Southern Ontario Winter Getaways for Families

Bayview Wildwood Ontario Winter Getaways for Families-SavvyMom

Winter 2020/21 was a bit of a bust for most Ontario families. And while technically we are allowed to travel again, we completely understand that many families don’t quite feel ready yet to hop on a plane or cross a border. (Plus have you seen the cost of groceries and gas lately!) Thankfully, winter 2021/22 is shaping up to be a great one for Ontario winter getaways for families.

Many local Ontario resorts and attractions are back to almost business-as-usual and quite a few are offering discounts to get you through their doors. As well, earlier this month, the provincial government announced the launch of the Staycation Ontario Tax Credit program. Valid only for 2022, this effort to get Ontarians spending the night at eligible accommodations could put up to $400 back in your pocket, come the 2023 tax season.

Below, we round up 10 family-friendly resorts and attractions that are perfect for Ontario winter getaways for families. And while we are emphasizing spots where you can hit the slopes, we also included a few destinations that don’t involve skis or snowboards. We’ve also answered the question we know your kids will have, “Is there a pool?”

10 Southern Ontario Winter Getaways for Families

Bayview Wildwood Resort
Severn Bridge, ON

Distance from Toronto: Nearly two hours
Is there a pool: Yes

This Muskoka-area resort may not offer downhill skiing, but it does feature tons of other outdoor activities including skating, tobogganing and even ice fishing. But don’t worry about having to pack your skates, sled, or bait; Bayview supplies all the equipment you need, at no extra charge. Also included in your resort fee is access to several family-friendly indoor activities, such as an indoor playground. Bayview offers several accommodation options, including cottages, and has an “all-inclusive” meal package that features access to a delicious buffet breakfast.

Blue Mountain Resort
The Blue Mountains, ON

Distance from Toronto: Just over two hours
Is there a pool: Plunge! Aquatic Centre is available for an additional fee.

Featuring 365 skiable acres and three terrain parks, Blue Mountain is one of the most popular ski and snowboard resorts in Ontario. It’s also a great place to learn how to master the slopes, due to its well-established ski school, which includes lessons for kids. Not into skiing? Blue Mountain has you covered with tubing, fat biking, and its ever-popular Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster. The resort, located just outside Collingwood, is also rich in accommodation options.

The Blue Mountain Village offers nine different “lodges,” and the surrounding area is full of condo-style rentals. Also in abundance are a wide variety of dining options, meaning even the pickiest eater in your family will be satisfied. If you’re looking for Christmas getaway, note the Blue Mountain Resort is hosting its Holiday Magic festival from November 19 until January 2, 2022.

Deerhurst Resort

Distance from Toronto: Approximately two-and-a-half hours
Is there a pool: Yes

Whatever the weather, your family is sure to make memories at this popular Muskoka resort. Its lengthy list of outdoor activities include snowshoeing, winter disc golf, and curling. Deerhurst is also a quick drive to Arrowhead Park and its famous skating trail and is located next to Hidden Valley Highlands ski hill, where your family can enjoy 12 runs and a terrain park. Indoors, Deerhurst offers an indoor playground, a climbing wall, and an arcade. Several on-site dining options are available, and accommodations range from classic hotel rooms to three-bedroom suites.

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Niagara Falls, ON

Distance from Toronto: Not quite two hours
Is there a pool: Yes

Is your family more into beaches than ski slopes? Then perhaps a weekend getaway to an indoor waterpark would be a better fit. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is, “125,000 square feet of action-packed water fun” that includes a wave pool, a giant tipping bucket, and slides suitable for all ages. There’s also the Jungle Beach dry playground, for when your kids need a break from the water. Passes start at $34.99 and are available to all members of the public. This means that while you can stay at one of the four hotels connected to the waterpark, your family also has the option to stay anywhere in Niagara Falls.

