How to raise environmentally conscious kids

“Check out” nature at your library!

Imagine a library; what do you think of? The smell of paper, the sound of turning pages, and, of course, books.

Well, now when you think library, we want you to think Ontario Parks too!

You and your family can now “check out” an Ontario Parks seasonal permit from a participating library near you!

We want to make it easier for people to spend time in nature. Our permit lending program has been expanded to participating libraries.

This means you can hit the library, and then hit up your favourite provincial park for the day!

What can I do with the seasonal permit?

So you grabbed the permit (and maybe some books!) from your library — now what?

seasonal permits on branch

A seasonal permit gives you unlimited day-use access (capacity-permitting) at all provincial parks for the period you have borrowed it.

Use your permit to visit a park you haven’t been to before. Or visit an old favourite in a different season, and try out some new activities with the whole family.

Nature is fun all year

Here are some suggestions to get your family into nature any time of the year:

Take a hike! Check out each park’s website to see what trails they have on offer. Don’t forget: hiking is a year-round activity and there are trails available for every skill level.

Child holding hands with two adults on hike in forest

Pack a picnic for your family. Spend a day out in nature with your favourite meal and favourite people. Many of our parks have picnic tables available, but nothing beats spreading a blanket under the trees.

Try your hand (or feet) at snowshoeing. Okay, it might be summer now, but we know some of you like to plan ahead. Don’t forget that many provincial parks offer winter programs!

Group of 3 friends taking a break from snowshoeing

Go for a bike ride. There are plenty of places to cycle throughout provincial parks, so bring in your bikes and hit the trails.

Before you go

Before you head out on your day trip there are a few things to keep in mind:

Park capacity limits still apply. Parks close when they fill up. Plan ahead on busy days, especially weekends, so that you are not disappointed!

You can (and should, to avoid disappointment!) use your permit to reserve your spot in advance at many provincial parks.

Using your seasonal vehicle permit’s serial number, you can secure your spot up to five days in advance. Here’s how:

The permit only covers the cost of park admission. Things like renting equipment or purchasing a souvenir will be an extra expense.

The permit doesn’t cover overnight stays. That said, you can use it to scope out a park for your next camping trip. Check out all of the sights and amenities the park has on offer and start planning your next great outdoor adventure.

Child and adult sitting at table enjoying view of forest and lake

Does my library lend permits?

Visit our webpage to find out if your local library is participating.

Each library that is taking part will have information about its specific process for the lending permits.

Why visit Ontario Parks?

The research is clear: spending time in nature improves our physical, mental, and social well-being.

three children on beach in summer with lake in background

Check out our Healthy Parks Healthy People page for more information about the health benefits of the outdoors. It’s truly good for you from head to toe!

We understand the importance of getting outside to enjoy nature and want to share it with as many people as possible.

Working with libraries helps make our spaces more accessible and affordable.

Visit your local library and check out your Ontario Parks permit today!