New Brunswick Family Day Trips & Destinations
When it comes to family travel, I truly believe in exploring where we are from. Last summer we started a series called #StopToSeeNB, hoping to encourage more people to explore and visit our picturesque and heritage rich province. In 2020, with the province in a state of emergency and our borders closed, we have put together a resource to help you plan some New Brunswick day trips and weekend destinations this summer. This list will be updated and grow as we visit more places.
Our travels will be a little different this summer, with some destinations not opening or having limited services. PLEASE check with each destination before heading out to ensure they are open and what precautions or limitations to service they have in place at this time. You may be required to wear masks, there may be closed areas or limited services.
For many summers now, we have been sharing day trips from our home in Moncton, NB. While some day-tripping adventures have been the entire family, many have been just me and the kids, while Doug is working. Keeping this in mind, many of the day trips are doable with one adult and a couple children.
Lorne (17 yrs old) is into history, so museums and historic sites are certainly his favourite. With the youngest, having been a baby up to only 7 now, we have tried to keep the museums smaller and the historic sites safe for him to run around. We are now adding more and more educational and adventurous aspects to our day tripping as Clayton gets older and Lorne no longer wants to tag along with us.
This summer we will explore new areas and revisit some of our favourites. You can follow along as we do here on the blog in our Travel section or over on Instagram or Facebook. I will be adding links to this list as we visit each area of the province. Most of our activities this year will be with Clayton only, as it’s not always a 17 years old’s idea of fun spending his summer tagging along with mom!
DON’T FORGET to stop and take some photos with some of our many Roadside Attractions In New Brunswick. (statues, covered bridges and more)
South Eastern NB Region:
The Magnetic Hill Zoo is Atlantic Canada’s leading zoo that educates and inspires conservation action.
Cape Jourimain Nature Center, Bayfield, NB
Are you looking for a beautiful view, eco-friendly site, walking trails, and educational experience for the family? Cape Jourimain is such a gem. There is a small fee to enter. Restaurant, interpretive center, beaches, trails, activities, tours, and more. Read more about it here.
Fort Beausejour, Aulac, NB
Fort Beausejour is one of our regular summer day trips. We buy a season pass for our family each year. It is the perfect place to pack up a picnic lunch, take the kites and enjoy the breeze (especially on the hot humid days). Only a 40 minute drive from Moncton, makes it the perfect little getaway.
Waterfowl Park & Trail, Sackville, NB
The Sackville Waterfowl park and trail is a nice stop and beautiful walk for those who want a quiet walk through nature. There are trails, boardwalks and lots of waterfowl. It is a nice and easy walk to learn about the waterfowl habitat as well. There is an information center, gift shop and plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the view.
Boultenhouse Heritage Centre , Sackville, NB
Open mid-June to the beginning of Sept yearly. You can take a guided tour and learn about shipbuilding in the late 18th century, early Victorian life through artifacts displayed in the parlor, more about domestic life and then the growth in other industries & manufacturing that happened in the region. We visited with a 16yr old and 6 year old and both enjoyed it.
Fundy Trail Parkway, Salmon River, NB
The Fundy Trail Parkway and Beach and Caves at St. Martin’s can make a fun day trip from most areas of New Brunswick and even northwestern Nova Scotia. We are planning a visit here again this summer and look forward to exploring the shores at low tide.
Beach & Caves, St. Martins, NB
If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the sounds of the ocean, the beach in St. Martin’s is the perfect spot. Grab an ice cream or a meal at the restaurant right on the beach. At low tide, check out the caves along the cliff next to the beach.
Fundy National Park, Alma, NB
Fundy National Park is a wonderful spot to go for a swim at the lake, in the ocean or the saltwater pool. Exploring the beaches is our favourite part. There are waterfalls & hiking trails for all skill levels. Stop and enjoy the large playground or the golf course near the Alma entrance to the park. There are camping spots available as well as a motel and cottages to rent (we stayed in the cottages one year and it was a great family getaway).
Lots to see and do, including fossil hunting at low tide, repelling off the cliffs, ziplining, hiking, enjoying a meal and just experiencing more of the Fundy coastline.
Lovely beach to explore. No facilities, located just before you reach Cape Enrage.
We have visited this museum a few times over the years with the kids. They love learning about the railway, climbing through the different types of railway cars and talking to the people working there.
Hopewell Rocks, Hopewell Cape, NB (See our day trip here)
The Hopewell Rocks are a well-known tourist location and exceptionally fun place to visit. Click the link above to read all about it and see some of our pics.
Saint John Region:
If you have the opportunity to visit Saint John, remember there is a large indoor pedway system connecting several buildings in the uptown area. From the Hilton hotel through Market Square, City Hall, to Harbour Station or on through Brunswick Square and the City Market, it is all accessible inside the pedway system.
Martello Tower is located on the West Side of Saint John, across the Harbour Bridge. There is a tower to explore and a museum. The views of Saint John Harbour are beautiful from Martello Tower.
