Looking for staycation inspiration in New Brunswick? We have 101 ideas for your family – and we barely touched the surface!
Check out the first 50 ideas on Daubneys Adrift!
Yes, this list starts at #51; we teamed up with our friends, Daubneys Adrift, to share some of our favourite New Brunswick family outings because it’s always more fun to explore together! Be sure to share this list with your friends & family & plan an epic summer and fall exploring all that New Brunswick has to offer. Tag your social stories with #101NewBrunswick so we can follow along!
51. Visit the longest covered bridge in the world.
New Brunswick is home to more than 50 covered bridges, a nod to our past when these timber-truss bridges were common throughout the country. Hartland’s Covered Bridge is the longest in the world, measuring 391 metres. A must-visit!
52. Play at the first community playground in Canada!
Municipal playgrounds had their Canadian start in Saint John, thanks to the efforts of Mabel Peters. She was a community activist, suffragette, and hotel operator who spent more than a decade helping establish community playgrounds across the country. (Pssst! Did you know we have a whole section devoted to profiling playgrounds? Check it out; our fave so far in SJ is Rainbow Park!)
53. Family dinner at the beach.
Pack your own picnic or visit a provincial beach with a canteen on site & enjoy dinner by the ocean waves.
54. Track white sharks off the coast.
Don’t worry; no one is filming a JAWS remark around here soon! But we do have some white sharks in Atlantic Ocean & even the Bay of Fundy at times. Thanks to the folks at OCEARCH, you can follow their movements & know when they’re visiting our waters! We particularly enjoy following Brunswick the Shark’s Tweets.
55. Sleep in a treehouse.
You can make this come true in your own backyard or at one of the province’s many neat accommodations! Check out the glamping units available in our National Parks or places like Miramichi Treehouse & Camping Adventures.
56. Swim in a waterfall.
Young or old, there’s something magical about the idea of swimming at a waterfall! Thanks to Tosh Taylor for the photo of her girls cooling off last summer at Quiddy Falls. Check out Waterfalls of New Brunswick or Hiking NB to help plan your own outing.
57. Go fly a kite!
New Brunswick is filled with amazing spots for kite flying. The winds on the Tantramar Marsh almost always ensure a successful outing in the Sackville area!
58. Feast on a bucket of fresh seafood next to the Atlantic Ocean.
There are many places you can make this dream come true in New Brunswick; we love the options & vibe Au Quai Aboiteau Wharf Restaurant.
59. Learn to canoe (or kayak … or SUP … it’s all fun on the water!)
Check with your local recreation department for beginner classes & rental options; you might be surprised how easy it can be to get out on the water, even for the first time!
60. Cross the ocean floor to Minister’s Island — just don’t get stranded!
A once-in-a-lifetime visit you’ll want to repeat! The summer property Sir William Van Horne is 500-acre tidal island (an ancestral home of the Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) First Nation) with incredible architecture & displays — including the reconstructed Bath House & iconic barn. You have to pay admission to visit the Island (we totally loved learning about Van Horne & all his innovations & accomplishments & thought the experience worthy of the $70 family admission), but the drive across the ocean floor is free if that doesn’t fit your budget.
61. Enjoy a breakfast of ploye.
Ploye are the traditional buckwheat pancakes of the Madawaska Valley. Plan a visit – or make your own at home with this recipe from Tourism New Brunswick! For an amazing deep dive into this culinary cultural icon, we highly recommend this ‘from seed to plate’ explanation! www.cheeseweb.eu/2016/10/ployes-a-culinary-tradition-in-madawaska-new-brunswick/
62. Make friends with a rare blue lobster.
63. Celebrate National French Fry Day!
Did you know that July 13 is National French Fry Day? If you live in Florenceville-Bristol I’m sure you did! The hometown of McCain’s always celebrates in style. We loved checking out their Potato World Museum, too!
