If you’re looking for some kid-friendly things to do in Huntsville Ontario this summer, here are 10 suggestions that are guaranteed to be fun for the whole family.
Huntsville is a popular destination for families in the summer. Located in the heart of cottage country and only a few hours north of Toronto, Huntsville is a great spot to get away from the bustle of the city and the heat of southern Ontario.
Surrounded by gorgeous lakes, Huntsville is known for its abundance of outdoor opportunities, from hiking to boating to camping, or even just spending the day walking along the Muskoka River that runs through downtown Huntsville.
Whether you are spending a week at a cottage or getting away for the weekend, there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Huntsville Ontario.
It’s even possible to visit Huntsville on a day trip from Toronto, although with a 2.5 hour drive each way, I don’t recommend it with kids (we HAVE done it and it’s not fun!).
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Top 10 Kid-friendly Things to Do in Huntsville Ontario
Visit Muskoka Heritage Place
Muskoka Heritage Place is a great place for the whole family.
Discover Huntsville’s past at the Muskoka Museum or tour the Pioneer Village and take part in the activities and demonstrations available.
Then board the Portage Flyer Train and take a 30 minute scenic train ride along the Muskoka River on a steam locomotive.
Wander Down Main Street
While wandering and window shopping is probably more fun for adults, it can still be fun for kids too!
Make sure to visit the year-round Christmas store or stop in at the Nutty Chocolatier for some yummy treats!
And relatively new to Huntsville is the iconic Beavertails, right at the corner by the lights.
Explore the Muskoka River
Rent a canoe or paddleboat boat through Algonquin Outfitters and explore the Muskoka River. Algonquin Outfitters is on Main Street, but head around to the back of the store where the boat rentals are.
In the summer, you’ll see lots of paddleboats waiting to be rented at the town docks. Canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards are also available to rent for the day.
Head out on to the water and explore historic downtown Huntsville, along the Muskoka River.
Visit the Brunel Locks
The Brunel Lift Locks is a historic location on the Muskoka River. Originally constructed in 1873, the Brunel Locks connect Mary Lake to Fairy Lake and were important during the logging era of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The Brunel Locks are still in use today and are one of the last manual locks left in Canada.
If you’re lucky to see a boat go through, kids often have a chance to help manually open the locks!
There is a park beside the dam, which is always open, where you can relax in a Muskoka Chair or have a picnic lunch!
Go for a Hike
There are plenty of opportunities to hike in Huntsville, but three of our favourite trails are the Lions Lookout, Hunter’s Bay Trail and Fairy Vista Trail.
Lions Lookout is a short 1.3 km hike starting at Camp Kitchen Road and ending at a lookout that provides fantastic views of Fairy Lake. (Or you can drive to the top and admire the view) It’s a great place to have a picnic too!
Hunter’s Bay Trail is a 4.6km trail that’s great for biking or hiking. If you have young kids, you may want to start at one end and just do a portion of the trail out and back. Starting at the Center St bridge, the trail follows along the lake and has sections of floating boardwalk, which is kind of neat for kids! You can also access the trail off Muskoka Road 3, just under the Hwy 11 bridge on East Airport Road.
Fairy Vista Trail is 3.4km and starts at the corner of Fairyview Drive and Hwy 60. It follows the highway for a bit but then heads into a forested section, which is a nice trail to take in the heat of the summer.
Adventure at Treetop Trekking
Get your adventure on at Treetop trekking! Huntsville is home to one of the popular Treetop Trekking parks, where you can climb, swing and zip through the forest canopy.
Featuring ziplines and wooden bridges, balance cables and net walkways, as well as a night trek for the adventurous, Treetop Trekking is sure to be an adventure you won’t forget!
For more information on rates, directions or to book a time, visit their website here.
**Only available for Ages 9+
Relax in a Muskoka Chair
You can’t go to Muskoka without sitting in a Muskoka chair!
Scattered throughout downtown Huntsville you’ll find many pairs of these iconic chairs.
