Scenery Abound Family Fun in New Brunswick Canada #LetsGONB
Recently I had the pleasure of taking my large family to the beautiful province of New Brunswick, Canada. Travelling East to the Maritimes with my large family has always been on my bucket list. With the scenery, culture and friendly people, it’s no wonder.
As with any article of this nature, it is picture heavy to show you a glimpse of the beauty through the experiences of our family. Bare with me, there is so much to tell you about New Brunswick and I promise, worth the read.
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Based on the timing of flights, we decided to take the redeye, hoping the kids would sleep our travel time away and wake up ready to go in New Brunswick. Travelling from Saskatchewan anywhere almost always requires a connecting flight. We try our best to book flights at optimum times to reduce the layover in between, arriving with enough time to enjoy the first day at our destination. We arrived in Saint John, Canada and made the 1.5 hour drive with our rental vehicle to our first stop in St. Andrews by-the-sea. The drive to this quaint coast town was beautiful in itself and when we pulled up to the Algonquin Resort where we were staying we couldn’t help but be excited and ready for the comforts of this resort. The kids thought we were staying in a castle. We had a lovely travel day with time to enjoy the amenities of the resort before the first day on our fun-filled trip began. On Monday we made our way to the Fundy Discovery Aquarium where the family arrived just in time to witness the feeding times of Seahorses, a pool of Salmon fish and sea lions. We could have left right after that because their day had been made but there were other tanks of marine life to see, a kids play area and a touch pool. The kids could have spent hours at the touch pool alone; they loved the ability to pet stingrays and hold starfish in their hands. After the aquarium we took a pitstop at the new playground before heading to Kingsbrae Garden. This playground is the playground to end all playgrounds; the residents and visiting children of St. Andrews are pretty lucky to have such an imaginative play structure to spend hours playing on. I know all ages of my kids, from 2 to 14, really enjoyed it. After we were done playing, we arrived at Kingsbrae Garden where the beauty of the property practically smacks you in the face. It’s hard to be anything but happy among so much beauty. We ate lunch at the café watching the Alpacas mosey around the front lawn before participating in a ladybug release. I think our littlest guy, Ro, loved this most; he made a new friend with the ladybug mascot, whether she liked it or not. The next morning we arrived bright and early for our whale watching tour on the Jolly Breeze Tall Ship. To tell you the truth, I was a bit worried about my busy toddler and the 3 hour tour on the boat. It was a bit long for toddler age but the great staff of the Jolly Breeze provided face painting, colouring, starfish touch tank and a light breakfast to keep everyone busy. We were lucky enough to see Porpoises, sea lions and Minke whales in the wild, an experience the whole family should do.
Saint John, New Brunswick
We spent the next couple of days back in Saint John at the Saint John Hilton right in the heart of Market Square bustling with activity, live entertainment and good food. As as nature loving family, anytime we can get a true hiking experience surrounded by impressive forest, we are pleased. There’s a tranquility that comes over you as you’re walking along the trail and view the Bay of Fundy peeking through the trees. We would have spent a lot more time there but were on a tight schedule and wanted to make our way to the Children’s Forest in Irving Nature Park before heading out. We found a playground and a maze made from planted cedar trees; we realized quickly which ones in our family are true navigators and let’s just say I wouldn’t put your life in the hands of at least one member of our family. Arrival at the Reversing Rapids was timed to witness the phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy high tide reversing into the Saint John River in a sort of tug-of-war. We didn’t have the time to wait until the full reverse was complete but we did see the current struggle in a sort of whirlpool action, the two directions fighting with each other to gain control. The next morning we joined a guided tour with the entire group of travel bloggers and families at the New Brunswick Museum with our guide, Victor. There were a lot of little ones in the group and I wondered how Victor would keep them entertained. Victor cleverly had the children participate in the exhibits with a search and find time of game, keeping the kids enthralled the entire tour through the museum. Making our way through the mall where the museum exhibit was located, we arrived at the Saint John City Market for lunch. The exhibitors ranged from paintings, lace linens, glass ornaments to fresh produce and foods from a range of tastes. Hubs brought us a delicious chicken pasta salad, peas in the pod and raw carrots that we devoured. I later went back to find an Italian sandwich vendor because although salads are lovely, mama needs her bread. The cheese, the spice of Italian meats and the fresh bread, words cannot describe folks. If you are a bread connoisseur like me, you must try their sandwiches.
