1. Visit a Festival
There’s no shortage of festivals this month. For starters, there’s the Filberg Festival (www.filbergfestival.com), a celebration of all things arts and crafts, from August 2-5 where, along with artisans’ wares, you’ll find the Enchanted Forest, a kids’ interactive area that includes storytelling, face painting, a Lego tent, an arts and crafts table, painting easels and more. Then there’s the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (www.victoriadragonboat.com) from August 16-18 where you can cheer on the paddlers and enjoy live multicultural entertainment, crafts for kids, the Forbidden City Food Court and Grand Dragon Challenge. Don’t miss FringeKids Fest (www.intrepidtheatre.com) in Market Square on Saturday, August 24 from 11am-4pm. This completely free one-day family festival in Market Square introduces young children to the magic of theatre, with live performances, craft activities including puppet making, an inflatable bouncy bunny, life-sized puppets and a cardboard castle for small artists to paint. Young Fringers Fest gives kids the opportunity to see four plays between August 22-September 1.

2. Catch a Show
Chemainus Theatre (www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca), 9737 Chemainus Road, presents Munsch to Say, a wacky and wonderful collection of Canada’s great children’s author, Robert Munsch, running from Tuesday through Saturday until August 25. Celebrate the many words and languages of the region—from English to French to Coast Salish—with partners from around British Columbia. Suitable for ages 7+. To book your tickets, phone 1-800-565-7738. Or catch Theatre Skam’s (www.skam.ca) Smalltown: A Pickup Musical in which the 10 performers play a variety of instruments, and sing songs from the back of a pickup truck parked in the Victoria High School field. From August 13-25. For rainy day entertainment, check out the IMAX productions Flight of the Butterflies, a stunning documentary that follows hundreds of millions of migrating monarch on their perilous return journey from Mexico to Canada; Kenya: Animal Kingdom, a film about the most spectacular wildlife sanctuary on Earth; and Rocky Mountain Express, a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and how it relates to the adventure of building the nation’s first transcontinental railway. For showtimes and information, visit web link or phone 250-953-IMAX (4629).

3. See a Movie Under the Stars
If you feel like seeing a show, but don’t feel like being cooped up indoors, why not drop by one of Victoria’s outdoor venues? The Victoria Film Festival (www.victoriafilmfestival.com) is once again presenting the Free-B Film screenings on Friday and Saturday nights until August 24 at Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park on a 20-foot-wide inflatable screen. The line-up includes Karate Kid, Flash Gordon, Never Ending Story, and The Iron Giant along with a list of others. For the complete line-up, visit the website. Movies start at 9pm and are free. Just bring your own snacks, flashlights and blankets.

4. Sample Spelunking
Keep cool by caving at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. The how to’s of basic rock climbing are covered in the four-hour “High Adventure Expedition,” so no previous climbing experience is needed. Be prepared to crawl through small passages and try some basic rope climbing. One-on-one instruction and all equipment are provided. Cavers must be 13 years or older and must sign a liability waiver form. Tours run at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. Reservations recommended. While the teens careen down vertical drops, younger siblings (between 5 and 11 years) can take the 90-minute Cavern Tour Family Adventure. Designed to teach the geology and history of the caves, this tour starts with a 25-minute hike to the entrance along the Karst Trail. Explore the larger and easier passageways, with views of crystal formations. Don’t worry about any crawling sections or tight passages in this tour. Reservations and walk-ups welcome, runs every hour on the hour 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit web link. Or visit one of the other 1,000 caves on Vancouver Island (the most in Canada) including the Upana Caves near Gold River (maps of the self-guided tour are available at the Ministry of Forests in Campbell River) or a guided tour of Little Hustan Cave Park near Port Mcneill (250-956-3131).

