The Victoria Day long weekend marks the start of warmer weather and road trip season. Whether you're a parent, a student, or a young professional, you've probably started planning your summer trips, both within and out of Canada. Sure, visiting a new country is fun, and it would be nice if we all had unlimited funds and could take weeks or months at a time off of work to travel, but unfortunately we're weighed down by mortgages and car insurance and ridiculously high phone bills. Still, weekends (and especially long weekends) are for road trips! If you're getting bored of hearing the same Top 40 songs on the radio, we've put together the perfect 4-hour playlist with a mix of classics and more modern songs to make your next road trip feel as close to a real vacation as possible. With the windows down and the wind in your hair, you can at least pretend you're driving through the Amalfi Coast.
Is it just us or is 2017 flying by? Valentine's Day has already come and gone, and while many of you probably celebrated with your significant other this past weekend, it's completely understandable that you may have forgotten the holiday altogether (what, with it being on a Tuesday and all). On the plus side: if Valentine's Day DID slip your mind last weekend, you can just blame it on the inconvenient mid-week date it fell on this year. We're big fans of buying loved ones experiences, not more stuff. It's so much more personal to share a crazy experience with someone you care about than to give them something they, in all honesty, will probably never use. We've made a list of great last-minute gift-experiences that will make your s/o believe your plan was to celebrate after the fact this entire time!
CN Tower Edge Walk
It's like a trust-fall for adrenaline junkies and the best gift for the adventurous couple. What better way to bond with your significant other than by hanging 1,168ft above the ground together. Really though, numerous proposals and even weddings have happened on the Edge Walk. There must be something about the adrenaline rush you get when you're hanging over the edge of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere with nothing but a thick string keeping you from falling to your death that makes you think how romantic.
If you're looking for a scenic, relaxing Valentine's weekend, consider heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake; with the heavy snowfall we had last week, you might even get lucky enough to find yourselves in the midst of a winter wonderland. Stay in a charming, vintage-inspired hotel like the Prince Charles of Wales, and spend the weekend relaxing and reconnecting. Check out events like Days of Wine & Chocolate, sign up for the Winter Wonderland Food Tour, or, you know, do what most people do when they visit Niagara-on-the-Lake: drink wine.
Sign up for a Cooking Class
The Chef Upstairs offers both group and private cooking classes in Toronto. For the more social couple, why not sign up for one of their fixed-menu group classes. If you're more keen on staying in (as so many of us are in the winter months), you can sign up for a private dining experience in your own home. The Chef Upstairs offers interactive cooking classes for those who like to be a part of the experience, or if you don't trust your cooking abilities, the chef will prepare a meal for you and your S/O, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and have a glass of wine.
It was the must-see day trip destination for Torontonians and the GTA this past summer for its crystal blue water and dramatic cliffs. You probably won't get a tan while you're there in February, but the Bruce Peninsula is no less stunning in the winter. If you and your S/O are big on traveling but also can't just pack up and head to Paris or London for a Valentine's getaway, consider making the ~4 hour drive up to Tobermory for a couple days. Cottage rentals are available, or if you love nature as much as you love each other, just sleep outside.
(Featured image via BlogTO) Mother Nature hasn't been overly consistent these past couple weeks. Between the pellets of snow last weekend to alternating sunshine and thunderstorms, it's been hard to plan our daily outfits and activities, let alone the long weekend's. Luckily though, it seems like the weather is finally settling down and harmonizing itself, and this weekend is supposed to be sunny and hot (we might even hit a high of 26 on Monday)!
As a proper welcome to the much-awaited spring weather, we've compiled a short list of long-weekend staycation trips, within a couple hours from the city, that you can take with your family, friends, or significant others (or, if preferred, by yourself)!
Healing Salt Cave Niagara Falls, ON
Yes, it's ironic that on our first warm, sunny weekend, we're suggesting you hide yourself away in a cave, but the Healing Salt Caves in Niagara Falls will leave you feeling so refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the summer! We see it as a sort of spring cleaning for your body - the salt caves have infinite health benefits for respiratory, cardiovascular, and dermatological conditions. And really, considering you'll start seeing results and have an easier time breathing after only 20 minutes, you'll still have the rest of the long weekend to spend exploring Niagara Falls (and maybe take a wine tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake) .
Pillar and Post Niagara-on-the-Lake
Speaking of Niagara-on-the-Lake, if you do choose to visit one of their many vineyards, we will obviously not advocate drinking and driving back to Niagara Falls, so why not stay at Pillar and Post, an eclectic and incredibly aesthetically appealing inn. The decor is reminiscent of a very fashionable grandmother, and the skylight in the main lobby would be especially scintillating on a sunny weekend like this one. The inn also offers spa treatments and other [indoor and outdoor] activities!
