Canoeing on the river, Rideau River

Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2019: events

It’s back! Enjoy FREE day-use at all Ontario Parks on July 19, 2019 for Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

Spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health. There are tons of great events occurring across the province to foster appreciation for nature and raise awareness about the benefits of time in nature.

Write yourself a nature prescription and start your weekend early with FREE day-use entry to your favourite provincial park.

Check out our four spotlight events, or scroll down to see park events from across the province:

1. Go wild for art at Awenda Provincial Park

What better way to help celebrate Awenda Provincial Park’s 40th anniversary this summer than by exploring the park’s rich artistic heritage and creating your own personal masterpiece?

Learn to keep a nature journal, paint a “tree cookie,” or decorate your own miniature paddle in a workshop geared to capture your special connection to Awenda!

  • Where: Awenda Provincial Park
  • When: July 19 — sessions will be offered at 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:30 pm
  • How: Pre-register at the Park Store upon park arrival. Limited to 30 participants.

2. Yoga at Bon Echo Provincial Park

Did you know that physical activity in nature can reduce the risk of mental health problems by 50%? Moving your workout outdoors is a great way to get even more health benefits.

Experience the health benefits of the outdoors for yourself by joining a yoga class at Bon Echo to celebrate Healthy Parks Healthy People Day.

  • Where: Pumphouse Beach (near the Visitor Centre) at Bon Echo Provincial Park
  • When: July 19 at 9:30 am
  • How: No registration necessary – meet us at the beach and bring your yoga mat!

3. Forest bathing at MacGregor Point Provincial Park

Explore MacGregor Point through a peaceful session of forest bathing. Together we will take a meditative walk in the woods to soak up the positive health benefits of being in nature.

Never heard of it? Learn more about forest bathing here.

  • Where: Visitor Centre at MacGregor Provincial Park
  • When: July 19 at 9:00 am
  • How: Pre-register by stopping by the Visitor Centre or by calling 519-389-6232.

4. Amazing amphibians at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

Child holding a frog

Frogs, toads, salamanders, oh my! The word amphibian means “double life,” as most amphibians spend part of their life on land and part in the water. Stop by this Discovery Drop-in to explore, observe, and discover the amazing amphibian species which call our park home.

Find an event near you!

Our Healthy Parks Healthy People celebration takes place across the province, so you can choose an event for yourself in your favourite provincial park.

Art and music

Park Activity/Event Zone
Algonquin Free Tom Thomson paddle art workshop and contest Algonquin
Arrowhead Paint for the health of it! Algonquin
Awenda Go wild for art: path of paint and paddle; ‘cookie’ canvas Southwest
Balsam Lake Go wild for art Southeast
Bonnechere  Tree cookie painting Algonquin
Killarney Zach Oliver guitar workshop and concert Northeast
Killbear  Go wild for art: ‘cookie’ canvas Northeast
Kettle Lakes Art in the park Northeast
Neys Tree cookie painting Northwest
Pinery Art in the park Southwest
Pinery Painting the Old Ausable Southwest

Nature and education

Park Activity/Event Zone
Algonquin  Citizen science bioblitz Algonquin
Awenda Connecting to nature’s web Southwest
Awenda Open your eyes to nature Southwest
Balsam Lake Bioblitz Southeast
Charleston Lake Charleston Lake challenge Southeast
Driftwood Discovery Drop-in Algonquin
Esker Lakes Discovery Program Northeast
Fushimi Lake Wow wildflowers – Wow! Les fleurs sauvages Northeast
Ivanhoe Lake Discovery Drop-in: amazing amphibians Northeast
Kakabeka Falls Trip around the sun Northwest
Killbear  Ask the naturalist Northeast
Murphys Point Night-time flyers Southeast
Nagagamisis Wow wildflowers – Wow! Les fleurs sauvages  Northeast
Pinery Pinery’s protectors Southwest
Pinery Sunset scroll Southwest
René Brunelle Wow wildflowers – Wow! Les fleurs sauvages Northeast
Rideau River Discovery Drop-in Southeast
Rondeau Invasive species pull Southwest
Samuel de Champlain Great Canadian shoreline cleanup Algonquin
Sandbanks Great Canadian shoreline cleanup Southeast

