It’s maybe the best of family traditions. Taking a nice relaxing vacation together—away from the hectic schedules of work and school—and making family memories that last a lifetime. Swimming, hiking, fishing, lounging—doing it as a family that one special time of year. The good news is that you don’t need to give up the comforts of home to get away from it all and keep that tradition alive. Most Ontario resorts go out of their way to make sure your family has everything it needs to inspire those special memories. Believe me, we’ve checked. And even made a list to prove our point. The resorts listed here cater to the specific needs of families—they offer joint activities for all family members as well as individual activities for toddlers, children, preteens and young adults. Parents who want to put their feet up and take in the beautiful scenery will have plenty of loungers and scenic sunsets and active families will find a variety of sports and recreational activities to encourage quality time together.
Family Water Sports, Adventure and Art Camp at Bayview Wildwood
Tucked between the wilderness of the Canadian Shield and the shores of Sparrow Lake, Bayview Wildwood is an all-inclusive resort that is perfect for family getaways. Explore Sparrow Lake with the Resorts of Sparrow Lake Cruise, wherein a friendly and knowledgeable staff member will introduce you and your family to the hidden treasures of Sparrow Lake’s scenic shores. Morning Pontoon Boat Rides to Lauderdale offer an invigorating morning trip on the calm, clear lake and sunset cruises take families around the resort to experience stunning summer sunsets from all of the best spots. Families can also make good use of the water bikes, kayaks and paddle boards to create summer memories while staying active in the great outdoors.
Bayview Wildwood also features two separate kids’ camps: the art camp will keep your young Picassos busy with improv, drama skits, craft time, talent shows, mask-making workshops, and messy art projects (bring clothes that can get dirty!). These activities are interspersed with outdoor adventures so that the artsy young ones still get the most out of the beautiful natural surroundings.
The adventure camp will teach kids valuable survival skills in an outdoor setting. Activities include a compass workshop, scavenger hunt, soccer baseball, canoe and kayak lessons, banana boating, sand castle competitions, knot-tying workshops, nature hikes, and ecology lessons in a wilderness setting where they’ll make friends for many summers to come.
And what if your kids are on the young side? A 3-to-6 program combines the age-appropriate crafts and adventures of the two kids’ camps and delivers them in a secure and supervised setting.
Group Scuba Diving, Rock Climbing, and Ultimate Frisbee at Fern Resort
The Fern Resort on Lake Couchiching has over 120 years of experience providing quality family vacations for guests of all ages. Allowing family members to spend time together as well as explore personal interests, the resort’s engaging staff, scenic location, and all-inclusive format will let everyone enjoy their summer, both together and on their own terms.
Family-oriented activities include Yoga, Zumba, and dance classes lead by the resort’s qualified teachers in their fitness centre. Scuba diving lessons will inspire adventurous types to live out their Jacques Cousteau fantasies and conquer the depths of Lake Couchiching. Families can also challenge themselves with the rope course and take out their frustrations in a spirited game of paintball. The resort also organizes a family scavenger hunt, allowing you and your loved ones to share an adventure in the great outdoors.
Fern Resort also offers age-specific activities. Teens (13 to 17 years) can challenge themselves by scaling the resort’s climbing wall with qualified instructors, participate in paintball battles, learn scuba diving, and relax with a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Youth (10 to 12 years) can improve their serve and backhand with tennis lessons, and learn how to bait a hook or untangle a line with fishing lessons. The Playvillage program lets younger children explore the resort under direct supervision and parents can feel secure with the sign-in-and-out structure. Younger children are supervised while they enjoy craft time, horse and carriage rides, or bounce around on the trampolines. Even nap time is supervised.
Explore the Lake of Bays with Loved Ones at Lumina Resort
Lumina Resort manages to be kid friendly while also catering to the recreational needs of parents. A mile of shoreline on the Lake of Bays will be the setting for your traditional, child-friendly family vacation, which includes full maid service, chef-prepared meals (customized for the pickiest of eaters!) and an array of supervised children’s activities. Some cottages can comfortably accommodate up to two families and others are large enough for couples and smaller groups.
Families can take advantage of Lumina Resort’s boat rentals to explore the unique shoreline and surrounding wilderness of the Lake of Bays. Rent boats by day or week and discover the sheltered coves and bays that make up this pristine body of water. There are islands to explore and the villages of Dorset, Baysville and Dwight are accessible by water for additional sightseeing. The kids can learn to fish on one of the best trout fishing lakes in Canada—after the pictures are taken and the high-fives are given out, the chef will happily prepare your family’s catch of the day upon request. Speaking of meals, the resort’s beam, glass, and stone dining room features panoramic views of the lake as well as a daily kid’s main course and dessert option, in case they don’t like the adult menu. The resort’s skilled chefs are flexible and accommodating with regards to food allergies and dietary restrictions.
