Family Friendly Activities in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador

The eastern region of Newfoundland and Labrador is filled with stunning sights, adventure and activity. If you are travelling with a family, there’s something for young and old alike at every turn. Travelling our shores is the perfect way to make memories that will last a lifetime and get off the beaten path together - with plenty of fun and learning along the way. Read on to explore our favourite activities for families in eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Salmonier Nature Park

Hoping to see one of our famous moose in their natural habitat? Head to Salmonier Nature Park, located along Salmonier Line, where you can observe some of our local animals from the safety and comfort of a 3 km boardwalk loop. As you stroll along the path, start up a game of eye spy with over a dozen species of wildlife, including moose, caribou, lynx, foxes, owls, eagles, otters and more. Check out the Discovery Centre on your way out of the park to learn more about the species you’ve visited and the important roles they play in Newfoundland and Labrador’s ecosystems.

Play eye spy with a moose at Salmonier Nature Park.

Wooden Boat Museum

Our ancestors built their livelihood around fishing so it’s no surprise that there’s a museum commemorating their craft. The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is located in Winterton and offers a comprehensive look into the way our boats were built to stand the test of time and it preserves the experiences of the skillful craftspeople that carved the way. The museum is also home to an active workshop, where a Master Builder uses traditional knowledge to construct dories and deliver workshops. The Junior Builders workshop is the perfect way to get kids hands-on with these skills - participants will learn all about wooden boats and their uses, as well as practice net knitting and caulking. Under the guidance of the museum’s boat builder, the children will then work together to assemble a dory kit (designed for ages 5-12).

Families can get hands on with traditional wooden boats in the Wooden Boat Museum’s active workshop.

Champney's West Aquarium

A quick hop, skip, and a jump from Winterton across Trinity Bay and just five minutes off the main road on the Bonavista Peninsula is the quaint fishing community of Champney’s West. Here, you’ll find a hidden gem of the region, the Champney’s West Aquarium, offering a variety of displays and exhibits showcasing local marine life. Kids will especially love the touch tanks where they can get up close with a variety of species like starfish, sea cucumber, and sea anemone. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to answer questions to help your curious little ones better understand our ocean and the creatures that call it home. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch to unwind and recharge at the outdoor picnic area!
The area also boasts the breathtaking Fox Island Trail, suitable for the more energetic explorers. Sitting in the shadows of the Skerwink Trail, this easy-to-moderate hike takes you on a 5.5 km adventure of stunning scenery along the coastline, across a secluded beach, and finishing with a winding stroll through the fishing village. Soak up all the relaxation Champney’s West has to offer by staying the night at one of the many family-friendly accommodations available.

The Champney’s West Aquarium is filled with aquariums, touch tanks, and exhibits that tell the story of our province’s marine life. Photo: Abby Moss

Fortune Head Geology Centre

Located at the tip of the Burin Peninsula is the Fortune Head Geology Centre where you’ll find interactive displays and fun activities designed to immerse kids in the world of geology. Travel back in time as you explore the centre room by room, each focused on a different geological period along the earth’s timeline. Family favourite activities include the tsunami simulator and the interactive sandbox, which is always a hit for both the young and the young-at-heart! This is a dinosaur-lovers paradise. Don’t forget to snap a family photo with your new friend the wooly mammoth or one of the other dinosaur statues located throughout.

Examine ancient fossils of the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve on foot through one of their on-site guided tours or search for them yourself along the water’s edge on the Horsebrook Walking Trail, an easy 6.3 km walk out and back from the Geology Centre. Bask in the beauty that is Fortune Bay and make it an adventure to remember by waking up to the fresh salt air in one of the many accommodations in the area.

The mammoth and dinosaur statues at the Fortune Head Geology Centre are popular photo subjects! Photo: Abby Moss

Bastille Day in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, you can introduce the kids to some international flavour just a ferry ride away from Fortune in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon! A great time to go is mid-July to join in on the festivities of France’s national holiday, Bastille Day, celebrated annually on July 14th. Family-friendly activities take place throughout the day for this cultural celebration. Kids can participate in fun relay races to win prizes, while the adults enjoy a refreshment from one of the many kiosks set up in the town square. Don’t miss the “Mât de Cocagne,” a traditional game where locals compete to shimmy up a pole to retrieve a large piece of charcuterie as everyone cheers them on. After a joyous celebration à la française, end your adventure off with a bang with fireworks and music.

Watching competitors in the Mât de Cocagne is fun for all ages. Photo: Danielle Ambs

Pack Your Bags!

Where will your next family adventure take you? There’s a plethora of experiences out there waiting for you and your little ones to discover! Whether you have a young paleontologist on your hands, a fisher-person, a marine biologist, or a cultural explorer, Eastern Newfoundland has special activities for them all to peak their curiosity and expand their knowledge (and even yours!) along the way.

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