Southern Ontario Winter Getaways for Families

Bayview Wildwood Ontario Winter Getaways for Families-SavvyMom

Ontario winter getaways for families? C’mon… Let’s be honest: Winter in Toronto can be a bit brutal, especially after the lights and the excitement of the holidays have faded away. And while a trip to somewhere warmer and beach-ier is likely on many people’s minds, we realize that it won’t be possible for many of us. Have you seen the prices of flights lately!

Thankfully, even in winter, there are plenty of nearby destinations where you can get a quick break from the city and reconnect with your family and with nature. Just be sure to bundle up! Below, we round up 10 family-friendly resorts and other destinations that are perfect for your Ontario winter getaway. In addition to showcasing places where your family can hit the slopes, we’ve tried to also include spots that have a range of activities, from skating to indoor playgrounds to even water parks. And we’ve made sure to answer 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 and dinner each night. The resort also offered special packages and extra activities, like live entertainment, over certain time periods, like the Family Day long weekend.

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. And let’s not forget the fireworks over the pond every Saturday night.

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 a Christmas getaway, book your stay during Blue Mountain’s Holiday Magic festival, on now until January 8. This event features beautiful lights and décor, live music and street performers, and even a roaming Santa Claus.

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 includes cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter disc golf. New this year is an outdoor skating rink, fully lit up and conveniently located outside the resort’s pub. Resort guests also have free access to Huntville’s new Eclipse Walk with Light, a forest walk that features thousands of lights and interactive sound installations.

Deerhurst is also a quick drive away from 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 $38.99 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. Stay here and your resort fee covers three tasty meals a day (yes, gluten-free, and vegan options are available), and non-alcoholic beverages (alcoholic beverages can be purchased for an additional fee). When you’re not eating, take a skate along the 1.5km skating trail, try your luck at curling or ice fishing, or have some fun in the games room, all activities that are also covered by your fee (and yes, that means that all needed equipment is also covered).

This place is so popular that it’s already booked up over the 2022 Christmas break but there is availability post-New Year’s Day.

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-story 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 laser tag, arcade games, and a special, magical quest.

New this year is a virtual reality game. Four accommodation options, including themed suites, and the newish cottages, 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 as soon as the weather will let it, 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. But if prawn risotto or Ontario venison loin isn’t to your kids’ taste, you can always order in delivery from nearby Mono.

Horseshoe Valley
Barrie, ON

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

Exciting news for fans of this nearby resort: Horseshoe Valley has recently undergone some improvements resulting in more night skiing and more snow, meaning your family can spend more time enjoying the resort’s 29 downhill ski and snowboard runs. Of course, skiing isn’t the only activity you can enjoy at Horseshoe. Whip down Ontario’s longest snow tubing hill, or
check out the trails on a guided snowmobile or fat bike tour. 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 also 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

Like the other ski resorts on this list, this one is eagerly awaiting enough consistent, cold weather to open its slopes. But once they are open, your family will enjoy one of the most kid-friendly ski resorts around. In addition to nine beginner runs and kid-focused lessons, Ski Snow Valley offers on-site childcare for kids aged six months to five years. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the resort also offers snowtubing and snowshoeing.

Unlike most of the other spots on this list, you can’t spend the night at Ski Snow Valley, but its Barrie location makes it totally doable as a daytrip. However, 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 Inn 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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