Before you know it, Canadians will be outside in droves, stock-piling as much Vitamin D as they can get. My family is no exception. Just like that first meal on an outdoor patio is the sweetest, so too is the pilgrimage to Canadian Tire for everything we’ll need to enjoy every last second of summer.
Weird and totally useless fact about me: I love the smell of Canadian Tire. Maybe it’s similar to why I love the smell of freshly cut grass, or clover in a field—it just reminds me of summer. I digress.
Here’s one thing I do know for sure about summer in Canada (because it happens every year). One day you’re bundled in a parka and the next, you're in full freak-out mode because: HOLY-CRAP-SUMMER-ARRIVED-OVERNIGHT! Let’s not do that this year.
Starting April 15th, Canadian Tire will start delivering its WOW Guide to millions of doorsteps across Canada. This guide is filled with thousands of products, countless ideas, and pages of inspiration that will help you make the most of the season. Where things get really exciting though, is the digital component of the guide. This part includes an expanded product assortment, how-to, and DIY tutorials from experts. Plus recipes for everything from backyard dining to camping in style. Simply download the free Canadian Tire app to your phone (find it in the App Store or on Google Play), then hover your phone over the products and digital extras will appear on every page in the catalogue. The Digital WOW Guide is so simple, even your kids can join in on the fun by navigating easily through the pages. Actually, let's be honest, your kids will probably do better at it than you!
So with spring and summer top-of-mind, I think it's safe to say we can now pack away the snow pants, take the winter tires off, and start planning for summer 2016. I’ve got five fun summer activities for you and your family to try this year!
I love that fishing doesn’t have to break the bank, it’s something every member of your family can do. It’s a great way to spend time with your together, not to mention, it gets everyone outside! Fishing should be a rite of passage for every Canadian kid.
Now, the fun part. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never gone fishing before. Everything you need to start and continue fishing is in the Canadian Tire WOW Guide. You can even purchase the things you need through the app and pick up in store.
Not sure if fishing is for you? Every year in Ontario, families can fish without a license for one week in July. This is how they hook you. Pun, totally intended. Don’t stress too much about that license fee though. Kids under 17 do not require a license at any time, and adult fees are extremely reasonable and can be acquired at your local Canadian Tire.
A few years ago, my family started whitewater rafting each summer. While I totally recommend it, it can be a little extreme for some. Getting out on the water in a kayak is an almost zen-like experience for me, not to mention, fantastic exercise.
Here's what I love about kayaking:
Extremely light and super easy to transport to the water of your choice, kayaks are a smart choice for active families. With just over 2 million lakes across Canada, not to mention, oceans on three sides, you should have no problem finding somewhere to embrace your new sport.
I didn’t really understand the allure of stand up paddleboarding at first, but it’s one of those sports you have to try to truly embrace. Perfect for calm lakes and rivers, paddleboards are a good way to get exercise because it's a great core workout and also great for your arms and legs. My daughters and I have even been trying yoga on our paddleboards, which often results in more comedy than meditation...it's the effort that counts! The flat surface of a paddleboard is also very conducive to just floating around with a good book. Summer is all about enjoying those lazy moments, too. I won’t judge.
Paddleboard or kayak? That really depends what you prefer but our family has one of each and we’ve managed to make everyone happy with that balance.
Before you run away screeching, just hear me out on camping. I fancy myself a bit of "glamper" and if you’re thinking back to the days of sleeping on hard surfaces with zero luxuries, I’m here to tell you that camping has come a long way, baby. Tents now have divided rooms and can sleep up to 12 people! Hammocks and air mattresses mean you can sleep in blissful comfort. Coleman even has a Hot Water on Demand unit you can bring along for the perfect cup of tea or for a warm washcloth! Camping can be as basic or luxurious as you’d like.
Here’s why I love camping: I can’t get THIS in my backyard:
A wi-fi free environment, in a wide open space with a spectacular view. Now that’s a little piece of heaven.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just grab our fishing rods, kayaks, paddleboards and head off into the great Canadian wilderness for the summer? Here’s the rub: those darn jobs we have just don’t work with the kids’ summer holidays. No worries, there’s still lots fun to be had right in your own backyard. You don't have to blow the budget finding it either. Here are 10 fun ways to bring Summer WOW to your backyard this summer:
If you need even more inspiration, be sure to download the Canadian Tire app, grab your WOW Guide and a coffee, and start searching. This is by far, the most fun I’ve had planning my summer in a long time.