A running rave, a beachy colour explosion and the rest of this summer’s wildest outdoor events
The Roving Rave
Night Nation Run
July 23, Woodbine Racetrack
This clean-clubbing throwdown is an electro festival disguised as a road race. Thousands of runners dance their way through a five-kilometre course dotted with DJ booths, selfie stations and light shows before hitting the gargantuan main stage, where a mystery headliner performs a sweaty set for the mass of neon-clad adrenalin junkies. nightnationrun.com.
The Undead Pursuit
Zombie Mud Run
Sept. 17, Campark Resorts, Niagara Falls
Undead enthusiasts can mimic their favourite Walking Dead characters as they dodge reanimated corpses—i.e., volunteers—and race through five klicks of waterslides, mud pits and other obstacles. If they lose all three of their lives—i.e., flag football–style ribbons— they can get more lives at a “vaccination” tent or join the flesh-hungry horde. zombiemudruncanada.com.
The Pedal-Powered Concert
Bicycle Music Festival
Sept. 10, Evergreen brick works and Prairie Drive Park
The show goes on the road—literally. The party starts at a park to be determined, where musicians trick out their bikes with power amps, instruments and glowing gear. Then they ride for an hour and a half to Prairie Drive Park, blasting music on the road and stopping for half-hour sets. This year’s lineup: indie star Jason Collett, Zimbabwean crooners Nhapitapi and science rockers the Moon Runners. torontobicyclemusicfestival.com.
The Rainbow Rumpus
Sept. 4, Centennial Park
To kick off Holi, a joyous Hindu celebration of the arrival of spring, people worldwide build bonfires, party in the streets and spray each other with coloured powder. This one-day bacchanal comes a little late but packs all the same festivities, plus a five-kilometre obstacle run, amusement rides and a neon-paint after-party. happyholi.ca.
The Island Expedition
Aug. 19 to 21, Artscape Gibraltar Point
Wavelength’s namesake weekend camping fest pairs buzzy bands—like Cleveland garage rockers Cloud Nothings and noisy local boys Odonis Odonis—with summer-camp shenanigans on the Island. Campers can expect giant-puppet dance shows, organized geocaching outings, synchronized swimming performances, and a smorgasbord of art and light installations. wavelengthmusic.ca.
The Urban Adventure
GoodLife City Chase
Aug. 20, downtown
Teams of two decipher clues that send them through Amazing Race–style challenges scattered across the city. Once they conquer 10 trials—which may include perfecting a synchronized swimming routine, navigating an obstacle course while carrying a canoe, or eating creepy-crawlies—they race back to the start for the crown (or at least the after-party). goodlifefitnesscitychase.com.
The Frothy Dash
July 16, Dagmar Resort, Uxbridge
This obstacle course is more Wipeout than Tough Mudder. Runners climb up a cargo net, glide down an inflatable slide, race through a human car wash (basically a bouncy castle filled with foam) and leap into a ginormous cushion before sloshing past the foamy finish line. The prize: a medal, a Popsicle and a towel to wipe off the coconut-based suds. 5kfoamfest.com.
The Portable Party
Aug. 5, Underpass Skate Park
Cyclists strap lights to their spokes and hang glow sticks from their handlebars for this after-hours extravaganza. DIY shop Bike Pirates covers the nitty-gritty: the starting point (a park), the route (a mix of main and side streets) and the playlist (non-stop electro). bikepirates.com.