Summer Fun – Close to Home

Posted: June 27, 2022

Are you looking for fun ways to keep your family busy this summer? We all want to break free and get out of the house this summer, however maybe you want to stay close to home this year. So, sit back and let us help you find all the wonderful things our area has to offer!

Virtual Elgin County Visitors Guide

This booklet includes lists of Museums, shops, restaurants, places to stay, Famers Markets, trails and much more! https://issuu.com/elginst.thomastourism/docs/2022_elgin_visitors_guide

Ontario Parks

Ontario Parks has a lot to offer. In fact, you might never run out of things to do! So where to begin? www.ontarioparks.com
Day Use:
Day Use Fees – 2022 Fees effective from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023
Daily Vehicle Permit (Max) Base $18.58 HST $2.42 Total $21.00
Seasonal Day Use Vehicle Permits
Summer Vehicle Permit – (valid from April 1, 2022, to November 30, 2022) Base $75.00 HST $9.75 Total $84.75

Borrow a permit
Did you know you can borrow a daily vehicle permit free of charge from your local library? Both Elgin County Libraries and St. Thomas Public Library offer the permits for you to reserve.

Each provincial park is unique with its own features, activities, and amenities.
• The best way to find out what is on offer at a park is to use the Park Locator at www.ontarioparks.com to search by activity, facilities, or location.
During busy times like summer weekends popular parks may need to close or limit entry.

Buying online and planning can help ensure a great visit.
• Buy in advance. You can buy daily vehicle permits in advance at participating parks. Buying in advance guarantees your spot for the day.
• Seasonal permit holder? If you have a seasonal permit and want to visit one of the participating parks that sells daily vehicle permits in advance you will need to reserve your spot online to guarantee entry.

Activities by land: Camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, bird watching and discovery programs

Activities by water: Swimming, paddling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating

Don’t have your own equipment? More than 50 parks offer rentals. If you are new to paddling, then know your limits and skill level, and be aware of weather conditions. And — of course — always wear your lifejacket. bring a PFD or lifejacket or borrow one.

Ontario Conservation Areas

There are so many fun things to do at Ontario conservation areas!
Camping, Hiking, cycling, fishing, bird watching, dog walking, canoeing/kayaking, swimming, geocaching and so much more! www.ontarioconservationareas.ca


On hot sunny days, there is nothing better than escaping to the beach! Feel the breeze in your hair, put your toes in the sand and take a refreshing dip in the beautiful waters of Elgin County’s lakeshore. Beach enthusiasts of all ages will discover their perfect sun-filled day of fun at one of Elgin County’s nine sandy beaches that dot the north shore of Lake Erie. You won’t need to travel far to find beaches that are world-renowned.

Elgin is home to three Blue Flag Beaches (Port Glasgow, Port Stanley, and Port Burwell). These beaches have earned this prestigious designation by meeting strict water quality, safety, educational, and environmental criteria. Additionally, both Port Bruce and Port Stanley Main Beach are fitted with accessibility mats so that everyone can enjoy a day at the beach.

Elgin’s port villages also offer a terrific location for anglers of all ages and abilities to access an abundance of freshwater fish species. So, this summer, sit back, relax, and listen to the sound of waves lapping against the Lake Erie shoreline.


St. Thomas Public Library – Local library offering numerous programs, supports and resources for everyone in the community! The Summer Reading Challenge: Runs from June 6- August 26. You have 12 weeks to see how many challenges you would like to complete. Pick up a Summer Reading Challenge form starting June 6, then enter your books read and submit by August 26 to be entered in a draw for a grand prize of $50 Downtown Dollars! TD Summer Reading Club: Registration starts July 4 and runs all summer long! Register on their website www.stthomaspubliclibrary.ca/src and track your books. They will have prize draws each week, as well as lots of fun drop-in activities and great programs you can take part in.

