Winter is fast approaching! I know, it's almost impossible to believe. It feels like fall just started but in a few short weeks, the streets will be blanketed in the first snowfall of the season. While this time of year gets lots of people into a pre-winter funk, the best way to remedy it is to get out and get some fresh air!
While staying in and getting cozy in front of the fireplace with a blanket and a cup of tea is always a good option, winter activities and weekend getaways are also a great way to spend your time this season. From relaxing spas to starry campsites to snowshoeing adventures, this list has it all!
It's never too early to start planning your weekend escapes from your busy lives this winter! All of these great activities and places to relax are affordable and can be done with your SO, friends, family or solo, it's up to you!
Camp out under the stars at Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve
If you're looking for a cheap escape from the city this winter, your best option is to pitch a tent! But it doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds, especially when you're sleeping under the stars at Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve. Here you can heat up some good eats, a hot cup of cocoa, and cuddle up under five blankets to keep cozy! It will be an adventure to remember but totally worth it once you see how the sky here looks at night.
Rent out a treehouse in the forest with a big group of friends
If you're looking for a cool cabin to rent out for a cozy winter weekend with some friends, this is definitely the place to come! Located in Durham, this hidden treehouse retreat fits up to six guests at a time. If you rent with five other friends this paradise getaway could be super cheap. It's just as luxurious inside as it is outside and it's even more stunning during the wintertime when it's blanketed in snow.
Stay in a romantic cabin in a magical village full of lights
Head up to Upper Canada Village this holiday season and admire their transformation into a magical village full of stunning lights! They offer romantic horse-drawn carriage rides as well as night-stay packages in their cute bed & breakfasts, historic lodges, and cozy inns. They offer deals during the entire event from November 30th until January 5th but you could always just visit for the evening and head back home the same night!
Spend a super Canadian day at Nyman Farms sugar shack
Here in Canada, we're obsessed with maple syrup and no one is ashamed of it. If you want to celebrate being Canadian this winter, head out to Nyman Farms to enjoy a good ol' fashioned sugar shack! You can enjoy yummy breakfast foods doused in maple-y goodness, cuddle with baby lambs, and even see the process of making maple syrup up close!
Go for a winter wonderland snowshoeing adventure
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures located in Collingwood is the perfect place to spend a weekend getaway. They have tons of cool adventures to take part in all year round, especially in the winter months. You can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing through ten kilometres worth of trails, and wandering across their massive suspension bridge! Once you're done enjoying your time outdoors in a literal winter wonderland, head inside to warm up by the fireplace and enjoy some hot cocoa.
Relax in the hot springs at the Millcroft Inn & Spa
A night stay at the stunning Millcroft Inn & Spa is definitely pricey, but a day pass to their relaxing hot springs is probably within your budget. It's $70 for the day and in the wintertime, it becomes truly magical! They have two outdoor hot spring pools, a polar plunge pool, and an outdoor and indoor pool, indoor steam room and saunas, and so much more! It will be the weekend escape you need this winter season.
Ride the Polar Express train through Ontario
There's a historic railway that's transforming into a real-life Polar Express this holiday season! That movie was truly magical and embodied that true meaning of Christmas so it's no surprise that this event will be just as amazing. The Waterloo Central Railway will take you on an adventure to the North Pole with live shows, treats and hot chocolate served by dancing chefs, and books to read along with the story!
Rent a cabin with a private turquoise lake
Hidden away deep in the forests of Ontario is this stunning oasis that you can actually rent out for the weekend! This cozy cabin comes with its own private turquoise lake and the surrounding forest area. It's super affordable to rent on Airbnb and fits four people so you can come with a group of friends. In the winter, the lake freezes over and you can play hockey or go skating! There are also winter trails in the forests nearby to go for a hike.
Ride a 1 km mountain coaster through the forest
Located in the forests of Blue Mountain is this one kilometre Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster! It's open year-round and makes for the perfect activity during fall and winter. In the winter you'll rush past a literal snowy wonderland and enjoy the beautiful scenery. If you're looking for an easy adventure, this is definitely the best option!
Explore a magical winter wonderland forest
Head over to Kingston, Ontario this winter and you'll experience a winter wonderland forest like you never have before! Wander through a 1 km trail full of stunning light shows and art installations. Walk down Iceberg Alley, through the Sleeping Woods, and warm up by the Fireteller filled with firepits! This year's Lumina Borealis event will be taking place from November 30th until January 5th.