Today’s guest post was written by Thao Tram Ngo, a writer for Bus.com who’s based in Montreal, but often travels to Toronto and its surrounding areas. We visited Niagara Falls last summer and plan to return to Toronto later this summer for a family reunion. We realize we don’t have a lot of Ontario content on this blog, so we’re happy to share Thao’s top weekend getaways near Toronto. Have you visited any of these places? What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
5 Weekend Family Getaways Near Toronto, Ontario
You don’t need to travel far from Toronto for an awesome weekend getaway with the family. There are options near the city suited for everyone’s vacation-style, whether you’re looking for a relaxing resort or an adventure outdoors. From kid-friendly activities to R&R for the adults, these are some of the top destinations near Toronto that are perfect for a family road trip.
And, should you make it more of a family reunion, a Toronto charter bus rental is a great way to make sure that all the in-laws and extended cousins travel safely without anyone getting lost.
As an activity-based resort, Blue Mountain’s main appeal for a family getaway is that everything is within reach. Once you get to resort grounds, which are a mere 90 minutes north of Toronto, you’re all set to dive into your weekend.
With a 40-acre pedestrian village, 45 restaurants, and 2 spas all hosted on-site, you won’t even need to leave the resort – which means no extra traveling required!
For days when you feel like breaking a sweat, sports activities are available throughout the year: golf, tennis, hiking, mountain biking during warmer seasons, and 42 ski and snowboarding trails in the wintertime. It’s no wonder people consider Blue Mountain as a year-round playground for both children and adults.
If you don’t ski or bike, fret not – there is still plenty of things to keep you busy! Whether it’s visiting the Aquatic Centre, cruising around with a Mountaintop Segway Tour, embarking on a culinary adventure with the Apple Pie Trail, riding a rollercoaster down the mountain, or hopping on an open-air gondola up the slope, the whole family is bound to find something fun to do.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Vacationing with your family in the Great Outdoors is often synonymous with renting a rustic cabin and enjoying the sweet serenity that nature offers. Disconnect from your daily routine with a breather from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Our suggestion? Head to the wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park for a memorable family experience.
As Ontario’s biggest provincial park, Algonquin Park crawls with numerous hikes and canoe trails. Amongst those recommended for children, you can lead your family through the Logging Museum Trail, Hardwood Lookout Trail, and Fire Tower Trail for a day chock-full of fun challenges.
Being tucked away at a quiet cottage is also the perfect occasion for you to unwind with the kids, catch up on some downtime, enjoy a good read, or even witness a moose photo op if you get lucky!
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in Niagara Falls. You can get the fun started at the Great Wolf Lodge which is a family fan favourite for several reasons. This beloved resort houses a ton of kid-friendly activities including their impressive and renowned indoor water park. There’s also a bowling alley with smaller lanes and lighter balls making it the perfect practice ground for first-timers.
If you haven’t done so already, consider taking a boat trip underneath the falls on board the classic Hornblower. There’s no better way to combine fun and learning for the kids than by seeing the water up close and personal.
Not too keen on the usual tourist activities? Head over to the bike trails along the Niagara River, the Butterfly Conservatory, or the Bird Kingdom aviary within the Niagara Parks system for something different.
Don’t forget to visit Clifton Hill for some out-of-the-box entertainment. Home to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Hershey’s World of Chocolate, the Movieland Wax Museum, midway rides, and haunted houses, the main street in Niagara Falls is a must visit attraction for all ages.
Related: How to Spend 4 days in Niagara Falls with Kids
Prince Edward County
Perfectly nestled between Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, Prince Edward County is a quaint rural community rich in history and natural beauty.
With unpretentious, laid-back vibes, it’s an ideal destination for families looking to escape the city. Stripped from large-chain hotels, the region gets its charm from the adorable inns and unique B&B’s that populate the area.
Despite being known for its restaurants, wineries, farms, and local food producers, it’s much more than just a foodie and wine region. Among the activities available, you can go antique shopping, rent a bicycle tour, or even book a farm experience for you and the kids. You can learn about where our food comes from, go on horse rides, find your way through a corn maze, and feed baby farm animals.
Try to be in the area on a Saturday morning – that’s when a farmers’ market and waterside playground come to life.
While you’re there, be sure to include a visit to Sandbanks Provincial Park. It boasts walking trails that guests can use to explore dunes and wetlands, as well as three beautiful sandy beaches known to be the largest in Ontario. If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly option, Outlet Beach would be your best bet with its shallow waters and gentle drop off.
Related post – 5 Best Kayaking Trips in Canada
Combining fun and an enriching opportunity to learn about arts and crafts, travel to Elora Gorge to create priceless family memories. Not only is this riverfront town filled with unique art shops, you can also go on the hunt for delicious ice cream – an activity your kids will surely enjoy.
If you’re more interested in outdoor adventure, the Elora Gorge will be your go-to recreation centre with its slew of outdoors activities: you can go tubing, cycling, ziplining, fishing, rock climbing, or even paddling down the Grand River.
Have you visited these getaways near Toronto?
What would you add to this list?
Share you thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclosure – This is a guest post from Thao Tram Ngo of Bus.com, one of our travel partners.