Is “I’m bored” a constant refrain during the winter school holidays?
Boredom can be good for children’s creativity, but it can be taxing on parents.
Without ideas? We’ve got you covered.
Southwestern Ontario has nine parks that are open during school holidays and offer a variety of indoor and outdoor programs, events and activities.
Where to go
That really depends on how “wintery” you are feeling.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Snow is likely in some southwest parks, including Awenda, Wasaga Beach, MacGregor Point and Pinery. The parks along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario (Rondeau, Mono Cliffs, Forks of the Credit, Komoka and Bronte Creek) are more likely to be what we like to call outdoor destinations with little to no snow .
All of these parks make perfect day trips and are within a two-hour drive of Barrie, Toronto, London or Windsor.
Fun that doesn’t need snow
Our southwest parks have many fun events planned during the holidays.
Visitor centers will be open in Pinery and Rondeau over the holidays (the MacGregor Point visitor center will be open at select times), but here are some special events you won’t want to miss:
Feathered Friends Make and Take and Live Animal Show (Wild Ontario) —MacGregor Point Provincial Park
Stop by the Visitor Center between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to make a special bird seed ornament to take home for your backyard birds! While you’re putting up your ornament, take a stroll along the boardwalk, feed some chickadees, and learn more about the park’s winter birds.
From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, come support the Friends of MacGregor Point Park by purchasing lunch at the Visitor Center. The Friends will also be setting up a cupcake decorating station!
At 2:00 pm, our friends at Wild Ontario will be bringing live birds of prey to teach us about the amazing birds of prey that live in Ontario! Meet and greet opportunities at the end of the show. Please leave pets at home.
Join us on December 21 (events from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm).
victorian christmas — Brontë Creek Provincial Park
Spruce Lane Farm will be trimmed and decorated in all its seasonal splendor. Wander at your leisure through the rustic barns of Spruce Lane Farm, where you’ll find a variety of farm animals and the perfect setting for a family photo.
Your Victorian Christmas experience can include traditional Christmas games and activities, tours of the elegantly decorated Spruce Lane Farmhouse, and seasonal stories and carols in the drawing room.
Join us Thursday through Sunday during the winter holidays (December 27-30, January 3-5), between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
winter holiday activities — Rondeau Provincial Park
Looking for something to do now that the kids are out of school? Come to the Rondeau Visitor Center for daily activities!
There will be a different activity each day, including scavenger hunts, movies and games, as well as make and take activities. Check the park’s Facebook page for hours.
Join us from December 27th to January 5th.
Live Animal Show (Talking About Wildlife) – MacGregor Point Provincial Park
Come see some of Ontario’s coolest animals up close! Our friends at Speaking of Wildlife will be bringing their animal ambassadors for you to meet! Please leave pets at home.
Join us on December 21 (make-and-take from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, live show at 2:00 pm).
New Year’s Eve Coyote Howl Walk and Countdown for Kids — Brontë Creek Provincial Park
Our Discovery Program team offers a series of guided night walks, leading groups of people away from the lights of the picnic shelter and into the darkness of the forest.
These brave visitors are rewarded with an exceptional experience: learning about the ecology, distribution, and common misconceptions surrounding this “urban wolf.”
The evening culminates with the opportunity to hear coyotes howl in response to our imitation calls.
Join us on December 31 at 6:30 p.m.
First day walks
A first day walk is a fun and healthy way to start the New Year. The concept is simple: on January 1, visit a nearby provincial park for a hike!
Do you want a guided walk? Visit:
Do you prefer to wander on your own? Visit:
Fun for chionophiles (snow lovers)
Check our Ski Report for up-to-date information on snow levels at our parks and ice conditions on MacGregor Point skating surfaces.
When there is deep snow (30+ cm)
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Do you want to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing? Visit:
*these parks offer equipment rental
When there is deep snow (15-30 cm)
Brontë Creek Provincial Park
Try sledding or even disc golf at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Do you want a more nature-focused experience? Go hiking or snowshoeing in:
When there is little or no snow (0-14 cm)
Rondeau Provincial Park
It’s a great time to go hiking, especially in Rondeau Provincial Park or Bronte Creek Provincial Park.