Top 6 Things To Do with Kids in St. John's

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

When I travel I always do a lot of research in advance - airfares, accommodations, transportation options and of course all the things I’d like to do and see while I’m there. 

When I’m traveling with my kids I have an additional goal in mind while searching - how to keep them happy so that the whole family can have an enjoyable trip. Sullen kids in the back seat of a rental car saying “I’m bored” is not fun.

Although this advance planning does come in handy, it’s important not to overlook the value of asking the locals what to do.  During our week in St. John’s, we went places and did things we hadn’t even heard of prior to our arrival and that made the adventure all the more exciting.

Here’s my list of fun things to do with kids in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Salmon Cove Sands

Braving the Atlantic was refreshing on a hot dayIt's a bit of a drive from St. John's but Salmon Cove Sands is totally worth it for the smooth, sandy beach and the shallow waters. Most of the beaches in in Newfoundland are quite rocky, but this one is perfect for beach volleyball and sandcastles.

Thanks to the guy at the National Car Rental in the St. John’s Airport for the great recommendation.


Rocket Bakery

Rocket Bakery, Best dessert place St. John's Newfoundland, lemon tart, Chocolate cake, kid friendlyTwo slices of chocolate cake and a lemon tart, please!What would vacation be without a few indulgences?  For me that means it's ok to have dessert more often than I normally would.  We loved the Rocket Bakery and managed to squeeze in a couple of visits during our week in Newfoundland.

Thanks to fellow travel blogger and St. John’s local, Candace Walsh, for recommending this eclectic local spot for great coffee and delectable treats.


Johnson Geo Centre

Johnson Geo Centre, Science centre in St John's Newfoundland, science exhibitsMy favourite part of the Johnson Geo Science CentreI found out about this stop through the reciprocal benefits of our Ontario Science Centre membership. I  always check these benefits before we go away because it they make for such an affordable outing when you are trying to stretch your travel dollar.

The location of the Johnson Geo Centre has the bonus of being located at the foot of Signal Hill.  A perfect opportunity to visit both attractions in one day.


Whale Watching at Bay Bulls

whale watching bay bulls newfoundland, best things to do with kids in St. John'sOn the lookout for whales at Bay BullsThere are many companies offering tours for seasonal iceberg, whale and puffin sightings.  We received lots of recommendations, but the overwhelming local leaning was toward Bay Bulls for the best whale watching.

We saw hundreds (if not thousands) of puffins on our trip as we circled Gull Island but the whales proved more elusive as we were out in the fog.  Fortunately, the view cleared just before we were due to head back to the harbour and we saw a pretty good show from a humpback whale.


Cape Spear

Cape Spear, Easternmost point North America, historic lighthouse Newfoundland, Little Xplorers, Parks CanadaClimbing up to the historic Cape Spear lighthouseVisiting the easternmost point of North America was high on my list of must visits while in Newfoundland. Its proximity to St. John’s and the Parks Canada Cape Spear Xplorer program were a bonus for traveling with kids.


Manuels River

Manuels River natural rock slide, swimming hole, Manuel River experience guided tour, fossilsManuels River on a hot day We had never heard of Manuels River, nor was it recommended to us.  We did however see a sign on the highway for the Manuels River Experience that mentioned fossils so we decided to check it out. This stop was our best find of the trip.

We took a guided tour down river to a spot where we could look for trilobyte fossils, watched many families enjoying the natural rock water slides into the swimming holes and  ended the day  with our first geocaching experience.  

Everyone loved it and we highly recommend that you set aside a  full day to spend there.

Did We Miss Anything?

Do you have any recommendations for family fun in St. John's that should have been included in our top six? 

Let us know so that we can try them out on our next visit!


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