5 Last Minute Activities For the Kids Before They Head Back to School

With the start of school just around the corner, you're probably looking to get in those last few moments of quality time with your child, before the day in and day out grind of homework, school projects, and extracurricular activities fill up your schedule.  As a parent, you want to give your child an avenue to take their mind off the impending start of school and just enjoy being a kid for that last little while, but you also want them to learn something sometimes as well.   Whether you're looking for them to just have fun or enjoy an educational experience, there's something to do for all interests.

As you basque in those last few weeks before school gets off to a start again and the temperature starts to drop, here is a list of 5 last minute activities to do with the kids:

1.  Visit a Farm

Enjoy getting back to the good ole' days away from all the technology and enjoy the simple life by visiting a farm.  If you live in the suburbs, there may be one not too far from you. If you live in Toronto, you can head on over to Riverdale Farm, a replica of 20th century Ontario farm, complete with any number of farm animals from cows to horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens.  After your visit, you can visit The Simpson House, the farm's gift shop showcasing homemade goods made around the farm.

2.  Back-to-School Sleepover

Your kids will enjoy staying up late, making noise, and lots of memories when you allow them to invite some friends over for a sleepover right before they head back to school.  Go ahead, get the invites, call out for pizza, rent some movies, and haul out the crafting supplies to make a back-to-school craft as a party favor.  This activity will make school seem like something to look forward to until the in-the-bed curfew, homework, and other joys of the school year kick in.

3.  Water Parks

What's more synonymous with summer than water parks?  If you're in Quebec, head over to the Granby Zoo's Amazoo Iogo Water Park where you can enjoy a day in a private cabana under the palm trees with a beach and plenty of waves for the kids to play in. If you're in Ottawa, hit up Calypso Park, Canada's largest themed water park, for a dive down the tallest free-standing water slide in North America, an adventure on a pirate ship or around the park's caves, or simply a relaxing cool down under its many waterfalls.  If you're not looking to spend a lot on a themed park like one of these, simply head over to one of your local adventure parks or playgrounds where they're sure to have some great activities for your child to enjoy before they go back to school!

4.  Wilderness Adventures at Provincial or National Parks

Head out into nature, whether it be for a short hike, a camping or kayaking adventure, or any number of other fun activities in the great outdoors.  Your child will not only go back to school with a great story to tell their friends, but also a grounded feeling from having roughed it out in nature!  There are dozens of Provincial and National Parks, spread throughout Canada, each offering their own unique blend of wilderness watching, hiking, water activities, camping, and more.

5.  Museums

If you don't want to brave the heat and instead spend time indoors, then you might enjoy visiting one of Canada's many museums for both a culturally enriching and educationally engaging experience.  From The Children's Museum at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec to the TELUS World of Science Creative Kids Museum in Calgary, and others, there's a museum somewhere where your child can start getting into a learning mode.  What's more, in larger cities like Toronto and Montreal, take advantage of that city's City Pass, which allows you to visit several different venues over the course of several days for one low price.

Picture by Cory Disbrow

By Shondell Varcianna

August 28, 2015