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Ontario Family Vacations

Kid-Friendly at Carriage Ridge Resort

When you stay with Carriage Ridge Resort for Ontario family vacations, a number of convenient perks are here to provide you with the best and most comfortable stay. Spacious suites are outfitted with living areas and kitchens and onsite amenities include an arcade and pool. Nearby, enjoy an array of fun attractions and activities for every season. Have the most exciting family vacations in Ontario yet!

Destination: Barrie, Ontario Canada. One hour north of Toronto

Adventure awaits at this quaint all-seasons resort located only one hour north of Toronto! Ski and snowboard fun all winter long. And in the summer, adventure awaits with an abundance of outdoor activities. Fun for the whole family.  

Family-Friendly Amenities:

Activities Staff On-site X
Babysitting Services On-site  
Babysitting Services Nearby  
Children's Wading Pool X
Continental Breakfast  
Cribs* X
DVD Player X
Full Kitchen available* X
Kitchenette* X
Microwave X
On-site Movie Rentals X
Playground X
Restaurant On-site  
Shared Washer/Dryer X

*In Select Rooms

15 Things to Do in Barrie, Orillia, Oro-Medonte and the Vicinity

  • Go Downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowtubing & snowmobiling
  • Golf at any of 18 nearby golf courses
  • Play mini-golf, get lost in the Red Horse Maze, try wall-climbing and more at the Horseshoe Adventure Park
  • Play in the canopies at Treetop Trekking with ropes, ladders and zip lines
  • Explorer wooded trails on ATV, motorcycle or Rhino vehicle
  • Mountain Bike with the whole family
  • Discover the thrill of Hummer Adventures
  • Swim and play at the largest fresh water beach in North America – Wasaga beach!
  • Enjoy year round festivals in Barrie & Orillia – Winter, Ice, Folk Music, Canada day, Fall festivals and more
  • Tour Maple Syrup farms in the springtime
  • Visit a Wildlife Centre
  • See it all at Elmvale Zoo
  • Go candy hunting at Easter Eggs-travaganza in April
  • Visit pumpkin patches and farms in the Fall

Activities in Barrie, Ontario and the Vicinity 

Fun family vacations in Ontario mean go, go, go. Here are a few great ideas and activities to please every member of the family:

Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort
(15 minute drive)

A true skier’s paradise with the best snow-making in Ontario.  The best skiing/snowboarding around with 40 slopes, vertical drop 500 feet, 13 lifts, two base chalets with cafeterias, rental shops. Two Terrain parks, for the entry level rider “The Junkyard” with lots of super smooth rails, buttery press, boxes, zero gravity, kickers, Zaung Progression Pipe. “The Outback” is for the advanced rider and has the reputation of the top skiers and boarders in Ontario using the rails and boxes!

Horseshoe Ski Resort – Skiing, Snowboarding & Tubing
(2 minute drive from Carriage Hills Resort - “Ski in and Ski out” resort with Carriage Ridge Resort

26 Alpine ski and snowboard runs, 6 lifts, Terrain Park with over 20 features. Open 9am to 10pm to allow for Night Skiing! Longest Run 2,200 feet (671 m).

Tube Park features 6 big chutes to fly down and one magic carpet to whisk you back up to the top fast!  Go down by yourself or grab some friends!  Stand on the side lines and watch the kids laugh and scream all at once!  Minimum height requirement is 42" (3.5 feet).

Ride Guides
(705) 241-9938

The premier provider of cycling adventures in Ontario, catering to all types of riders and experience levels. Ride Guides provides Guided Day Rides, Singletrack Getaways and Skills Boot Camps. Ride Guides is located in Horseshoe Valley.

Cross Country and Snow Adventure

Newly designed trail system of over 88 km of meticulously groomed trail options on 30 km of trail. 10 different loops ranging from 3.3 km to 19 km. There is a trail for every level of ability, from beginner to elite racer on terrain that ranges from gently rolling to challenging. Trails are groomed for both Classic and Skate skiing, with new state of the art grooming equipment. Guarantees skiing when Mother Nature can't provide snow.

Snowshoers can enjoy dedicated, ungroomed snowshoe trails.

Hardwood Ski & Bike
(10 minute drive)

Settlers’ Ghost Golf Club
(2 minute drive)

It is well documented that this site on Horseshoe Valley Road, was an important Huron Indian settlement prior to Champlain's arrival in Simcoe County. The Huron Indians are, therefore, considered to be the first settlers on this site. The second settlers were immigrants from the British Isles, and the golf club is the third. The golf club’s name refers to the first two groups of inhabitants “who may be gone from this land but are not forgotten.” This is a beautifully maintained 18-hole public golf course with bent grass fairways, tees and greens designed with pros, as well as Junior golfers, in mind. Multiple tee decks provide testing experience for all levels of play. On site there’s a fully-stocked pro shop and a family-friendly restaurant serving lunch and dinner.

