Pickering is another small city in Ontario that travelers often snub, despite actually having so much to offer. Located along Lake Ontario, just 20 miles east of Toronto, the city is accessible by train or motorway.
Its rich, centuries’ old history, beautiful sceneries, and vibrant art scenes are just but a few things that make the city worth visiting. If you want a change from the busy life of the big cities, there are more incredible things to do in Pickering than you can exhaust.
Let’s have a peek at some of the fun things to do in Pickering, Ontario.
8 Amazing things to do in Pickering, Ontario
Visit Toronto Zoo
From Pickering, Toronto Zoo is just 12km (17 minutes) away via a bus. This sprawling zoo is not only Canada’s largest zoo, but it also features among the world’s largest zoos.
It spreads over 287 hectares of land and has more animal species to charm your eyes than you can imagine. It is home to over 5,000 animals brought from different parts of the globe.
Visiting the zoo gives you a chance to come face to face with some of the world’s mesmerizing animals, such as Komodo dragons, red pandas, white rhinos, snow leopards, etc.
In addition, the Kids Zoo, Splash Island, and Waterside Theatre, all add to the amazing aspects of the Toronto Zoo. It is open to the public throughout the year except on Christmas day.
Pickering Waterfront Trail
If you love hiking, the Waterfront trail will undoubtedly pique your interest. This is a section of the over 900 km long Waterfront trail running from Niagara up to the Quebec border.
Pickering’s Waterfront stretch has three sections including:
- First Nations Trail – a 3.5 km trail from the Rouge River, ending at Frenchman’s Bay
- The Monarch Trail – a 4.7 km long trail around Frenchman’s Bay, ending at Millennium Square
- The Peak Trail – stretching from Millennium Square up to the Ajax border.
This trail has numerous access points, such as Rouge Beach Park, Alex Robertson Park, Millennium Square, etc.
Hike through the Altona Forest
Altona Forest is among the most scenic places to visit in Pickering city, especially for nature lovers. The place enjoys a plethora of beautiful plants and animals, some of which are pretty rare to find anywhere else.
You can enjoy the beauty of this 53-hectare dense forest, either by yourself or by joining a free guided hike (Saturday mornings). During your hike, the beautiful wildflowers, ponds, tall trees, and amazing birds species make every step exciting and relaxing.
Altona Forest is open for hikers all year round and can be accessed from seven different entrances. However, you should use Altona Road, if you are arriving by car.
Spend a Day at the Nautical Village
Nautical Village is a beautiful small village in Pickering, sitting along the shores of Lake Ontario. If you are looking for a cool place to escape the hassles and noises of city life, this is an excellent place to spend a day.
The village consists of quaint shops, cafes, bakeries, and ice-cream parlors, which will certainly make your day worthwhile. Even better, there is a beautiful beach where you can enjoy a hot day swim, or even play some beach volleyball.
You can also hire a boat or canoe and spend some relaxing moments at the Frenchman’s Bay Marina. It’s undoubtedly one of the fun things to do in Pickering city.
Visit Pickering Museum Village
History enthusiasts will love being here. The museum comprises several historic buildings dating as far back as 1830. Here, you have a chance to learn and understand how life was back then in Pickering, as well as appreciate the growth and development that has taken place over the years.
Some of the stunning historic structures in Pickering Museum Village include:
- Duffin’s Creek General Store
- The Puterbaugh Schoolhouse
- Oddfellows’ Hall
You can also see some log houses and beautiful gardens, such as the Collins House Medicinal Garden. And, the numerous antique artifacts from Pickering’s history, such as clothing, furniture, portraits, etc., will also excite your eyes.
If you are fortunate to be in Pickering during winter, you certainly have a lot to be excited about. There are various winter games you can enjoy here, including snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing, etc.
The hills are all covered in snow during this period, and you can head up there to experience some unforgettable fun. Dagmar Ski Resort and Lakeridge Ski Resort are some of the best places in Pickering, Ontario, for this kind of fun.
The resorts are within Pickering borders and will only take you around 30 minutes from the city. And, even if you forgot to carry your skiing gear, you need not worry. The resorts do have rental services for the same.
The Fun Factory
If you are traveling with your kids, things can get quite exciting in Pickering city. The fun Factory makes sure of this. It is a unique indoor playground that accommodates fun needs for the entire family.
The place offers numerous fun and physical activities both for the kids and their parents. And, the fact that it’s an indoor playground makes it even more appealing. This is because you can continue having fun despite how the weather looks outside.
Kids will have a chance to have fun on the slides, play in a ball pit and even ride the carousel. It’s total fun for everyone, 7 days a week, whether it rains or shines.
If you are looking for a fun place to take your kids, The Fun Factory is an excellent option.
Visit the Pickering VIP Cinemas for a Movie
One of the most relaxing yet exciting things to do in Pickering at night is watching a nice movie. The Cineplex Pickering & VIP offers a brand new experience that you won’t forget any time soon.
This is the ideal place to relax and unwind after a long day of fun activities. The place not only offers the best VIP experience while watching your favorite movie but also allows you to dine like a VIP.
You can enjoy a taste of incredible handcrafted cocktails, artisanal pizzas, shareable appetizers, and desserts that compliment any occasion. Even better, you don’t need a VIP movie ticket to dine.