In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been left with cancelled plans and open calendar dates to fill with family fun activities. As there are still many restrictions on domestic and international travel, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a “Staycation” and put aside any unused funds for future savings. Ontario is a beautiful province that boasts a variety of wildlife, landscapes and ecosystems that make exploring our surroundings an exciting and educational experience for people of all ages. Additionally, there are many places hidden away that offer a great experience for a vacation close to home. To ensure you still get to make the most of your vacation in the sun, we have compiled a list of staycation ideas right in the heart of Ontario, so that you and your family can enjoy your getaway while staying close to home.
As a great place that focuses on family fun for everyone, Fern Resort has it all with leisure activities including golf, yoga, swimming, boating, indoor pools and more. Three meals a day will be included with your stay so you can eliminate any time spent cooking to enjoy your stay thoroughly. Please note that while the Fern Resort is open, there are restrictions in place that will be modified in accordance with the guidelines set forth by Health professionals and the Government of Ontario.
Camping and Fishing
Beginning the week of June 22nd, Ontario Parks can officially begin to reopen to the public. While the reopening will be gradual, there will be services available including the use of public washrooms, drinking water, and trailer sanitation stations. If you prefer something a little more primitive, backcountry camping is also available at all provincial parks and conservation areas. If you intend on fishing, when camping or at home, ensure that you have a valid outdoors card and fishing licence before casting off.
Tobermory is located just 4 hours north of Toronto and is a picturesque experience from head to toe. The Grotto, located in the Bruce Peninsula National Park will be reopening June 29th to a 50% capacity maximum, and has parking available by reservation; This site boasts clear blue water and underground caves, and is great for hiking and cooling off with a swim. As it is extremely popular and generally fills up quickly, it is important to book ahead to ensure your spot. Tobermory also has many other additional attractions including visits to Flowerpot Island, Fathom Five National Marine Park, rides on the Chi Cheemaun, and an assortment of local businesses that make shopping even more fun.
1000 Islands, Gananoque
This relatively inexpensive getaway will allow you to stay close and enjoy some more local scenery. Pack a picnic and take a drive down the 401 to Brockville or Gananoque to set your sights on the visually stunning set of islands in the St. Lawrence River. There are many local boat tours that give excellent views of the water, islands, and millionaires row along with extra restaurants, parks, museums, and shopping to make your day complete!
This all-inclusive Ontario resort is a must-see in the heart of Muskoka. Shamrock Lodge offers a waterfront stay on Lake Rosseau that provides both tranquillity and family fun that you won’t soon forget. Amenities include 3 freshly prepared meals each day, boat tours, water trampolining, and water skiing or tubing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the kids’ program and evening entertainment have been cancelled. Additionally, dining can only occur on the outdoor patio, or by take-out.These Staycation ideas will likely all have restrictions in place during the summer months as we transition or adapt to our new normal. If a Staycation isn’t really your style, there are other things you can do with your money that will be beneficial to you at a later date! One idea is to put the money in a savings account to use for next summer’s travel plans and take that one bucket list trip you have always dreamed of. Other financially friendly moves to take include paying off credit card debt or replenishing your rainy day fund if you have had to dip into it over the past few months. The most important thing to remember when planning your time this summer is to ensure you take a break, make time to relax, and have fun with friends and family in your physically distanced social circle.
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