Horseshoe Golf

Highland Golf Course  - (Across the street from Carriage Hills Resort)
2 minute  drive from Carriage Ridge Resort

Rated in the top 50 of all public and resort courses across Canada by The Globe and Mail, the Highlands Course is just spectacular. Winding through the forested hilltops, it shows off incredible views of the valley below, offering a unique combination of challenges and enjoyment.  Highlands Course Clubhouse boasts a fully equipped pro shop.  10-acre driving range to practice before a game or just to hit a bucket of balls.

Valley Course
(2 minute drive)

Valley Course offers exciting challenges and spectacular scenery for an unforgettable golf experience.  Regardless of your skill level, you'll find the Valley Course ideal for developing your game, or simply relaxing in the seclusion of our mature-growth forests and appreciating the natural beauty.

Adventure Park – Horseshoe Resort  -  8 attractions
(2 minute drive)
(Open May – October)

OGO Climb inside a giant ball then roll and bounce down the hill, Canada’s only Zip Flyer ride take the chairlift to the top and soar an incredible 2,075 feet down!, Challenge yourself on the 32 foot high climbing tower wall, Take the lift to the top and kick off and ride by downhill mountain biking. Trail features ladders, boxes and bridges.  Golf on the 18 hole Ridgetop Mini Golf course battling to keep out of the rough, sand and water traps while you enjoy the view of the valley! Euro Bungy is a new attraction strap the kids in and they hang on, let them go wild! Skate Park can also use your BMX bikes and inline rollerblades. Red Horse Maze grab a friend and see who gets through fastest.

Tree Top Trekking by Arbraska
(2 minute drive)

Treetop Trekking (open all year) has been described as a jungle gym on steroids! 6 courses plus 3 children’s courses and, day and evening.  Ride Big Zip, Ontario’s longest zip line at 1,000 feet! There are games such as suspension bridges, cables that you walk across, Tarzan ropes, 15 zip lines, barrels you walk across and climb through, swinging logs, ladders and so much more. Courses range from beginner to intermediate and advance.

Yamaha Riding Adventures – All Year Long!
Two-person off road Rhino Vehicles, Dual-Sport  & Off-road Motorcycles, ATV, Minibike Fun Rides, Snowmobiles
(2 minute drive from Carriage Hills Resort – right next door to Carriage Ridge Resort)

It doesn't matter what the season, Horseshoe Resort Riding Adventures by Yamaha has a trail for you, your entire family . With endless kilometers of natural trails through the rugged Horseshoe Valley Forest, riders will encounter a wide range of challenging terrain on their guided tours.  Come experience the hills and valleys, snow peaks and grassy meadows, mud and gravel pits and much more!

Horseshoe Resort Riding Adventures by Yamaha allows you to experience these rides in a controlled and safe environment. Your tour package includes the use of a state-of-the-art Yamaha vehicle, a riding lesson, safety gear and fuel.

Summer Mountain Bike Activities

Hardwood Ski and Bike offers beautiful, rolling trails through hardwood and pine forests for mountain biking, hiking, walking or running. Open seven days a week for summer enjoyment. 34 km of rolling double track trail, with an additional 50 kms of challenging single track trails.

Beach volleyball, disc golf, orienteering and to do nordic walking is also available. The Chalet includes a great Café featuring fresh and healthy food for the whole family.

Era Hummer Tours

Summer and Winter 1 hour Humer Tours through Horseshoe Valley. In the winter the Hummer is equipped with Mattrack that allow driving through up to 4 feet of snow!

Wasaga Beach
(30 minute drive)

The longest freshwater beach in the World! For over a century tourists have traveled to the welcoming shores of Nottawasaga Bay, to stroll along 14 kilometers of white sand beach, swim in warm, clean waters and enjoy the panoramic mountain views across the Bay. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park has 6 park/bench areas and Nancy Island Historic site; these areas are perfect for family picnics, playgrounds, hiking trails and nature study. Wasaga Beach has been long hailed as one of the premier tourist destinations in Ontario.

Barrie & Orillia Annual Festivals
(Within 30 minutes from our resorts)

Barrie hosts the largest New Year’s Bash in Central Ontario. In February the Barrie  Winter fest “Festival of Ice” (named 1 of the top 100 Festivals) and has something for  the whole Family to enjoy ,dog sled rides, snow sculptures, outdoor midway, wagon rides and more.  In March there are many fun family friendly festival and events happening during March Break. The summer Kempenfest Barrie features over 400 arts & crafts and antiques, a midway, a children’s village, live entertainment and more. In October Halloween Hunts and Harvest Festivals.

