New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach Is Perfect for Kids

Parlee Beach, New Brunswick

We spent the day at Parlee Beach in Shediac, New Brunswick and it was Athena’s idea of a dream beach. It offers a playground, soft sand, warm, shallow waters, life guards and bathrooms. Athena and I will be spending most of our three-week New Brunswick vacation at Parlee Beach because it doesn’t get any better than this. 

As soon as we arrived, Athena took off her shoes and ran in the soft sand. It was clean with minimal rocks or seaweeds. The recent rain showers made it damp just below the surface and fantastic for sandcastles. We sat and played while looking out at the calm ocean.

When we did get in the water, it was extremely warm in comparison to the cold Pacific. As if that wasn’t enough to put a smile on our faces, it was shallow for hundreds of feet. Athena ran, splashed and played and I didn’t need to worry about her going out over her head.

Playing in the Water at Parlee Beach, New Brunswick

Can you see how far out people are standing? It’s awesome for kids.

Athena’s favorite part of the morning was searching for crabs. They were tiny and didn’t bother us while playing. She liked watching them poke their heads out of the shell and placing them back in the water to scurry away. It’s encouraging to see how gentle she is with all life and how little fear she has for things that once scared me.

Finding crabs at Parlee Beach, New Brunswick

We stopped at the playground before heading home. It has swings, slides and a few climbing structures. I could see her eyes grow tired from all the fun and excitement but I wanted to stay as long as possible.

Playground in Shediac, New Brunswick

There’s no question that I love extreme adventure. Put my on the wing of a plane or upside down in a cockpit and I will glow with happiness but watching Athena play at the beach brings a different joy of joy into my life. It’s simple and beautiful. It’s impossible not to smile and feel complete when you’re watching your child laugh and play.

We have a few plans tomorrow including Resurgo Place and swimming at my brother’s pool, but I’m hoping to find time for the beach every day while we’re here.

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42 thoughts on “New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach Is Perfect for Kids

  1. Parlee Beach is great. I’m glad you had a great day and can’t wait to read about your visit to Resurgo as I’ve been looking into taking Emiky there. If Athena likes butterfly, you should take her to butterfly world at the boardwalk. It is small but Emily always wants to go. It’s all about being surrounded by butterflies…. I hope you enjoy your vacations.

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    • It will be my first time at Resurgo but I will let you know how it goes.

      My brother takes about how much his daughter likes Butterfly World. I’ll have to add it to the list. I think it’s something Athena would really like and it’s not far from where we are staying 🙂

      Any other tips or suggestions?

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      • The zoo is small when comparing to the big ones out there but it’s lovely. Magic mountain water park is fun but I find it’s always too crowded for my liking. We have treego (zip lining and playing in the trees) at Centenial park. They have a course for kids but il not sure what the height requirement is. Centenial park as water features and a pool. Nothing to compare to Parkee beach but it will do the trick on a hot day. Lobster cruises out of the Pointe du Chene wharf are fun if you like lobsters. Hopewell rock is a must do if you want to walk on the ocean floor but be sure to verify the schedule for the tides. At the boardwalk, after butterfly world, you can play mini-golf. This is always fun too. I am sure we have other things to do too with a little lady like Athena :). It’s just been awhile since Emily was little.

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        • Great tips!

          This is what we have booked:
          Magic Mountain
          Magnetic Hill Zoo
          The Lobster Cruise
          Camping at Fundy
          (Basically all of your great ideas)

          I think we’re going to Broadleaf too but I’m not sure yet. I’d like to include the drive-in as well but I’m asking for a lot. I can’t help myself. I like to stay busy.

          I’m totally adding Butterfly World. Is mini-golf there? Athena has never played mini-golf but I’m sure she would have fun.

          How old is Emily?

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          • I did good with my suggestions. :).
            I’ve been to Broadleaf with work as a team building activity. I had never been on a horse but I enjoyed it. Does Athena ride? Emily does therapeutic riding and loves horses. Her coaches feel like she could ride that kind of horses on her own. It’s a nice ranch on the way to Fundy.
            Mini-golf is at the Boardwalk. They have some other games there too. Its on Mountain road on the left just before you will turn for the zoo and magic mountain.
            Emily is 17 but relates more to younger kids than she does with her peers. She’s mentally much younger but physically looks 17. It’s challenging sometimes but I get to constantly see the excitement you see now in Athena. Sand, tiny crabs, butterfly, zoo animals… She holds my hand and appreciates everything like a younger kid would. She loves all animals and discover activities on her own time. This year she started to sail on the Shediac Bay. She really likes it.
            The drive-in is really fun but the first movie starts around 10pm so of you plan on watching both movies, you will leave Shediac after 2am. We make a bed in the back of our 4Runner for Emily to lay down. She tends to fall asleep there 🙂

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  2. Try visiting Magnetic Hill while you’re there in New Brunswick. It’s a neat little side-trek if you happen to find yourselves in Moncton.
    If you’re going on into Nova Scotia, then definitely stop off at the Bay of Fundy! Highest tides on Earth!

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    • Athena is a little too young to understand Magnetic Hill but I’ve done it a number of times. I love that area, especially Magic Mountain.

      The Bay of Fundy is on our list but we will visit in New Brunswick. We’re going to camp in that area. (It will be Athena’s first camping trip.) We may stop at Cape Enrage too. Have you been there before?

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      • All the hill is is an optical illusion. If she knows what those are, then just say the hill is a real-life one. Or, just say there’s a huge magnet at the top of it — that’ll work, too.
        😉
        Fundy’s best as an all-day visit, because you’ll need at least six hours to get the full spectacle.
        As for Cape Enrage, I haven’t been there (yet) — what’s there to see/do?

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  3. I remember when I was a child of about ten we use to go fishing down in Mexico (I lived in San Diego). One of my favorite activities was to chase these tiny soft sand crabs. They would wash in and out of the tide and could bury faster than I could reach them. It kept my sister and I occupied for hours running in and out while my parents shore fished.

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    • I think she recently had a growth spurt. I can even notice the difference.

      We’re always happy at the beach but this one is perfect for us. It’s funny how things change. I would never have gone to a beach without waves before Athena was born. Now, it’s what we search for. 🙂

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      • Yes, she seems so much taller. Glad that you found a beach that was fun. Although I have never had a child I can see how things would change. I feel that way about where we moved and seeing things through different eyes!

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  4. There is nothing quite like watching your child, or now, our grandchildren, playing in the sand and a safe sea, making castles and finding wildlife. Enjoy your days together enjoying the simple life. It us lovely to see Athena smiling and growing up. 🙂

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  5. Hi Lesley,
    I loved learning as a parent that watching my children having fun and being happy, was as rewarding as when I did so myself!
    Three weeks together – how wonderful!

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  6. Next stop, Prince Edwards? It is a beautiful summer destination. The descriptions laid back, idyllic, pastoral, breathtaking equally describe it.

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  7. Love the crabs. I’m glad she likes to play with them and is not afraid. Ocean shores that have rocks and drop-offs and crashing waves have a wonderful place in my heart and soul…but sometimes when you’re a parent, you just want to relax and enjoy the time with your kid for a bit. I totally get how appealing this beach is to both of you. 😉

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  8. This is so cute! I’m such a water person and I love the beach. I live in Redondo Beach, CA and I can’t wait to have beach days when we have kids. 🙂

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  9. Sounds like such a fab place to be! One of my favorite parts of visiting the beach when I was a young kid was searching for crabs, so I’m so glad that this pastime hasn’t been lost on the newest generation – seriously, was the highlight of my day!!

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