64. Play on a pirate ship.
We’ve found many pirate ship-themed playgrounds around New Brunswick; how many will you discover? (Shown in the photo is Youghall Beach, Miramichi, and Caraquet – in case you want a place to start searching!)
RELATED: Pickle Planet’s Playground Profiles
65. Dine on coque au frites (fried clams); a New Brunswick classic!
For a great list of fried clam spots, check out our pal the East Coast Mermaid. She’ll hook you up with all you need to know! (She also makes the awesome shirt I’m wearing; super comfy & perfect for beach dining.)
66. Explore the Gypsum Silos in Hillsborough.
Please respect the signs & enjoy these twin gypsum silos, built in 1932, safely. There’s a lovely trail to walk & lots to explore along the shores of the Petitcodiac!
67. Walk with Indigenous guides.
Learn about community values, traditional hunting and foraging techniques, and cultural artistry with guided tours. There are several options within the province, including Wabanaki Tree Spirit Tours & Events (based near Fredericton) & SP First Nations Outdoor Tours.
68. Play among the tree tops.
69. Search for treasure on a black sand beach.
This is one of our family’s favourite New Brunswick adventures – the Black Sand Beach in Lorneville! Just past the Coleson Cove power station outside Saint John, this incredible beach gets its colour from graphite deposits. If you can, make time to explore the Split Rock Trail and the Musquash Estuary.
70. Wave to PEI with a close-up view of the engineering marvel, the Confederation Bridge.
You can make this a quick ‘hello’ or spend the whole day visiting the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre & surrounding area. There’s a long, mostly sandy beach to enjoy and you can see the lighthouse (operated from 1870 – 1997) that was home to the longest serving family of lighthouse keepers in Canada.
71. Relive the ‘penny candy’ days!
Grab a bag & fill ‘er up! We love indulging among the candy aisles of Freak Lunchbox. If you can’t get to Saint John for this experience, Bulk Barn is also a fun place to let your sweet tooth run wild, choosing just one or two of each candy to enjoy!
72. Camp overnight at a water park.
There are several campgrounds with water parks on site in New Brunswick. Hart Island in Fredericton is an annual visit for many New Brunswick families, & we’ve enjoyed staying at Camping Colibri near Caraquet (shown in photo).
73. Walk through time at one of the province’s many living history museums.
Our province is filled with great museums that bring history to life with costumed animators and more. A few spots to add to your list include King’s Landing, Village Historique Acadian, Beaubears Island, & le Pays de la Sagouine.
74. Enjoy locally made ice cream.
There are lots of great local ice cream shops, many that make their own yummy creations! We’ve tested out Trueman’s near Sackville, are looking forward to checking out Moncton’s Lost & Found Ice Cream’s new retail spot this summer, and be sure to visit Bella’s if you’re in Saint John! (Our favourite yet might be Mercury Ice Cream, bought at a roadside stand next to the Deer Island Ferry. Our pals Daubneys Adrift mention a great spot in Sussex in the first 50 things to do; don’t forget to check it out!)
75. Search for fossils along the rocky coastlines.
Budding paleontologist in the family? New Brunswick is filled with geographical history! Start researching your fossil adventures at Cape Enrage or Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark (which is more like a huge area of New Brunswick rather than a traditional ‘park’ you visit).
76. Dig into our mining history!
From grindstones to Albertite to manganese to copper – New Brunswick has a rich mining history you might not realize today!
77. Find a berry patch and pick away!
There are lots of great strawberry & blueberry u-picks throughout the province — and if you’re really lucky, you might stumble across a wild patch to enjoy. (You can also check out our guides to local u-picks!)
78. Meet the only Canadian prime minister from New Brunswick (so far!) at the Albert County Museum.
R.B. Bennett is, to date, the only New Brunswicker to hold the title Prime Minister of Canada. He served during the Great Depression and is responsible for many things we take for granted as part of our national heritage, such as the Bank of Canada, the CBC, and much more!