Orillia is host to the largest fishing derby of Canada; those who love to fish do not want to miss this festival April-May. Over sixty tagged perch with great prizes to be won. Couchiching Park always has something on midways, boat shows and more! In the winter families can experience Shivers ice castle, snow sculptures, midway, fireworks, horse & sleigh, polar bear dips and more.

Maple Syrup Destinations and Festivals

Maple Syrup Festivals and Pancake Barns are must visits for Ontario family fun during March and April Don’t miss the Canadian rite of early spring Families can be entertained and educated. See the boiling of the maple sap, (sweet water) and the making of the maple syrup.

Shaw’s Maple Bush Tours – March-April
(15 minute drive)

Between Barrie and Orillia, there is a Pancake House, and maple bush fun. Percheron horses will take you through the maple wonderland. When the snow melts we trade the sleigh for a wagon. Rides are available on weekends during March and April, usually around lunch time

Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival – April 20, 2013
(20 minute drive)

The Sweet Taste of Spring Every year the sleepy town of Elmvale explodes in a celebration of Nature's rites of spring.  Many of the 30,000 visitors each year say one of the best Syrup Festivals in Ontario. The Pancake House cooks will flex up their pancake flippers and will fire up the griddles; the sugar shacks will be bubbling and boiling with sweet, sweet syrup; the midway owner is greasing up the rides; the crafters are putting on the finishing touches and quilters are applying the last few stitches.

Wye Marsh Sweet Water Harvest  -  April 6 & 7, 2013
(30 minute drive)

The Annual Sweetwater Harvest Festival happens Saturday and Sunday, with all day activities happening throughout the Marsh. See how maple syrup is made, roast some bannock on the fire or enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast! Think you can tell the difference between real and fake maple syrup? We will put you to the test! This event sure is SWEET! All day pancake breakfast.  Old & Modern maple syrup harvesting.  Live animal demonstration.  Horse drawn wagon.  Hannock over open fire.  Live folk music.

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
(30 minute drive)

Located on 3,000 acres of wetlands, fen and forest in Midland, Ontario. The Centre includes an amphibian and reptile display hall, Live Animal Shows, Guided walk/snowshoe, Bannock Roasting, biking, canoeing and kayaking routes, an observation tower and boardwalks, birds of prey display, and Naturalists on staff.  In spring, experience the annual frog chorus, a chickadee feeding from your hand, maple syrup production or the Trumpeter Swans visiting the Marsh. In summer, explore when you paddle through the marsh to view turtles sunning themselves or "dip-net" for water creatures in the Marsh. Escape to the tranquil snow covered beauty of winter on snowshoes or cross-country skis. There is a lot to see and do at the Wye Marsh in all seasons.

Elmvale Zoo
(20 minute drive)

Walk along shaded and winding trails. View majestic lions, tigers and jaguars. Delight in the playful antics of monkeys and lemurs. Watch the mischievous baby animal’s play. Admire the beauty of rare and exotic birds and other wildlife in the natural surroundings of the park's 25 acres. More than 300 animals from around the world. Live interactive presentations of reptiles and other animals. Children can touch and feed the animals in petting area. Gift Shop, Snack Bar, Picnic Area & Children’s Playground!

Chappell Farms

Fun for the whole family! In the spring Candy hunts, wagon rides, animals, Hay & Corn maze, The Boo Barn, Play Area, Pick Corn, Magic Shows, Jumping Castle. In the fall pick a pumpkin visit the Haunted Barn.

Sainte Marie among the Huron’s

Located near Midland in the beautiful Southern Georgian Bay area, this world-renowned reconstruction illustrates the interaction of the French and Wendat nations. Visitors get a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life, through guided or self-guided visits, interactive programs and special events. Families can visit the Interpretive Museum.

Simcoe County Museum
(20 minute drive)

The Simcoe County Museum offers a wide range of March Break, Summer and Winter day camps for children 6 years to 12 years old.   Exhibits and programs for all ages throughout the year are available with hands on exploration, and interactive displays.  From May 1 to November 30 explore 16 heritage and display buildings or take a hike through 327 acres of forested parkland. During the winter months, borrow some snowshoes and explore the Museum grounds and trails. In the summer on Sunday afternoons, join historical interpreters on a tour of the historic buildings.  You can sample homemade ice-cream, or perhaps a sample of homemade bread from the bread oven.

Summer Mountain Bike Activities

Hardwood Ski and Bike offers beautiful, rolling trails through hardwood and pine forests for mountain biking, hiking, walking or running. Open seven days a week for summer enjoyment. 34 km of rolling double track trail, with an additional 50 kms of challenging single track trails.

Beach volleyball, disc golf, orienteering and to do nordic walking is also available
The Chalet includes a great Café featuring fresh and healthy food for the whole family.

 Day Trips in Barrie, ONT Canada and the Vicinity

View our other Family Friendly Resorts and check out our unique Day Trips.