As the largest city in Northern Ontario, there are plenty of things to do in Sudbury and it’s a fantastic place to explore with kids!

Pin this post - Top things to do in Sudbury
Save this post for later!

Overcoming its reputation as a mining city, Sudbury has worked hard over the past few years to reinvent itself as an up-and-coming tourist destination and to revitalize its communities with plenty of green space.

From well-known attractions like Science North and Dynamic Earth to the myriad of Conservation Areas, walking trails and outdoor activities, there are plenty things to do in Sudbury.

Fun Fact: Sudbury is home to the Sudbury Basin, the third-largest crater on the Earth and one of the oldest!

And since its only 4 hours from the GTA, Sudbury is an easy weekend getaway.

Or if you’re dreaming of a longer road trip through Northern Ontario, Sudbury is a perfect starting point for your road trip adventure!

Whether you are planning to continue on north or spend your time exploring the Nickel City, plan to spend at least a few days in Sudbury.

While some of the things to do in Sudbury are right in the city, others are a short drive from the downtown area, so take that added driving time into your planning.

We would recommend at least 3 or 4 days to experience all the best things to do in Sudbury.

Top Things to Do in Sudbury

See the Big Nickel

Of course, we have to start with the iconic Big Nickel.

The largest nickel you will ever see, and possibly the largest coin in the world, the Big Nickel has become a Sudbury landmark. It’s also one of the most popular roadside attractions in Northern Ontario.

It’s a replica of the 1951 coin, which doesn’t have the beaver on it but instead depicts a nickel refinery, as Sudbury is one of the largest producers of nickel in the world.

Be sure to stop for the requisite photo!

the giant nickel in Sudbury Ontario is a well-known landmark

Visit Science North

Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction, Science North is an interactive science museum with LOTS to do.

It’s the second-largest science center in Ontario and a great family-friendly place to visit.

Educational and informative, but still keeping it fun, Science North has plenty of hands-on exhibits for kids and adults.

Visit the IMAX theatre, a planetarium and a butterfly garden

Experience Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth is a hands-on science centre all about earth science and mining. This is also where you’ll find the Big Nickel we mentioned above.

Go deep into the Earth with an underground tour, learn about the unique geology of the area and even experience real mining equipment.

With plenty of indoor exhibits and an outdoor science park, there’s something for everyone in the family!

View Canada’s Largest Mural

Did you know Sudbury is home to Canada’s largest mural?

Found on the side of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital building, this 74,000 square foot mural was created during the Up Here Festival in 2019.

It’s a striking work of art, whether you realize it’s Canada’s largest mural, or you just see it as you are driving through Sudbury and then realize it after! (Yep, I’ll admit to that….)

a former hospital is now brightly painted and is Canada's largest mural
Canada’s Largest Mural

Up Here Art Festival

Born from the simple idea of reshaping a community through art, the Up Here Festival happens every summer in Sudbury.

For a few days in the middle of August, the downtown area of Sudbury comes alive with artists, both local and international, who come to decorate the public spaces with fresh colours.

These murals stay up year round, so whatever time of year you happen to visit, head downtown and check out some amazing public art!

You can find a self-guided tour here.

Visit Onaping Falls

Onaping Falls, also known as High Falls on the Onaping River, was a favourite spot of the Group of Seven artist, A.Y. Jackson.

Admire the falls from the viewing platform or hike alongside the river to the bridge that crosses over the falls.

**The trail is a bit tricky in places, especially at the beginning where you need to climb down the rocks to get to the trail. An easier option is to continue driving on the highway for another kilometer, where there is a parking lot with a short trail to the bridge, saving you the rock climbing experience!

Onaping Falls, just outside of Sudbury Ontario
Onaping Falls

Get Outdoors at Kivi Park

Kivi Park is a large multi-use park overlooking Long Lake in Sudbury.

Plenty of trails of varying length wind through the park, passing lakes where you can canoe or paddleboard or just relax in nature.

There’s a large green area to picnic or relax with the family in the afternoon. Kivi Park is also home to what has to be the BEST kids playground in Sudbury.

