Come on out families, it’s time to stretch those hibernated limbs and get back into the swing of Waterloo Region’s vibrant family activity scene! This year, we see some of our favourites on the list as well as the addition of a newcomer – all of which are sure to surprise and excite your family’s imagination.
Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 7 am – 4 pm in the town of Elmira, Ontario
FREE to attend – many vendors on site
Now in its 52nd year, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is a historically ‘sweet’ way to spend time with your family in early spring. As you would expect, the food and drink at this event are delightful, but add on the farm tour, train rides, sugar bush tour, live bands, craft and toy sales, and lots more, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival will make a permanent mark on your annual calendar.
Be sure to arrive early as parking and traffic can get quite busy, or ride the Waterloo Central Railway from St. Jacobs (see below) to add even more excitement to the day.
During Market Season – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the market: 10:00 am, 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm + special event dates.
St. Jacobs MARKET to St. Jacobs VILLAGE to ELMIRA
See website for individual dates & pricing
What an adventure for those kids (and grown ups!) who love trains or just love the romance of classic train rides. Take a ride on the Historic Waterloo Central Railway – either for convenience or family fun! There are lots of specialized events to take part in over spring, summer and autumn – or take a ride on a sunny day for a family experience. Special events include the Easter Bunny Train, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Train, Father’s Day Train and more. The train stops at St. Jacobs Market, St. Jacobs Village and Elmira. Don’t miss out on this great experience for the whole family.
February 3 – April 30, 2017 (Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 5 pm. Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 5 pm)
Waterloo Region Museum — 10 Huron Rd., Kitchener, Ontario
Adult – $10 | Senior & student – $8 | Children ages 5 to 12 – $5 | Children ages 4 & under – Free | Family (2 adults & dependent children) – $25
All the way from Australia, these dinos have travelled a long way to dazzle and delight your children’s imagination. Upon arrival, you’ll wander through a Jurassic Park style corridor with scenes from the Waterloo Region Museum being invaded by ferocious dinosaurs! Your arrival in the main section of the exhibit brings you closer to many extinct creatures like the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and life-sized interpretations of other pre-historic creatures. With lots to learn & explore (and even touch), your little-ones will be dinosaur obsessed after seeing the creatures up-close and personal. The other exhibit in the Museum explores the history of Waterloo Region, as well as what makes us who we are, and is always worth a visit.
BUG FEAST at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
March 11 – 19, 2017 from 10 am – 5 pm
2500 Kossuth Road, Cambridge, Ontario
General Admission – $13.25 | Senior – $11.25 | Child age 3-12 – $7
You might not realize, but humans eating insects is a practice that dates back to the beginning of time and it is a practice that is still carried on today! The practice is called entomophagy and many cultures value insects as part of their every-day diet. Although the Western World doesn’t typically introduce these foods into our lunchboxes, the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory invites you and your family to dabble in the delights of this centuries-old tradition. On the menu are maple fudge topped with roasted beetle larvae, maple bacon roasted crickets and cricket flour pancakes drizzled with real maple syrup. All samples come free with your admission ticket… so the only question is, how brave are you?
Tuesdays, 11 am – 12 pm
Kitchener Market, 300 King Street East, Kitchener, ON
A great way to spend a Tuesday morning with your toddler or preschooler – head to the Kitchener Market Tuesdays at 11 am to see musical performer Erick Traplin for FREE! The music is great and there are always a ton of other little ones for your kids to interact with. Your kids are sure to love the ever-popular bubble machine. While you’re at the Kitchener Market, stop by the international food court for a delicious lunch with the family.
So there you have it – make excuses, bash any remaining snow off of those shoes, pack the family up and enjoy the delights of Waterloo Region.