79. Search for whales in the Bay of Fundy.
If you’re really lucky, you might make friends with a humpback this summer! There’s no guarantee, of course (the whales are only in our waters for a short time, then there’s weather, etc.), but the right whale cruise will ensure you have an incredible day on the water no matter who shows up! You can also enjoy bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and more!
80. Zipline across the water!
Thrill-seekers will LOVE the chance to swoosh through the air above the Miramichi river, Grand Falls, or Cape Enrage; those looking for a little less of a thrill can find playgrounds with ziplines to enjoy!
81. Read the Chocolate River Rescue alongside the Chocolate River.
We listened as a family to the audio version of Jennifer McGrath’s retelling of a true harrowing adventure on the Petitcodiac River & the kids were amazed to be able to connect the story with places they see all the time. There are lots of other great New Brunswick-based books you could also read & visit the location. Share your favourites in the comments or on social with our tag #101NewBrunswick so we can add to our own reading list!
82. Marvel at New Brunswick’s Grand Canyon.
Walton Glen Gorge is now officially part of the Fundy Trail Parkway, making this natural wonder much easier to access. You can see New Brunswick’s second-highest waterfall (measuring more than 42 metres) and marvel at the 60m high rock faces.
83. Find a local observatory to learn about the sky above us!
There are several observatories around the province that often open their doors to the public (when pandemics don’t get in the way). Did you know … New Brunswick is home to Canada’s first observatory? You can find it on the campus of UNB; the William Brydone Jack Observatory was named a National Historic Site in 1954.
84. Let your imagination wander as you explore the ruins of Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site.
If you’re lucky, your kids will have the chance to dress as ‘Gate Guards’ to explore this star-shaped fort that was the site of several acts of war between France and Great Britain. Despite this dark past, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic & some kite flying!
85. Visit the endangered Acadian forest.
Keep an eye out for the Northern Flying Squirrel & Chimney Swift as you respectfully explore the Mapleton Acadian Trail, a 3km route with footbridges, observation platforms, and a giant hemlock grove.
86. Begin a geo-cache adventure!
What kid wouldn’t love the idea of hunting for hidden treasure?! Geocaching can be a great way to get your family exploring our province – and if you’ve never done it before, don’t worry! We have our own Guide to Geocaching 101, sharing our first experience — but we also highly suggest checking out all the amazing information online from Cache Up NB. It’s the go-to source for you more seasoned geocachers looking for local info!
87. Picnic alongside the Kennebecasis River.
From the foothills of Albert County, the Kennebacasis River winds its way through Penobsquis, Sussex, Millidgeville, Norton, Hampton, along the Kingston Peninsula and into Grand Bay. Youth can learn the art of angling from the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee, you can book a tour on the Zephryus (a disability accessible pontoon boat), enjoy a day sailing or swimming, and don’t forget a fery ride or two!
RELATED: Our Inspiring New Brunswick Series features short biographies written for the whole family; listen to the story of Hampton’s John Peters Humphrey, human rights advocate
88. Book a trail ride or beach walk with four-legged friends.
89. Savour a lobster roll with your feet IN the sand!
There are a few places you could make this vision come true, but might we suggest this as part of a visit to La terrasse à Steve on Miscou Island?! A truly New Brunswick adventure!
90. Create your own potato chip flavour!
We love touring the Covered Bridge Chips facility; at the end of seeing how the chips are prepared, you get some fresh off the line & a selection of toppings to create your own perfect bag. (Pairs perfectly with number 51!)
91. Feel like you’re underwater in the 360° basin at the New Brunswick Aquarium.
One of the many fun experiences on the Acadian Peninsula! Lobsters, seals, boating, and more can be explored at our provincial aquarium – one of two in New Brunswick.
92. Enjoy the beauty of the Caledonia Mountain range.
You might want to begin your exploration with trip to Crooked Creek, or just pack a picnic and drive the roads of Albert County!
