Category Archives: Summer Getaways

Ho Ho Ho Santa’s Village is the Place to go!

When I was a little girl one of my favourite memories is when we would go to Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Ontario.  Last weekend we had the chance to take our kids for the day and let me tell you, I was giddy with excitement.  I love when I can share what I enjoyed as a kid with my own children.

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I will be honest, with a 5, 7 and 11 year old in tow I wasn’t too sure how long we would be there as it’s hard to keep them all interested with such an age gap.  Well our time there was so much fun for all of us … all 7 hours of it!!  It truly is fun for all ages and a great place to make family memories.

After moving through a very quick line-up at the gates we entered into Santa’s Village where the kids were given their elf hats so they could feel like Santa’s helper for the day.  It’s these little touches that make this place great.  It was funny to see hundreds of little elves running all over the place!

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Does it get any cuter than this?

Right off the bat I loved the cozy warm feeling of Santa’s Village.  There were Christmas tunes floating through the air, you could smell the yummy goodness coming from Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop and you felt like you were in a little forest of fun with all the trees surrounding you.

Let the fun begin….

The kids were quickly drawn to the wooden cutouts where you stick your face through the hole and have your picture taken.

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So cute you could just eat up these little gingerbread people!

Next they ran over to the “old school” playground with tunnel slides and swings.  They could have spent a ton of time here but we had to drag them away so we could move more than 20 ft past the front gate.

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Dress up anyone?  This was more fun for my hubby and I probably as we dressed the kids up to have their “Christmas Card” picture taken.  There are racks of christmassy clothes you can dress up in and take pictures with some Christmas backgrounds.  Too fun!

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

And we’re off to the rides!  The Red Baron Airplane Ride, Jumpin’ Star Dropper and Air Bouncers were all a hit with the kids!  But out of the rides, I think hands down their favourite was Santa’s Roller Coaster.  The best thing about the rides, as opposed to other theme parks, is that the lines are short and move quickly which as a parent is fantastic because there’s no whining!!

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“Hungry and time for lunch” as my 5 yr old declared.  Food is all reasonably priced and there are lots of kid (and parent) friendly options from pizza, sandwiches, fries, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.  For dessert have an ice cream or Beavertail.  What we loved was the souvenir cup you can buy for $5.99 and refill for only $1.  This came in handy as it was really hot when we were there.  Another great option is that you can pack a picnic to save on costs.

Speaking of hot day, be sure to pack your bathing suits and towels to enjoy their fun splash pad and beach area.  Who doesn’t love running through candy canes that dump water on you?

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Nope, unfortunately if you lick the candy canes they don’t taste minty

Taking a break from the sun, we were happy to find the little 3D cinema where we could watch “Sleigh Ride”.  This was a short film but it was in a nice little cool building and we all got to wear big 3D glasses!

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Looking good!

Well of course while we’re at Santa’s Village there is a place where you can meet the jolly man himself.  This was definitely  at the top of our kid’s list because how often do you get to stop in for a visit with Santa in the middle of the summer.  As you stroll through his house you can see where he writes his letters, see his gift list, and maybe even find a gift already wrapped under the tree for you.  Bring your camera as you can get a pic of the kids with Santa.  And don’t forget that a  little eavesdropping from the parents and you can start your Christmas shopping early!  😉

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After seeing Santa, be sure and go visit his trusty reindeer that help him get the presents delivered on Christmas Eve.  They are super friendly and you can touch them and feed them.  Rudolph is that you?

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All Aboard the Miniature train!  This was a fun little train ride that takes you through a good portion of the village and gives you a different viewpoint of the grounds.  When we on here our kids spotted Elves Island and that was our next stop…

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Be sure to cross the bridge into Elves Island when you go for some fun on the playground, test your courage as your climb up the rope cargo net and let your inner Picasso out on the colouring wall.  This area was full of kids running around and having fun but I must admit that many adults (myself included) were loving the cargo net!

