Exploring Ontario’s winter attractions with kids

As winter blankets Ontario in a glistening layer of snow, families eagerly embark on adventures to make the most of the season’s charms. From outdoor activities to indoor wonders, the province offers a plethora of winter attractions that promise fun and excitement for kids of all ages. In this article, we’ll explore some of Ontario’s most popular family-friendly winter attractions, ensuring a season filled with laughter, joy, and unforgettable experiences.

Ontario’s winter attractions offer a diverse array of experiences for families looking to create lasting memories. Whether gliding on ice, exploring museums, or enjoying the festive atmosphere of holiday markets, the province provides a wealth of options to embrace the magic of winter. These popular family-friendly attractions ensure that Ontario remains a destination of choice for those seeking winter adventures with their loved ones. So, bundle up, grab your mittens, and embark on a winter journey filled with warmth, laughter, and the spirit of the season.

Blue Mountain Ski Resort

Nestled in the heart of Ontario, Blue Mountain Ski Resort stands as a winter wonderland for families seeking snowy adventures. With a variety of slopes catering to different skill levels, kids can enjoy skiing or snowboarding lessons. The resort also offers tubing, skating, and enchanting winter walks, providing a perfect blend of excitement and outdoor enjoyment.

Toronto Christmas Market

The Toronto Christmas Market transforms the Distillery Historic District into a festive spectacle during the holiday season. With its charming stalls, twinkling lights, and festive entertainment, the market offers a magical experience for families. Kids can meet Santa, enjoy holiday treats, and partake in seasonal crafts, making it a cherished annual tradition for many Ontario families.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

For families seeking indoor adventures, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto provides an educational and entertaining experience. The ROM features engaging exhibits that captivate young minds, and during the winter season, special programs and events are often organized to add an extra layer of excitement to the visit.

Winterlude in Ottawa

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, comes alive during Winterlude, a celebration of all wonderful things winter can offer. The iconic Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest skating rink, offering families the chance to glide through the cityscape. Snow sculptures, ice carving competitions, and lively festivities make Winterlude a must-visit attraction for families looking to embrace the Canadian winter spirit.

Horseshoe Resort

Horseshoe Resort, located near Barrie, is a family-friendly destination that offers a host of winter activities. From skiing and snowboarding to tubing and snowshoeing, the resort caters to various skill levels and preferences. The Adventure Park adds an extra layer of thrill with its ziplining and obstacle courses.

Ontario Science Centre

The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto provides an educational and entertaining escape for families, especially during the winter months. With interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and immersive experiences, kids can engage in hands-on learning while having a blast. The Science Centre often hosts special winter-themed programs to coincide with the season.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Located near Huntsville, Arrowhead Provincial Park offers a winter wonderland for families seeking outdoor adventure. The park’s famous Ice Skating Trail winds through the forest, providing a magical and picturesque setting for skating enthusiasts. Families can also enjoy snowshoeing, tubing, and cozy campfires for a quintessentially Canadian experience.


Aurora Winter Festival

The Aurora Winter Festival, held in various locations across Ontario, is a festive extravaganza that captivates visitors of all ages. Featuring enchanting light displays, amusement rides, and magical characters, the festival transports families to a winter fairy tale. Interactive activities, live entertainment, and delicious treats make it a joyful experience for the whole family.

Safety tips for kids while attending different outdoor winter attractions

Ensuring the safety of children during outdoor winter holiday attractions is paramount to making the experience enjoyable and worry-free. Here are some essential safety tips for kids while attending various outdoor winter holiday attractions:

  • Dress appropriately: Bundle up in layers to stay warm, including thermal layers, waterproof outer layers, hats, gloves, and insulated boots. Ensure children are wearing appropriate winter gear, such as snowsuits, to protect against cold temperatures.
  • Apply sunscreen: Even in winter, the sun’s rays can be strong, especially when reflecting off snow. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin to prevent sunburn.
  • Stay hydrated: Cold weather can be dehydrating, so ensure kids drink plenty of fluids, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Pack a water bottle and encourage regular sips.
  • Choose age-appropriate activities: Select activities that are suitable for the age and skill level of the children. Avoid activities that may pose a safety risk for younger children.
  • Use safe equipment: Ensure that any equipment, such as sleds, skates, or snowshoes, is in good condition and appropriate for the child’s size and age.
  • Supervise winter sports: If children are participating in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, ensure they have the proper equipment and supervision. Follow safety guidelines and consider lessons for beginners.
  • Establish meeting points: In crowded winter attractions, establish meeting points in case family members get separated. Teach children what to do if they become lost, such as finding a staff member for help.
  • Watch for ice: Be cautious of icy patches, especially on walkways and stairs. Advise children to walk carefully and avoid running on slippery surfaces.
  • Follow rules and signs: Abide by any posted rules and signs at winter attractions. These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors.
  • Stay on designated paths: Stick to designated paths and areas to ensure a safe experience. Avoid venturing into restricted or unsafe zones.
  • Keep emergency information handy: Carry emergency contact information, including a cell phone if applicable, and inform children about how to reach a parent or guardian in case of an emergency.
  • Warm-up breaks: Take regular breaks to warm up, especially if spending an extended period outdoors. Seek shelter when needed and ensure children are adequately dressed for the weather.
  • Practice fire safety: If there are fire pits or warming stations, practice fire safety. Teach children about the dangers of fire and the importance of keeping a safe distance.
  • Avoid overexertion: Cold weather and physical activity can lead to exhaustion. Encourage breaks, especially for younger children, and avoid overexertion in challenging winter conditions.
  • Be mindful of traffic: If attending events near roadways, be vigilant of traffic. Hold hands with younger children and teach them to look both ways before crossing streets.
  • Respect nature: Teach children to respect the natural environment. Avoid disturbing wildlife and follow Leave No Trace principles.

By following these safety tips you can ensure that outdoor winter holiday attractions are not only fun but also safe for children. It’s crucial to be prepared, stay vigilant, and prioritize the well-being of young ones to make the most of the winter festivities.

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