Cottage life is something everyone has to experience. There’s nothing quite as refreshing, rejuvenating and reinvigorating as spending some time nestled in nature. Taking time out from the noise of everyday life helps us focus on what really matters, and most importantly what doesn’t.
To truly enjoy cottage life it is important to know about the best cottage activities. You don’t want to show up with a swim suit and a smile and nothing else. This combo may be good for a day of entertainment, but it can wear thin – especially if you are at the cottage for a long time.
Having a list of cottage activities is also good to fend off bad weather blues. After all, you don’t want to spend the day cooped up indoors checking emails and playing games on your iPhone. You could have done this at home. The point of going to the cottage is to get out, enjoy nature get active and experience new things.
Here are some of our favourite cottage activities that will keep you happy and create great memories. Ranging from classic activities to the not-so-common, there’s bound to be something to delight everyone, rain or shine.
1. Scavenger Hike
We’re all for the conventional hike – after all, we’ve got 135 acres to enjoy on foot – but there’s definitely something to be said about stepping it up a notch. If you’re with your kids, this could be an ideal time to learn and have fun. Our woods are home to many species of birds, animals and trees, so make up a scavenger hunt, separate into teams and head out for some friendly competition. Winner gets a second helping of s’mores!
Scavenger hunt hikes are also great for bachelor or bachelorette parties, family reunions or even business team-building. Creativity is key and the sky’s the limit – just keep in mind we do not recommend going out before hand and planting items on the trail or taking anything (or part of anything) that’s living – like flowers, branches or bugs/insects. Aim to be a low impact visitor and leave nature as unchanged as possible. If you want evidence that an item was found, send teams out with cameras.
QUICK TIP: Bring rain gear so you can head out rain or shine.
2. Phone Ban Contest
It may feel like you’ve just amputated an arm, but try to leave your phones alone for your stay. Make it fun by having a prize for the person who goes the longest without tapping into technology. We understand that you may want to be available in case of emergency, so you don’t have to turn your phone off; you just have to refrain from checking it 100 times a day. If you want to go with a total ban, just make sure people know exactly where you are in case you need to be reached. Of course, if you’re staying at a cottage resort like the Loughborough Inn, you can turn your phone off with peace of mind that our front desk staff will contact you if you are really needed.
3. Water Sports
Whether you’re swimming, boating, or fishing, spending time on the water is definitely one of the most popular cottage activities. The Loughborough Inn has a stunning lakefront, as well as a pool and playground. We also offer boat rentals so you and your crew can hit the water in comfort and convenience. You can choose from fishing boats, pontoon boats or utility boats in a variety of sizes. We definitely recommend spending a day on the water and enjoy a tour around the lake, a picnic and some quality time with friends and family.
HINT: If you are bringing children with you, be sure to pack life jackets as well as plenty of water and waterfront toys like shovels, pails, noodles, inflatable animals, tubes, bubbles, etc. Even if you don’t have kids you can pack some buckets and rally together for a spirited sand castle building contest.
4. Living la Vida Local!
Cottage activities don’t only have to take place at the cottage; they can also take place in areas around the cottage. One of the highlights of staying at the Loughborough Inn is our proximity to other incredible attractions, like historic Kingston, Ontario and Gananoque, Ontario. In less than half an hour you can find yourself looking at Sir John. A Macdonald’s house, taking in a live performance at the K-Rock Centre or Grand Theatre, touring the 1000 Islands on a dinner cruise or playing a winning hand of poker at the casino. Soak up sun and the local attractions for the ultimate cottage experience.
5. Spa Day!
Pack your lotions and potions, because it’s time for a DIY spa at the cottage. And why not? Nestling down in nature doesn’t mean you have to turn primitive. Spa days are fun for girl’s weekends or even family getaways. Bring some individually packaged facial masks, nail polish and remover, moisturizing cream, pumice stone, nail files/clippers and anything else you’d like to use your pamper yourself – just leave the new age spa music at home. Nature provides its own melodious soundtrack.
6. Board Boredom Buster
Rain or shine, board games are a great way to spend some time. We know, we know: You can play games on your phone or computer, but we want to encourage you to sit down and enjoy a little friendly competition face to face. Cards are also great to bring along for a lakeside game of solitaire or a midnight game of euchre.
Cottage activities abound when imagination and the great outdoors collide; sometimes you just need to relax and let the good times flow! Join us this season at the Loughborough Inn and we guarantee there will be no shortages of cottage activities, good times and great memories.