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Ontario Family Vacations

Kid-Friendly at Carriage Ridge Resort and Carriage Hills Resort

When you stay with Carriage Ridge Resort or Carriage Hills 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 a game room 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:

Game Room X
Activities Staff On-site X
Babysitting Services On-site  
Babysitting Services Nearby  
Barbeques X
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
  • Visit Horseshoe Slopeside Adventures
  • Play in the canopies at Tree Top 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 Wye Marsh 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 visit a museum

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
(15 minute drive) Ski or board now at night!
(877) 835-2112

Night skiing has been launched and it is time to Ski and Snowboard “under the lights” from Wednesday to Sunday. Being one of the largest family owned ski resorts in Ontario with over 170 acres of skiing with 36 slopes with a vertical drop of 550 ft. The longest run is 2km, 9 chair lifts and a Terrain park with 2 half pipe runs, “The Junkyard” and the “Outback” and 3 carpets.

With the best snow conditions and snow-making capabilities in Ontario a great ski experience is waiting for all levels of skiers.

Child Care available on the weekends and holidays.

Horseshoe Resort, Horseshoe Valley
Ski-in/ Ski-out runs from our suites (Carriage Ridge Resort)
2 minute drive (Carriage Hills Resort)
(800) 461-5627

Open 7 days a week with Night skiing and 29 runs with a completely re-designed Terrain park. New in 2016 upgraded snowmaking and a new $4.5 milion high speed detachable six person chairlift. Ski and Snowboard lessons available for all ages. The Kids Korral offers programs for the young.

Guests can also experience 40km of groomed Cross Country and Snowshoeing ski trails that connect with the lush Copeland Forest. Horseshoe’s Tubing Park has 6 chutes to fly down and one magic carpet to whisk guests back up to the top fast!

Snow Valley Resort, Barrie
(30 minute drive)
(877) 404-4744

Snow Valley was named “best Ontario hill for kids” by Ski Canada Magazine. The focus at the resort is on families. 1st Timers or all levels of skiers can have access to lessons. Great Tubing and Snowshoeing available. Enjoy food or drink available on the sun deck.

Hardwood Ski and Bike, Oro Station
(10 minute drive)
(800) 387-3775

Get Out There Magazine’s “Best Place to Cross Country Ski” in Eastern Canada!

Only 8km away from our resorts experience Hardwood’s trail system for Classic skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing, which consists of 10 different paths which range in length from 3.3km to 19km. There is definitely a trail for every skill level whether you are a beginner or a pro. Ski and Snowshoe rentals available along with a full Café, chalet and ski shop.

Ride Guides, Horseshoe Valley
(minutes away from our resorts)
(705) 241-9938

Premier provider of Cycling Adventures located in Horseshoe Valley!
Offer Guided Mountain Bike Tours and Single Track riding and will look after bikes and gear. Their guides will take care of you every step of the way, whether you are new to riding or want to step up your riding skills.

Yamaha Riding Adventures, Snowmobile Tours, Horseshoe Valley
(next door Carriage Ridge Resort)
(minutes drive Carriage Hills Resort)
(800) 461-5627

The perfect  Ontario adventure for any season for your entire family. Endless kilometers of natural trails through rugged Horseshoe Valley forest, riders will encounter a wide range of terrain on these guided tours. Come and experience hills and valleys, snow peaks and grassy meadows, mud and gravel pits and much more!

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Midland
(30 minute drive)
(705) 526-7809

Voted Best Winter Attraction in Ontario by
Located on 3,000 acres of wetlands, fen and forest in Midland. (Near Georgian Bay). Great all year round with a centre that includes an amphibian and reptile display hall, live animal shows, birds of prey display, learn about animal tracking, tree identification and snowshoeing. Cross Country and Snowshoe rentals available. Winter Eco-tours available.

