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15 Excellent Couple AdventuresJust a reminder: Fun is not an imported commodity. Right here, right now, on our own home turf, we’ve got amazing places to amuse, bemuse and bedazzle adrenaline junkies and those who prefer their kicks a bit more mild than wild. Here’s ample evidence…


Illustration of a couple enjoying a picnic on a mountain top.

Have a Heli-Picnic in the Alberta Rockies
Nibbling on peanut butter sandwiches and enjoying a view of the Alberta Rockies ranks up there with great dining experiences, but why not kick it up a few notches? Icefield Helicopter Tours gets you to high with heli-picnics ($299 per person). By chop­per, you’re whooshed up and over some of the most stunning scenery on the plan­­et and then you’re set down on a mountaintop to enjoy your deluxe picnic lunch. For more info: 1-888-844-3514 or icefieldheli.com

Be A 007 In Port Perry, Ontario
Camp-X, not far from Oshawa, Ont., served as a training centre for would-be James Bonds during the Second World War. It offered a solid basic curriculum that in­clud­ed sabotage, weaponry, demolition, Morse code and that old-time favourite: silent kill­ing. In fact, Bond creator Ian Fleming was among the students. The spies have long hung up their cloaks and daggers, but Camp-X now operates as an off­beat museum that houses agents’ toys, spy cams, uniforms and photos. For more info: 905-436-6325 or camp-x.com

Visit the Discovery Centre in Saskatchewan
In 1994, “Scotty” turned up again in his hometown of Eastend, Sask. He’d been miss­ing for almost 65 million years so no one was really worried about him. You see, “Scotty” is a T. rex and the unofficial mascot for the T. rex Discovery Centre, a fa­cility devoted to all things dinosaur. Gazing at old bones and incisors that are nine-inches long is pretty fascinating, but why not get down and dirty about it? A day-long dig program ($75 per person) gives you a chance to discover an important fossil that might change the modern history of mankind at a place regarded as the world’s best trove for dinosaur finds. Or you might just have fun and get some dirt under your fingernails. For more info: 306-295-4009 or dinocountry.com

Illustration of couple about to dive down to an underwater shipwreck. See Shipwrecks in Nova Scotia
Sure, the warm waters of the Caribbean are enticing, but for fans of scuba-diving, Nova Scotia is now an It spot. With more than 7,500 kilometres of coastline, the pro­vince is the final resting place for about 4,500 shipwrecks, many well preserved be­cause of the icy seas. St. Paul’s Island, just northeast of Cape Breton Island, is known as the Graveyard of the Gulf. It has 350-plus wrecks and visibility can reach almost 30 metres. Chances are you’ll have to wear a wetsuit to keep from freezing, even in the summer, but you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular underwater adventure. A num­­ber of dive-tour companies also offer diving courses so that you can get what’s known as PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) cert­i­fi­ca­tion. Then you’re ready to take, ahem, the plunge. For more info: Nova Scotia Underwater Council, 902-425-5450 or nsuc.net

Do Some Ghost-Busting in the Nation’s Capital
There’s a ghostly presence in Ottawa and it’s not Jean Chrétien. At the Ottawa Jail on Nicholas Street, eerie apparitions are said to roam the hallways. The former prison was the site of Canada’s last public hanging and is now operating as a hostel, a some­what unconventional place where you can lay down your head for the night (ap­prox­imately $25). If you’re too creeped out to stay overnight, then you can visit this super­natural playground in the bright glare of daylight as part of the city’s haunted walking tours. For more info: 613-235-2595 or hihostels.ca

Stay in John and Yoko’s Hotel Suite
All we are saying is give peace a chance. Most of us know that John Lennon penned that timely credo, but would you get the Trivial Pursuit answer as to where? Back in 1969, John and Yoko holed up in Suite 1742 of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth ho­tel in Montreal to write a song protesting American military action in Vietnam. You can grab your own piece of the peace movement, like Beatles-fan Drew Barry­more did, by booking a night (from approximately $660) in the infamous room now adorn­­ed with press clippings, a framed gold record for “Give Peace a Chance,” and photos of the couple at their bed-in. Stage your own and sip their drink of choice—Spanish Smile, composed of orange juice and honey—while savouring a unique moment in history. For more info: 514-861-3511 or fairmont.com

Drive a Racecar in Pontypool, Ontario
Deep down, everyone has an inner speed demon: that little voice that makes you put your foot down harder on the gas pedal. Most times that type of behaviour gets you a ticket. At the Bridgestone Racing Academy in Pontypool, Ont., it gets you a certi­fi­cate. Slip behind the wheel of a Reynard F2000, stomp on it, and zoom from 0 to 100 km in five seconds flat as the 130-horsepower engine under the hood kicks in. Courses range from a half-day ($525) to a full season of 12 races ($16,475). For more info: 905-983-1114 or goodman-motorsports.com

Go To Iceberg Alley In Newfoundland
Bergy bits? Growlers? If you’d been to Newfoundland, you would know that “growl­­ers” are chunks of icebergs the size of a grand piano and “bergy bits” are larger—about the size of a small house. But if you didn’t know that, no worries: You’ll be a walking encyclopedia on bergs after you’ve visited the area known as Ice­berg Alley, which is particularly busy in June when warm weather causes giant chunks to split away from the mother hunk and begin their float south. Tour companies such as Linkum Tours will enlighten you on the unique wildlife of the island—and we’re not talking about kissing the cod or Screech here. Adorably cute puffins, whales, and furry and feathered creatures aplenty cross paths with human folk and those ice cubes on ’roids. Very cool. For more info: 1-800-563-6353 or www.gov.nf.ca/tourism; Linkum Tours, 1-877-254-6586 or www.linkumtours.com

Illustration of a couple tubing down a river. Ride the Currents in British Columbia
In Penticton, B.C., good, clean fun can be had floating down the river channel, a six-kilometre canal that connects lakes Okanagan and Skaha. Just park your booty on the floatation device of your choice (inner tube, kayak, etc.) and let yourself be carried away by the current. Depending on the current’s speed, cruising could take up to three hours. Bring your own gear or hook up with a company such as Coyote Cruises, which loans you the stuff and picks you up downriver by bus for $10. For more info: 1-800-663-5052 or penticton.org; Coyote Cruises, 250-492-2115 (only from late-May to early-September)

Laugh Your Head Off in Montreal
Every July, Montreal is full of belly laughs as the Just For Laughs Festival unleashes its manic merriment upon the city. This is the event where an unknown James (now “Jim”) Carrey was pegged as a promising young performer in 1990, and where last year Kelly Ripa did a sultry, grinding striptease that had her splashed across the tab­loids and got her co-host Regis Philbin blushing. Be­tween intimate gigs and streets crowded with performance artists, Just For Laughs is always a hot ticket. For more info: hahaha.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A travel writer extraordinaire, Michele Sponagle has visited more than 40 countries around the world.