Canada’s smallest province is a popular vacation spot for families and while it’s known for stunning beaches and delicious seafood, there are also plenty of things to do in PEI with kids!
From exploring one of the many beaches to visiting Anne of Green Gables or learning about the birthplace of Confederation, here are 19 ideas to help you plan your PEI family vacation.
Prince Edward Island, known to many as PEI, is one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces and the smallest province in Canada.
Charlottetown is PEI’s capital city and is located in the center of the island. The island is small and it’s only a few hours to drive to anywhere in the province.
Many people choose to use Charlottetown as a base to explore PEI, but you’ll find many great places to stay all around the island. More information on where to stay can be found later in this article.
But now let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in PEI with kids!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link,
I may make a commission – at no extra cost to you.
Please read the disclosure for more information.
Best Things to Do in PEI with Kids
1. Visit the Beaches
PEI is well-know for its stunning beaches and they are some of the most beautiful beaches in Canada.
With over 800 kilometers of beach on the island, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Red sand or white sand, sand dunes or sandstone cliffs, there are many fantastic beaches to choose from.
See the unique Teacup Rock at Thunder Cove Beach (check out #15 below) or relax on the white sand and warm waters of Panmure Beach.
Explore the tide pools at Chelton Beach or stroll through the dunes at Cavendish beach.
Many of the beaches have lifeguards on duty during the summer months, making them perfect for families with young children.
Read more | Best Beaches in PEI for Families
2. Experience the Land of Anne
Visiting Green Gables and the land of Anne is one of the top PEI family attractions.
Anne of Green Gables, one of Canada’s most well-loved fictional characters, was an orphan living on the north shore of PEI, near Cavendish
The book series, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, follows Anne’s life as she grows up on the island. Families can explore the grounds and buildings where Anne spent her childhood and learn more about the author at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace.
At Green Gables Heritage Place, stop by the visitor center, learn more about author Lucy Maud Montgomery, as well as the area of Cavendish that inspired the famous stories.
Then visit Green Gables House, the original farmhouse that belonged to cousins of author Lucy Maud Montgomery. It has been decorated to match Anne’s home that is described in the stories.
Green Gables Heritage Place is a Parks Canada site. There is an entrance fee for adults, unless you have a Parks Canada Discovery Pass. Prices vary throughout the year and children under 17 are free.
3.Visit Avonlea Village
Just down the road from Green Gables is Avonlea Village.
This quaint little village is home to replica houses, including the original schoolhouse and historic church from the time of Anne of Green Gables, as well as costumed performers who act out scenes from the famous stories.
You’ll also find shops and a variety of places to eat, from coffee to burgers, pizza to lobster, and of course, PEI’s own Cows Ice Cream.
4. Visit the Canadian Potato Museum
PEI is known for its potatoes, so of course you need to see the potato museum when you’re on the island!
Pose for a photo with the giant potato outside the museum, then head inside to learn about potato farming machinery, the history of the potato on PEI, and more.
Similar to the Potato Museum in Florenceville, New Brunswick, there’s a cafe serving up potato-inspired snacks, or you can just stick to some kid-approved French fries.
There’s also a gift shop where you can purchase some potato-inspired souvenirs, as well as other PEI souvenirs.
5. See the Buffalo
Just outside of Montague, you’ll find Buffaloland Provincial Park, which is home to a bison sanctuary.
The bison were originally gifted to PEI by the province of Alberta and now they roam in a 100 acre enclosure.
While it’s not guaranteed to see any bison, there is a wooden lookout deck where you may be able to spot them roaming and grazing.
Be sure to bring some binoculars!
6. Make the Sand Sing
Basin Head Provincial Park has a gorgeous white sand beach, which is reason enough to visit.
But it’s also a unique beach in that it has high levels of silica in the sand, so when you step on it, it ‘sings’.
Actually, it’s more like a squeak, but either way, it’s fun to see it make noise!
7. Collect Shells
As an island province, it’s no surprise that PEI is home to some beautiful beaches. And what’s a beach without shells?
Families can spend hours combing the shoreline, looking for the perfect shells to take home.
Some of the best beaches in PEI for shell collecting are Panmure Island Beach, Brackley Beach, and Cavendish Beach.
8. Explore Tide Pools
And while you’re at the beach, take some time to explore the tide pools!
When the tide goes out, you’ll find all sorts of sea creatures in the tide pools, including hermit crabs, snails, mussels and possibly even starfish.
If your kids are into the Wild Kratts, this is a perfect chance to explore like the Kratt brothers (or maybe that’s just my kids?).
Some of the best beaches for exploring the tide pools on PEI are Chelton Beach, Green’s Shore Beach in Summerside and Thunder Cove Beach.
9. Visit a Lighthouse
PEI is famous for it’s lighthouses.
There are more than 60 lighthouses on the island, and 35 are still being used today. Some of these lighthouses are open to the public and you can climb for a good view of the surrounding area.
West Point Lighthouse has a museum (and a hotel!), and you can climb to the top for a view of the water and area around.