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Ready for a ride on Santa’s Sleigh?  Well, seeing as it’s summer and there’s no snow, this is really the next best thing!  Decorated to look like a sleigh, with the reindeer leading the way, this 50 ft. jet boat is super fun.  Captain Ricky, who has “steered” the sleigh for the past 32 years will entertain you with his personality, music and boat manoeuvres as you tour down the beautiful Muskoka River.

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Well our day has come to an end and we are ready to leave the park…but wait…Santa is hanging out at the exit saying good bye to all the guests.  Okay one more picture …

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What a great Santa!

As we pulled out of the parking lot, our very sleeping kids were already asking “When can we come back”?  See you soon Santa’s Village and thanks for all the memories 🙂

On top of all of this, there is Sportsland which is geared to the older kids (ahem or your husband). This area is free to enter and is pay-as-you-go so be sure to check it out! Here you can find Go Karting, batting cages, an arcade and a Bungee Trampoline which our kids loved.  Pics not included as I had so much fun taking pictures the rest of the day that my battery died 😉  Fact of life when you’re having fun I suppose.

Want to get on Santa’s “Nice List”?

Sign up here to receive their news, contests and special offers from Santa’s Village.  If you sign up now, they will email you a coupon for “Buy 1, Get 1 Admission 50% off Coupon”!

Be sure to follow Santa’s Village on Twitter, Facebook and visit their website to plan your visit as you are sure to have a blast!

Has your family been to Santa’s Village?  What were your favourite parts?

Make a Splash this Summer

Cool off and have FUN at a Water Park this Summer!

Great way to cool down in the summer is to hit a local waterpark for some family fun!  Thankfully there are some great Waterparks in Ontario and we have them listed here for you!  🙂

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Bracebridge – High Falls Water Park – Experience a day like no other at the truly unique gem in Muskoka. Play in one of the 5 waterfalls, build a sand castle, play volleyball or horseshoes, try out the floating trampoline and waterslides, play in the playground, relax on the beach or on a floating lounge chair or get some exercise on a kayak, water bike or paddle boat.  Don;t forget your picnic because you are going to be hungry after all the playing!

Brampton – Wild Water Kingdom – Situated on 100 acres of natural park land, Wild Water Kingdom is conveniently located just minutes north of Toronto. A great place to enjoy the summer weather.

Brantford – Earl Haig Family Fun Park – A fun-filled adventure for families and children of all ages, located conveniently in the centre of Brantford. With a variety of water attractions including a spray pad, swimming pool, waterslide, and a lazy river, and activities including batting cages, mini putt, picnic areas and inexpensive day passes, Earl Haig Family Fun Park is not simply an attraction, but a destination!

Collingwood – Plunge! Aquatic @ Blue Mountain – There’s something for everyone! Inspired from the tradition of cottage-style boathouses, Plunge! is an authentic and magical expression of a place and its people. Indoor-outdoor pools, indoor water playground, hot tubs, rope swing, dock and slides are sure to provide year-round fun. Or, if you prefer, simply watch all the action from the comfort of your dock chair. Plunge! has something for everyone, infant to senior. With swimming lessons, water fitness, and more, kids of all ages will have fun, as will the adults in the family.

HamiltonWild Water Works – At Wild Waterworks we take outdoor summer poolside fun to the next level!  Your day starts off in one of Canada’s largest outdoor wave pools. Get your heart pounding with our jaw-dropping waterslides or if you prefer a more relaxing ride, grab a tube and float around The Eazy River. Your little ones will love Little Squirt Works our fun wading pool with slides, mists and fountains.

KitchenerBingemans – Big Splash will give you hours of fun!  Zoom down the slides, jump the waves in the wave pool or have some fun in the interactive water playground.  When you’re done getting wet be sure to get something to eat, play some beach volleyball or check out Funworx, their huge indoor playground.

LondonWally World @ East Park –  You will have so much fun on Wally Tower which is 55′ high with 5 slides in addition to Intensity tower which features 2 flume water slides. Ride on a single or double tube, but whatever you pick you’ll be sure to scream with excitement!  The brand new Kids splash pad will be a hit with kids of all ages.  Be sure to check out the rest of East Park including the rock climbing, mini golf and bumper cars.