Later that afternoon at the town of St. Martin whose name I’m naturally quite fond of, we came upon a true New Brunswick coastal restaurant called the Caves Restaurant. The restaurant sits across the view of the sea caves where you can enjoy seafood and other Canadian foods watching the tide go out. I highly recommend trying the world’s best clam chowder; as advertised, this chowder was filled with creamy goodness an chunks of lobster and clam.
Fuller Falls at Fundy Trail Parkway. A more peaceful area there can not be #LetsGONB #travel A photo posted by Stacey Martin (@thislilpiglet) on
The day was cloudy but the rain held off long enough to make our way through the Fundy Trail Parkway, spending a few hours enjoying the lookout points and this serene waterfall while we waited for the tide to go out at the caves.
A few hours later when we returned to the sea caves, we couldn’t believe the difference. The kids eagerly walked out the explore the caves that had been inaccessible earlier, sift through rocks and maybe even enjoy getting their feet wet too.
Moncton, New Brunswick
Our travels carried us to the last portion of our week in a city we could have explored all on it’s own, Moncton. The kids quickly made themselves at home at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel where the pool area offered a gaming room, hangout/charging area, pool, hot tub and waterslide.
I’m kind of a sucker for red barns, especially under a #sky like that. Magnetic Hill Zoo has a beautiful barn in the small animal area #LetsGONB #travel A photo posted by Stacey Martin (@thislilpiglet) on
With a quick drop of our things at the Delta, we made our way to the Magnetic Hill Zoo and Resurgeo Place. Although it was a smaller zoo, it was a nice size. I’ve been to large zoo’s and most often you are doing a lot of walking which results in cranky kids. On a hot day this zoo was a perfect size to explore the animals and wrap up a nice air conditioned exploration at the Transportation Museum. At the Transportation Museum the older girls enjoyed building a mock aircraft, learning about trains, planes and automobiles and had the chance to learn the history of Moncton using a fun interactive life size map.
Our family enjoyed a nice evening at the Delta in Moncton, the kids enjoying the pool; later the older ones babysat the younger ones so Hubs and I could enjoy a delicious meal at a restaurant with blogger friends. I have to say, it sometimes a blessing to have teens and toddlers.
The first thing on the morning agenda was a trip to the natural wonder of Hopewell Rocks. As family we walked along the ocean floor where hours later tides would be over 40 feet higher on rocks made for erosion over time. It’s unbelievable until you experience it for yourself.
Once we were done a lunch at Hopewell Rocks we drove back through Moncton to the lovely town of Shediac, New Brunswick. We are big suckers for photo ops with unique landmarks such as this Giant Lobster. Hubs told our 5 year old that it had just crawled out of the ocean; you should have seen the look on her face. I quickly let her in on the truth so she would climb up with the girls for the picture.
The Parlee Beach was a welcomed break from the driving. With one panoramic view we could see several families playing on the beach in the sand and water with sailboats on the horizon.
Before I could snap off a few pictures, my 5 and 14 year old daughters took off into the ocean hand in hand. I couldn’t get the word “stop” out of my mouth fast enough before the little one dove in fully clothed. This girl has no fear and clearly no care for whether or not she had her bathing suit on but we went with it. She was pretty upset when we had to leave; our kids enjoy any water related activity and know we could have spent a solid day at this beach.
Shediac Bay Cruises lobster feast was the last to-do on our travel agenda; we were looking forward to having a full Atlantic lobster experience and they did not disappoint.
The captain was highly entertaining and involved the passengers in the full experience from pulling in lobster traps to a lesson on how to cook and eat a lobster the Acadia way.
My 5 year old daughter obviously had full attention because, despite the face, tore into that lobster like an experienced lobster eater. She then proceeded to show me how it’s done on my lobster.
When we mentioned to people where we were going on summer holidays this year, we were asked if we had family out East. I don’t have family out East but I did have a wanderlust for New Brunswick and can tell you, it’s a beautiful Province to visit packed full of unique experiences for family.
Believe it or not, this article is just an overview of our experience in New Brunswick. It’s hard to cut anything out with so many great locations experienced in the span of one week but I hope I made you feel like you joined us on this adventure. Over the coming weeks and months revisit this blog; I will be writing more in depth articles focused on some of our favourite locations and more great pictures.
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Disclosure: I was provided a media trip as part of the 2015 Lets Go! Retreat. All opinions are 100% my own.