Bring your chair or blanket and enjoy some great movies this summer. July 13, 27 & August 10 & 24, 2018
Pickering: Watch great movies all summer.
2018 TBA at One The Esplanade (Pickering)
13. Adventure Seeker Tours
If you are up for a thrill seeking adventure, try out tandem hand gliding.
14. Show and Shine
See the best vintage automobiles every week! Local classic car enthusiasts bring their prized possession down to the City Hall staff parking lot.
Every Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m. until the first Wednesday after Labour Day @ City Hall staff parking lot, Oshawa
15. We Grow Food Urban Farm Tour
Meet some local urban farmers and visit some of the most unique and beautiful vegetable gardens in Oshawa. There will also be a Harvest Feast with live entertainment and locally sourced food.
16. Classic Movie Night
Head over to Regent Theatre for an enjoyable evening of classic film or car themed movies. There will also be door prizes.
Various Dates at Regent Theatre 50 King ST. E, Oshawa
17. Bikes on Bond
How many motorcycles can you count at the annual Bikes on Bond?
Saturday, August 11, 2018 @ downtown Oshawa
18. Day Out with Thomas
Spend the afternoon on a train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt. The fun doesn’t stop there; there will also be live entertainment, storytelling and so many other fun activities.
August 10 – 12 and 17 – 19, 2018 at Uxbridge Train Station
19. Pickering Food Truck Festival
Check out this delicious event that features Canadian arts, great activities and of course food trucks.
August 10-12, 2018 at Esplanade Park
20. BluesBERRY Festival
Celebrate music and fruit at this unique festival. Enjoy great Blues music and delicious blueberry pancakes, pies, tarts and much more. There will also be a pie eating contest, great activities for kids and a bike parade.
August 18, 2018 at Historic Downtown Bowmanville
21. Craft Brewery Day
Watch Live racing while enjoying samples from local Craft Breweries!
July 22nd 2018 @ Ajax Downs
22. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Do not miss any of the exciting events at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix to NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series. Children 16 and under are free with paid adult admission.
23. Oshawa RibFest
Try out tasty ribs from popular food vendors including the best 10 from Canada and the U.S. There will also be great music throughout the day to keep you entertained.
August 17-19, 2018 at Lakeview Park
24. Enniskillen Butter Tart Fest
Enniskillen Butter Tart Fest 2018 will host Top Butter Tart Bakers from across Ontario selling over 50,000 Butter Tarts in ONE DAY! with so many different flavours. From Plain to Pecan and from Bacon to just about anything you can think of.
Saturday July 14 | 9 AM-4PM at Enniskillen Public School, Clarington
25. 5k Foam Fest
5k Foam Fest has 22 of some of the best and most exciting Obstacles in the world including the worlds largest inflatable waterslide, slip and slides, and mucky mud pits! Combine these with 2.5 million cubic feet of foam that is pumped out and you are destined to have a awesome day!
Saturday, July 21, 2018 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at Dagmar Resort – 1220 Lake Ridge Road, Ashburn
26. City Centre Farmers Market
Check out this community market for local produce, other fresh foods and art in the heart of the city.
Tuesdays at One the Esplanade
27. Wooden Boat Festival
Enjoy the Annual Wooden Boat Festival at the Port of Newcastle Marina. Free admission, boat and vendors display, children’s games and more!
Saturday, July 21, 2018 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM @ Port of Newcastle Marina, 377 Balwin St., Newcastle
28. Oshawa Wine Tasting Festival
Taste the best of Ontario wines! A number of wineries will be participating, and you can try their wines and order the wine directly from the winery.
Thursday 12 July 2018 | 5 pm to 9 pm @ Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Learn archery to help improve coordination and balance. There are several programs and camps for all ages!
30. Brock Farmer’s Market
Shop around for fresh produce, maple syrup, teas and baked goods at this weekend farmers market.
Saturday mornings at 91 Elliot Street
31. Annual Brock’s Big Bite
This festival of food and friends features musical entertainment throughout the day. There will be face painting, balloon animals, a petting zoo, museum tours and much more. The Marketplace will feature A L’Arte Entertainers as well as local artists working with a variety of media.
Saturday, August 11, 2018 | 10:00 AM. – 4:00 PM @ MacLeod Park, Cannington
32. Culture in the Square
Check out Celebration Square for live entertainment, theatre productions, art as well as a children’s carnival.
Tuesdays at Celebration Square Downtown Whitby
33. Eternal Light Yoga
Try out these yoga classes for all experience levels to help reduce stress and build flexibility. Don’t forget your yoga mat and water.
34. Canadian Automotive Museum
Visit Canadian Automotive Museum and discover unique Canadian cars! Learn about the automotive pioneers, success stories and scandals.
34. Kids in the Village
Visit this living museum showcasing the history of Durham Region! Play children’s games and make cool new crafts each week. Enjoy a self-tour around the area and have a picnic!
35. Ajax Farmers Market
Enjoy high-quality fresh produce, baked goods, preserves, artisan products and so much more.
Mondays at Ajax Downs Racetrack Patio
36. Bard’s Bus Tour
Driftwood Theatre presents their 24th annual Bard’s Bus Tour with Rosalynde (or, As You Like It), a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare about one woman’s search for agency over herself, her body and her life.
Saturday, July 14 | Parkwood Estate, Oshawa — Opening | PWYC
Sunday, July 15 | Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Bowmanville | PWYC
Tuesday, July 17 | Celebration Square, Whitby | FREE
Sunday, July 22 | Esplanade Park, Pickering | PWYC
Sunday, August 12 | Scugog Shores Museum, Port Perry | PWYC
37. Family Fun Day
Have a fun family day at the races!