Cultural heritage

Park Activity/Event Zone
Killbear  Traditional Nishinaabeg strawberry and water ceremonies Northeast
Murphys Point Tour – the mystery of the Silver Queen Mine Southeast
Murphys Point Traditional Indigenous closing ceremony and canoe launch Southeast

Kids programming

Park Activity/Event Zone
Algonquin Bears and you Algonquin
Algonquin Life as a logger: square timber era Algonquin
Arrowhead Story walk Algonquin
Bronte Creek  Learn to Camp activities Southwest
Emily Hula hooping at the playground Southeast
Esker Lakes Sandcastle building contest Northeast
Kakabeka Falls Bubble booth Northwest
Port Burwell Sand turtle sculpting competition Southwest
Rondeau Kids yoga Southwest
Sleeping Giant Fish and learn Northwest

Nature hikes

Park Activity/Event Zone
Arrowhead Mood walk Algonquin
Bon Echo Guided hike Southeast
Bonnechere Mindfulness walk and nature journalling Algonquin
Bronte Creek #HikOga (HikeYoga) Southwest
Emily  Magnificent mammals guided hike Southeast
Esker Lakes Guided Discovery hike Northeast
Killbear Guided hike: how nature makes people healthy Northeast
Lake Superior Mindfulness walk Northwest
Pinery Guided hike: vitamin breathe Southwest
Port Burwell Guided hike along the beach Southwest
Port Burwell Self-guided scavenger hunt Southwest
Presqu’ile Bird walk Southeast
Rondeau Family fun walk Southwest
Sleeping Giant Forest guided hike Northwest
Sleeping Giant Nature photography hike Northwest

Sports and recreation

Park Activity/Event Zone
Algonquin Free four-hour canoe rental and discounted lunch Algonquin
Algonquin  Free two-hour paddleboard or canoe rentals at the Lake Opeongo store Algonquin
Algonquin  Free guided Costello Creek paddle at the Lake Opeongo store Algonquin
Algonquin Free two-hour bike rental Algonquin
Bronte Creek Learn to disc golf Southwest
Bonnechere Photo scavenger hunt Algonquin
Emily Staff vs campers soccer game Southeast
Kakabeka Falls Second annual 5 km fun run Northwest
MacGregor Point Amazing race Southwest
Pancake Bay Water obstacle course Northeast
Pinery  Guided canoe hike Southwest
Port Burwell Pick-up baseball game with park staff Southwest
Rideau River Free two-hour canoe, kayak and SUP board rental Southeast
Rondeau Boot camp Southwest
Rushing River Staff vs campers volleyball game Northwest
Rushing River Dance class Northwest
Samuel de Champlain Trail blazers: trail running for beginners Algonquin

Yoga and wellness

Park Activity/Event Zone
Bon Echo Yoga Southeast
Bonnechere Yoga Algonquin
Bronte Creek  Yoga and Pilates Southwest
Driftwood Sunset yoga Algonquin
Emily Yoga on the beach Southeast
Esker Lakes Morning yoga Northeast
Killbear Yoga on the beach Northeast
Lake Superior  Quiet contemplation of animal behaviour Northwest
Lake Superior Yoga Northwest
MacGregor Point Forest bathing session Southwest
MacGregor Point Forest therapy information session Southwest
Pancake Bay Yoga on the beach Northeast
Presqu’ile Yoga Southeast
Rondeau Yoga on the beach Southwest
Sleeping Giant  Family yoga Northwest

For all other events, check out our Events page.

Just want to get outside?

Head to a park to hike, swim, paddle, and generally fall in love with nature all over again! Find a park near you using our Park Locator.