The Heart of Georgian Bay has been a beloved summertime getaway destination for generations thanks to a line-up of fun, family-friendly activities. From beach-side adventures to great entertainment options, there is fun to be had around every corner. Tourists started flocking to the area in the early 1900s and haven’t stopped since. But what can you do to fill your days? We have a few ideas.
Drayton Entertainment is one of Canada’s most successful theatre companies, and operates seven theatres across Ontario including the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene. Over the last 28 years, Drayton Entertainment has grown from a single fledgling theatre to a national phenomenon, accommodating over 250,000 theatregoers annually at their various venues around the province. Nestled in Discovery Harbour along the water, the King’s Wharf Theatre couldn’t be in a more scenic location. Follow the boardwalk along the shores of Georgian Bay to find a perfectly instagrammable location, featuring the iconic red theatre and other charming historic buildings, and the towering tall ships docked in the backdrop. Plus the theatre had new seats installed in 2018, so it’s very comfortable too!
The professional theatre offers a wide range of crowd-pleasing productions, including everything from hilarious comedies to grand-scale Broadway blockbuster musicals. After a sold-out run at their Grand Bend and Cambridge locations, Disney’s most popular film is coming to the stage in Penetanguishene this summer… Beauty and the Beast! This long-awaited magical musical is filled with all the classic songs that audiences know and love, like “Be Our Guest”, “Something There” and of course its award-winning theme song, “Beauty and the Beast”. Between its memorable soundtrack and loveable characters, this one is sure to win over even the Beast-iest of audience members. There are 20 professional actors from all over North America in this show (The Beast is from New York City!), and it will also feature a local child actor as the adorable young teacup, Chip.
This season’s stellar playbill at the King’s Wharf Theatre will feature 99 performances of 4 productions. In addition to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the season opened with Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto, a highly entertaining and family-friendly musical fairy tale, followed by Glory, the inspirational true story of the Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team, and will end with the hilarious and whacky whodunit, Shear Madness, which was presented in the King’s Wharf Theatre’s very first season over 20 years ago – it’s one of the theatre’s most popular productions.
One of the best things about the King’s Wharf Theatre is that tickets are reasonably priced.Adults are only $48 and kids under 20 are only $29; plus taxes and fees. With top quality shows and affordable pricing, there is no better time to get big entertainment outside the big city. Get your tickets today to enjoy one or more of these great shows, before the season is over.
Georgian Bay is home to the longest freshwater beach in the world, and if you travel up that coastline, you’ll find the smaller beachtown of Balm Beach. For those looking for a family-friendly spot to lay down a towel and beach umbrella, this is the place. Spend the afternoon splashing in the cool water, squishing the sand in your toes, but don’t miss out on all the fun things to do! Right on the beach, you’ll find Georgian Grill and Arcade. Although the world has changed quite a bit since it opened in 1934, here you will find the same mouth-watering homemade burgers, made with the same secret recipe, served up the same way, by the same family for 85 years. The Georgian Grill has become a summer tradition, whether for the food, the ice cream, the fun arcade games, or friendly service, and generations of locals, visitors and cottagers alike have fond memories of this quirky beach-side spot. Plus, they have a great view of the sunset every night!
After the sun has set on a great day at the beach, head just up the road, where you’ll find a spot for family amusement at its best; Balm Beach Go-Karts! Here you’ll find a half-mile of paved track with 24 go-karts, and an 18-hole miniature golf course. What can be more fun that that? Open on weekends in May and June, and daily in July and August, you can do a couple laps or a round of mini-putt whenever your schedule permits. With a combination of single and double-seater karts, no one has to feel left out for being too little, so bring the whole family. And the mini-putt course is as much fun for the kids as it is for the competitive kid inside all of us.
When mini-putt just won’t do the trick, head on over to Brooklea Golf & Country Club. This semi-private, professionally designed 27-hole golf facility features an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole short course. The Brooklea is the highest rated golf course in the Midland area by the Golf Association of Ontario and Reader’s Choice Award winner for best brunch, best golf course and more. Celebrating 60 years in 2019, they continue to maintain a well-manicured course and happy bellies, with their famous monthly Sunday Brunch. Book your tee time up to 14 days in advance, and get out there!
After an afternoon round, head towards the hamlet of Wyebridge for an early dinner at Mad Cravings on the banks of the Wye River. In this bright yellow house which once housed the general store and post office, you’ll be surprised to find a modern BBQ restaurant and bakery. Just reading the menu will make you drool. Featuring entirely delicious items prepared with local produce and hormone-free meat by chef Sarah, who trained at the Culinary Institute of Canada. We suggest trying every item, but a great date-night option is the Platter of Plenty, which is a feast for two featuring 4 types of smoked meat, 3 sides and cornbread. Perhaps not recommended for vegetarians.
When planning an adventure in the Heart of Georgian Bay, what could be more fun that camping? Bayfort Camp is a privately owned campground, nestled between the towns of Midland and Port McNicoll. Now operated by a third generation, this campground has been owned and operated by the same family for over 70 years. It features 45 overnight sites in addition to 165 seasonal sites. They have a private sandy beach, two playgrounds, wifi, recreation hall for activities and socializing, clean washrooms, and more. Plus, the Stone House Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and are open late on Saturday nights for those late-night camping cravings. So pack up the family, and don’t forget the marshmallows!
To literally get your Georgian Bay on, stop in at Graffiti Art in downtown Midland, where you can browse their very own Georgian Bay Wear clothing line among other Midland and Canada souvenir-type clothing. Whether you are looking for something cozy to wear by the fire or something light to flaunt in the sunshine, this is the place to get it. Plus, if you can’t find exactly what you want, they do custom embroidery and screen printing, so their friendly staff can assist you to create your vision.
For more information on all the great things to do in the Heart of Georgian Bay, visit www.gbay.ca