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15 Fun Things to Do in Sudbury Ontario with Kids

Things to Do in Sudbury Ontario with Kids

The first stop on our epic road trip across northern Ontario was Sudbury. Once just a mining town, this city has grown to be a vibrant tourist attraction. With many great attractions, awesome restaurants, green spaces, and historical spots, there are a ton of interesting things to do in Sudbury Ontario with kids.

Sudbury is Northern Ontario’s largest city. Known as “Nickel City” because of its mining history, Sudbury boasts upwards of 10 mines, along with accompanying smelters and refineries.

Today, however, Sudbury has managed to reinvent itself into a true tourist destination. You will still find several attractions that are related to mining. But you will also find beautiful surroundings, a rich culture, and a vibe like no other.


15 Fun Things to Do in Sudbury Ontario with Kids

Our family spent several days exploring all the wonderful things to do in Sudbury Ontario. With a mix of both indoor attractions and outdoor adventures, you are sure to find something that your family enjoys.

1. Visit Science North

Science North maintains the second and eighth-largest science centres in all of Canada. As one of Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions, it should definitely be at the top of your list of things to do in Sudbury with kids.

Located above the shoreline of Ramsey Lake, this awesome interactive museum spans two large snowflake-shaped buildings, with displays and exhibits spread across four levels. You could definitely spend the better part of a day exploring Science North, which is exactly what we did!

This family-friendly attraction has some incredible exhibits, including Space Place, Indigenous Ingenuity, TechLab, BioLab, and the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery. Visit with some of the animal ambassadors, build an igloo, try a flight simulator, learn how to cut and polish rocks, or take a spin in the Gyroscope.

Be sure to visit the eight-metre dome planetarium and the 3D IMAX theatre as well! The theatre has an interesting selection of different movies playing, which change weekly. If you’ve never been to an IMAX, it’s definitely an unforgettable experience!

2. Enjoy Nature at Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Only a 10-minute drive from downtown Sudbury, Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is perfect for someone looking for a little outdoor adventure. Popular with the locals, the conservation area offers 2,415 acres of protected green space to explore.

With a man-made lake and pond, scenic lookouts, a self-guided nature trail, and numerous wetland areas, Lake Laurentian Conservation Area has something for everyone. You can do some hiking, biking, and birdwatching, or if you are visiting in the winter, there are trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.


Created as a way to protect one of the most diverse ecosystems in Northern Ontario, the conservation area has also provided environmental education for over 40 years by offering camps and programming for school-aged children.

Fun Fact: Sudbury has more lakes than any other city in Canada. As a result, Sudbury is also known as the “City of Lakes” for its 330 lakes.

3. Learn about Mining at Dynamic Earth

Home of the iconic Big Nickel, Dynamic Earth is another must-see Sudbury attraction. Enjoy a wide variety of hands-on displays and exhibits related to mining and rocks.

Watch a variety of film and multimedia presentations, examine displays of fossils, rocks, and meteorites, hop on a simulator and test your skills in the Mine Training Centre, or even try your hand at panning for gold. There are so many cool things for kids of all ages to do at Dynamic Earth!

Of course, one of the main attractions at Dynamic Earth is their Underground Mine Tour. The guided tour takes you seven stories down into the earth. There, you will learn how mining has evolved from the early 1900s to today’s modern-day technology.

The kids had an absolute BLAST learning about mining! Ha! The interesting guides, the hands-on material, and simulated explosions made the learning experience incredible.

The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. You will need to wear sturdy shoes (no flip-flops or open sandals) and jackets are definitely recommended, as mine temperatures are approximately 13°C (55°F).


And if you are visiting during the warmer weather, be sure to take advantage of Dynamic Earth’s Outdoor Science Park. This cool playground comes complete with a real Scooptram® underground loader, a rock xylophone, a large “molten slag” slide, and other awesome mining-related play areas.

4. Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre

If the kids are into trains, then head over to the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre. The Railroad Museum has some pretty cool indoor and outdoor displays. And as a bonus, there is also a small children’s play structure and garden to round out your visit.

While the indoor display showcases items related to the city’s railroad heritage, as well as history in the mining and lumber industry, the outdoor area is what most people are interested in. There, you will find a unique collection of rolling stock and locomotives.

On display is a 1919 Westinghouse Electric locomotive, a 1944 U-1-f Class MLW 4-8-4 steam locomotive, an 1899 caboose, and a slag pot car.

