The Muskoka region of Ontario is a popular destination for many travelers. It’s within driving distance from a lot of the major cities (Toronto, Kingston, Mississauga, London etc) and offers a stunning outdoor, natural experience. From hiking, boating and water-skiing, to private cottages, golf courses and Canadiana-inspired dining, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities.
Angie recently went on a girls getaway to Deerhurst Resort with some of her best friends for a little rest & relaxation — at least that was her initial plan. As she finalized details of her adventure, we decided it would be best for our family (at the time we were all going through a lot) for the boys and I to join her as well.
I’ve never been (and she’s been many times so I was definitely curious). I ended up bringing my dad along as an extra set of hands and we booked a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo in the same area as my wife and her friends (that way, she could go back and forth between the kids and her friends as needed).
Although she spent the majority of her time with the girls (at the spa, the Escape Room and more) I got to take my two-year-old and four-year-old boys on our own father/son type adventure. The memories my dad and I made with these two little guys are priceless…
I started things off with a road trip from the west Toronto suburbs to Huntsville, Ontario. It’s a scenic route so even with snowfall, I have no complaints whatsoever. My dad was in the passenger seat chatting away (we may or may not have missed an exit or two along the way) and Angie rode in the back, between the car seats, to take care of our two toddlers.
We left the bustling city area around 9:00 am and we were checking into the resort shortly after 12:00 pm.
On his first attempt at an arcade game, my youngest (23 months old) somehow won the jackpost. Hundreds of tickets came pouring out of the game (which we are now saving for our next visit so we can add them all up and cash in for a big kiddo prize).
Directly across from the arcade and game room is the toddler holy-grail:
It’s a gigantic play place with a set-up for younger babies (to the left of the photo) and then a big climber for older toddlers. My boys basically lived in here until dinner time.
Yes, even my 82-year-old dad and I tested out the slides…you just can’t help it.
I was surprised to find out that Deerhurst Resort is even equipped for toddler cross-country skiing. Apparently, if a child can walk, they can ski (as long as there feet fit in the smallest sized boots).
We tried out two restaurants in the main building and both were very kid-friendly (especially Eclipse where the home-cooked buffet style makes it really easy to find something for everyone in the family).
The actual condo suite was very large and spacious giving everyone in my multi-generational trip somewhere to spread out. My dad was able to have his little siesta in the afternoon, the little guys could play, and I could relax by the fireplace and read. I was actually battling a cold during out stay so it was nice to have a big enough space to relax in…that sort of felt like being home.
The suite had a full-size kitchen (stocked with plates, pans, a kettle etc) so we prepared our first dinner in the room to keep things simple for everyone. Angie had been up here quite a few times before so we were prepared (we brought a cooler with salad, quiche, pasta and more).
The next day, I took my 4-year-old rock-climbing. Although he was a bit shy, it was great to see him attempt the beginner wall. I had a great time too…it doesn’t look that big when you first approach it but you instantly give yourself a full-body workout.
My dad spent quite a bit of time in the luxurious pool and hot tub area. There’s also a family-friendly Escape Room experience on property (which we didn’t attempt this time around).
A look inside the Escape Room cabin at DeerhurstNext time around, we’ll definitely plan a longer stay. There’s so much to do (and so much offered) that it’s hard to pack up and leave when you haven’t tried it all. Next time, we plan to get the boys on skiis, skates and venture to the nearby downhill skiing areas (Hidden Valley, for example).
Overall, if you’re looking for a little winter getaway or family adventure (no matter the age — we went with toddlers, middle-aged and senior) there’s a ton of recreational options here at Deerhurst. I really only had one full day to experience it all so it was impossible to see and do everything. But we definitely got a great sampling.
If you’ve got any specific questions from the dad perspective, send me a message.
I think the only thing I would do differently next time around (aside from staying longer) is bring some travel high-chairs for my boys because feeding in the actual hotel room was tough and bring some toys or puzzles for the room.
Thanks to Deerhurst for showing us such a great time on my first ever visit to the area. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again!