Lumina Resort’s fully supervised children’s program is run twice daily and additional supervision is provided on some evenings. The resort organizes daily sports tournaments for kids and preteens and the evening social program is intended for the whole family. There is also water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing and, if you prefer to stay closer to shore, beach volleyball, ping pong, basketball, and an arcade room for those rainy days. Lumina’s Petticoat Junction offers fully supervised programming for younger children (3 to 10 years) and includes arts and crafts lessons, wilderness hikes, organized sports tournaments, and other outdoor adventures.
The Comforts of Home in a Wilderness Setting at Pine Vista Resort
Your family will have plenty of space to roam in Pine Vista Resort’s 200 acres of natural woodland terrain and 1000 feet of waterfront. The resort offers the natural beauty of Stoney Lake and your family can enjoy a wide variety of activities on the private sandy beach. Pine Vista’s accommodations include four-star waterfront cottages or a resort townhouse equipped with full kitchen, four-piece bathroom, living room with TV/DVD/VCR, a deck with a BBQ as well as a whirlpool and air conditioning.
The pristine Stoney Lake reaches ideal swimming temperatures in the summer and on colder days, families can take advantage of the resort’s heated swimming pool or hot tub under the stars. Canoes, kayaks, and boats are available to explore Stoney Lake or teach the little ones how to catch their first fish. Those who prefer to stay on dry land will appreciate a hike along the lake’s shoreline or cast their line off one of the docks.
Families can enjoy nightly campfires, pool and volleyball tournaments, organized canoe trips and other exciting activities for teens and adults. Children 4 years and up can take part in supervised crafts, theme days, nature hikes, as well as water sports. Organized children’s activities run Monday through Friday in the summer season for four hours per day. Experienced and certified recreation staff provide secure supervision in a fun environment. In addition to the jam-packed activity schedule, the resort also features an indoor playroom and a preschool play area beside the beach for toddlers. This fenced-in, secure area is partially shaded and includes climbers, a sandbox, a playhouse, and a teeter-totter—everything the little tykes need to enjoy the summer.
A Quiet Getaway on the Scenic Waterfront of Severn Lodge
Owned and operated by multiple generations of the Breckbill family since 1936, the staff of Severn Lodge has decades of experience providing family vacations in this historic Muskoka resort. The current generation of Breckbills upholds the resort traditions of providing fun and relaxing getaways in a secluded setting on the Gloucester Pool waterway.
Parents will appreciate the lake view accommodations and variety of options for their stay at the lodge. Choose an inclusive family package and get daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, use of recreational facilities, supervised kids’ activities and evening entertainment for the whole family. Private cottages and suites with full kitchens or kitchenettes are also available, allowing your family to decide how to best enjoy the lush natural surroundings and scenic shores of Gloucester Pool.
The all-inclusive packages will take care of all the meal prep and clean up, leaving maximum time for fun and enjoyment in the Muskoka wilderness. Organized group activity options will let you enjoy each other’s company while venturing into the surrounding natural terrain on hikes and adventures with other families. The Severn Lodge dining area allows families to socialize and kids to make new friends. A robust kid’s menu will appeal to the pickiest eater, combining healthy fresh ingredients with familiar options like pizza, homemade soup, chicken fingers, and mac and cheese.
Blue Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Resort has a choose-your-own-adventure philosophy for family getaways. Whether your clan is active, sporty, sun-seeking, or in need of some laidback beach lounging, this resort has an activity or comfortable lounge chair for everyone’s choosing. Children and parents can explore the two climbing walls, the Plunge! Aquatic Centre, zip lining, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, cross-country biking, paddle boats, kayaks, and putting course, just to start.
An award-winning resort on the beautiful Katchewanooka Lake, the sandy beach at Lakeside Cottages resort lets families enjoy kayak lessons, canoes, and paddle boats. Rent a boat and motor or bring your own and take advantage of Lakeside Cottages’ resident fishing guide, Mike. There’s plenty of fun on shore as well, with a playground, baby swings, tree house, and beach toy box for the little ones. Sun loungers line the beach letting parents sit back and enjoy the scenery. Library books are available for beach readers or you can just sit back and watch the picturesque sunset.
Sunny Point Resort
For families who truly want to get away from it all, Sunny Point Resort on the edge of Muskoka offers the ultimate in lakefront privacy with only seven total suites in its waterfront inn. Additionally, fully equipped three to seven-bedroom cottages offer a family vacation experience off the beaten path. The resort is located on over 2,600 feet of waterfront and the clean and well-maintained cottages are pet-friendly. Families can enjoy canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, rowboats, a water slide, a water trampoline, as well as secure swimming areas, extensive docks, boat rentals, laundry service, WiFi, a video library, as well as the sauna.
This summer, nurture your family’s vacation tradition—or start one up. Experience the refreshing breezes and cooling waterways of the countryside. Try a new outdoor activity or just sit down in a lounger by the lake and enjoy the sunsets. And do it together, as a family. Because Ontario resorts let everyone, young and old, experience relaxation and recreation on their own terms with a wide range of resorts that will facilitate quality time in a beautiful natural setting.