Classroom Suites Picton, Ontario (Prince Edward County)
The long weekend is the perfect time to visit Prince Edward County. Located a little bit over two hours from the city (sorry, our title lied!), you'll need the full three days to really enjoy everything Picton has to offer. The classroom suites are located about 15 minutes from the Sandbanks Provincial Park, so you can spend the day relaxing on the beach, or get active with a hike through the park. Bursting with vineyards (and the occasional brewery), what better way to spend the first weekend of 20-something degree weather with a wine tasting. For a more laid-back afternoon, wander around the Picton area and stop by and support small businesses like the Ungallery or the Black River Cheese Company (to go with all that wine).
Power Yoga Canada Muskoka
Consistently appearing on Best Trip lists, and with over 100,000 seasonal homeowners each year, Muskoka is the epitome of summer-getaways in Ontario. If you want to really immerse yourself in nature this weekend, get your zen on with Power Yoga Canada . Not only is a retreat a great opportunity to finally spend some much needed outdoors time (after our never-ending run of winter and miserable weather), it will send you back to work on Tuesday feeling relaxed and ready to face that pile of work you left on your desk when you bolted out the door on Friday!
March break is the awkward in-between season when it's too warm to do winter things like skiing and ice skating, but too cool to do spring things like go camping and outdoor swimming. It can be hard to keep your kids entertained during March Break: you don't want them to spend the whole week sleeping in and watching TV all day, but you also don't want to spend the week acting as their chauffeur, which only interferes with your work schedule. Instead, why not use March Break as an excuse to take some time off and plan some forced family fun. We've put together a few family-friendly March Break trips within driving distance of Toronto that will not only entertain your kids, but will get you out of work for a few days.
Tap Into Maple (pictured above)runs from March 1st through May 31st in Ontario's Lake Country and Springwater and as the name suggests, celebrates "all things maple". Check out local maple syrup producers, or attend some of their events (syrup-related or not). Over March Break, you can even learn about maple syrup production with a horse and wagon tour through the sugar bush.
Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush is a 400-acre farm a little closer to Ottawa, so it's a bit far for a day-trip, but a great family vacation if you're looking to get away for a few days. Every day of March Break has a different theme that your kids can even dress up to, and if there's still snow you can even bring your skis and toboggans. They offer family packages which include pancake meals, face painting, and horse-drawn sleigh/wagon rides.
What kid doesn't thrive off of doing crazy things that impress their peers? BugFeast! begins March 12 at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and gives kids the chance to taste foods made with bugs! The event only runs through March Break and will even have food truck-style foods using insects!
If you can't take time off but want to get your kids out of the house for the week, send them to Petit Chefs Academy's March Break cooking camp. At Petit Chefs Academy, your kids will learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals that will hopefully appeal to even the most picky of eaters. Maybe you and your kids can even start taking turns cooking dinner for the family (or at the very least, they'll have a new appreciation for the effort you put into it).
There are two types of people in Canada: those who embrace winter, and those who curse Mother Nature every morning as they trudge angrily through the snow to scrape the ice off their car. Admittedly, we're the latter, but that doesn't mean we want to spend close to six months sulking by the fireplace, awaiting warmer weather. We believe your car is more than just a tool to get you from Point A to Point B- it has the ability to take you on adventures. Instead of wishing away half the year, we've come up with a list of fun ways to embrace winter, all within a couple hours from Toronto, regardless of your feelings toward the season.
For the hibernator: Millcroft Inn & Spa- Caledon, ON
If you hate winter but want to enjoy the beauty of the snowy trees and frozen waterfalls without having to step foot outside, the Millcroft Inn and Spa is a beautiful vintage building in Caledon, ON, overlooking the venue's millpond. A popular venue for weddings and wedding shoots (especially in the winter), you'll be able to appreciate the scenic view without having to step foot outside. Instead, relax with their many spa services and award-winning cuisine.
For the nature lover: Take a waterfall tour- Flesherton, ON
If you love being outside in the winter, take a waterfall tour in the Flesherton, ON area. You can use the Bruce Peninsula brochure to plan your own tour and visit one or all the falls. The photo above is of Eugenia Falls, which makes for a very picturesque hike.
For the adventurer: Winter caving- Niagara, ON
If hiking around frozen waterfalls isn't enough of an adrenaline rush for you, you can almost literally become a part of winter by taking a winter caving, or spelunking, adventure in the frozen caves. The photo above is a view from behind the falls on the Niagara Escarpment.
For the family: Fern Resort- Orillia, ON
If you're looking to take your family on a weekend getaway, Fern Resort in Orillia is a family-friendly resort with plenty of outdoor kids' activities including a 1.5km skating trail through the forest! The resort also has dog sledding, ice hockey, hay rides, and other winter activities.
Arrowhead Provincial Park in Muskoka is also a great family option if you're looking to take a day trip as opposed to a full weekend one. Pictured above, and similar to Fern Resort, Arrowhead has a 1.3km skating trail that just opened this year and has become an immensely popular location for social media photos.
Winter is as much a part of Canada as hockey or Tim Horton's are, and since it tends to last for six months of the year, we may as well embrace the cold with these fun winter activities.