Fallsview Park, Saint John, NB
If you can be in Saint John long enough to see the tides come in and go out, you will see the “reversing” of the falls. Reversing Falls can be seen from a couple of viewpoints, but Falls view Park (off Douglas Ave) is the best viewpoint to experience the sights and sounds.
City Market, Saint John, NB
The Saint John City Market is a must-see, even if you simply walk through from the pedway system. Be sure to walk out the top of the market and stroll across the street to visit King’s Square. The Capitol Theatre, Fire Hall and Loyalist Graveyard are all on the perimeter of the square and worth having a look at.
We love this museum and I feel like we visit almost every trip to Saint John! There are 3 levels to explore, all located in Market Square in Uptown Saint John.
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Trails, beaches, rest areas and a day of exploring is in store at the Irving Nature Park. There is an large playground and maze before you reach the park, check to see if it is open, it’s a great spot to stop with the kids!
St. Andrews Region:
St. Andrew’s is a 2.5-hour drive from Moncton, 1 Hour from Saint John, and 1.5 to 2 hours from Fredericton depending on the route you take.
If you plan to go whale watching, you will use up most of your day with that activity. It is best to check ahead with the various companies for schedules and rates. Some are more child friendly than others. We did decide on one visit that we would take out older son whale watching, without planning ahead. There is the possibility to get a walk in seat but alway try to plan ahead if you have your heart set on going.
St. Andrews is a beautiful little town with parks and playgrounds, gift shops and historical charm.
Block House, St. Andrews, NB (National Historic Site)
Centennial Park, St. Andrews, NB
Across the street from the Block House. We enjoyed the picnic area and a chance to stroll and stretch our legs when we arrived in St. Andrews on our day trip. Lots of space to run and play and a little pathway around the park.
At the Huntsman Marine Science Center you will enjoy seeing sturgeon, seahorses, salmon, intertidal creatures, and underwater viewing of Bay of Fundy fishes. There is also a Café & Gift Shop, children’s play area, feature films, interactive displays, the walking path to the beach to explore while on site.
Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB (read here about our visit)
Kingsbrae gardens is a place for everyone! The young and young at heart will find beauty and a little whimsy at the gardens. A must-visit for any trip to St. Andrews.
St. Andrews is a prime whale-watching location on the Fundy coast. We have been out a few times, and experiences whale watching as a couple with Jolly Breeze Tall Ship Whale Adventures, and a few years later with our family with Quoddy Link Marine.
We have not done a huge amount of day trips to Fredericton and along the western side of the province. There are some destinations on our 2019 bucket list. Seeing as this is a Day Tripping post, we find that going much further really means an overn ight. But coming year we have a plan to overnight in the region and take in some day trip destinations to share with you!
5804 Route 102, Prince William, New Brunswick, E6K 0A5
Visit with villagers in their homes, places of work, in the fields or at the pub. As you meet the millwright, the carpenter, the printer, the blacksmith, store owner, or the ladies in their homes, you will find they all have a story to tell.
We love our museums and historical sites. In 2019 we explored Beaubears island on a historical tour with costumed characters. The tour included a boat ride to Wilson’s Point to hear about the years the Acadians spent there, visit the church and graveyard, and then we went to Beaubears Island. We learned about the shipbuilding history of the island, and the past owners. There are trails you can explore and beautiful beaches.
You can tour the boyhood home of Lord Beaverbrook and meet him in person; as portrayed by character actor Tom Daley. We went on a walking tour, hearing tales of nearby buildings, a graveyard, and the town square.
Enjoy an afternoon on the water on a 1.5 hr interpretive tour of the Miramichi River aboard the Max Aitken riverboat, guided by Captain Azade Hache. We spent most of the trip on the upper deck and Clayton had the opportunity to steer the boat and receive an honorary captain’s certificate.
Top off your adventures in Miramichi at French Fort Cove, with a zipline across the cove. Doug and Lorne both enjoyed this so much. There is a playground there and trails as well. Lorne, as you can see, was completely at ease with it and enjoyed every moment!
We are planning more our Summer 202 Bucketlist to include some of Northern NB, and will share those adventures with you. In the meantime, Jenna from There’s A Shoe For That, has put together these day trips in Northern NB. Check out her blog for lots of family fun and entertaining ideas.
We also have a fun series on the blog, called Discover NB Beaches. Be sure to check out the beaches we have highlighted on our travels and let us know some of your favourites!
Discover NB Beaches
- Tuft’s Point and Long Beach (Fundy Trail)
- Point Wolf Beach (Fundy National Park)
- Herring Cove Beach (Fundy National Park)
- Irving Nature Park (Saint John, NB)
- Gardner Creek Beach (Gardner Creek, NB)
- Reeds Beach (Gardner Creek, NB)
- Black Beach (Lorneville, NB)
- Pebble Beach (Barn Marsh Island / Cape Enrage, NB)
- Crow Island Rd Beach (Near Chance Harbour, NB)