things to do in burlington ontario

13 Things to Do in Burlington Ontario – Best Activities and Top Attractions

Last Updated: September 28, 2023By

Burlington, Ontario offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for fun things to do, Burlington has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature
  • Visit the Art Gallery of Burlington to experience the vibrant art scene in the city
  • Indulge in delicious doughnuts at Sunshine Doughnuts and satisfy your sweet tooth
  • Enjoy lakeside fun at Spencer Smith Park and take in the breathtaking views of Lake Ontario
  • Discover the history of Burlington at the Joseph Brant Museum and learn about its connection to the Indigenous community

Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens

Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty at the Royal Botanical Gardens, an expansive and picturesque attraction in Burlington. With over 2,700 acres of stunning gardens, nature trails, and educational programs, it’s the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

As you wander through the gardens, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant displays of flowers, plants, and trees. Discover a wide variety of themed gardens, including the Mediterranean Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Laking Garden. Each garden offers its own unique charm and provides an opportunity to relax and reconnect with nature.

For those looking to explore the natural surroundings, the Royal Botanical Gardens offers an extensive network of nature trails. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there are trails suited for every level of fitness. Along the way, you might catch a glimpse of wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and even deer.

Discover the Beauty of Burlington’s Botanical Gem

The Royal Botanical Gardens is not just a feast for the eyes, but also a place of education and conservation. Take part in one of their educational programs or guided tours to learn more about the importance of preserving our natural environment. Gain insight into the fascinating world of plants and the significant role they play in sustaining our planet.

So, whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape, a place to reconnect with nature, or a learning experience, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this botanical gem and create lasting memories amidst nature’s splendor.

Delve into Art at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Expand your artistic horizons at the Art Gallery of Burlington, where a vibrant collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics and artwork awaits. Immerse yourself in the rich and diverse world of Canadian art as you explore the gallery’s captivating exhibits and thought-provoking installations.

Discover the beauty and intricacy of contemporary ceramics, showcased in the gallery’s renowned collection. From delicate porcelain vessels to bold and expressive sculptures, these ceramic masterpieces reflect the incredible talent and innovation of Canadian artists. Each piece tells a unique story, inviting you to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind it.

As you wander through the gallery, you’ll encounter a wide range of mediums and styles, from abstract paintings to mixed media installations. Take a moment to absorb the captivating works of both emerging and established artists, each offering their own distinct perspective on the world.

With rotating exhibitions and special events throughout the year, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at the Art Gallery of Burlington. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a cultural experience, this gallery is a must-visit destination that celebrates the creative spirit of Canada.

Indulge in Delicious Doughnuts at Sunshine Doughnuts

Treat your taste buds to a memorable experience at Sunshine Doughnuts, where you can indulge in a wide array of delicious and creative doughnut flavors. This charming bakery in Burlington is a must-visit for any food lover, offering a delightful selection of sweet treats that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

At Sunshine Doughnuts, every doughnut is a work of art. From classic flavors like glazed and chocolate to unique creations such as maple bacon and lavender honey, there’s something to suit every palate. Each doughnut is made fresh daily, using high-quality ingredients, and crafted with precision and care.

But it’s not just the flavors that make Sunshine Doughnuts stand out. The bakery also takes pride in its attention to detail and presentation. Each doughnut is beautifully decorated, with vibrant colors, edible flowers, and unique toppings that make them visually appealing and Instagram-worthy.

Unforgettable Doughnut Combinations

Whether you’re a fan of traditional flavors or looking to try something new, Sunshine Doughnuts has got you covered. Here are some unforgettable doughnut combinations that you must try:

  • Salted Caramel Pretzel: A perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a rich caramel glaze and a sprinkle of crushed pretzels on top.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: A taste of summer, featuring a fluffy doughnut filled with fresh strawberry jam and topped with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Matcha Madness: For the matcha lovers, this doughnut is infused with the delicate flavors of green tea and adorned with a matcha glaze and a sprinkle of matcha powder.

So, whether you’re a local or visiting Burlington, make sure to treat yourself to Sunshine Doughnuts. With their delectable flavors, stunning presentation, and warm, welcoming atmosphere, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Enjoy Lakeside Fun at Spencer Smith Park

Experience the perfect blend of relaxation and outdoor fun at Spencer Smith Park, a picturesque lakeside oasis in downtown Burlington. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll, a family picnic, or a day of water activities, this park has it all. With its stunning waterfront views and well-maintained green spaces, it’s no wonder that Spencer Smith Park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Take a leisurely walk along the waterfront promenade and soak in the beauty of Lake Ontario. The park features a long stretch of sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing or building sandcastles. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the calm waters of the lake. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear, as the park is a great spot for casting a line and trying to catch some local fish.

Lakeside picnics are a favorite activity at Spencer Smith Park, and the park provides plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas for you to enjoy your meal. You can also make use of the park’s barbecue facilities and have a delightful cookout with your family and friends. For those with little ones, the park features a large playground area where kids can climb, slide, and swing to their heart’s content.

Waterfront Festivals and Events

In addition to its natural beauty, Spencer Smith Park is also a hub of activity when it comes to hosting festivals and events. Throughout the year, the park plays host to various cultural festivals, live music concerts, and community gatherings. From the Sound of Music Festival to Canada Day celebrations, there’s always something happening at Spencer Smith Park.

