Ontario Summer Fun Newsletter – Things to do in Ontario

 

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What are YOU going to do this weekend?
February 8, 2016
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Indoor and Outdoor Fun for the Holiday
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Ontario added a new statutory holiday a few years ago and by February, boy, do we need it! By the time we get to Family Day, it feels like we are getting over the hump of winter and this one little break can take us to the finish line that is spring. For many, it is a great opportunity to do all those outdoor winter things that we haven’t had time to do yet. For others, all we want to do is find indoor fun. We’re going to focus on the outdoors, but not to worry, on the Summer Fun Guide website, you can find something for everyone! Ontario is known for producing some very fine artists (think Group of Seven), but it is also known for housing some incredible collections of work, some in architecturally significant galleries. Plan an art tour around the province – it’s a great activity, no matter what the weather!
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Tubing
Skiing/Boarding
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If you have never been tubing, it is an exhilarating rush – sitting in a brightly coloured rubber tube hurtling down a hill  - it is like tobogganing on steroids! It takes no skill or previous experience or equipment (although some places now require helmets for kids) and is fun to do by yourself or with a group or family.  It doesn’t matter where you live as you can find snow tubing everywhere now. Here is a list of places that offer tubing – call first to ensure their Tube Park has enough snow to open:  Central Ontario: Barrie –  Snow Valley Ski Resort, Horseshoe Resort GTA: Brampton – Mount Chinguacousy, Uxbridge – Ski Lakeridge, Ottawa: Pakenham – Mount Pakenham, Eastern Ontario: Calabogie – Calabogie Peaks, Southwestern Ontario:  Kitchener – Chicopee Tube Park, London – Boler Mountain, St. Mary’s – River Valley Winter Tube Slide (1st Tube park in Ontario!) and Northern: Thunder Bay – Loch Lomond Ski Area, Timmins – Kamiskotia Snow Resort (tallest in Ontario – 12 stories high!). So go tubing and be prepared to SCREAM!!!
Unlike tubing, skiing and snowboarding require a bit more equipment (although renting is easy) and a bit more skill (although with a lesson or 2, even newbies can get down the hill). Almost all of the locations identified under Tubing have skiing and boarding too, although there are a few additional hills that don’t have tubing but do have everything else.  And unique in the world, Ontario also has private ski hills, which, like golf clubs, reserve use of the hills for members and their guest.  All of them – public and private- are 100% geared to helping you have a great time, whether you are an expert or a novice. Join a group lesson or book a private; with an instructor’s assistance, you cannot help but improve! And while tubing is an activity that takes an hour or two, you can ski and board all day (or weekend).  With lodges offering hot chocolate and food and a fireside for warming up, it is a great way to spend Family day (or any other day). Check out resorts for their ski weekend specials as many offer great accommodation/lift ticket deals.
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Stay Somewhere Cool (or cold)
Skating
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Because the upcoming weekend is a long one, there is enough time for a short getaway. So while you could book a ski/snowboard holiday, as indicated above, there are some more adventurous options too! Did you know that many of Ontario Parks offer insulated winter yurts? They sit on wooden platforms and offer a great opportunity for “glamping” year round. Enjoy a wonderful sleep in the wilderness, then spend the day hiking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing through the gorgeous park terrain. Or how about sleeping with the animals? Jungle Cat World has a bed and breakfast where you can sit bundled up on your porch and drink coffee while listening to the lions roar! Go on safari after dark when the animals come out to play.
Only have a few hours to be outside? Skating is another thing that almost everyone can do, regardless of age. If you don’t have your own skates, they are easy to rent. Check for local skating rinks in your city/town or be adventurous and travel somewhere for an exciting skating experience. Ontario actually has the world’s largest outdoor skating rink with the Rideau Canal at 7.8km, which is a natural rink as well as the longest outdoor man made skating rink in Ontario, with Arrowhead Provincial Park’s Ice Trail, a 1.3 km ice trail through the park.  Not close to either of those? No worries! Skating is cool when you do it in a special environment, but it is still a lot of fun at the local rink in your ‘hood. There is something about skating that feels like winter (and also makes you starving at the end), so grab your blades and head outdoors!
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Spring is only about 6 weeks away, and embracing the outdoors always makes the cold months go faster. This month, we have an extra day to play, so take advantage of family day and enjoy the fact that our seasons give us a lot of different opportunities that others envy. Once you’ve had your fill of the outdoors, check out some of the indoor fun at Museums and Galleries or indoor amusements and waterparks, many of which run special programming over the holiday weekend.
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Owl Prowl at Pinery Provincial Park
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OFAH Family Ice Fishing Day 2016
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Family Day Extravaganza in Mississauga
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Family Day Weekend is a great excuse to explore nature in winter. Pinery Provincial Park has cross-country skiing, skating, toboggan runs, trails, a visitor centre and the opportunity to see and learn about incredible night-time predators like the Great Horned Owl. Bring your camera! Skis & snowshoes are available for rent if needed.
February 13-15, 2016
(Grand Bend, SW Ont)


Learn  about ice fishing or introduce friends & family to ice fishing - license-free! Festivals, clinics, derbies & workshops are hosted across the province. Check the site for event locations & times.
Feb 13-15, 2016

Reptiles, Kids’ Entertainers, Live Music, Bouncy Castles, Princesses, Superheroes, Face Painting and lots more. Great fun for everyone!
Feb 15, 2016 (GTA)


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Featured indoor activity:
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Royal Ontario Museum
You don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the ROM! Bring the whole family and spend the day wandering through Canada’s largest museum of natural history and world culture. From Dinosaurs to the Bat Cave and Ancient Egypt, there are over 6 million artifacts on display in 30 galleries. Something for everyone!.


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St. Jacobs Farmers' Market & Flea Market
Visit Canada's largest year-round farmers’ market and lose yourself in the sights, sounds & taste of gourmet food, locally made crafts, home baked goods, fresh produce, flowers, clothing & more. Farmyard animals for the kids and buskers for everyone! Open Thurs & Sat year-round plus Tues in summer.


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The SFG Print Directory is now accepting updated and new listings for 2016. Sponsored by ONroute, the circulation will once again be 250,0000. To add or update YOUR listing/ad package email or call 1-866-385-1550. You can view a digital version of last year's Guide here.
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Coming In the next issue
March Break fun for all ages

Questions or comments?
Email Elisa or Shari at [email protected]

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Starting them young in Ontario. "Like” us on Facebook, and submit a photo of your winter adventures in Ontario this season!
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