Ice Fishing – Lake Simcoe

In the winter months, the ice-covered Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie 15 minutes away from our resorts becomes a village of ice huts. Lake Simcoe has Ice anglers that come from all over to catch whitefish, lake trout, perch, pike and walleye.

Ice Fishing Hut Operators are abundant and when you combine your gear and their friendly service your convenience.

Outdoor Ice Skating (December – March)*
*weather dependent

Bring your skates when you stay!
FREE Line 4 Horseshoe Valley Memorial Park (minutes drive)
- Public skating 8:00am – 12 N and 6:00pm – 7:00pm
- Shinny hockey 12:00 N – 6:00pm and 7:00pm – 10:00pm

FREE Sweetwater Park – 6th Line Sugarbush (10 minute drive)

FREE Circle in the Square at City Hall, 70 Collier Street, Barrie (15 minute drive)
- Public skating 10:00am – 10:00pm
- This artificially supported skating rink has heated change rooms.

Indoor Ice Skating

Bring your skates when you stay!

Oro-Medonte Arena - 4th Line North near Highway 11 – (705)-487-3202
(15 minute Drive)
- Public skating Friday night 6:00 – 7:30pm and Sunday 2:30 – 3:30pm
- Cost: $1.00 children and $2.00 adults

Tobogganing - Sweetwater Park, Sugarbush
(5 minute drive)
- Take Horseshoe Valley Road to 6th Line and Hickory Lane

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides & Wagon Rides (Reservations required)
- Rolling Sands Percherons, (Line 4) Horseshoe Valley – (705) 726-5968 (2 minute drive)
- Rainbow View Farms – 1st concession after Horseshoe Valley Road – (705) 322-3609 (15 minute drive)

- Discover pristine trails to explore and discover near our resorts. We are on Trail #421.

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

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.

Horseshoe Resort
(2 minute drive)
(Open May – October)

SLOPESIDE ADVENTURES at Horseshoe! for more information click here, Horseshoe Resort

Tree Top Trekking
(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.

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.

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
(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
(30 minute drive)

The Annual Sweetwater Harvest Festival happens happens in the spring, 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.

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 in Midhurst
(20 minute drive)
(705) 728-3721

The Museum has a 5 gallery facility, surrounded by 16 heritage and display buildings located on 327 acres of forested parkland. Inside guests can experience Canadian Native cultures in their Wendat longhouse; you can walk along the re-created Barrie's Main Street exhibit and view the displays of preserved artifacts that depict the natural and human history of the area.

Outside you can explore the 19th century heritage buildings which include an early settler church, a log cabin, a train station, and a 1900 schoolhouse that was used in the filming of Anne of Green Gables. In the display barns there are a collection of heritage tools and machinery.

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.

Georgian Theatre, Barrie (campus of Georgian College)
(20 minute drive)
(705) 739-4228
- A professional performing arts facility in Barrie’s north end.

Mady Centre, Barrie Downtown
(30 minute drive)
(705) 739-4228
- Home of performing art and is a world class facility.

Orillia Opera House
(30 minute drive)
(705) 326-8011

Visit the 115 year-old Opera House a famous landmark and known for its fantastic acoustics, great theatre, and famous music performances. Artists such as Orillia’s hometown boy, Gordon Lightfoot and many Children’s acts performed here.

Bowlerama, Bayfield Mall Barrie
(30 minute drive)
(705) 739-2269

Open year round the facility offers bowling and glow-in-the-dark with ten 5-pin lanes and twenty-two 10-pin lanes. Full Service snack bar, licensed lounge, Billiards & arcade games.

Indoor Putt Mini Golf, Barrie
(30 minute drive)
Just a 5 minute walk from the movie theatre. Fun for all ages!

The Roller Skating Place, Orillia (ODAS Park)
(30 minute drive)
(705) 326-1444
- The only existing roller rink north of Toronto
- Public skating: Fridays & Saturdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm and 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Day Trips in Barrie, ONT Canada and the Vicinity

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