Some other popular lighthouses include Covehead Lighthouse (pictured above), East Point Lighthouse, Point Prim – the oldest lighthouse on the island, West Point Lighthouse, which is also a hotel, and Cape Bear Lighthouse, which is close to Kings Castle that is mentioned below.
10. Explore Kings Castle Provincial Park
Kings Castle Provincial Park is one of the best parks in PEI for kids.
Throughout the park, you’ll find statues of favourite storybook characters, like the 3 Little Pigs, Dorothy and the Tin Man and Cinderella’s coach.
Wander through the short trails and see what storybook characters you can find!
There’s also a large wooden play area, complete with tunnels, bridges and slides.
The park also has plenty of green space, washrooms and a riverfront beach along Murray River.
It’s a bit of a hidden gem, but if you’re driving the Points East Coastal Drive, be sure to make a stop at Kings Castle Provincial Park – it’s one of the most fun and interesting things to do in PEI for kids, especially if your kids are young!
11. Visit Green Gable Alpacas
Green Gables Alpacas is a family farm that offers alpaca encounters and farm tours.
Aside from the beaches, visiting the alpacas was one of our favourite kids activities in PEI.
Green Gables Alpacas offers tours, although it’s recommended to sign up ahead of time, or you can see the alpacas if they’re outside of the barn.
There’s also a shop where you can buy alpaca socks, mitts, or hand dyed super soft wool to create your own project.
12. Try Cows Ice Cream
Undeniably the best ice cream in PEI, and possibly the world, Cows Ice Cream is a must when visiting the island.
With six locations across PEI, as well as Halifax and other provinces and countries, Cows is an ice cream institution.
Be sure to try one of their specialties, like Cownadian Maple, Messie Bessie, Moo Crunch or PEI Apple Crisp.
You can also tour their factory on Milky Way, just outside of Charlottetown.
13. Explore PEI National Park
Parks Canada does an amazing job of offering great experiences for kids.
From the Xplorers booklets that kids can fill out during their stay to the programming offered in the summer, including campfire storytelling and sandcastle building, there’s plenty of interesting things to do in PEI National Park with kids.
And of course, there’s some fantastic beaches in PEI National Park. Whether you visit for the day or stay overnight (see #19 below), PEI National Park is a great spot to visit with kids.
14. Visit Island Hill Farm
Island Hill Farm is a small, family run farm just 15 minutes from Charlottetown.
It’s a working goat farm where you’ll learn about the entire farming process and the animals on the farm.
It’s primarily a goat farm, but there’s also other animals, including pigs, miniature horses, bunnies, a donkey and an alpaca.
After visiting the animals, stop in the cafe for a delicious treat or pick up some goat’s milk soap with lavender from the gift shop. More information and admission rates can be found here.
15. Explore the Rock Formations and Caves at Thunder Beach
Thunder Beach is one of the best beaches in PEI for families. While it’s not as well-known as Cavendish and Brackley Beaches, it’s a fantastic white sand beach and not too crowded.
Although there are no washroom facilities, and parking is on the side of the road, there are some pretty interesting rock formations that make it worthwhile visiting!
Walk to the end of the beach and you’ll see some caves carved into the side of the sandstone cliffs. Walk out (if the tide is in) around the point and then you’ll see the tea cup rock, which is a huge rock that looks like a giant tea cup!
It’s definitely one of the more unique things to see in PEI.
* Sadly, Teacup Rock did not survive the wind and waves in Hurricane Fiona, which occurred just a few weeks after we visited, but Thunder Cove Beach still has some fun rock formations to explore.
16. Ride a Mini Train at Elmira Railway Museum
If there’s someone in the family who loves trains, the Elmira Railway Museum is a must!
This restored train station, now turned into a museum, was built in 1912 and has a recreated station masters office and many artifacts on display.
Take a ride on the trolley, speeder or miniature train or let the kids play on the train-themed play structure.
The museum is located on the Points East Coastal Drive near the East Point Lighthouse.
It’s open mid-June to mid-September. Rates, times and more information can be found here.
17. Take the Harbour Hippo Tour
A fun thing to do in Charlottetown with kids is to take a ride on the Harbour Hippo. This amphibious vehicle takes you through the streets of Charlottetown, and is a great, family-friendly way to explore the city.
The tour goes past many historical attractions, and then into the water for a harbour cruise. It’s a great way to see the sights without all the walking that will tire the little ones out.
The Harbour Hippo runs from the beginning of June to the beginning of October. Information and to book tickets, visit their website here.
18. Have Fun at an Amusement Park
Cavendish is home to two great amusement parks that will keep the kids entertained for hours – Shining Waters Family Fun Park and Sandspit Cavendish Beach.
Sandspit is PEI’s classic amusement park with the longest roller coaster in Atlantic Canada, a 70-foot high Ferris wheel, bumper boats and a mini golf course.
And Shining Waters is a great water park with rollercoasters, waterslides and a splash pool.
If you’re staying or visiting the Cavendish area, these amusement parks are one of the most popular things to do in PEI with kids.