Summer Reading Club Story walk: July 1- August 31 at the St. Thomas Elevated Park 1 Centre St, St Thomas, ON N5R 2Z5. Read a children’s book page by page while you enjoy the view. Story to be announced! Visit www.stthomaspubliclibrary.ca for more information and to register for programs. Address: 153 Curtis St, St Thomas, ON N5P 3Z7. Phone number: (519) 631-6050

Elgin County Libraries – Numerous libraries located across Elgin County: Rodney, West Lorne, Dutton, Shedden, Port Stanley, Belmont, Springfield, Aylmer, Straffordville, Port Burwell. Each location offers numerous programs, supports, and resources for everyone in their community! TD Summer Reading Club: All 10 branches are doing it a little differently so make sure to contact your local branch to find out how you can take part! Check out the Calendar to find out about all the events happening across Elgin County for Summer Reading Club! Visit www.elgincounty.ca for more information.

EarlyON Children’s Festival

The EarlyON Children’s Festival is coming soon to a park location near you! The EarlyON Children’s Festival is a free special event for children 0-6 with their parent/caregiver. We will have lots of activities, and community partners will join us to provide resources. Pre-registration is required, limited spaces available.

July 20 10:00-12:00 Aylmer – Kinsmen Park registration is now open visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/359607554877 to register
August 17 10:00-12:00 West Lorne – Miller Park registration will open on Eventbrite July 21

Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo

The beautiful, landscaped country park and zoo is located near Ridgetown/Morpeth, Ontario. Featuring domestic and exotic animals – tigers, lions, jaguars, cougars, zebras, eland, donkeys, wolves, and so many more. Also, tropical birds, waterfowl, reptiles, and lots of comical monkeys, so bring your camera! – Also housed on-site, is a large playground, splash pad, picnic area, licensed restaurant, and a souvenir gift shop. All areas are wheelchair accessible.

Admission: Adult $17.00 Ages 16-64
Senior $15.00 64 +
Children $12.50 3-15
2 and Under Free! <2

Hours of Operation: Open May 15 9 am- 8 PM 7 Days a week. Holidays Included!
Address: 12734 Talbot Trail Morpeth, ON N0P 2C0
Phone Number: 519-674-3025

Clovermead Adventure Farm

Open Spring to Fall Monday – Saturdays Closed Sundays
Bring your kids to the Farm. Whether it’s cooling off a the Splish Splashpad, getting lost in the corn maze, picking pumpkins from the patch, tasting some local honey, or visiting the goats and chickens at the animal farm, Clovermead has activities for the whole family.
11302 Imperial Road Aylmer, Ontario N5H 2R3
Rates: General Admission: $24.99/person (ages 2+)
(Save when buying online: $19.99/person)
Tax not included.
Infants (23 months & under): Free

Backus Page House Museum

The Backus Page house museum is located within the grounds of the John E. Pearce provincial park, within a restored Georgian style house which was constructed in 1850. It is the first brick house built in what would eventually become Dunwich Township, now the Municipality of Dutton Dunwich. The museum offers guided tours, self-guided audio tours, self-guided grounds and garden tours, agricultural centre, online exhibits, school tours, walking trails and more!
29424 Lakeview Lane Wallacetown, ON
Hours: Open Seasonally May 1 – Halloween
Tuesday- Sunday 10am- 4pm
Off season tours can be booked
Admission: $10 Per person
Student/ Child $6
Groups of 6 or more Adults $7
Some events have gate admission, fees, or ticket pricing

Port Stanley Terminal Rail

PSTR is an operating tourist railway located in the beautiful, lakeside village of Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada. We have been operating trains safely for over 35 years and look forward to your visit. We are Elgin County’s longest running tourist attraction. All aboard for fun and a scenic ride on the train! Port Stanley Terminal Rail, 309 Bridge Street, Port Stanley, ON.
Station Hours: Saturday & Sunday & Holidays: 10:00AM- 4:00 PM
Prices: Adults Ages 15+ $15
Children Ages 2-14 $9
Infants Ages 1 and Under FREE
Station phone line: 519-782-3730

Horseshoe J Dude Ranch

Horseshoe J Dude Ranch has been offering a unique Horse camp experience and trail riding. Enjoy family camps, children’s camps, hourly public trail riding, birthday packages, lessons, horse clubs and group outings.
32553 Erin Line, Fingal, ON

Full Circle Ranch

Full Circle Ranch was founded with the vision of creating a safe and natural environment that promotes self-discovery, healing and transformation through the use of horses in the therapeutic process that results in healthy long-lasting life changes.                                                                                                44632 Mapleton Line St. Thomas ON                                                                                                                                        http://fullcircleranch.tumblr.com/


Public Swimming

Dutton community pool – Open June 27 visit www.duttondunwich.on.ca for more information.
Offering swimming lessons, family swims and open swims. Dutton Community Pool, 198 Queen St, Dutton.

