The Best Summer Activities Around the EC World – pt.2

Last month we looked at the top summer activities in our EC English school locations in Europe, the UK and Cape Town. You can read all about them here. This month, we’re hopping over to the US and Canada to see what’s on offer and wow… there are events and activities to suit every taste! There’s everything from theater to sport and art to nature. With all these and the school activities already on offer, a summer of fun is a certainty! So, get out there and experience life speaking English with new friends.

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If you’re going to be studying English at EC Montreal between the 6th and 16th of June this summer, you’re in for a real treat! For these eleven days, Saint-Laurent Boulevard is host to the annual Mural Festival. A festival of urban art, live art, music and talk all in celebration of art! Now in its sixth year, the Mural Festival has successfully transformed the city and made it a top destination for artists from all over the world. You can expect to see walls getting transformed with colour before your very eyes and even if you arrive after these dates, you can still walk around the area and admire the art they’ve created.


The Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto sees the streets come alive with music and dancing. This year is its 31st year and it only gets better. Musicians and fans come together, not just locally but from all over the world to celebrate this style. The beach village area is the epicenter of the events, where there will be music pouring out of windows and doors when its not playing on the street. Enjoy the sounds as you walk by, take part in some dancing as the music infects your bones. For anyone with an interest in playing jazz, there are several free events to take part in too.


Giving its coastal location, it’s no surprise that Vancouver has plenty of outdoor events for summer. For anyone studying English here, it gets even better. Why, you ask? Well, it just so happens that there are two regular outdoor theater events. Theater Under the Stars (or TUTS) and Bard on the Beach. TUTS is a favourite of locals and tourists, bringing musical theater to the outdoor stage since 1940! 2019 sees Mamma Mia grace the stage so you can go and practice your English by singing along to your favourite tunes. Bard on the Beach is an outdoor theater exclusively for Shakespeare’s plays. From June to September you can watch a wild western version of the Taming of the Shrew or the traditional telling of Shakespeare in Love, among others.


For something unique to Boston, go to the Mapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library and stand in the centre of the world. You can get inside this three-storey glass globe and put your geography knowledge to the test or just marvel at what an incredible creation it is. It was built in the 1930’s using stained glass to map out the countries and oceans. So, considering its age, some of the countries on there don’t even exist anymore! Which, of course, only adds to the fun of guessing what they are. LED light displays accompanied by music and words, illustrate how ideas and borders have moved and shifted since the 1930’s. A final fun feature of the Mapparium is its acoustic quality. Due to the spherical shape, a whisper will travel from one edge to other loud and clear, but someone standing in the middle will hear little or nothing at all!

Los Angeles

For a real sense of Los Angeles, gather your friends and plan a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. This is an amphitheater tucked into the Hollywood hills so expect gorgeous views as well as a day to remember. You can go when there is no performance but let’s be real… this is a venue that has hosted the Beatles, Depeche Mode and the Muppets. Need we say any more? Go when there’s a show and you can even bring your own bottle of wine! If you forget your picnic, you can buy a prepared one at the venue and still have the full Hollywood Bowl experience.


If you can manage to lure yourself away from the beaches, your next stop should be an air-boat tour of the famous Florida Everglades. The Everglades are a unique subtropical wetland of about 2 million acres and are a nature lovers paradise! During a tour here, you will see and learn about the local wildlife and plants, many of which are endangered and/or unique to the area. As you cruise through the mangroves and saw-grass marshes, you can expect to see alligators, soft shell turtles and a myriad of beautiful, large water birds such as the roseate spoonbill and white ibis.

New York

New York can get hot and humid in the summer, which means it’s no surprise that waterfront activities are a popular way to cool down and relax. Locals flock to any one of the bars on a boat on the Hudson river to enjoy cool views, cool drinks and an even cooler atmosphere. There are plenty to choose from but the view of the statue of Liberty while lying back on the deck at Grand Banks is especially impressive. It’s also only a 23min subway ride from EC New York! If food is more your scene, then a visit to Smorgasburg is a must-do! It’s the largest weekly outdoor food market in the US and all the stalls are from local vendors. Brace yourself for what the New York Times calls “The Woodstock of Eating.”

San Diego

San Diego is famous for its surfing and with good reason! The variety of beaches offer a surf to suit everyone from a beginner to a pro. With that thought comes one of the summer’s best events. July 26th to 28th is the Supergirl Surf Pro event in Oceanside and it is world-class. Come and watch pro female surfers perform and compete, and in the festival village you can cruise around the stalls offering food, art and hairstyling, to name a few, while other live entertainment comes in the form of free concerts, women’s skateboarding and DJ competitions. Wondering how to top it all off? How about sitting back and discussing the fantastic athletes in the beer and wine garden. There’s no end to the fun and is guaranteed to be awesome!

San Francisco

For the adventurous and the adrenaline-loving, check out the CSC Sailing Club. Once per month they offer a free sailing lesson on a Sunday. You’ll sail around San Francisco, one of the most beautiful bays in the world and take in the incredible sights around you. But if sailing isn’t your thing, then a night-time baseball game at the home of the Giants should do the trick. Oracle Park is right on the waterfront so expect spectacular views! If you’re in the city for the 4th of July, head here for one of the best fireworks displays in the US!

Washington DC

Step into the pages of your favourite children’s storybook or imagine your living in one of Monet’s paintings at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. These gardens are a floating paradise. Walk across boardwalks to come face-to-face with endless water lilies, wild flowers and aquatic bamboo. The colours are deliciously summery as everything will be in full bloom and the wildlife at their most active. You can even take a free guided tour with a park ranger who will help you to spot the blue herons, turtles and other wildlife in the garden.

The whole reason to learn English, or any other new language, is so you can integrate with fellow speakers. A big part of that is joining activities such as these so that you have to speak English. It’s all part of a real world experience with your new language. While enjoying yourself, you create memories and this will solidify the language for you even more. So we say, “get involved!” Whatever you school has planned, take part. What ever the locals have planned, take part. Make it a summer to remember.


Are you planning to study English abroad? EC offers classes in a variety of tempting locations around the world and they’re waiting for you.