This June 21st, we’ll enjoy the longest day of the year.  Call it solstice, call it the first day of summer and call it the longest day of play, coined by Participaction, Canada’s national voice of sport and physical activity.  The organization has built a fun list of 24 things every Canadian child should do before the age of 12.  Here’s our Tofino version – see how many you can check off in a day!

1.  Run and ride!  Skimboard along the shores of MacKenzie Beach.

2.  Go tidepooling (it’s a verb here) for colourful sea creatures like orange and purple seastars and green anemones at low tide.

3.  Climb up and down the many pieces of driftwood on the beach – nature’s version of the StairMasters we used in the 90s!  Our picks:  Chesterman, Long Beach & Wickaninnish Beach.

4.  Speaking of driftwood, build your own shelter or fort on said beaches.  Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is also rich with “building materials”.  Pack a snack and bring a blanket for that fresh air nap you might need from all the climbing and hiding action.

5.  Catch some air at the Tuff City Skate Park by the Village Green.  You can also bike there – and learn some tricks from the regulars!  Scooters also work, as do run bikes.

6.  Ride the ramps and get around in the Tuff City Bike Skills Park.  There are challenges for every level and age – and we do mean every age.  Toddlers have a blast here.

7.  Go fish – off one of our docks, at Grice Bay or off the rocks at Tonquin Beach.*

8.  Speaking of Tonquin Beach, explore the white sand coves in this intimate-feeling stretch of beach a 10-15 minute walk from the town centre.

9.  Walk the Tonquin Trail!  Go from the trailhead, conveniently situated right by the bike skills park, which leads you down to Tonquin Beach.

10.  Sandcastles.  Sandmen (versus snowmen).  That’s how we do it on the coast.

11.  Windy outside?  Go fly a kite on Chesterman Beach.

12.  Chicken watching.  That’s right, head to the whimsically quirky Tofino Botanical Gardens and visit their colourful outdoor chicken coop.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see garden founder George Patterson keeping the fowl company *in* the coop.  We’re serious.

13.  While you’re at the Tofino Botanical Gardens, wind down the path(s) that lead to the Tofino Mudflats, a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife species including many a bird.  Climb on on the big beached boat for some fun views.

13.  Take your bike out again (or rent a Beach Cruiser, with or without a surfboard rack) and ride the Tofino Multi-Use Path to Chesterman Beach.  Ride along the hard-packed sand along the 2.7 km of Tofino’s favourite place to play.

14.  Get wet and kayak!  Kids as young as five or six can typically tandem with a parent or caregiver in a double sea kayak to paddle the waters of Clayoquot Sound.

15.  It can get rainy here.  Pull on some gumboots on and puddle splash!  Be sure to get Dad a few times.

16.  Take the time to hug a really big tree.  Hop on a quick water taxi to Meares Island and walk the Big Tree Trail.

17.  Up for a challenge?  Do the very vertical, Grouse Grind-esque hike up Lone Cone for ah-mazing views of Clayoquot Sound.

18.  SUP it up:  Take a standup paddle board lesson and/or tour on the calm waters of MacKenzie Beach or Grice Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

19.  What’s the Flying Fox?  Hold on tight and find out at the playground on Tofino’s Village Green.

20.  Walk through time – pick up a Tofino’s Heritage:  A Self-Guided Tour pamphlet at our Visitor Centre, the District of Tofino office or at the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.

21.  Recharge between your excursions by sipping and snacking at our outdoor patios.

22.  Yoga on the beach.  Join a class or go for your downward dog or a nice tree pose on your own.

23.  Make a run for it – barefoot on the beach!

24.  Surf lesson/session.  Need we say more?

Bonus round #1:  Sledding down the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach – we’ve done it on cardboard boxes.  If you go for it, we want to see the fun!  Post your pic using #youtofino.
Bonus round #2:  Mini-golf or the grown-up 9 holes at Long Beach Golf Course, followed by some time on Long Beach minutes away.  Fore!

What are your favourite ways to play outside in and around Tofino?  Let us know by commneting on this post.

* A wee disclaimer about fishing:  fishing off the rocks or a dock (with the supervision of an adult) still requires a fishing license, which can be obtained here.