Unconventional ways to embrace the outdoors this summer

Fruit picking

While there are lots of great outdoor winter activities, summer is still king when it comes to quality outdoor time. But so often, we fall back on the same old activities: hiking, canoeing, sitting at the park. But our country offers nearly intimate possibilities for summer fun—especially when the weather is nice. So if you want to get outside but also want to try something new, there are plenty of options.

Not sure where to start? Here are just a few activities that will help you get off the beaten path this summer.

Go fruit picking

Most of us are fairly removed from the farms that produce our food, but getting up close and personal with fruit trees and berries is surprisingly refreshing. There are plenty of farms and orchards that sell baskets and let you fill them with as much fresh-off-the-tree fruit as you can handle. There’s no better feeling than biting into a fresh strawberry you harvested yourself.

Try stand-up paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the most versatile watersports. On a stand-up paddleboard, you can skim serenely over placid waters, or you can hit a river and surf the currents. It’s a bit like kayaking, a bit like surfing, and a bit like walking on water. So if you’re looking for a new way to get out on the water, gives SUP a try. It’ll give you a whole new perspective (literally) on the lake.

Go geocaching

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If you think you should get a prize at the end of every hike, geocaching may be the activity for you. What exactly is geocaching, you ask? It’s an outdoor treasure hunt combines technology, outdoor exploration, and physical activity. People create caches (often containers holding small treasures) and hide them, posting the GPS coordinates online so cache-hunters know where to look. There are caches all over the world, and once you start seeking them out, you’ll realize you’re constantly surrounded by hidden treasures.

Head to the drive-in

Summertime is all about getting active in the outdoors, but let’s face it, we all have days when we need to veg out. But having a lazy night doesn’t mean you have to forego the outdoors completely. The drive-in perfectly blends the relaxation of a movie night with the delight of spending a night out under the stars. And unlike at a regular theatre, you can make your own snacks, roll down the windows, and cuddle up in a sleeping bag. It just goes to show: everything is better outdoors.

Ride in a hot air balloon

We’ve all seen a colourful hot air balloon floating overhead and wondered what it’s like to be up there. Well, you don’t just have to imagine. Why not celebrate Canada’s 150th by getting an aerial view of the country? Not only will you get an incredible perspective of nature, but you can also be fairly sure that your friends and neighbours will be looking up at you, wondering what it’s like.

Head to an observatory

Stargazing is always a good idea, whether it’s lying on a blanket in a field or gazing out your window. But at an observatory, there are tools and people that can help you get a better look at the wonders of the universe, and maybe even help you understand what you’re looking at. So take advantage of clear summer skies and spend a night marvelling at what lies beyond the borders of the world you know.