10 essential cottage toys, in order of importance

pizza oven

So you’ve bought a cottage and have a tiny bit of budget to spare. What should be next on your must-buy list? Here are our top picks for the best cottage toys, from most to least essential.

1. A high-quality BBQ

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Your fire pit or ancient coal grill might do the trick for wieners and marshmallows, but a nice cut of steak is going to take a fine-tuned machine. Buying a high-quality barbecue tops the cottage priority list because let’s face it—you’ve gotta eat. With the newest grilling machines featuring everything from automatic heat control, to bar fridges, to voice recognition, it’s a solid investment.

2. Canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard

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Arguably the only thing more Canadian than owning a cottage is owning a canoe. Regardless of whether you choose a canoe or kayak, you’ll be coasting across the water in no time. A third option is a stand-up paddleboard; more than just a trend, these surprisingly fun toys also have the added benefit of doing double-task as a water “floatie.”

3. Volleyball net

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With your barbecue and canoe in place, it’s time to stock up on lawn games. Bocce ball sets are great, but if you really want to impress, why not organize a beach volleyball tournament? Nets are great because you can set them up anywhere, and move them as needed.

4. Cruiser bike

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Chances are that you’re not going to haul your bicycles back and forth between the city and cottage. Cottage-specific cruiser bikes are the perfect way to do everything from getting groceries to exploring the neighbourhood.

5. Power boat

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For all those times you don’t feel like paddling (or don’t have kids around to paddle for you), that’s when a motorized boat comes in handy. A fishing, pontoon, or speed boat will allow you to access deeper fishing waters and do more water-based activities. The best part? Buying a boat gives you a legitimate excuse to shop for other fun toys, like tubes and wakeboards.

6. Outdoor pizza oven

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Cottaging doesn’t mean you have to stick to burgers and steak—making wood-fired pizza is always a great group activity. Not into pizza? You could also swap out this choice for a luxury outdoor propane fireplace, which will save you the chore of ever chopping wood again.

7. Inflatable water trampoline

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Your kids would probably argue that this should appear at the top of this list—after all, what’s possibly more important than a water trampoline?

8. Pool table

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Not all toys have to be of the outdoor variety. Make sure you spend some of your fun money on rainy day activities, like table tennis, a karaoke machine, or a pool table.

9. Hot tub

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If your cottage is year-round, this is a must-have. Hot tubs require a bit of maintenance, but as you relax under the stars and listen to the call of the loon, you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one earlier.

10. Jet Ski

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Want to have a whale of a time all summer long? Get a couple of jet skis to rip around the lake on. Just keep in mind that while this toy ranks high on several big kids’ lists, it might not bring your neighbours as much joy. Check your lake’s restrictions to see if they’re allowed.