August 19, 2018 @ Ajax Downs
38. Feast of the Fields
Feast of the Fields features fresh food made from produce grown in the ¾ acre garden, at Durham College’s Centre for Food. Enjoy an evening of guided tours of the garden while sipping on locally made beverages, learning about local agriculture, and supporting our next generation of food and farming students.
Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 [email protected] Durham College’s Centre for Food 1610 Champlain Ave. Whitby
39. Autofest outdoor classsic
25th 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.
August 25 & 26, 2018 @ Lakeview Park, Oshawa
40. 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.
41. Pickering Village
42. Ajax Waterfront
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.
43. Beaver River Wetlands Conservation Area
This conservation area is great for cycling and wildlife. Along the trail you could see a variety of bird species and perhaps even beavers.
44. Frenchman’s Bay Marina
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.
46. Pickering Markets
Shop around and find just about anything. This market is filled with accessories, clothes, jewellery, games, books, home decor items, food and a lot more.
47. Starr Ave Burger
Try out this burger joint for some of the best homemade burgers in Whitby. The onion rings and shakes are also worth the wait.
48. 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.
49. Treetop Eco-Adventure Park
Want to try something new? Spend the day zip-lining, axe throwing and trying out combat archery at this adventure park.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. Pig Out BBQ
This restaurant was featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”. Check it out to see for yourself if it is worth the hype.
54. Darlington Provincial Park
Spend the weekend camping, hiking on nature trails and lounging by the beach at this provincial park in Bowmanville.
55. Oshawa Zoo
Spend the day with all kinds of animals from exotic creatures like lemurs to farm animals like sheeps and cows.
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. Cedar Park Resort
Enjoy a weekend away at this campground and trailer park. Spend some time at the water park, play mini golf and have some fun at the playgrounds.
59. Altona Forest
Learn more about this forest and its wildlife through a guided tour where everyone is welcome. Quick fact, this habitat is home to various wildlife including foxes, hawks and rare amphibians.
59. L’Artisan Gallery
View extraordinary art pieces from across Canada and uniquely hand-crafted gifts. This is truly an exceptional experience for art lovers.
60. Lynde Shore Conservation Area
This area is great for viewing wildlife, canoeing, hiking and exploring trails. It’s also great for talking an evening stroll and bird watching.
61. Rainbow Restaurant
This restaurant is said to have huge portions and awesome meals. Enjoy some of the popular dishes at this diner like peameal bacon, steak and eggs, amazing burgers and spaghetti.
62. Gold Point Marsh
Check out this coastal wetland for unique views and don’t forget your camera.
63. Ajax Community Centre
This community centre has a pool, various fitness classes, tennis courts, soccer fields and so much more, you just have to check it out for yourself.
64. Durham Trail Guide
Spend the summer hiking through beautiful trails throughout the Durham region. This guide highlights the best trails of each region including harbour front areas, wildlife reserves and creek trails.
65. Cars and Cupcakes
Check out this cool walking tour to learn more about automotive manufacturing with a snack stop at Cupcake Goodness. Don’t forget a camera and comfortable shoes.
Spend the day at a beach dipping your toes in Lake Ontario, enjoying a picnic and a walk along the water.
67. 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.
68. Sidewalk Cafes
Try some unique foodie hotspots in Downtown Oshawa.
69. Durham Cycle Tours
Love cycling? Check out some awesome areas throughout the Durham region in this guide of 14 cycling routes:
70. Splash pads
Cool off at one of the many splash pads in Whitby like Darren Park or Willow Park. Check out the full list:
71. Aspire Acrobatics
Head over to Aspire Acrobatics to try out their various programs or camps. They offer a variety of aerial arts and dance classes.
72. The Rock Oasis
The Rock Oasis is a great rock-climbing adventure for both new climbers as well as experienced climbers. They also offer holiday camps and summer youth programs.
73. 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
74. Pick your own fruit
Pick your favourite produce at some of the markets and orchards around the Durham region like Watson Farm Market and Tallboots Farm. Many pick your own farms also offer other fun activities for kids.
75. Art Gallery/Museum
Spend the day exploring one of the many art galleries viewing contemporary and traditional art around the Durham region.
76. 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.
77. Picnic in Whitby
Pack a picnic and head to one of the parks in Whitby like Brooklin Kinsmen Park, for a day full of fun.
78. Acres of Fun Summer Camp
This children’s summer camp runs from the beginning of July until September and includes various activities like animal interaction, outdoor games and trail exploration.
79. Ajax Sports Courts
Check out some of the many sports courts in the Ajax area including Lexington Park for basketball and Forest Ridge Park for pickleball or tennis.
80. Whitby Marina
Enjoy a day at Port Whitby Marina and go paddling, fishing, enjoying a sunset, walking the Waterfront Trail or picnicking at Kiwanis Heydenshore Park.
81. Go horseback riding
Learn to horseback ride this summer at Belle Wood Equestrian. They offer camps and lessons based on different riding capabilities.
82. Fishing in Durham Region
Check out 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.
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.
84. Escape Room
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.
85. Outdoor Laser Tag
Head over to Action Adventure Games for some outdoor laser tag fun. You can even host a birthday here if you like.
86. Sky Zone
Spend the day jumping around at this trampoline park. Try the foam zone, freestyle jump, dodge ball, sky slam and much more.
87. 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.
88. Downtown Brooklin
Explore the village of Brooklin. Downtown Brooklin is a designated heritage conservation district under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.