93. Ride the ferry to Deer Island – and see how many deer you can spot there!
No joke – almost as soon as we were on the island last summer we saw deer! It’s a lovely spot to explore, with some fantastic little eateries. The ferry from Letete to Deer Island is free & runs daily. The waters off Deer Island are home to Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the western hemisphere!
94. Visit the Ice Age with a trip to see Hillsborough’s Mastodon.
Want to imagine what this part of the world was like roughly 80,000 years ago? Head to the New Brunswick Museum and ask the Hillsborough Mastodon! The incredible remains of a young adult Mastodon were discovered in 1936. This is one of Tosh Taylor’s top New Brunswick must-see stops; she even recorded a podcast episode all about it!
95. Expand your beach glass collection.
New Brunswick has more than 5,000km of coastal shores … meaning there are dozens & dozens of amazing places to search for beach glass! We love the variety along the southern arm of Fundy, from Blacks Harbour to Saint Andrews, though there are treasures everywhere. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind beachcombing experience, make the trip to Campobello Island. The photo above is just a few of the most colourful pieces we found steps from our cottage at Pollock Cove Resort! Check out the island’s Seaglass Festival online for more inspiration and information, too.
96. Rainy days are perfect for indoor museums.
97. Learn about New Brunswick’s forestry industry.
New Brunswick’s forestry history is as varied as the types of trees in our province! Explore everything from log drives to ship building to lumberjack life at places like the Woodmen’s Museum.
98. Chase the waves at St. Martin’s Sea Caves.
Rocks, shells, birds, and caves formed by the tide are waiting for you at picturesque St. Martin’s. Check the tide schedules before heading out & be sure to visit during low tide for the best experience.
99. Learn about the New Brunswick stop along the Underground Railroad.
Nestled near the Maine-New Brunswick border is Carlingford, a small community with a large historic story. Between 1850 and 1865, this area was North America’s Northernmost point on the Underground Railroad. Today you can take a self-guided 2.5 km tour at Tomlinson Lake that includes replicas of a squatters cabin and a Black Loyalist pithouse, as well as interact with live interpreters and informative storyboards that highlight the struggles faced by Black families escaping slavery by heading to Atlantic Canada. (During July 2021 you can also take part in a virtual tour, a great way to make this story accessible to everyone. There’s also the annual Tomlinson Lake Hike to Freedom event in the fall.)
100. Marvel at the architecture of the McAdam Railway Station.
This one has been on Mama Pickle’s bucket list for decades! This 1900-era train station is simply spectacular in every word. I can’t wait to visit & explore. (Papa Pickle just wants to eat his way through the 26 famous pie recipes in the McAdam Railway Station cookbook.)
101. Visit all the ‘big things’ in New Brunswick.
The World’s Largest Lobster. Restigouche Sam. The World’s Largest Axe. Albert the Lumberjack. New Brunswick is FILLED with fun statues just begging for an Instagram/TikTok revival! There are giant sandpipers, fiddles, potatoes, chairs, and more to find. You can start by visiting www.bigthings.ca/new-brunswick; we’re not sure how up-to-date the list is, but it’s a great resource that’s been around for decades & a fine place to start planning.
101 Ideas for family vacations & staycations in New Brunswick
That’s it!! 101 ideas of family adventures you can enjoy this summer in New Brunswick! We also suggest checking out some of our Staycation Summer Podcasts from 2020, filled with local picks for things to do as a family in Saint John, Fredericton, Miramichi, and more!
Don’t forget to visit Daubneys Adrift for the first 50 ideas on our 101 Things To Do With Kids This Summer In New Brunswick list — and tag us on social with #101NewBrunswick to show us your adventures this summer!
PS: While listing 101 Things To Do With Kids This Summer In New Brunswick only takes a little time, writing out 101 descriptions & finding 101 photos takes HOURS & HOURS — so we’d REALLY appreciate if you took a minute or two to share this post with your friends & family. We’d love to know all our hard work is reaching families who’ll appreciate the effort & get out to explore New Brunswick this summer!