10 fun day trips that make for an ideal winter escape from Toronto
Day trips out of Toronto during the winter are necessary when combating dreary winter blues. Frigid temps are nothing to celebrate, but let’s be real: it’s nice to get out of the city instead of hiding yourself under the covers with your Netflix—at least for the day.
Here are my picks for some fun day trips that make for an ideal winter escape from Toronto.
Maybe you didn’t manage to trap a snuggle buddy for cuffing season—that’s okay, because furry baby animals are so much cuter. Haute Goat Farm in Newtonville lets you wander around this winter wonderland with baby goats and hike with alpacas, followed by lunch, from Thursday to Sunday.
Hamilton is home to hundreds of waterfalls, and in the wintertime, there’s nothing more epic than the sight of thundering streams of water frozen in midair. Devil’s Punchbowl typically starts to freeze by mid-December, but Sherman Falls, Tiffany Falls, and Webster’s Falls are all worth the hour-long drive.
This popular wintertime destination is definitely most popular for its skating trail, but the more underrated activity is definitely snow tubing through the forest on a downhill trail that cuts through the Muskoka forest. Tubes are provided, and there's an open fire pit at the top of the hill to warm up.
Why be outside when you can get lost in a lush green paradise? Located in Hamilton’s Gage Park, this beautiful conservatory is home to a slew of subtropical plants, palm trees, a fish pond, waterfall, and even a family of Finches that swoop around like its spring, and not the dead of winter.
Ease into winter by easing into a soothing Scandinavian bath. The beautiful Scandinave spa, located just two hours from Toronto, is the relaxing retreat you needed from the misery of urban life. Ditch your phone in a locker and soak up those hydrotherapy benefits for the day.
Beat the freeze with beer (that’s how they did it in the old times) with a bunch of different brewery tours. Hit up all three different craft breweries (Sawdust City, Clear Lake Brewing, and Muskoka Brewery). Just make sure you have a designated driver on the way back.
If you like bacon and you like beer, drive the two hours west to Stratford, which is apparently located in the heart of Ontario’s largest pork-producing area. For $30 you can go on a self-guided tour of some of the bacon- and ale-related spots this quaint town has to offer.
Feed a chickadee right out of your hand and learn about animal tracking on this three-hour tour at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland. This nature-lover’s experience includes some fireside bannock, hot chocolate, and tea, plus you’ll walk away—or rather, snowshoe away—with a pretty cool new skill.
Strap on the blades and slide above the frozen cranberry fields in Bala, located at the Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. When the harvest ends and the land freezes over, these fields become a 12-kilometre-long winter playground (and a really great calf workout).
One of the best things about winter in Canada: taffy on snow. You’ll get that and the full maple syrup experience at a trek through White Meadow Farms in St. Catharines, where you can hop on a Sugar Shuttle wagon and explore the sugar bush with some 100% pure maple syrup on a stick.
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