OttawaCalypso Waterpark –  We have spread water fun everywhere on this extensive 100 acres facility. From toddlers to teenagers to party dudes to grandma & grandpa, everyone will have its fair share of fun in this gem of a park. The 45 millions dollars investment was well budgeted into a hundred different water adventures just to keep you cool and busy. State of the art monstrous slides, river run, largest wave pool, fun rides and even white water experience, you really won’t have time to be bored.

OttawaLogosland Resort – You’ll have a blast in Roaring Rivers Waterpark. Some of our waterpark features include a crystal clear spring fed lake, giant waterslides, kiddie slides, huge splash pad, paddleboats, kayaks, canoes, giant water trampolines, animal farm, and mini-golf.

Prince Edward Count – Westlake Willy Waterpark  – If watersports are what you crave, get on down to Westlake Willy Waterpark to splash around, swim, or swoosh down the water slide. Jump from a tower onto the big bouncy “BLOB” and climb the 15 foot inflatable, floating iceberg. Don’t forget to bring those hotdogs and hamburgers to feed your hungry swimmers as BBQs are available and  complimentary.

Ridgeville (Niagara)Bissell’s Hideaway – A wonderful waterpark for the entire family!  Splash around in the huge 1 acre pool which has a diving platform, take a ride down their 130ft twisty waterslide, or play in the splash pad.  Beforeyou leave be sure to try out the pedal karts, zip line and mini golf.

Sarnia – Bluewater Fun Park – You won’t be bored with 2 320′ winding slides, 2 speed slides, bumper boats with water cannons, leisure lagoon pool, csacading water mushroom, mini golf, volley ball courts and picnic areas to sit down and relax.

Tillsonburg – Lake Lisgar Waterpark – Southwestern Ontario’s ultimate Family Waterpark Experience! Our accessible, heated pool has a 186’giant twister waterslide with a zero beach entry leading to several spray features for all ages. Come float on a tube, play on our thrilling large inflatable toys, enjoy the exhilarating slide ride, stand in the spray, and swim for one affordable inclusive price.

VaughanSplash Works @ Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s Wonderland is your Splash Headquarters for the summer! Over 7 million litres of heated water fun in our 20 acre water park. Check out The Plunge, Supersoaker, the Lazy River, Pumphouse and one of Canada’s largest wave pools. There is something for everyone!

Keep safe with these tips on Water Park Safety from Canadian Red Cross

Know of a great waterpark in Ontario that we should include?  Let us know

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Rent a Cottage for a FUN Summer Getaway

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Some of your best summer memories can be made by renting a cottage for a summer getaway.  Imagine how much fun it can be swimming in the lake, building sand castles and sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and telling stories.  Oh the fun possibilities are endless!

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Not sure where to start when looking for a cottage rental?  Our friends at Online Cottage Rental have some great tips for you to get started.  They also have an awesome website where you can search an abundance of rental cottage listings from across Canada.

Communication is Key

Ask lots of questions

  • How much is the security deposit and when do you get it back?
  • What form of payment do they accept?
  • Confirm rental dates.
  • When can you arrive?
  • How many visitors are allowed at one time?
  • Ask if you can go look at the property before renting it (this is dependent on your proximity to the rental property).
  • Who should you call if there is a problem with the rental?
  • Confirm all amenities included.
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Confirm how much the cottages rent is.

Start Early

As most people plan both their summer and winter vacations in advanced so make sure you don’t miss out. If you happen to be late in your vacation plans check out their Last Minute Specials, you are bound to find an ideal rental spot there.
If you see a property you like with the right date’s available contact the owner right away. Most rentals tend to get booked up quickly for high season.
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Online Cottage Rental focuses on Canadian Cottage Rentals and Canadian vacation homes sales, allowing us to specifically target those searching for a cottage rental or sale in Canada. Whether you are looking for weekend cottage rentals, summer cottage rentals, beach cottages rentals or winter cabin getaways you’ve come to the right site.