5 Things to Do on Prince Edward Island with Kids


Super pretty scenery, great food, with friendly people and affordable prices, Prince Edward Island makes an ideal spot for a family getaway. Here on Canada’s smallest province, you can easily drive from one end of the island to the other in a day. But you wouldn’t want to do that. No, visitors need to savor time on this verdant land of rolling hills and red earth surrounded by the Atlantic.  Let’s explore five fabulous things to do on Prince Edward Island with kids.

Prince Edward Island with Kids

5 Things to Do on Prince Edward Island with Kids (Photo credit: Tourism PEI)

Go clam digging

When you’re on an island, you might as well do as the islanders do. On Prince Edward Island (a.k.a. PEI), that means digging for your supper. Tranquility Cove Adventures is where my daughter and I got our sea legs on Skipper Perry’s comfortable boat. Possibly the friendliest guy in the Maritimes (and that’s saying something, ‘cuz everybody is super friendly out here), Perry takes groups past PEI’s oldest wooden lighthouse and into a calm bay.

After donning wet suits, we plunged into the waist-deep ocean and began raking the soft sand with your hands. When you feel something hard like a rock, put a bit of muscle into it and ideally you’ll pull up with a hefty-sized bar clam in your fist. You then take your bounty to the beach, where you’ll tuck into a proper clam bake. I guess my daughter,  Eve has more muscle on her than I because she netted the most clams.  Kids 10 years and older are welcome on this adventure.

Clam digging on Prince Edward Island

Rake the sea to come up with your lunch (Photo credit: Tourism PEI)

Make your own chocolates

A half-hour jaunt outside the capital of Charlottetown, lies Victoria by the Sea. In this storybook village you’ll find Island Chocolates, a family run chocolatier that offers weekly classes during the summer season. Hands-on lessons begin with a frothy mug of cocoa and a chat about the history of chocolate, harvesting and production practices. Then it’s time to delve deep into the world of Willy Wonka, making your own cream centers, nut clusters, and chocolate bowls. The best part? Eating your efforts, of course!

Even if you can’t attend a scheduled class (though they do offer other class times by appointment), it’s worth poking into this village to suss out the quaint shops. Naturally, Island Chocolates has a great dessert menu and the meals served up and down the road are well worth it.

Making chocolates on PEI

Making chocolates on PEI (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Step back in time

Anne of Green Gables is a national treasure. Never heard of this spunky red-headed character? Anne is the Canadian equivalent to Laura Ingalls, except Anne is a fictional character. Lucy Maud Montgomery created Anne as the star of her novels over a century ago, but the inspiration for the story is alive and well in PEI.

Families can tour Green Gables Heritage Place and explore out the Anne’s storybook green gabled home. Theater buffs shouldn’t miss taking in a performance of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical in Charlottetown. It’s the world’s longest running annual musical and a big hit for school-age kids.

I was initially worried Avonlea Village was going to be a major snoozer, but strolling this historic village wound up being our favorite activity. Here you’ll find roving performers who act out scenes from the books. My 9-year-old couldn’t get enough of the place. She played on the old-fashioned equipment in the school yard, ran alongside the pig races and loved acting as my stylist in the dressmaker (and dress up) shop.

Honestly, it was such a relief to go to kiddie attraction where you felt safe and weren’t constantly shelling out money. Eve felt an immense sense of freedom roaming the village on her own, while her mother sat blissfully in the shade of a century-old tree sipping something cool (yet sadly not alcoholic).

Pickings are slim for good food options in Cavendish (where the majority of the Anne attractions are). Hit up the Moo Moo shop in Avonlea Village for incredible gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island

Thank goodness fashions have changed! (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Get beachy

Some of Canada’s prettiest and most pristine beaches are found on PEI. What’s more, you have your pick of sand color. The island is famous for its red soil, so you can plunk your towel down on a red (or white or brown) sand beach. Best are the free activities Parks Canada serves up along the coast. We had a hoot building sand castles with a master sculpture, plus they offer other interpretive activities, such as story-telling and guided walks.

Sand castle building on Prince Edward Island

Master Sculpture Maurice Bernard shows families how to build sandcastles (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Lobster up

The price of lobster is at an all time low and nowhere is that more evident than on the Eastern Seaboard. From lobster rolls to entire lobster dinners, it’s easy to affordably get your fill. For a true Maritime experience, try a traditional lobster supper available at churches and community halls throughout the province.

One of our best (and most massive) meals was at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers. It included all you can eat mussels (we polished off two buckets) a one pound lobster, three salads and a crazy selection of pies. Besides lobster, PEI is world-famous for their oysters, mussels and of course, there’s those clams…

It should come as no surprise that this Travel Mama gained a happy seven pounds over the course of her family holiday. Well, when wine is $5.25 a glass in most restaurants, wouldn’t you enjoy a glass (or two) with every meal? OK, it wasn’t just the wine, it was indulging in the great food, enjoying the company of the lovely locals and forgetting I have a workout routine. But you know what? It was worth it, each and every pound.

New Glasgow Lobster Suppers

A bib is obligatory when you’re cracking into lobsters, mussels and pie! (Photo credit: Jody Robbins)

Read more about exploring Canada’s Maritimes over on my blog, JodyRobbins.com.

Have you ever visited Prince Edward Island? Share your thoughts and questions below!

A Note from The Saucy Travel Mama: Thank you Tourism PEI for hosting my stay. As always, my opinions are my own.

About Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama

After a career in international marketing and a few years spent living the high life as an expat, Jody now resides with her family in Calgary, Canada. Figuring travel writing was a good way to combine her wanderlust and parental duties, she’s spent the past three years working with both print and online media, contributing to the Calgary Herald Travel and Real Life sections and blogging about her adventures at Travels with Baggage. Besides being a wannabe foodie and spa junkie, Jody has a knack for learning things the hard way and is keen to share her experiences so you can have better ones. When not circling the globe with her precocious children (one daughter, one husband, one dog), she can usually be found snowboarding or pretending to enjoy hiking. Find Jody on Twitter at @Jody_Robbins.

Comments

  1. I think Prince Edward Island is our family’s favourite place in the world! We have been 8 times but have never been clam digging and have never made chocolates – something to put on the list for next time!!

  2. If you’re a regular on PEI, I bet you’d love going clamming and making chocolates. They were both my daughter’s faves.

  3. All of that all sounds like a lot of fun. I hope I can take my kidst there some day.

  4. PEI was in my backyard basically when I was growing up, so I can concur with you when it comes to its awesomeness … glad to hear you liked it!

  5. If I had known about Island Chocolates when we visited, I certainly would have gone there! Maybe next time. Another neat place to visit if you’re in the southeastern part of the island is the King’s Castle Provincial Park (http://www.tourismpei.com/provincial-park/kings-castle).

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