Simple pleasures for a digital detox at the cottage

Man fishing on dock Photo by Lu Mikhaylova/Shutterstock


A digital detox can help you get true R&R while you’re away—especially when you consider that more than half of Canadians check their work emails on vacation (and a whopping 72 per cent of millennials). Or, maybe your cottage is so remote that the internet is a no-go. Whether intentional or not, just because you’re not plugged in, doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Here are ways to keep entertained while on a digital detox at the cottage.

Go analog

an analog radio on a blank background for cottage tech detox
Photo by Studebaker

Believe it or not, you can access music (and radio!) without the internet. Invest in a little radio to enjoy tunes at the dock. Don’t worry, it has an aux cable too if you want to connect your high school iPod. Buy it on Amazon.

Not-So-Bored games

a board game for cottage tech detox
Photo by Avalon Hill

Monopoly and Scrabble are classics, but try mixing it up with an original game like Betrayal at House on the Hill. This campy game assigns players to different characters and leads them through a creepy mansion, exploring over 100 different scenarios. Buy it at Indigo.ca.

Table tennis

a table tennis set for cottage tech detox
Photo by MEC

This travel Ping-Pong set allows you to turn your cottage’s picnic table or dining set into a Ping-Pong court, for hours of hand-eye coordination testing fun. Buy it at Mec.ca.

Colouring books

a national parks colouring book for cottage tech detox
Photo by HarperCollins

Colouring is a great way to relax during your cottage tech detox. This decidedly grown-up colouring book helps further immerse you in nature by exploring the natural beauty of Canadian parks, from Gros Morne and Jasper to Banff and Ivvavik. Buy it at Indigo.ca.

Cards and conversation

a colourful tin of playing cards for cottage tech detox
Photo by Basecamp Card Co.

This Canadian-made card deck comes with a twist: each card has an icebreaking question on it to foster opportunities for deeper, funnier, more memorable conversations with family and friends while you play. Buy it at BedBathAndBeyond.ca.

Axe throwing

a foam axe throwing set for cottage tech detox
Photo by MEC

Turn any surface into an axe throwing spot, without damaging all your stuff. Just attach the target to the side of your cottage or van and get to tossing these foam hatchets for some friendly competition. Buy it at Mec.ca.


a puzzle with feather images for cottage tech detox
Photo by Galison

This 500 piece puzzle is a great activity for keeping your brain and hands busy during your digital detox. Bonus: you get a cool piece of cottage art to frame when it’s finished. Buy it at Amazon.ca.

BYOB (bring your own book)

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry cover shows images of a man and woman lounging in beach chairs for cottage tech detox
Photo by Penguin Random House

There’s a certain type of book you want to read at the cottage—something gripping and funny to keep you turning the page. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, which dropped this year, is the perfect read for a digital detox at the cottage. Buy it on Indigo.ca.

Featured Video