Painted with bright colours, they are SUPER comfy and make for a great photo souvenir of your time in Muskoka. And if you’re not wanting a photo, they are still a really comfy place to sit and relax!
Go on an Outdoor Art Tour
Throughout downtown Huntsville, you can find a portion of the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery.
Featuring famous artwork by Tom Thomson and the renowned Group of Seven artists, the Outdoor Gallery can be found on walls of buildings throughout downtown Huntsville.
There are over 80 murals displayed year-round and the self-guided walk is great to do with the whole family!
Maps are posted around town, outlining the walk or you can view it here. There is also an interesting collection of painted canoes on display in the park by the playground.
Play at the Playground
Conveniently located close to the town docks and downtown Huntsville, the Riverside Playground is a great spot for young kids to play, run and burn off any energy they still have left!
Grab an Ice Cream
After exploring Huntsville, what’s better on a summer day than to cool off with a delicious ice cream?
Huntsville has a few choices for great ice cream, but our favourite is Belly Artisan Ice Cream. They have unique flavours, such as avocado or chocolate dipped strawberry (my favourite!) but the flavours on offer change often, so you’ll always be pleasantly surprised.
Belly Ice Cream also offers vegan and dairy-free flavours.
Kid-Friendly Things to do Near Huntsville Ontario
Visit Arrowhead Provincial Park
A few kilometres north of Huntsville is Arrowhead Provincial Park. It’s about a 10 minute drive from downtown Huntsville and makes for a great day trip!
There are several trails in the park, all of which are under 3km and are great to hike with the whole family, including one that leads to Stubb’s Falls.
Explore Algonquin Park
And of course, we can’t forget Algonquin Provincial Park. One of Ontario’s most popular provincial parks, it’s only 30 minutes from Huntsville to the park entrance. Spend the day at Algonquin or camp overnight at one of the many campgrounds or even head to the interior of the park on a multi-day canoe trip! However you choose to spend your time in Algonquin, you won’t regret it!
See the Screaming Heads
If you’re up for an interesting day trip, a little further north of Huntsville just past the town of Burk’s Falls, you’ll find one of the most unique attractions in Ontario.
The Screaming Heads is an open-air art installation like you have never seen before.
Wander through the artist’s property and pose for a photo with one of the many heads rising up from the ground.
It’s family-friendly but although some of the paths aren’t great for strollers, it’s still a worthwhile and unique experience!
Read more | The Screaming Heads
When to Visit Huntsville Ontario
While Huntsville Ontario is a popular destination to visit in the summer, it’s fantastic anytime of the year.
If you’re visiting in the summer, spend some time on the water or relax on a dock. Rent a paddleboat or canoe and explore the Muskoka River and then grab a bite to eat downtown or on one of the restaurants overlooking the river.
Fall brings cooler temperatures and slightly less visitors but it’s a gorgeous time to hike or simply take a drive and admire the fall colours.
If you enjoy winter activities, Huntsville offers some great opportunities to go snowshoeing or cross country skiing on the numerous trails.
Or spend the day skiing and snowboarding at Hidden Valley Highlands. North Ridge Ranch also offers dog sledding tours for the whole family.
Where to Stay in Huntsville Ontario
There are plenty of accommodation options in Huntsville from hotels to resorts as well as camping or renting a cottage.
Located just off of Hwy 60, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and the Best Western Plus Muskoka Inn are two of the most popular hotels in Huntsville. They both have indoor swimming pools, free parking and complimentary breakfasts. Both hotels are conveniently located across from a shopping centre which has a Walmart, Bullock’s Independent Grocer, Kelsey’s and Eastside Mario’s. They are only a quick drive to the downtown area.
For those that want more than a hotel stay, Deerhurst Resort is a great option. Just a few minutes drive from downtown Huntsville, the resort is on a lake and also has outdoor swimming pools and an on-site spa.
We personally use and recommend booking.com as they always have great deals and often flexible cancellation policies.
You can check available accommodation here.
Let us know in the comments below what your favourite kid-friendly things to do in Huntsville Ontario are!
For more family travel ideas in Ontario, be sure to check out these posts: