Summertime and water were made for each other. And with the world’s largest freshwater lake right at our doorstep, plus inland lakes, rivers and water attractions, Thunder Bay offers plenty of family-friendly ways to cool off, splash around and have a ton of fun. While there is lots of swimming fun to be had at the city’s indoor and outdoor pools, remember you don’t have to actually go swimming to enjoy the water! Check out these get-wet options.
Try All of the Splash Pads
Thunder Bay (and area) is currently home to a number of splash pads, each with their own unique personality. And bonus: there is no charge for any of them!
Marina Park - Prince Arthur's Landing
The Marina Park splash pad is the most popular part of the new waterfront development at Prince Artur's Landing. The shallow pool with a fountain in the middle may look familiar—it does double duty as a popular outdoor skating rink in the winter months. This super-popular spot offers spectacular views of the Sleeping Giant, historic buildings and the sailboats and cruisers in the harbour, as well as plenty of people-watching opportunities. Parents can relax on benches or the comfortable seating area nearby while kids play with the centre fountain and run through the large round shallow splash pad. There is a locker area and a small concession stand. Hours are from 11 am to 9 pm.
The newest is the County Park location in the city’s north end, easily accessible from Highway 17. Surrounded by green grass, this splash pad has a variety of colourful splashers and sprayers and is a favourite of younger kids. It’s open from 11 am to 8 pm.
Franklin Street in the Fort William part of town is home to the Franklin Street splash pad. A similar set-up to the County Park splash pad, it features multicoloured fountains and sprayers. It’s set in a large playground and park, so there are plenty of opportunities to run on the grass and play on the playground equipment. Parents will appreciate the large shady trees too. The hours are from 11 am to 7 pm. Note: this splash pad cycles off for 15 minutes, three times a day: 12:15, 2:30 and 5:30.
Red Rock Marina
Located about a one-hour drive east of Thunder Bay is the community of Red Rock. Home to great hiking trails, lodging, restaurants and more, Red Rock is also home to a revitalized marina that features an exciting interpretive centre, a walking path and a splash pad for cooling off on your Trans-Canada Highway road trip this summer.