2017 Must See Bruce County Summer Events

The 2017 rendition of Explore the Bruce launched last week, and my niece was super excited to find her passports in the mail!

Out on a 2016 Explore the Bruce Passport adventure. 

You’ll recall last summer, the passport made for several weekends of fun, exploring the sights and scenery around my Bruce County backyard. We had so much fun in fact, we even tried to get a head start this year, checking out some of the passport stops last month just to see if the punch boxes were out yet (the weren’t).

This year’s passport contains stops in some of the usual places – the Bruce Peninsula and along our beautiful lakeshore – as well as some lesser known gems with historical significance, like the Krug Memorial Park in Chesley & the Chepstow Inn.

With millions of Parks Canada passes handed out for this year, it’s likely the Grotto is going to be crawling with more people than ever. If you want to avoid the crowds but still getaway to the Bruce, there are tons of other great things to do and see in other parts of the county! Grab your passport and check out some of these “must-see” events!

If you find yourself in Bruce County this summer, be sure to send me a note and I’d love to show you around. Also, let me know what your favourite events and must-see places are that I missed!

11 “Must-See” Bruce County Events in 2017

This old rail bridge not far from our farm is one of this year’s passport stops. It’s also one of my favourite spots in the Bruce and it’s on the way to Southampton, my favourite town.

TOYS! The inside story – The Bruce County Museum has always been one of my favourite places to visit. Their main hall was renovated 10 years ago and is gorgeous, and I always loved wandering through the galleries reading about Bruce County residents and our mariner past. TOYS! The inside story will open May 19 and features behind-the-scenes of some of our favourite toys, including the Etch-A-Sketch®!

IMG_3788Southampton Garage Sale – If you’re one of those people who loves trolling garage sales looking for a deal, this is the place for you. Saturday of the May long weekend you’ll find the largest garage sale around in Southampton! More info.

Antiquing in Bruce County – If antiques are your thing, it’s appropriate that Tiverton hosts the Bruce County Antique Show on June 4, because Tiverton is also home to some nifty little antique shops. You’ll also find some cute shops not far away in Kincardine.


By July, canoeing down the Saugeen River can be less mighty and more lazy… 

Voyageur Canoe Races – You haven’t truly experienced Bruce County until you’ve paddled down the mighty Saugeen River. You don’t drive by a river access in summer, without there being at least a couple vehicles parked waiting for their canoe and kayak captains. That’s why, I was so excited to see this event happening June 3-4 in Paisley. What better way to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday than with Voyageur Canoe Races?!


Doors Open Bruce County – As part of Doors Open Ontario, several heritage sites in Bruce County will be free to visit on June 10 & 11, 2017. I am intrigued to see sites I’ve lived near my entire life and never visited, like the Paisley Hose Tower, Dunblane Church, Wellington Krug House and Crate Designs. More info on each site here. 


Get some baby cow kisses at the Grey Bruce Dairy Farmers Open House on June 10-11!

Albadon Dairy Farm Open House – This Doors Open event gets a special shout out because my family hosted a similar open house on our farm in 2015. Visit a real, working dairy farm just outside Teeswater and learn about how milk gets from our farms to your table, while enjoying delicious milk, ice cream and some selfies with a cow!


See the Snowbirds at Saugeen Airport – Who wants to see the Snowbirds? How about for FREE?! As part of Bruce County 150 celebrations, the Saugeen Airport is hosting the Snowbirds on June 21, 2017! ‘Nuff said!

Kincardine Scottish Festival – There’s a lot of Scottish history in Bruce County, as evidenced by the Bruce County tartan I was once awarded. The Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games has become one of the premier Scottish celebrations in Southern Ontario. If you can’t make July 7-8, you can still see the Scottish Pipe Band Parade every Saturday of summer or catch the Phantom Piper at sunset.


My Grandma & I ready to head to the beach in my dad’s old Mustang.

Classic Car Tour –  My dad just loves old cars, and when him and my mom did this tour last summer, it was all he talked about for weeks. This tour is worth it just to see the unbelievable Lang collection. I bet you never thought there were so many amazing, old cars in Bruce County. Get your tickets for July 15 and be ready to drool!


Up Your Alley Outdoor Art & Craft Sale – I recently started following Southampton on Instagram and I am charmed by the art in my favourite little, lakeshore town. I already have August 5 marked on my calendar for this outdoor craft sale!

Saugeen First Nation Pow Wow – For 33 years, the Saugeen First Nation has been in my backyard and I’ve never attended this event. Typically held the first weekend of August, I’m really looking forward to going in 2017. As I try to figure out what my role is in reconciliation, I feel this is an important step to understand my neighbours and our past.  I will post link when available.

Old & New
Old times and older times on display at the Bruce County Heritage Farm & Steam Show.

Bruce County Heritage Farm & Steam Show – Like many farm families, mine has a soft spot for antique tractors, tractor pulls and big, old, loud equipment. The Heritage Farm & Steam Show boasts all of that and I must admit, even I find it pretty cool to step back in time and see how my great grandparents farmed. The show is just south of Paisley, from August 18-20, 2017.

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