Family Day Fun! Families that Play Together, Stay Together!
There is so much fun to be had this Family Day weekend around Muskoka! With attractions and festivals lined up, there will be no shortage of memories being made across our winter wonderland! Get active and get outdoors this Family Day weekend with some real winter fun!
Horse Drawn Winter Sleigh Rides
Probably one of our most popular family activities is a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the stunning Muskoka back country. Back of Beyond Equine Centre has a great family package that can accommodate up to 14, and Twin Maples Farm offers wagon rides and carriage rides for up to 16 people at their farm. Book early because these spots will be snatched up soon.
Muskoka’s winter carnivals truly epitomize the charm of our small towns. Gravenhurst Winter Carnival runs right through Family Day weekend and features family-fun events including puddle jumps, kids events, demolition derby, live entertainment and so much more!
The Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival is another longstanding tradition, taking place on Friday and Saturday of the long weekend. Don’t miss the annual Snowball Parade or the kid’s Friday night skating party.
Baysville Winterfest takes place on Monday of the Family Day weekend with tons of fun activities for the kids. The day starts with a pancake breakfast at the Lion’s Club, followed by kid’s crafts, free skating, live entertainment, outdoor games & activities and much more!
Did you know that the Ontario government designates Family Day Weekend, February 17 – 19, 2018, as a license-free fishing period to introduce Canadians to the sport? If you are looking for a guided fishing tour, Muskoka Stay n’ Play Tours can get you everything you need, while Muskoka Shores Cottages has ice huts for rent on Three Mile Lake.
Freshly Baked Goodies
Pick up a round of delightful sweets from one of Muskoka’s scratch bakeries. Buttertarts, pies, cookies, donuts and more, these treats are great to share with the whole gang!
Light the Night at the Cranberry Skating Trail
Light the Night is a truly magical winter experience. Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh will be lighting up their famous Cranberry Skating Trail with 400+ tiki torches (weather permitting) on Friday of Family Day weekend.
Visit during the day as well! This is the only skating trail with an onsite winery. After a skate, relax by a rustling fire while sipping on hot mulled cider or wine. Better yet, finish with their wine tasting experience.
Zig Zag Escape Rooms
What better way to connect than to lock yourself in a cabin with your family. Escape rooms are all the rage, and Zig Zag’s escape cabins are the ultimate in family adventure. Families work together, submerging themselves in the story, solving puzzles, codes, clues and problems and discovering hidden secrets. The family games remain challenging but with a twist to ensure all can remain involved and enthusiastic throughout the adventure. Perfect for ages 10 and up.
Looking for some fun indoors? KIDZONE at Muskoka Discovery Centre is an interactive and high energy space designed especially for families with children. Some of the awesome activities in KIDZONE include:
- Advanced Float Plane Simulator
- LEGO building creative centre
- Die Cutter station
- KEVA Plank building zone
- Interactive Water Table
- Giant chalk board wall
- A Muskoka camp site
- Board games and movies
- Much, much more!
Memorial Park Winter Village
This wonderful park-like skating trail is located right in the heart of downtown Bracebridge. The whole family can skate until their heart’s content before walking to one of the nearby shops for a round of hot chocolate. The Pasta Shoppe Bakery & Fine Foods is just steps away and is home to Muskoka’s famous Maple buttertarts and a great line-up of hot bevvies! If your kids are able to stay up late, go for a skate at night. The skating trail is open until 9pm and looks magical under the lights.
Some family gatherings no longer have kids in tow, so you might be looking for more grown-up things to do. Why not take a brewery tour at one of Muskoka’s 4 craft breweries. Find out info for tours at Muskoka Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewery, and Sawdust City Brewery, or dine at our newest brewpub Clear Lake Brewing Co. Muskoka is also home to Muskoka Lakes Winery. Their Bog to Bottle Tour is always a hit with the older crowd!
This is an experience the kids will always remember, and certainly an experience they’ll be excited to share when they return to school. North Ridge Ranch in Huntsville offers dog sledding excursions throughout the long weekend, and there is enough room on the trails for the whole family! Book early, they’ll fill up!
There are a few outdoor skating rinks that you can lace them up on across Muskoka for the quintessential Canadian winter experience. Don’t forget to load your thermos with hot chocolate!
- Dorset Community Park and Dwight Bay Road in Lake of Bays
- The Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst
- Annie Williams Park and the new Memorial Park Winter Village in Bracebridge
- Cann Lake in Huntsville
- Port Sydney Rink on Mary Lake
- Baxter Ward Community Centre in Port Severn
Our local rinks will have public skating throughout the weekend as well:
- Bala – Saturday 7pm to 8:20pm (Free), Sunday 1pm to 2:20pm ($2.75 per person), Monday 1pm to 2:20pm (Free)
- Port Carling – Saturday 7pm to 8:20pm ($2.75 per person), Sunday 1:30pm to 3pm (Free), Monday 1:30pm to 3pm (Free)
- Gravenhurst – Monday 11:30am – 1pm (Free)
- Bracebridge – Monday 1pm to 2:40pm (Free)
- Huntsville – Friday 7:30pm-9:30pm, Saturday 12pm – 2pm, Sunday 10:30am-12:30pm, Mon. 11am- Noon. Youth: $3+tax, Adult $5.33+tax, Family $9.99+tax
- Baysville – Sat. 12pm – 2pm (fee), Sun. 9:30am – 11:30am (fee), Mon. 9am – 4pm (FREE)
Snowshoeing is an inclusive activity for all ages and skill levels and one of the easiest ways to bring the entire family together!
If you have equipment and all you need are trails, a few of the popular treks in the area include Algonquin Park, Hardy Lake Provincial Park, Torrance Barrens and the Echo Valley Nature Trails just outside of Dwight.
Guided snowshoe tours are a fun experience as well. Let a local expert take you into Muskoka’s wondrous back-country, showing you the ropes and providing your group with interesting knowledge and facts only a local could know.
Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area
There is only one place to hit the slopes in Muskoka, and families love it here! Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is a family-friendly hill, challenging enough for the avid skier but plenty of runs for the beginners as well.
A family fat biking adventure might bring back fun memories of teaching your kids how to ride a bike. Now they might be teaching you how to ride a bike … in the snow!
If you are looking for a new family adventure that is a bit off the beaten path, this is it!
Stay and Play