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The Insider’s Guide to Things To Do in Prince Edward County With Kids

I know, I know. It’s already August and some kids are back to school next week – but there’s still lots of summer left!You’ve probably noticed that over the summer and fall we escape to Prince Edward County as often as we can. From Toronto to Montreal, PEC has become the favourite place for city folks to escape to. And what’s not to love? There are more than 40 wineries, breweries and cider houses in the area and eager entrepreneurs have opened up new restaurants, dancehalls, and buzzy hotels, making it a premier culinary and wine destination.All of which makes it a fun playground for the adults – but what is there to do in Prince Edward County for families?We’ve been vacationing in the area for about a decade and own a cottage in Cherry Valley and we’ve discovered PEC is fun for all ages. As we like to say, #theCountyismysummercamp. It really has everything you need to have a carefree, relaxing and memorable summer.I’ve written about family fun activities in PEC before but there’s new experiences and places to visit popping up all the time. Here’s my Top 8 List of things to do in Prince Edward County with kids (plus a special offer just for my readers!):1. Stay at Sandbanks Summer Village ResortNow this resort is where we have our cottage so I might be biased, but I truly believe Sandbanks Summer Village is THE perfect home base for your summer adventures. SSV is your typical cottage experience plus so much more. You get to pick your neighbourhood (Meadows, Woodlands or Water view) and cottage style (with a loft? large screened porch? breakfast nook?) and settle in for an easy, maintenance-free cottage experience.Your kids will never find themselves bored at SSV. Yyou can enjoy just hanging out in a beautiful new-build cottage or explore the resort which offers daily planned activities, an on-site restaurant, two swimming pools, playground, biking trails, tennis, shuffleboard, and basketball courts, and a lakefront stocked with all sorts of watercraft for your use.Our favourite way to spend a summer’s day is out exploring the County, then head back to SSV for an afternoon swim, cook up a bbq dinner at the cottage, and enjoy marshmallows around the fire pit (there’s dozens dotted around the resort!). And SSV is great for letting kids be kids: you’ll see kids riding their bikes unsupervised along the safe resort roads, joining in on the organized resort activities (paint night is always a favourite), or jumping off the dock into the lake.The only drawback? You might fall in love with Sandbanks Summer Village so much during your rental stay that you’ll want to buy a cottage of your own – that’s what happened to us, lol!SPECIAL OFFER for Rambling Renovators readers for 2019:Sandbanks Summer Village has a special offer, just for my readers! Use code RAMBLINGRENO when making your phone reservation or put the code in the Reservations Summary when booking online to receive:A $50 voucher for the Water’s Edge restaurant, plusFree Date Night activities for up to two kids. Drop the kids off at the Pavilion for dinner and activities while you spend some alone time together2. Go Swimming at SandbanksIf it’s summer, no doubt you’ll want to spend a day at the beach and I would argue that Sandbanks Provincial Park has the best beaches in Ontario. The park also offers campsites but the white sandy beaches are what draw me in. There are three beaches in the park:Dunes Beach: a shallow, calm beach perfect for babies and young children though not a large sandy area. Snack bar and washroom facilities.Sandbanks Beach: a wide and quiet beach with fewer facilitiesOutlet Beach: the most popular beach with a long wide sandbar, good waves, change rooms and washrooms, and a restaurant. My preference is to park at Lot 7 on Outlet Beach, near the restaurant, so you can head over for afternoon snacks or ice cream! If you do go to the beach, go early, especially if it’s a long weekend. They’ve been known to close the beach when things get too crowded!3. Visit Wellington Farmers’ Market and Wellington BeachLots of readers with young kids have asked me where to take their kids and this is one of my favourite destinations. The Wellington Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from mid May to mid October. The vendors offer a charming mix of fresh produce, good food (don’t miss Flossie’s Sandwiches or Jamie Kennedy’s fries!), and housewares and organic products.Grab your food to go and head over to Wellington Park, next to the farmers’ market. There’s picnic benches where you can enjoy your lunch and hang out while the kids expend their excess energy playing on the giant playground structure.After lunch, head down the road to Wellington Beach. Check out the old lighthouse and gather driftwood as a keepsake of your Prince Edward County adventures.4. Movie Night at the Mustang Drive InIf you want to have good old-fashioned fun, the Mustang Drive In can’t be beat. It is an authentic, old-school experience with popcorn and chocolate bars on offer at the concession stand, a 1960’s swing and climbing set for the kids to clamber on while they wait, and a double-bill that doesn’t start until 9pm when the sun goes down.Tip: Come prepared with folding chairs and lots of bug spray. The best way to watch the movie is with your car end facing the screen, tailgate up, and kids stuffed in the back with pillows and blankets. The mosquitoes can get kinda nasty by the second movie so hoodies and trackpants or long pjs is recommended gear for this outing.5. Ice Cream at SlickersNo visit to Prince Edward County is complete without a trip to Slickers for their small batch, homemade ice cream. They’ve got two locations, one in Picton and one in Bloomfield, and no matter where and when you go, there’s bound to be a line up. But it’s worth the wait!My hands-down favourite flavour is Campfire, a smoky creamy confection that has a hint of burnt marshmallows. I like to pair it with something tart like Passionfruit or Key Lime Blast which are both flavourful and refreshing.Tip: If you’re getting ice cream for a crowd, opt for a take home litre. You can grab them in the freezer at the Picton location, bypass the line, and pay at the cash. Campfire is good in a cone but it’s just as good to enjoy it while sitting out on the porch after your bbq dinner!6. Picton Playground and Skate ParkLocated on the Crystal Palace Fairgrounds in Picton, this new and large playground has fun for kids young and old. There’s a climbing structure the littles will love and a skate park for your teens. We bring Chloe’s scooter on our PEC vacations and she loves to use it here at the skate park or just around our resort. There’s also a splash pad open throughout the summer. All of this in a fenced-in area, making it easier to keep track of your little ones.Tip: They have regular antique shows and fairs at Crystal Fairgrounds throughout the summer so if one parent is not so fond of shopping, they’ve got a nearby place to hang out.7. Campbell’s OrchardsFarm fresh food is abundant in the County and Campbell’s Orchards is one stop that kids and adults will love. They feature home grown fruit and produce and lots of fresh baked goods. We can’t visit without taking home one of their awesome pies! They also offer wagon rides, pick your own fruits and vegetables, and orchard walks in the spring and fall. There’s also a few farm animals for the kids to feed and hot food (and cider!) to enjoy during your visit.8. Glenora FerryThough there’s lots in Prince Edward County to enjoy, but if you’ve got the time, I recommend a day trip to nearby Kingston. Taking your car onto the ferry and onto Kingston will take less than an hour. We like to go for the day and enjoy a delicious lunch at Pan Chancho, a walk by the waterfront, and shopping on Princess Street. We always stop by the Hatley outlet to stock up on winter pj’s and rain coats!BONUS TIP: Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Prince Edward CountyOf course, in between all this fun, you need to feed your crew! Here’s a quick list of kid-friendly places to eat in Prince Edward County:Picton:The Lighthouse Restaurant at Picton Harbour InnCounty CanteenCrepe EscapeParson’s Brewing CompanyMiss Lily’s CafeThe Vic CafeAngry Birds Rotisserie ChickenBloomfield:Saylor House CafeAgrarian BistroTerracelloWellington:RockN Rogers PizzeriaNorth DocksEnid Grace CafeMidtown Brewing CompanyHave you been to Prince Edward County? There’s lots to do throughout summer and fall and makes for a great day trip too! Let me know if you head out this way!

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