5. Chase Waterfalls at Onaping Falls and the AY Jackson Lookout

One of our favourite things to do during our visit to Sudbury was to go hiking at Onaping Falls. Located just 30 minutes west of Sudbury near the town of Dowling, this gorgeous waterfall is easily accessible for most people.

Onaping (or High Falls) is where the Onaping River drops over 55 meters over a sheer cliff to the riverbed below. The best views of the waterfall, however, are from the A.Y. Jackson Lookout which is only an easy one-kilometre hike from the visitor center.

There are three different trails in the area to hike on. Be sure to head to the bridge that spans the river for the best views of the falls.

You can then cross the bridge where you can continue your hike for another two kilometres. The trail makes its way through dense forests but is a little more challenging with steep and uneven portions along the way.

Stop at the visitor center to pick up a trail guide, learn about the geology of the area, or make use of the shaded picnic tables. You will find ample parking and restrooms at the visitors center as well.

Fun Fact: Onaping Falls was immortalized on canvas by the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson, hence the name of the lookout.

Established in 1967, the Art Gallery of Sudbury is housed in the historic Belrock Mansion. The Gallery has a permanent collection of over 2000 pieces from both Canadian and international artists.

Most notably, the Gallery is home to several pieces from Franklin Carmichael, who was one of the founding members of the Group of Seven.


If your kids have an artistic flair, you can sign them up for a variety of classes or summer camp days. These popular classes are facilitated by professional art instructors, and offer kids a creative way to explore of variety of media, encourage skill development, and cultivate art appreciation.

7. Visit the Anderson Farm Museum

Although the Anderson Farm Museum is one of the smaller attractions on our list of things to do in Sudbury Ontario, it is definitely worth a visit. Once the site of one of the largest dairies in the Sudbury area, it is the perfect place to learn about farming life in the region during the early 20th century.

Today, the Anderson Farm Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Sudbury’s rich past. Learn about farming through the various exhibits, reconstructed buildings and windmills.


Spend a couple of hours visiting the original farmhouse that was built in 1914. You will also find a barn, milk house, pioneer-era log home, and an interpretive center.

8. Swim in a Meteor Crater

Lake Wanapitei is located about 40 minutes north of Sudbury. This lake is actually quite unique in that it was actually formed by a meteorite.

Although Wanapitei Provincial Park is actually a protected area, you are still able to swim in the clear lake. Enjoy the sandy beach, do some fishing, watch for birds and wildlife, or just enjoy the incredible scenery.


Free Things to Do in Sudbury Ontario with Kids

Aside from some of the more popular paid attractions, there are also a ton of free things to do in Sudbury Ontario with kids. Perfect for families on a budget, or just to fill up some extra time in your itinerary, there are several things you can find in and around the city that everyone will love.

9. Grab a Selfie at the Big Nickel

Located on the grounds of Science North, the Big Nickel is definitely Sudbury’s most iconic roadside attraction. Built in 1964 and standing about 9 meters tall, this incredible replica of a 1951 Canadian five-cent coin (or “nickel”) is the perfect backdrop for a selfie with the kids!

Touted as the world’s largest coin, the Big Nickel perfectly represents Sudbury’s history of nickel mining. At 64,607,747 times the size of an actual nickel, the 12-sided coin shows King George VI on the head’s side and the stack of a nickel refinery on the tail’s side.

Fun Fact: Canada’s five-cent coins were made entirely of nickel until 1922. However, since 1999 they are now only made of two percent nickel.

10. Check Out the Street Murals

One of the coolest things to do in Sudbury Ontario is to admire the street art all over the city! Go for a walk in the downtown area and you will find no less than a dozen murals and painted power boxes.

These beautiful works of street art are vibrant and totally brighten up the city. Most are created by local artists during Sudbury’s annual Up Here Festival.

Photo Credit: Erin of WanderlustWithKids

And definitely don’t forget to pass by St. Joseph’s Hospital. This abandoned building is now considered to be Canada’s largest mural!

You can see the mural from Bell Park, or just drive down Paris Street in downtown Sudbury for a close-up look. The 74,000 square foot rainbow mural covered in detailed butterflies is absolutely incredible to see, and not to be missed!

Fun Fact: The Hospital Mural was painted by the graffiti artist, RISK. It took 1500 hours, 860 gallons of paint, five people on RISK’s crew, 24 people on the local crew, three lifts, and one crane to create.

