12 Fun Activities for a Spring Trip to Cottage Country

Cottage Country is a beautiful spot to visit any time of year. But, by April, the romance of winter is gone and the excitement of summer hasn’t quite yet arrived. So, what is there to do in cottage country in spring?

We’ve made a list of 12 fun activities, to help you settle into a beautiful spring cottage getaway:

1. Have a Campfire

A campfire is something unique to cottaging that can be done all year round! Clear out the firepit of any debris left over from winter, pick up some dry wood from a local roadside stand, and get the marshmallows ready for roasting! Always make sure there are no fire bans in effect before lighting the match.

Campfire at Steampunk Cottage

2. Go for a Hike

Whether the trails are covered in mud from April Showers, or they’re dry and ready to go, hiking is a great activity any time!
It’s interesting to visit the same path in all four seasons to really experience Ontario in all its beauty!
Wondering where to go? We love these trails in Minden Hills!

3. Spend Some Time Cooking

It can be fun puttering around a kitchen that isn’t your own! Spend some time cooking an extravagant meal or baking a scrumptious dessert for your family to enjoy!
Try your hand at some homemade Cowboy Cookies. They’re sure to be a hit!
Or, if you’ve got summer on the brain, prepare your favourite BBQ dish and grill, lakeside!

BBQ & Deck at Paradise in the Woods

4. Go Geocaching

Do you know what geocaching is? Have you ever tried geocaching? It used to require a stand-alone GPS device, but, like all things, there’s an app for that! Just go to the Play Store or App Store and download the free Geocaching app from Groundspeak Inc.
To start, simply select a nearby Geocache and follow the directions to the hidden treasure! Don’t forget to bring something along to add to the collection for the next person to find!

5. Explore Local Towns & Visit Small Businesses

Cottage towns often “hibernate” throughout the winter, offering shorter business hours throughout the week. As summer approaches, businesses’ hours of operation lengthen.
April is a great time to explore the quaint downtowns of Ontario and check out some family-owned stores and restaurants. Take a look at The Best General Stores in Cottage Country for info on some of our favourites across the province!

6. Experience the Spring Runoff

With 250,000 lakes across Ontario, many connected via rivers, streams, dams and waterfalls, it’s no wonder the spring ice runoff is a sight to see! As the ice breaks and melts on lakes, it travels down these channels, increasing the water speed, quite significantly.
The Gull River at the Minden Wild Water Reserve is a great spot to visit and see what we mean! Although we don’t recommend actually trying it, watching the white-water-kayakers maneuver through the technical water is not something to be missed! Check out the video below.
And, if you’re looking for a history lesson, visit Hawk Lake Log Chute in Haliburton!

White-Water-Kayaking the Gull River

7. Visit a Maple Syrup Sugar Shack

We had a chat around the office and discovered the last time most of us visited a maple syrup farm was either when we were children ourselves or we were bringing our own children to create memories.
But, what a unique thing Canadians have the opportunity to do year after year!
Check out some of our favourite Maple Syrup Shacks across Ontario’s Cottage Country to find one near your cottage rental!

8. Listen to the Sounds of Cottage Country

If you are used to traffic noise, sirens, and the constant rumble from the nearby highway, the sounds of cottage country could come as a bit of a surprise. One unique sound you won’t get in the city is that of the spring peepers – the little frogs that emerge once the ice melts and make their presence known as they joyfully welcome spring.

9. Stargaze

Although the stars come out every night, they are so often missed due to city light pollution. So, when you visit the cottage, don’t forget to spend some time looking up at the night sky!
It’s a free, easy activity enjoyed by all ages! Just set up the lawn chairs and look up!
See if you can spot any constellations. Have you shown your kids where to look to see the “Big Dipper” and “Little Dipper”?
Check out these 4 easy to spot constellations and see if everyone in your family can find them!
If you’re looking for some extra fun, check out Star Walk 2 Free – Sky Map, Stars & Constellations app from Vito Technology (available on both the App Store & Play Store) and take a look at all the constellations right above you while you simply point your cellphone towards the sky!

Beautiful Night Sky at Moose Lodge

10. Have a Family Photoshoot

How many times a year does your Instagram feed fill with friend’s perfectly posed photos? These photos are so often taken in a field of wildflowers or in front of evergreens at a Christmas tree farm. And, at the end of the day, have no real sentimental value. Instead, this year, bring your camera, grab a tripod, and plan a family photoshoot on your vacation! You already have a fabulous backdrop for your photos! The best part? You’ll be capturing memories in the making!

Cathy’s Family Photo from their time at Paradise in the Woods

11. Craft with Nature

Pinterest will be your best friend for this activity! Spend a few minutes checking out some crafts you can do with the family.
Little ones will love using leaves & twigs as paintbrushes (mom hack: painting with water is mess-free, stress-free fun)!
Older kids will love collecting flower petals, leaves, pebbles, etc., and making a Nature Suncatcher.
There are more advanced ideas for those pro-crafters & Do-It-Yourselfers all over Pinterest!

12. Dance in the Rain

While there might still be a bit of a chill in the air, throw on your raincoat, splash pants & rubber boots and enjoy the spring season in all its glory.
Be a kid again — splash in puddles or dance in the rain!
If getting a little wet isn’t for you, listen to the rain hit the roof and watch the drops splash into the lake while you stay warm and dry inside, playing a favourite family game.

Get Your Spring On!

Give yourself a treat and experience the kick-off to spring in cottage country. It’s a unique way to throw off the winter blah’s