5. Comandeer a Canoe
If you’re already proficient at the J-stroke, the bow-pry, the cross bow rudder and the box-stroke pivot, chances are you’ve got your own canoe and go out regularly to paddle. If not, CRD Parks offers a number of canoeing sessions at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Choose from a morning or evening paddle on one of the following dates this month: August 10, 13, 18, 24, and 25. Enjoy the serenity and beauty of the natural world while you watch for eagles, herons, frogs and other wildlife. Canoe equipment and instruction are provided and no experience is necessary. $20+GST, 15 yrs and older; $10+GST for children 5-14 years. For details or to pre-register, phone 250-478-3344 or visit web link.

6. Whirl Up Raspberry Coconut Pops
In a blender, combine 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), 1 can coconut milk, 2 cups water, 1 cup apple juice (or any other juice you have on hand), 1/2 cup honey (or more; adjust to taste).
Pour mixture into small paper cups, filling 1/2 of the way. Freeze for 30 minutes, insert sticks, and continue to chill until the pops are fully frozen, 2 hours or more. Carefully cut and tear the paper cups off of the pops, and seal in a plastic bag. Seek shade and enjoy!

7. Be a Junior Archeologist
Explore Nanaimo’s ancient history through the eyes of an archaeologist. Sift for ancient artifacts at Junior Archeologist, Nanaimo Museum’s weekly hands-on drop-in program for children ages 5-12 years. The activities are designed for children to participate in along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers.

Activities include sifting through soil for artifacts, rebuilding clay pots, investigating and handling artifacts from the museum’s education collection that are more than 1,000 years old, and making petroglyph rubbings. On August 15, 22 and 29 during the museum’s feature exhibit, “Expedition: Arctic, Junior Archaeologist” will focus on the Inuit culture and will expand to include activities related to the Copper Inuit.

The activities are offered on an ongoing basis during the drop-in program and take approximately one hour for children to complete. Registration is not required, but caregivers must supervise children at all times during activities. Cost is included in museum admission. For more information, visit web link.

8. Discover Fishing
Free information on Vancouver Island’s freshwater fishing lakes is just a keystroke away at web link. Whether it’s 20 minutes away from Victoria, within the Nanaimo city limits, or just north of Duncan at Somenos Lake with its stocked rainbow trout, Vancouver Island lakes offer a multitude of fishing opportunities for families. The website features descriptions of B.C.’s freshwater fishing sites, along with driving directions and details on nearby amenities such as day-use areas, toilets, beaches, boat launches and camping. Find details on getting a fishing licence and the “Learn to Fish” programs offered throughout B.C. Other features include a guide to B.C.’s many sport fish, equipment overviews, fishing methods, and printable brochures full of tips for those just starting out. For more details on where to fish, how to fish and get started, as well as information on fishing regulations and licences, visit Discover Fishing BC’s website at web link.

9. Hop Aboard for a Ladysmith Harbour Tour
The Ladysmith Maritime Society offers daily harbour tours until Aug 31 in its restored lifeboat, the Maritimer. Enjoy a two-hour cruise (leaving at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.) through the area’s history, viewing eagles, seals, cormorants, starfish, jellyfish and other wildlife along the way. The Maritimer holds up to 10 people. Skippers are Transport Canada certified. While you’re on the docks, check out the award-winning floating museum, take the kids to the kids’ marine life viewing dock by the “kids don’t float” lifejacket loaning area, or peek into a purple martin nest using the webcam on the second blue boathouse. For tour reservations, phone 250-924-2245.

10. Summit Mt. Washington
Ride the chairlift or hike to the summit of Mount Washington (1588 m elevation) and take in the spectacular surrounding views. Then take a hike along one of the summit trails: Top of the World Trails, 0.7 km; Linton’s Trail, 2.1 km; Giv’r Trail (Advanced), 1.3 km. Get an Alpine Action Pass and enjoy 1-day unlimited access to scenic chairlift rides, the bungee trampoline, 9-hole disc golf course (a Par 31 course that takes about an hour to play) and mini golf. Family (2 adults, 2 children - $61.25. Each additional child is $22.75). Or sign up for a nature walk, talk, or guided hike around Paradise Meadows. All welcome—though the programs vary in ability level—and start at Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre, adjacent to Raven Lodge. Presented by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute (a non-profit society). Cost is by donation ($5-10 suggested). For information, visit web link.