Actually, there are a few different playgrounds, with plenty for kids of all ages to do, including a zipline swing, climbing nets along with the traditional playground equipment.

And there are plenty of Muskoka chairs for moms and dads to relax in while the kids play.

climbing net and play equipment with twisting slides and a covered gazebo in Kivi Park, Sudbury
Kivi Park

In the winter, bring your skates and enjoy Nina’s Way Ice Path – a 1.3km skating path that winds through the trees of Kivi Park – then warm up in a Muskoka chair beside the outdoor fireplaces!

Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Only 10 minutes from downtown Sudbury, the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is a great place to get outdoors, no matter the season.

Hiking, cycling, running, walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular on the trails throughout the year.

Walk along the Waterfront

Head down to Lake Ramsey and stroll along the 2km boardwalk.

Perfect for scenic walks along the waterfront, the path follows the shoreline of Lake Ramsey from Science North to the Bell Park beach.

There are plenty of spots to stop along the way, admire the view or have a picnic lunch (or dinner!).

stone path follows the shoreline of Lake Ramsey in Sudbury Ontario

Spend some time at Bell Park

Bell Park is a large waterfront park, home to many festivals and events but is also a popular place to spend the day.

Stroll along the boardwalk, spend some time at the beach or explore Lake Ramsey by canoe or kayak.

The Main Beach at Bell Park is blue flag certified and has lifeguards on duty every day in the summer.  

Visit Bay Used Books

Whether you are in the market for a new-to-you book or just want to browse, this used bookstore is a place to see!

Bay Used Books is the largest used bookstore in Northern Ontario and has approximately half a million books.

Friendly staff are eager to help you find a perfect book for you, and I bet you won’t leave empty-handed!

There’s a large kids section downstairs, complete with a children’s table and chair and plenty of books to choose from to keep your little ones entertained for the rest of your time in Sudbury.

Have Some Vegan Ice Cream at Flurple’s

After a busy day exploring Sudbury, head to Flurple’s for some delicious vegan ice cream!

Walk up to the take-out window and choose from a variety of flavours, including PB Chocolate, Mango Sorbet and Bubblegum Scoop.

They even have pup cones for your furry friends!

two boys standing in front of a brightly coloured wall where you can see ice cream flavours listed in the circle

Bitter Bill’s Ice Cream Parlour

This is a bit of a drive, but believe me, it’s worth it!

Just north of Sudbury in Val Caron, Bitter Bill’s offers 40 flavours of ice cream, as well as milkshakes and soda floats!    

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

In the heart of downtown Sudbury, this hidden gem overlooks Lake Ramsey and feels like its a million miles away from the city.

Wander along the pathways through Greek columns and a large fountain, flower gardens, statues and benches before ending up at the foot of the magnificent grotto.

It’s a perfect place to escape and relax, right in the heart of downtown.

Be sure to bring your camera – there are plenty of photo opportunities!

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a hidden gem but one of the best things to do in Sudbury
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

Visiting Sudbury with Kids

Sudbury is a fantastic place to explore with kids! There are plenty of opportunities to get out and explore nature, with activities for everyone in the family.

Places like Bell Park and Kivi Park have playgrounds for the kids to enjoy and trails for the whole family to enjoy.

The main attractions, such as Dynamic Earth and Science North, are designed with kids in mind – although adults will enjoy them as well!

All of the things we mentioned above are great to do if you visit Sudbury with kids.

Honestly, it’s such a kid-friendly city! My boys had an amazing time and we can’t wait to visit Sudbury again!

Where to Stay in Sudbury

There are plenty of accommodations to choose from in Sudbury. The city is quite large, and accommodations can be found all over the city.

If you are just stopping for the night, you may want to find a hotel close to the highway such as Travelway Inn, which is right across the road from Science North.

We stayed downtown at the Clarion Hotel, which is across from Bay Used Books, and really enjoyed our stay there!

Check here for other accommodations or use the map below.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other recommendations for things to do in Sudbury!

Save this post

For more ideas on things to do in Ontario with kids, be sure to check out these posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.