Fern Resort
Ramara, ON

Distance from Toronto: Nearly two hours
Is there a pool: Yes

All-inclusive resorts aren’t just found down south. Fern Resort takes the popular all-inclusive model and brings it to cottage country where everything from broom ball to skating to curling are included in your stay (and yes, that means that all needed equipment is also covered). If your family takes advantage of one of Fern’s special packages, additional activities and events, such as horse-drawn hayrides, are also covered by your fee. Regardless of when you go, your stay will include three sit-down meals, which feature gluten-free and vegan options. And while alcohol isn’t included in your stay, it is available for purchase.

Great Wolf Lodge
Niagara Falls, ON

Distance from Toronto: Not quite two hours
Is there a pool: Yes

Let’s be honest: Great Wolf Lodge is probably the only resort on this list that your child could name. It’s well-established even among the kindergarten set and for good reason: It pretty much has everything a kid could want. There’s a lazy river, a four-storey interactive treehouse, slides suitable for all ages and confidence levels, and so much more! Great Wolf also offers plenty of fun on dry land, including bowling, arcade games, and a special, magical quest. Four accommodation options, including themed suites, are available and meals can be purchased à la carte or as part of a package. Alternatively, you can always order in or head into Niagara Falls and select from its wide range of restaurants.

Hockley Valley
Mono, ON

Distance from Toronto: Approximately 90 minutes
Is there a pool: No

Looking for a scenic getaway where your family’s focus can be on perfecting their form on the slopes? Then Hockley Valley may be the right spot. Aiming to open its slopes the weekend of December 11 and 12, Hockley Valley features 16 ski and snowboarding runs suitable for a variety of skills. It also features an 8,000 square foot spa; send the kids to ski school and then indulge in a facial or a couples’ massage. Also worthy of indulging in is Cabin, Hockley Valley’s well-regarded gourmet restaurant. Several less fancy dining options are also available.

Horseshoe Valley
Barrie, ON

Distance from Toronto: Approximately 90 minutes
Is there a pool: Yes

Home to Ontario’s longest snow tubing hill, Horseshoe Valley is the spot for families looking for winter thrills. It also houses 29 downhill ski and snowboard runs (20 that you can fly down at night), guided snowmobiling tours and fat bikes. Looking for something a little more mellow? Visit Horseshoe’s on-site outdoor skating rink or cross-country ski or snowshoe through the 30km of groomed trails. Horseshoe offers several dining options as well as three lodging choices, including condo-style rentals.

Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre
Alliston, ON

Distance from Toronto: Just over an hour
Is there a pool: Yes

While the adults in your family will rave about Nottawasaga’s fantastic food, your kids will flip for its tropical-themed pool area, which includes a three-storey, 100m long waterslide. Once they’ve had their fill of pool time, pay a visit to the indoor miniature golf course, then the arcade and games room. Nottawasaga also features an extensive fitness area that includes squash and racquetball courts. While Nottawasaga is light on outdoor activities (though it does offer walking trails), it’s a short drive away from Earl Rowe Provincial Park where your family can cross country ski and snowshoe. Nottawasaga offers a variety of different room types, including suites with in-room Jacuzzis.

Ski Snow Valley
Barrie, ON

Distance from Toronto: Approximately 90 minutes
Is there a pool: No but several local hotels do offer pools

Unlike most of the other spots on this list, you can’t spend the night at Ski Snow Valley. But we’ve decided to include it anyway because this spot is just so family friendly. In addition to nine beginner runs and kid-focused lessons, it offers on-site childcare for kids aged six months to five years. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Ski Snow Valley also offers snowtubing and snowshoeing. While Ski Snow Valley’s Barrie location makes it totally doable as a daytrip, if your family wants to spend the night, the city offers a number of popular hotel chairs, including a Hampton Inn & Suites and a Holiday Day Express, both of which have pools.

There are many amazing Ontario minibreak options that are wonderful at any time of year, but Ontario winter getaways for families are really extra special.

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