Kick-start the cottage season with these family-friendly spring events


We’re all looking forward to the snow melting, temperatures rising, and getting the cottage ready for the season. You likely don’t need any more reasons to get excited about spring, but if you do, here are seven of them.

Ice Fest
March 1-3, Nipigion
Ice climbing may seem like a relatively new sport in Ontario, but in Nipigion there’s been an entire festival dedicated to it since the early ‘80s. Canada’s longest-running ice climbing festival offers clinics and events for beginners and experts alike, with a chance to swap gear.

Canada Blooms
March 8 -17, Toronto
Even if your yard is still buried beneath a deep layer of snow, it’s never too early to start designing your dream garden. Canada Blooms, the largest flower and garden festival in the country, is a family-friendly event with over 100 hours of seminars. The kids might yawn at the landscaping displays, but they’re sure to love the “make and take” workshops on bee hotels and fairy gardens.

Spring Cottage Life Show
March 21 – 24, Mississauga
Over four full days at the International Centre, 600 exhibitors will gather to celebrate all things cottage—from docks, boats and water toys, to green solutions, entertaining, and decor. Kids will love the family activity centre and wildlife area, while parents will cheers the “Dock Party,” where brews from Muskoka Brewery and Georgian Bay Spirit Co will be on-offer. Oh, and did we mention that kids 12 and under are free?

Muskoka Arts & Crafts Spring Members’ Show
March 22 – 24, Bracebridge
Looking to spruce up your cottage with some new artwork? Look no further than the Muskoka Arts & Crafts 42nd annual spring members’ show. Throughout the three-day exhibition, over 100 local artists will be showcasing their talent and wares. Admission is by donation.

Annual Maple Weekend
April 6 -7, Ontario-wide
When exactly maple syrup will start flowing from trees is in the hands of Mother Nature. However, one thing is for certain—every first weekend of April marks Maple Weekend across Ontario. Meet the producers, sample products and feel truly Canadian, as you learn how our sweetest export is made.

Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny
April 13, Port Hope
In 1980, a flood crippled Port Hope’s downtown area. The residents of the town faced the adversity head-on, by launching a 10-kilometre race on the Ganaraska River. Over three decades later, it’s still running strong. Head on over to “Fannyville” (the event village) to watch kayakers, canoers and “crazy crafts” speed over rapids to the finish line.

Niagara Falls Elvis Festival
April 26 – 28, Niagara Falls
In June 1974, Elvis Presley stepped on stage for “Conquering the Falls” in Niagara Falls. Now, his historic performance is celebrated over three days, as Elvis impersonators compete for the Grand Champion title in gala-style performances.

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