Atel Air Blog

Paintball in BrockvilleBrockville is known for being the City of 1,000 Islands, given its proximity to the jewels of the St. Lawrence River. However, being a city of just more than 20,000 people, you can be sure there is a lot happening here — enough to make for an interesting and lively place to live.

While we’ve listed the top 10 things to do in Brockville, rest assured that you can probably come up with a list of another five to 10 things to do that may twig your interest. (For instance, we didn’t even have space to mention the Brockville Ontario Speedway, which you’ll want to head out to if you’re a car racing fan). Brockville has a lot on the go, so here are some of things that make the city so special.

We’re arranged events and activities based on their type, and indicated where they are family friendly.

March Break Roundup

But, first, here are some activities that you can do in Brockville with your family (or to get away from your family) when school is out for the March Break:

  • Mini Pops Kids Live! Get your groove on as pint-sized superstars perform the latest hits by Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Pitbull and more. This event takes place at the Brockville Arts Centre on Sunday, March 12 at 2 PM. Tickets are $32.50 per person with tax, though if you want to land in the VIP area in the first five rows, you’ll shell out $45.70 with tax.
  • March Break Camp: The Aquatarium is putting on a day camp for children aged six to 12 between 9 AM and 4 PM, with childcare available just before and after the activities (the cost is $5 per day separately before or after activities). You’ll pay $200 for all five days or $50 for one day. Activities include (weather permitting) outings about town, crafts, and science-based experiments.
  • March Break at the Brockville Public Library: If you’re on a budget, the local public library is offering a free March Break program for children featuring games, puppets, movies and more. Also of note is that on March 13, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM, the library is putting on an engineering event for girls aged six to 13 to get them interested in information technology.
  • March Break at the 1,000 Islands Mall: Every weekday at the mall features a distinct event, from children’s performers playing to superheroes saving the day in costume. Visit the mall for more information, and be sure to take in some of these creative events.
Brockville Aquatario ropes course
The ropes course at the Brockville Aquatariam offers adventurous play for older children.

For Winter Enthusiasts

There are still plenty of things to do in Brockville during the final weeks of winter.

1. Check Out a Hockey Game

Family Friendly

The Brockville Braves are a Junior “A” hockey club with some pretty strong pedigree. Current and former National Hockey League players such as Larry Robinson and Wayne Simmonds got their start here. What’s more, the Braves are probably going to be putting on a show until spring, as they’ve clinched a playoff spot.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $8 for children aged six to 12, and free for children five years old and younger. This is a great, affordable way of getting into the game without being stuck in front of a TV, so be sure to pack up the kids and head out!

2. Taste Local Maple Syrup

Family Friendly

If you’re up for a bit of a car drive, there are great late winter activities in Frankville just off the road to Smith’s Falls. On Saturdays from March 18 to April 8, Gibbons Maple Sugar House is hosting a free maple syrup and taffy tasting event. You can walk in the sugar bush, take a guided tour of the sugar house and museum, and see the sap being boiled as well. There are also events for the kids, such as face painting and a petting zoo. Check the sugar house’s website for what dates these children’s events take place.

On the same days, from 8 AM to 12 PM, you can stop in at the nearby St. Thomas Anglican Church Hall for a pancake breakfast served with fresh maple syrup from Gibbons. Sausages, coffee and orange juice will also be served.

3. Nordic Ski or Skate at the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area

Family Friendly

While weather conditions permit, you can get in some last-minute winter activities just north of Brockville. The Mac Johnson Wildlife Area offers outdoor public skating on a pond with a shelter and bonfire pit located nearby. The wildlife area also has 11 kilometers of hiking and cross-country ski trails across woodland, wetland and field areas. There’s also a one-kilometer interpretive trail to learn more about the area.

When the weather warms up, you can also picnic here and canoe as well. The area is part of a wildlife reserve for trumpeter swans, so you can catch them throughout the year. If being in the outdoors is for you, this park has a lot of things to discover.

4. Play Indoor Paintball

While you’re waiting for the weather to heat up, what’s a better activity to do than playing paintball or laser tag with friends and family? Stingers Indoor Paintball offers the second largest indoor paintball field in Ontario, and the course features 16-foot high ceilings, as well as bunkers, bridges and all sorts of obstacles to hide behind. However, if paintball is not your thing, you can use the batting cages and zorb soccer field to get in tune for the summer sports season.

Prices are $30 for non-members without their own equipment (along with the paintball gun and safety equipment, you’ll get 100 paintballs) and $20 for non-members with their own equipment (again, 100 paintballs are included). Cheaper prices are available on Wednesdays. For information about hours, consult the website.

