Things to Do

15 Best Things to Do in Pickering, ON



The city of Pickering Ontario is a mere 40-minute train ride outside of the big city and is quickly growing into a more affordable area for both couples and families. But that doesn’t mean that there is any less to do! This rapidly rising hub of entertainment has something for everyone, whether you’re pounding the ground solo, or are looking for something enjoyable for the kids. 

1. Go by the Bay on the Waterfront Trail

No matter what the weather is, the Waterfront Trail is a surefire way to get the kids moving. Even if you’re looking to spend some time on your own, jogging along the lengthy sidewalks by the water, or taking in the picturesque view of our lovely lake Ontario, you won’t feel that your time is wasted.

2. Visit Ontario’s largest indoor market – Pickering Markets

Take a stroll through Canada’s largest marketplace and take a gander at hundreds of booths that offer services, retail products, and or fresh and original meals. Admission to the building is entirely free during open hours, but with the variety of options around you, it might be difficult to leave empty-handed.

3. Explore history at Pickering Museum Village

Take a trip back in time to the time of the early settlers at the Pickering Village, open year-round with special events that include public tours, birthday parties, ghost walks, and even blacksmith workshops for adults. The rustic, historic-looking site can also be rented for weddings and film sets, so keep an ear open the next time you hear about a friend getting hitched!

4. Cool off at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area

There isn’t anything quite like taking a cool dip in a swimming pool during the high heat of summer. Take this in this splendid activity, with options to BBQ on-site and even follow the waterfront trail. Take in the beauty of nature with a hiking trip and bask in all that the season has to offer. 

5. Cuddle critters at Wild Things Petting Farm

Wander through a spectacular 3 acres of well-kept farmland and observe, pet, and cuddle the cutest of critters Pickering has to offer. The animals are free to roam the entire grounds, which is owned by founder Norman Collier. Get a dose of some furry fun with animals ranging from cows, to goats, to ducks, oh my!

6. Roadshow Antiques

This spectacular showing of unique antiques is directly next to the Pickering Markets—as if you needed another reason to visit this location! If you are an avid collector, this is the place to highlight on your list. Fill out a form before visiting, or simply browse for something vintage to add to your collection. 

7. Walk the Seaton Hiking Trail

This wonderful 12.9 km trail runs from Brock road to High 7 at Green River. This sightly trek follows a historic fishing and hunting route carved out during pioneer days. Grab a friend for some fishing or hop on your bike for a pleasant ride through the great outdoors of Pickering.

8. Shop at Pickering Town Centre

You simply cannot visit Pickering without taking a gander in the Pickering Town Centre. The building contains an abundant amount of options for everyday shoppers and even a little something for those wanderers. Indulge in a variety of meals in the food court or get your mall walk on to fulfill that step count!

9. Ribfest

Meat lovers are not going to want to miss this annual summer event in the heart of the Pickering hub. A child-friendly event welcomes over 15 different types of vendors to showcase their menu in a carnival-style summer fling. Just make sure to digest before getting on that burger before hopping on that Ferris wheel!

10. Enjoy a free concert on the Esplanade

Summer is full of music and activity in Pickering. Family-friendly concerts are offered in Esplanade Park, just outside of Pickering Town Centre every Sunday from 2-4 Pm. Entry is free, so all you’ve need to bring is your lawn chair, and the readiness to rock!

11. Try something new at the Food Truck Festival

Bring yourself and your foodie friends and family to a jam-packed good vibes event! Explore the cultural versatility with your taste buds to the tune of some unique live entertainment. Vegan, vegetarian and Halal options are all available. This is another summer chill event in the Esplanade that both families and groups do not want to miss out on. 

12. Go fishing in Frenchman’s Bay

Frenchman’s Bay is a spectacular place for seasoned fisherman to catch some pike. The bay offers two diverse ecosystems within marina’s along the shore, as well as an opportunity to expand the chance at catching different species aboard a boat. Make sure to watch for weather forecasts and visit local city website to be sure that the ice is safe for proper fishing.

13. Get active at Pickering Recreation Complex

Fitness is an important factor in living a healthy lifestyle, and Pickering agrees! If you want to go for a lap swim, lift some weights, play racquet sports or even take a spin class, the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex will give it to you. Drop-in for a day or two while you visit or purchase members pass for some sweet amenities. 

14. Explore nature at Rouge National Urban Park

This expansive and stunning national park is home to a rich plethora of wildlife and indigenous history. With multiple methods of ways to assess it, through Toronto, Uxbridge, Markham, and of course Pickering, this picturesque view offers year-round activities as well as a respectful dedication toward preserving wildlife. Workshops on camping are run in multiple cities, as are guided walks, even photography courses. 

15. Sip an espresso and take it all in: Open Studio Art Cafe 

This atmospheric throwback to the cafes of the poetry and art movement of the 60s will keep you inspired – and well-caffeinated! This cozy spot sells original drawings paintings by local artists, all while hosting poetry readings and live music on Friday nights. Live drawings of subjects are taught every few weeks, and spots fill up fast!

About the author

Samantha Burton
Samantha Burton is a freelance writer, photographer, and filmmaker out of Pickering Ontario. She is a feminist, activist, and mental health advocate. Read more

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