West Elgin Community Pool – Rodney: visit www.westelgin.net/pool for more information.
Offering swimming lesson, family swim, open swims, and aqua fit. West Elgin Community Pool, 259 Ridout St, Rodney. 519-785-0750. The West Elgin Community Pool is celebrating Canada Day. The pool will be open to all community members for free on July 1, 2022. A full schedule will follow.

Jaycee’s Pool – St. Thomas visit www.stthomas.ca for more information.
Offering swimming lessons, recreational swims, and pool rentals.

Aylmer Pool – Run by the YWCA visit www.ywcaste.ca for more information.
Offering swimming lessons and recreational swimming. Balmoral Park, 17 Myrtle St, Aylmer. 519-773-3164

Splash Pads

Facilities are generally open early or mid-June to the end of August. Call for details.
Aylmer Splash Pad, Balmoral Park, 17 Myrtle St, Aylmer. 519-773-3164
Belmont Splash Pad, Don Yeck Park, 14020 Belmont Rd, Belmont, 519-631-4860
Dutton Splash Pad: Sons of Scotland Park: Miller Road
Miller Splash Pad, West Lorne. 519-785-0560

Elgin County Hiking Trails

Visit www.elgintourist.com/hiking for more information and maps.

Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling & Hiking Trail
Archie Coulter Conservation Area Trail
Big Bend Conservation Area Trail
Dan Patterson Conservation Area
The Elgin Hiking Trail
E.M.Warwick Conservation Area
Fingal Wildlife Management Area Trail
John E. Pearce Provincial Park Spicer Trail
Kirk-Cousins Management Area Trail
Lake Margaret Trail
Lake Whittaker Conservation Area Trail
Port Burwell Provincial Park Ravine Creek Trail
Springwater Conservation Area
Yarmouth Natural Heritage Area

Attractions Ontario

Find facts on the best things to do in Ontario. They provide you with the most current information available for the many different types of attractions, find coupons for some of Ontario’s attractions.

Upcoming Events

Canada Day events:

Dutton – Canada Day fireworks – new location: Wallacetown Fairground at Dusk-24 Argyle St, Wallacetown, ON N0L 2M0. Canada Celebrations on July 1, 2022. Events and Fun will be posted soon! All other Canada Day events will take place at the Sons of Scotland Park.

West Lorne – Food, Music, Games more information and schedule to come www.westelgin.net/canadaday
Miller Park -171 Graham Street West Lorne – Friday July 1 2:30PM

Port Burwell – A parade, Tours of the lighthouse, Horse-drawn carriage rides, Music, Airplanes, Meet & Greets with a Veteran, a Peacekeeper and a Submariner, Children’s games and more! Parade starting at 11:30 AM at the Royal Canadian Legion, Harvard airplanes fly past at noon.

Belmont – Decorated Bicycle parade 11:30AM, BBQ Hot lunch 12:00 Noon $2 per person Don Yeck Park Pavilion, Canada Day Birthday Cake, Face Painting 12:00PM- 2:00PM, Fireworks at Dusk

Aylmer Truck and Tractor Pull – July 1st and 2nd This is the largest 2 day pull event in Elgin County with over 200 hooks and pullers from all over Ontario. We have 3 different clubs with tractors and trucks from 65 horsepower to multiengine 9000+ horsepower. Live entertainment after the pull makes this an event the whole family will enjoy. Onsite parking, food trucks and tents, and rough camping is available. Visit http://aylmerfair.ca/ for more information.

Aylmer Fair – August 12-14, 2022. Along with the usual midway, cattle show, 4H competition, local vendors, and the demo derby, there will be a Ninja Wall for trying out climbing skills. There will also be some food vendors to tickle your taste buds. Visit http://aylmerfair.ca/ for more information.

Wallacetown Fair – September 30, October 1 and 2 2022 visit www.wallacetownfair.ca for more information