Summer vacation is a time to relax. But let’s be real: we love our kids, but keeping them occupied all day long can be a handful. If only there was some place where we could spend time together as a family, provide tons of activities for the kids all day long, and be good and relaxed at the end of the day...
There is such a place - not far from home. Ontario’s resorts are amazing places to bring the family, spend time together, and start a great tradition.
Spending your family vacation at an Ontario resort has a lot of advantages. It’s less complicated than an overseas holiday: affordable, no exchanging currency, no stressful flights, customs or passports, or second-guessing how much a vacation will actually cost. Just a quick two- or three-hour countryside drive, and you and your family can have all your needs attended to in one place. You can then spend all your time relaxing and making the memories you’ll always cherish.
Thinking of a full, extended-family trip, or a trip with two or more families? At a resort, different families can get their own cabins, so you can spend the day doing stuff together and then each have your own space when the day is done.
Ever end up in a situation where half the family wants to do one thing, and the other half another? Not a problem. One group can hit the beach while the other group goes for a hike, then everyone can meet up to tell each other all about the day’s adventures.
There are so many activities at our resorts that the words “Mom, I’m bored!” will never be heard. Here’s a list of our top recommendations for family-friendly Ontario resorts:
Blue Mountain Resort (Georgian Bay)
Blue Mountain is a resort with an absolute ton of family-oriented activities. The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster is sort of like a roller coaster - except it’s out in the open woods, and you control the speed yourself! The Chutes and Lumber Ball Run lets kids roll a wooden ball through a huge downhill obstacle course. The Plunge! Aquatic Centre is full of activities to let kids create their own water fun, with both indoor and outdoor pools. The Cascade Putting Course is an 18-hole mini-golf course for the whole family.
In addition to these and many other activities, Blue Mountain offers summer camps where kids can spend a whole day on the mountain, at the beach or on the tennis court.
This Lake of Bays gem has a specific program just for kids, at no extra cost. The fully supervised program for kids aged 3-10 takes place twice a day, from 10-12 and 2-4, including activities such as nature hikes, sports, arts and crafts and field trips. In addition, the program includes the Sunday night “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” during which Mom and Dad can have a nice dinner alone. For older kids, there’s a sports tournament every day open to pre-teens; the resort also offers beachside water toys and activities, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as an arcade room and ping-pong tables for indoor fun.
Rocky Crest Resort (Muskoka)
This full-service golf resort also has plenty of activities for the young ones. The resort runs a full day camp, where for a small extra charge you can send your kids off for a full day or half-day of water games, arts and crafts, and all kinds of outdoor fun. The program is for kids aged 4-12 and activities are organized for different age groups. The littlest guests will enjoy the playground and free buffet when accompanied by an adult. On top of all that, the resort also organizes evening programs for the whole family, including poolside bingo, nature walks and scavenger hunts!
Severn Lodge (Muskoka)
This lodge has families in mind, offering a fully supervised kids’ program, broken up into the Toddler Program (ages 2-4), Junior Program (5-8) and Youth Program (9-12). Even if your kids are enrolled, parents are free to take them out at any time for family adventures. There’s also family-friendly entertainment every evening, as well as a host of activities the whole family can do together, from water sports to hikes to boating and fishing. Severn’s devotion to family fun has earned the lodge mentions in the travel books 100 Best Family Resorts in North America and What to Do With the Kids This Summer.
Other family-friendly resorts in Ontario
Big Moose Camp (between North Bay and Algonquin Park)
Bondi Village Cottage Resort (Muskoka)
Clearview Cottage Resort (Kawarthas)
Lakeside Cottages (Kawarthas)
Southview Cottages (Kawarthas)