19. Go Camping
If you are visiting PEI in the summer, or even in the late spring or early fall, why not consider camping?
Camping is a great activity for families as it gives kids the chance to explore and play in nature, while adults can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Read more | A Printable Checklist for Camping with Kids
If you’re not an experienced camper, no worries – there are plenty of campgrounds that offer cabins or glamping options.
We have camped at a few provincial parks in PEI. The sites are fairly open and there’s usually playgrounds, picnic tables and other amenities at the parks. Free wifi is also included in your camping reservation.
As a bonus, camping at campgrounds lets you experience different areas of PEI!
Linkletter, Red Point, Jacques Cartier and Cedar Dunes are some excellent provincial park campgrounds. They all have a beach on site and are nearby to some of the best things to do in PEI with kids.
Camping is also possible at Prince Edward Island National Park; we stayed at Cavendish campground and highly recommend it!
Where Should You Stay in PEI?
There are plenty of accommodation options on Prince Edward Island.
Charlottetown is the captial, and largest city in PEI. It’s a good choice to use as a base, and if you have a car, you can easily do plenty of day trips from Charlottetown.
Delta Hotels Prince Edward is a Marriott hotel and a great choice for families. It’s walkable to both the waterfront and anywhere in the historic downtown area. There’s also a pool, which is always a popular option for families.
Another good choice is Canada’s Best Value Inn. Just outside the historic downtown, it’s a family-friendly hotel with rooms and suites available. Rooms include a microwave and fridge, while the suites have a full-size fridge, stove and microwave. There’s an outdoor pool, free parking and it’s pet-friendly.
Other accommodation options include renting a cottage for a week and spending your time relaxing with a few day trips, or camping in the great campsites that PEI has to offer.
When to Visit PEI
The best time to visit PEI is in the summer, when the weather is warm and sunny and all the attractions are open. However, this is also prime tourist season and accommodations and activities can be booked up well in advance.
But PEI is a great place to visit any time of year! There are plenty of things to do year round, but many tourist attractions, including some restaurants will close at the beginning of September.
In the spring, the Island comes alive with blooming flowers, especially lupins which can be along the roadsides in June.
And fall is gorgeous, with farm stands selling produce and pumpkins across the island and the leaves on the trees changing colour.
Although nighttime temperatures will begin to cool off at the end of August, the days can still be warm and the water is still warm! Beach days are good well into the fall (for those of use with Canadian blood, that is).
Winter can be a magical time to visit PEI too, as the snow transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland. Charlottetown hosts a Victorian Christmas Market from mid November until the end of December.
No matter when you decide to visit PEI, you’re sure to create lasting memories with your family!
How to Get to PEI
There are a few different ways to get to Prince Edward Island; air, land and water.
Charlottetown’s airport offers flights to other cities in Canada, including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, Waterloo and Calgary.
The Confederation Bridge links PEI to New Brunswick and is the longest bridge in the world that crosses ice-covered water. At almost 13km (8 miles) long, it takes about 10 minutes to cross the Confederation Bridge.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI. This is always a highlight for kids and if you’re coming from Nova Scotia, it saves you having to drive into New Brunswick.
The ferry leaves from Pictou, NS and arrives in Woods Island, PEI. The trip takes about 75 minutes and there is indoor seating and snacks on the ferry.
Whether you take the bridge or the ferry, it’s free to get onto Prince Edward Island, you just have to pay to leave!
The bridge toll is $50.25 for cars and the ferry costs $84.
You can also make a reservation on the ferry to ensure a space and this will be an additional fee, even if you are entering PEI.
Getting Around PEI
Charlottetown is walkable, but it’s best to rent a car to explore the rest of the island.
Many of the roads will be small, paved, one lane highways, although there are larger highways leading into Charlottetown and to the Confederation Bridge.
Some roads will be hard packed dirt roads, but there’s no need for a 4×4.
How Long Should I Stay in PEI with kids?
While you could easily stay a week or more on PEI, it’s also possible to see many of the highlights in 3 or 4 days.
With 3 or 4 days, you could drive quickly through the main scenic drives, whereas 7 days would allow you to take more time and spend a day at the beach or explore PEI National Park.
We have two itineraries here, a 3 day itinerary which focuses on Charlottetown as well as some day trips, and a one week itinerary in PEI which gives you time to explore the best of the island!
PEI is definitely worth a visit! I hope the ideas we’ve mentioned on what to do in PEI with kids has helped you plan your travels to this beautiful Canadian province.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions, or if you have any other suggestions of things to do in PEI with kids to add to this list.
For more travel tips and inspiration on visiting PEI with kids, or the East Coast of Canada, be sure to check out these posts:
- Best Beaches in PEI for Families
- Must-See Stops on the Points East Coastal Drive
- 9 Fun Things to Do in Montague PEI
- 13 Places to Stop on the North Cape Coastal Drive
- 19 Awesome Things to Do in Charlottetown with Kids
- 15 Fun Day Trips from Charlottetown
- 18 Fun Things to Do in Halifax with Kids
- A Cabot Trail Itinerary for 2 Days
- Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Moncton