For Arts Lovers

Here are a few activities for you if the Brockville theatre scene and other artsy things appeal to you:

5. Check Out a Play or an Art-House Movie

Brockville Theatre Guild Drawer Boy
A scene from the Brockville Theatre Guild’s production of Drawer Boy. Image courtesy of the Brockville Recorder and Times.

The Brockville Theatre Guild is putting on a performance of The Drawer Boy by noted Canadian playwright Michael Healey (who happened to grow up in Brockville) between March 9 and March 12. It will be performed at St. John’s United Church and tickets cost $23 for adults and $18 for students, taxes included.

If that’s not for you, the Brockville Arts Centre is showing artier films (some were nominated for Oscars) in March that you probably won’t find at the Cineplex in Brockville. Films shown this month include Lion, The Founder, La La Land and more. Tickets are $10 with tax.

6. Go to a Music Concert

Sometimes Family Friendly

Speaking of the Brockville Arts Centre, there’s a few musical concerts and events towards the latter half of March that offers interesting things to do in Brockville — a big enough city to attract performers and touring theatre companies. For instance, if you’re a fan of Irish music and dance, you can check out Rhythm of the Dance on March 22. If you’re into blues music, Matt Andersen arrives on tour two days later.

But if you’re looking for things to do with the small fry, there are things geared towards them, too. March 25 brings to life a Hans Christian Andersen tale via A Forever Frozen Story. Four days after that, you can see Bubble Guppies Live! for a rockin’ good time.

Ticket prices vary, so be sure to check out the Arts Centre’s website for more details.

7. Enjoy a Summer Sunday Concert in the Park

Family Friendly

If music is in the air for you, every summer Sunday in July and August offers a free concert in Hardy Park on the waterfront. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair so you can enjoy local bands and performers from the St. Lawrence College Musical Theatre program.

8. Take an Art Tour

Marianne Van Silfhout Gallery Brockville
The Marianne Van Silfhout Gallery always has interesting exhibits – and occasionally art battles! – to enjoy.

Each year, Brockville is host to the Art in the City Studio Tour, which is an opportunity to check out local artists and artisans in their businesses or at galleries and churches. You can do the tour either on foot, bicycle or car with seven posted stops around picturesque streets in downtown Brockville. This event is usually held during the summer, but may also be scheduled in the fall.

Speaking of art, you may want to also check out the Marianne Van Silfhout Gallery on Brockville’s St. Lawrence College campus. Besides seeing displayed works of art, you can also experience live art battles — AKA competitive painting events. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 AM to 8 PM, and Monday and Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM.

For Water Lovers

If you love making a splash, there are a couple of things you can do in Brockville.

9. Visit the Aquatarium

Family Friendly

The Aquatarium is full of fun activities for children. You can look at bass, perch and sunfish that are found in the St. Lawrence River in one of many tanks that showcase life in the river’s ecosystem. You can also get a diver’s eye view of a real-life shipwreck, too, at this aquarium. There’s more to the Aquatarium that just water, though. There’s a biosphere hall where you can learn about the plants and wildlife native to the area.

The Aquatarium is open at various times throughout the year. Tickets range from $20 for adults to $10 for children aged four to 12.

10. Explore Shipwrecks

If you’re an experienced scuba diver, the St. Lawrence River around Brockville is a treasure trove for shipwreck sites, as this section of the river is quite narrow and treacherous. In fact, Brockville and the 1,000 Islands region is known as being the “World’s Best Fresh Water Scuba Diving” destination because the water is so clear and there’s no thermocline.

You can visit a list of these shipwrecks and get your gear on to go exploring. While you’re at it, you can swim around Brockville’s Underwater Sculpture Park just off of the Observation Pier at Centeen Park. There’s six standing human figures looking up, surrounded by benches and two sculptured sturgeons that point north. You’ll have to pay a $10 seasonal pass to access the underwater park, though. You can get this pass at various stores in Brockville, as well as from local dive shops.

If you don’t know how to dive, you can log some underwater hours towards getting your diving licence at the aforementioned Aquatarium.

Brockville: City of 1,000 Activities

As you can tell, there are a ton of varied and interesting thing to do in Brockville, with or without your family in tow. Forget about Ottawa, Cornwall or Kingston when looking to take part in an event or activity. Brockville has so much going on, it might make your head spin.

It’s a great place to be to raise kids and teenagers, given the range of things you can do. So think Brockville first when you’re looking for a fun adventure out. You won’t be disappointed.