Travel

Best 1 night Weekend Getaway from GTA for family?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 28th, 2019 1:18 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 16, 2010
123 posts
15 upvotes

Best 1 night Weekend Getaway from GTA for family?

Can anybody be kind enough to recommend a place this time of the year? Can't really think of any.

Been to Niagara Falls area one too many times so looking for something else.

I'd say within 3 to 4 hours drive from Toronto and one night stay for family of 4 with young children?
33 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 16, 2006
544 posts
162 upvotes
Toronto
Watkins Glen State Park, just about 4 hours away from Toronto. It's one of the nicest parks I've seen within that driving range as long as you can cross into the US. It's best to go on a really hot sunny day though.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 16, 2010
123 posts
15 upvotes
xtreemboarder wrote:
Apr 30th, 2019 6:14 pm
Watkins Glen State Park, just about 4 hours away from Toronto. It's one of the nicest parks I've seen within that driving range as long as you can cross into the US. It's best to go on a really hot sunny day though.

Thanks. Yes, US is an option.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2035 posts
1150 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Would probably save this for a long weekend....

Detroit area?
- Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village **had train /boat/ horse drawn carriage rides for the kids. Interesting for adults.
- Henry Ford Estate (Fairlane) **thought it was interesting (Henry Ford’s residence). The grounds are pretty and lots of space for the kids to run around outside.

I haven’t been to Detroit since I was a teen until last Fall. Went to see Elton John.... there were a few areas of interest to grab a meal (safe). Hotels were pretty cheap. My husband has 2-3 times over the last decade and claims they really cleaned up some areas (I’m sure there’s not so great areas too).
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
848 posts
267 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Ottawa would be nice with the tulip festival in May.
There's also Upper Canada Village which is a good family day out, combine that with 1,000 island boat tour and Boldt castle on heart island stopover. If you go to Boldt Castle you will need passports as it's on the US side.
When you pay for UCV, you also get free entrance to Fort Henry in Kingston and vice versa. https://www.uppercanadavillage.com/tick ... specials1/
Last edited by ckay1980 on May 1st, 2019 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
8630 posts
6062 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Ottawa is more than 3 or 4 Hours from many spots in the GTA
But it makes a good Weekend Destination (2 or 3 Nights)

If you only have 1 Night out of the GTA my suggestions would be:
* Niagara Falls
* The Tri City Region (add on St Jacobs)
* Muskoka
* Huntsville / Algonquin Park
* PE County
* Peterborough
* Kingston
* 1000 Islands

Any of these are great Destinations year round for various activities

Go a bit further, and you can look at the likes of Buffalo, Darrien Lake, the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Or Syracuse... all make great weekend getaways
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Feb 22, 2016
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PointsHubby wrote:
May 1st, 2019 2:06 am
Go a bit further, and you can look at the likes of Buffalo, Darrien Lake, the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Or Syracuse... all make great weekend getaways
Buffalo/Darien Lake are 2 hours from Toronto, Rochester is 3, and Syracuse 4 (since you'd go 3 hours east to Gananoque then 1 hour south to get there).

Since you're in the GTA and your kids are probably tired of Canada's Wonderland already, look into Darien Lake (which is a Six Flags property) or if they're older and can handle the really extreme rides, Cedar Point in Ohio. That's a longer drive than the range you want but if you stay overnight then you can make it 2 days at the theme park or 1 in the theme park and 1 on the beach/waterpark.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
8630 posts
6062 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Thought of another area that was popular when our kids were small...
Although a little farther afield for you in the GTA, it may still be worth a look see

The Adirondacks
In particular...
Santa’s Workshop in North Pole NY
(The smallest tykes truly like this place ... to the rest of us it’s really kitschy
But hey, Santa and the Reindeer gotta hang out somewhere the other 364 Days a Year ... and it may as well be The Adirondacks in the summertime)

Plus the Glens Falls & Lake George area
(Or nearby Saratoga Springs for a more upscale couples getaway)
All, Very entertaining ... no matter one’s age

https://www.visitlakegeorge.com/

When I was a kid, these were Summer Must Dos.., especially as back then there was also Frontier Town
(Awesome to a kid who grew up watching all the 1950s & 1960s Westerns... Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide, The Big Valley, The High Chapparal, The Rifleman etc)

The Adirondacks have offered up good clean fun for families for the past 100 years

Tons to see and do.
No matter one’s age
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
2906 posts
1980 upvotes
Oh yeah, here's one I've been to and I think is just what you're looking for. Weekend, 1 night stay, family...

If you want to willingly go to the stereotypical "tourist trap town" just for laughs, consider Frankenmuth, Michigan! Very easy drive from Toronto (take 401 west to 402 west to Sarnia, cross at Blue Water Bridge, then I-69 west to I-75 north to Frankenmuth). That's right at or slightly longer than 4 hour drive.



If you've never heard of it, that's home to Bronners (huge store that sells nothing but Christmas stuff -- if you want all new decorations for next season, here's your place), Zehnder's (for those huge family-style chicken dinners), the German-themed main drag you can walk through... and conveniently, when you've had enough of the kitsch there's the Birch Run Premium Outlets (it's twice as big as the outlets in Niagara Falls) and this crazy diner across the street from it, featured on many travel/food shows for their 1 lb BLT sandwich:



Here's the Zehnder's chicken dinner:



and finally here's Bronner's:

Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
2906 posts
1980 upvotes
zeddy wrote:
May 3rd, 2019 3:14 pm
Zehnder's has a huge indoor water park too.

https://www.zehnders.com/zehnders-splash-village/
That's not in the Zehnder's restaurant property in town but at the hotel facility next door to Bronner's (so, out the south end of the town) ... you and I know that but thought to reply with that detail for the benefit of the OP and anybody else considering going.
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User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
6808 posts
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Markham
For kids your age, have you been to the Strong Museum in Rochester. You can also shop on the way down. Eat at Dinosaur BBQ.

https://www.museumofplay.org/
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

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