So, if you’re looking for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Spencer Smith Park in downtown Burlington. Whether you want to relax on the beach, go for a bike ride along the waterfront trail, or simply enjoy a peaceful picnic with a stunning view, this park is the perfect place to unwind and connect with nature.

Discover History at Joseph Brant Museum

Step back in time and uncover the rich history of Burlington at the Joseph Brant Museum, where fascinating exhibits and artifacts await. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum offers a captivating glimpse into the past, showcasing the heritage of Burlington and its connection to the Indigenous community.

As you explore the museum, you’ll be immersed in the stories of the local area, from the First Nations tribes that once inhabited the region to the settlers who shaped Burlington into the vibrant city it is today. Marvel at the carefully curated exhibits, showcasing a diverse range of artifacts that paint a picture of the past.

One of the standout features of the Joseph Brant Museum is the replica longhouse, providing a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Indigenous people. Delve into the traditions, customs, and rich cultural heritage of the original inhabitants of this land.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the roots of Burlington, a visit to the Joseph Brant Museum is a must. Gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s past and the people who have shaped its present. Immerse yourself in the stories of Burlington’s history and leave with a newfound perspective on this charming Canadian city.

Explore Nature at Mount Nemo Conservation Area

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Mount Nemo Conservation Area, where captivating hiking trails and stunning views of the Niagara Escarpment await. This picturesque spot is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With a variety of well-maintained trails, Mount Nemo Conservation Area provides endless opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there is a trail suitable for every skill level. As you wander through the towering trees and lush greenery, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

One of the highlights of Mount Nemo Conservation Area is the iconic lookout point, which offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. It’s the perfect spot to pause, take a deep breath, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. You can also spot unique rock formations and observe the diverse wildlife that calls this area home.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, guided nature walks are available, led by knowledgeable experts who share fascinating insights about the conservation area’s history, flora, and fauna. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Mount Nemo Conservation Area is a must-visit destination in Burlington.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities at Burlington’s Waterfront

Create lasting memories with your family at Burlington’s waterfront, where a variety of family-friendly activities await. Whether you’re in the mood for outdoor adventures, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying the beauty of Lake Ontario, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming city.

One of the highlights of Burlington’s waterfront is the Rotary Centennial Pond. During the winter months, the pond transforms into an ice skating rink, providing hours of fun for both kids and adults. Lace up your skates and glide across the smooth ice as you take in the stunning views of the lake. This seasonal activity is perfect for families looking to embrace the Canadian winter spirit.

If you’re seeking some relaxation, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade. The picturesque views of Lake Ontario and the Burlington Skyway Bridge provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful walk. Stop by one of the many parks along the way, such as Spencer Smith Park, and enjoy a picnic with your loved ones. The lush green spaces and waterfront views create a serene atmosphere that is sure to rejuvenate the whole family.

For a unique and educational experience, visit the Joseph Brant Museum located near the waterfront. Explore the exhibits and artifacts that showcase the history of Burlington and its connection to the Indigenous community. Learn about the rich cultural heritage of the area and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past. The museum offers interactive displays and educational programs, making it a great destination for families looking to combine fun with learning.

Sample Craft Beers at Nickel Brook Brewing

Quench your thirst for great beer at Nickel Brook Brewing, where you can sample an array of flavorful craft beers in a vibrant brewery setting. Located in Burlington, Ontario, Nickel Brook Brewing is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts and those looking for a unique tasting experience.

At Nickel Brook Brewing, you’ll find a wide selection of craft beers to suit every palate. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The brewery takes pride in using only the finest quality ingredients and employs traditional brewing methods to create beers that are full of flavor and character.

When you visit Nickel Brook Brewing, you’ll have the opportunity to take a brewery tour and learn about the brewing process from knowledgeable staff. You can also sample a flight of beers, allowing you to try a variety of different styles and flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of craft beer, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Nickel Brook Brewing are available to answer your questions and help you find the perfect brew.


With its diverse range of activities and attractions, Burlington, Ontario is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, art lover, foodie, or simply looking for some family-friendly fun, Burlington has it all.

Start your visit by exploring the breathtaking Royal Botanical Gardens, where you can wander through stunning gardens and immerse yourself in nature on the various trails. For art enthusiasts, the Art Gallery of Burlington is a must-visit, showcasing a collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics and hosting exciting exhibitions and events.

If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to stop by Sunshine Doughnuts and indulge in their mouthwatering creations. And when it’s time to relax, head to Spencer Smith Park, where you can enjoy lakeside picnics, leisurely walks along the waterfront, and stunning views of Lake Ontario.

For a taste of history, the Joseph Brant Museum tells the story of Burlington’s past and its connection to the Indigenous community. And outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Mount Nemo Conservation Area, with its picturesque nature trails and breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment.

With family-friendly activities at Burlington’s waterfront, including the Rotary Centennial Pond for ice skating in the winter, and the opportunity to sample craft beers at Nickel Brook Brewing, there is never a dull moment in Burlington, Ontario. So pack your bags, and discover all that this charming city has to offer!

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