10 Fun Summer Activities to Do at the Cottage

Photo of a woman on a lake in a row boat

For those who own or rent a cottage in Canada, it can be a perfect weekend getaway or a fun staycation. Enjoying the company of family and friends and engaging in summer activities like boating, hiking, swimming, or just relaxing on the dock creates fond memories and cottage traditions.

Whether you own a cottage or rent one, we have ten fun activities to help you enjoy your weekend getaways.


  1. Head out on the water – If you have a lakefront cottage or the water is a short walk away, no cottage visit is complete without enjoying a water activity, whether swimming, speed boating, canoeing or paddle boarding. A day on the water will be a memorable time filled with fun, laughter and splendid views. Before heading out, ensure you’re prepared and follow some cottage lake safety tips to help protect you and your guests.
  2. Look through the lens – Don’t forget to snap a few photos to capture the scenery of the local park or take candid shots of the family chatting and enjoying activities. Later you can review the files and choose the best pics to showcase in frames – an excellent idea for cottage décor!
  3. Breakaway – Relaxing on the dock and playing games can get repetitive if you’re at the cottage for a few weeks. If you have cabin fever, get out and explore small towns and uncover hidden gems like antique and gift stores, farmers markets and bakeries. There may even be some local culture to enjoy, like museums, art galleries and seasonal festivals. Check out your municipal or provincial websites for locations.
  4. Rock and Roll – Carve out a spot in your garden or by the lake to create a colourful rock garden. Choose some flat smooth rocks and paint them in an array of colours. From rainbows to flowers, hearts, animals and inspirational words or sayings, this creative idea will be a hit summer activity for the kids and your guests.
  5. The more, the merrier – Are you still getting hints from your family or friends that they’d like their own private spot to hang out? Invite them over and show them what it’s like to have a good time with you in the same place you always go! Make a memorable experience for them by cooking some of your favorite summer treats on the BBQ like burgers, steak, kebabs, and even a grilled pizza—it’s incredible what you can make with a grill.
  6. Take a hike – Do you want to burn calories from all of those BBQ dinners and eating s’mores aplenty? Find some hiking trails and do some sightseeing. Check out the beauty of emerald maple trees, towering pines, sparkling streams and lush wildflowers. Remember to take plenty of water to keep hydrated, and don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray!
  7. Tell tales – As the sun sets, get chatty with your friends and family at the end of a long day. Reminisce and share your favourite parts of enjoying cottage life or tell stories about your fondest memories from childhood. This will likely elicit lots of laughter, questions, and maybe even a few happy tears.
  8. Stargaze – The clear night sky in cottage country displays a spectacular glow from the stars. Without the pollution from the city, it’s a sight to behold. Don’t know where to look? The Canadian Space Agency offers its tips for stargazing. Spread out a comfy blanket, lie back and enjoy the view. Try to find constellations like the Big and Little Dipper. And if the sky is dark, you may see planets shine brightly.
  9. Let it rain – If you stay at the cottage for an extended period, you’ll likely have a few days of inclement weather. Be prepared for these dreary days. Pull from that pile of board games (the one collecting dust) for hours of family fun. Read a book, listen to your favourite playlists, or grab a deck of cards. And if you know any magic tricks, now’s your time to wow your guests.
  10. Go solo – Head out into the early morning to appreciate the beauty of nature. Put on a cozy outfit and wrap yourself in a warm sweater. Sit in your favorite spot and take in the peacefulness while sipping a cup of coffee. Take a few deep breaths and feel relaxed. Cherish the peacefulness and give thanks for everything you have.

What are your favourite activities to do at the cottage? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to learn about getting your cottage ready for the summer? Find out more.

Thinking of renting your cottage? Here’s what you need to know.

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