11. Take a Stroll in Bell Park

Bell Park is a popular place in Sudbury to go for a leisurely stroll along the waterfront. Located on the shores of Ramsey Lake, the Bell Park Walkway is part of the Trans Canada Trail and is incredibly scenic.

Walk along the popular boardwalk, relax at the beach, play in the park, swim, canoe, kayak, go boating, try waterskiing or any number of other popular activities. The boardwalk stretches along for about 1 km, with benches and scenic viewpoints scattered along the way.

12. Enjoy Some Quiet Time at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

One of the most unique things to do in Sudbury Ontario is to visit the Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes. Located just 5 minutes from downtown Sudbury, the monument, which sits on 5 acres of land, is perfect for an afternoon stroll, or some quiet time for reflection.


“The Grotto,” as it is known by the locals, celebrates each of the world’s major religions. You will find wonderful statues, plaques and sculptures, as well as shaded pathways, lovely gardens, quiet benches and a large fountain.

13. Explore Kivi Park

Located just 15 minutes south of Sudbury, Kivi Park is a multi-use sport and outdoor park. With extensive trails, recreational spaces, a lush Boreal forest, waterways and gorgeous views of the rock of the Cambrian Shield, Kivi park is filled with some of the area’s most picturesque spots.

The park is open for year-round outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and over 35 km of groomed trails for cross country skiing. You are sure to find something that your family will enjoy, especially since Kivi Park has one of the best playgrounds in the area!

14. Flock to the Fielding Memorial Park & Bird Sanctuary

Fielding Memorial Park and Bird Sanctuary are located on Kelly Lake, only a 15-minute drive from downtown Sudbury. This incredible green space is home to several hiking and walking trails, as well as some great opportunities for birdwatching.

Established in 1977, the Fielding Bird Sanctuary is actually a protected natural ecosystem. Some of the many bird species you will see there include pelicans, swans, eagles, ducks, and geese are just some of the many different birds you might see there.


As one of the more serene things to do in Sudbury Ontario, the park is the perfect place to spend a nice summer day picnicking, strolling the paths or just enjoying the scenery.

15. Visit the Sudbury Market

When in town, take some time to explore the Sudbury Market. This local farmer’s market features fresh produce, artisanal products by local makers, and of course, a range of culinary delights sure to please every member of the family.

The Sudbury Market is open from the middle of May until the end of October every Thursday and Saturday. You can find the Sudbury Market across the road from Bell Park and Science North.


During the off-season, you can find the Sudbury Market inside the lobby at Science North. Hours are every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

How to Get to Sudbury

Sudbury is located approximately 400 km northwest of Toronto. If you are driving, you would take Highway 400 North to the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 69) north. The Trans-Canada will take you directly into the city.

If you are coming from a distance, you can fly into the Greater Sudbury Airport. From there, you can easily rent a car for your visit to Sudbury and the surrounding area.

Another option would be to take the train. VIA Rail Canada is the only train line which connects Toronto to Sudbury Junction. You will need to plan ahead, however, as there is only one train per day.

Where to Stay in Sudbury

Like any other large city, you will find a variety of accommodations available, from hotels and motels to Airbnb rentals. During our visit to Sudbury, we chose to stay at the Microtel by Wyndham.


This budget-friendly hotel was centrally located, close to attractions, restaurants, and grocery stores. With both an included breakfast and a swimming pool, it was perfect for a family weekend!

We found the hotel to be very clean, with a well-appointed room, and plenty of free on-site parking.

You can find a complete listing of Sudbury hotels here.


Where to Eat in Sudbury

There are a ton of great restaurants, cafes, and eateries in Sudbury. The city is pretty culturally diverse, so whatever you are craving, you are sure to find somewhere that serves it up!

One of our favourite places to eat while in Sudbury is the Towne House Tavern. Here, you will find a trendy atmosphere, incredible burgers, and amazing craft beer.

The Towne House Tavern is also known for its awesome live music and events. For over 30 years, they have been the hub of Sudbury’s live music scene, hosting musicians from all over the country.

Final Thoughts on Fun Things to Do in Sudbury Ontario with Kids

As one of the biggest cities in Northern Ontario, there are definitely a ton of things to do in Sudbury Ontario with kids. Whether your family prefers indoor or outdoor adventures, there is something that will appeal to everyone. And with such a cool vibe, Sudbury should definitely be put on your list of places to visit in Northern Ontario.

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