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Summer Family Fun at Blue Mountain Resort
When you hear "Blue Mountain", you most likely will think of skiing and snowboarding, hot chocolate and apres ski parties, so I was overwhelmingly suprised to find just how much activity and adventure there was going on here in the summer.
My husband and I took the kids (age 7 & 9) up for a weekend in June and had one of the best times of our lives! Blue Mountain Village is like its own little world, full of restaurants, shops and outdoor activities. We didn't stop the whole time we were there, which was perfect for a family that loves being outdoors and being active together.
The Westin Trillium House
There are plenty of different accomodations available right in Blue Mountain Village as well as close by in Collingwood and the surrounding area. We had the privilege to stay in the beautiful Westin Trillium House. It's an elegant and friendly hotel that offers a renowned restaurant: Oliver & Bonacini Caf? Grill, fabulous rooms and a gorgeous outdoor pool. You can walk right into the Village out the back door of the hotel. The staff were amazing and our room was stunning, and included a full kitchen which was great with the kids so we could make our own breakfast and lunch. I felt spoiled by and thoroughly enjoyed the "Heavenly" bed and the "Heavenly" double shower-head! The Westin Trillium is a high-end hotel without the snobbery, as families with all ages feel most welcome. They even have the Westin Kid's Club with fun activities to keep the kids busy!
Visit their website for more information and to make reservations.
Woodlot Low Ropes Course
The Woodlot Low Rope Course is one of the new features at Blue Mountain Village for summertime fun. If you're looking for adventure, this is definitely the place to start! We got all geared up in our safety harnesses, gloves and helmets then hit the course.
I'll admit I was a bit nervous about the whole thing but my kids couldn't wait to get on the course. My 9 year old daughter led the way which in itself was a brave thing to do. She ventured into unchartered territory with no fear whatsoever.
There are 3 different courses which all include a variety of elements (ladders, bridges, ropes and tires). The staff were incredibly helpful, enthusiastic, friendly and encouraging which helped up all relax and enjoy the experience. There is no danger at all of falling since you're tethered onto the course the whole time, but until you come to trust your equipment, it can feel quite scary. My husband called it a "confidance course" which was an apt description. By the end of the third and highest course, we all felt like we'd achieved something incredible together! I highly recommend this course for families (with kids ages 6 and over), couples, groups and anyone looking for a great team-building experience.
Here's a link to their website for more information and ticket pricing. Discounts are available to Blue Mountain lodging guests.
Plunge Aquatic Centre
If you're visiting Blue Mountain Village with kids, you can't miss the water fun at Plunge Aquatic Centre. It includes a 10,000 square foot indoor and outdoor pool as well as a toddler playcentre, 2 waterslides, outdoor rope swing and diving board into a deep pool, 2 hot tubs and tons of fun for everyone.This is the perfect family activity to cool you down on those hot summer days. Plunge is right in the heart of the Village with great views of the mountain (which is especially cool at winter-time when you're swimming outdoors in the steaming pool while its snowing and youre watching skiiers and snowboarders come down the hill just above you!). Plunge also offers some great Summer Camp programs.
Check out Plunge`s website for more information.
One of the things my kids were most excited about doing during our trip to Blue Mountain Resort was going to Scenic Caves, since they are both huge rock-lovers and quite possibly future geologists! The Scenic Caves Nature Adventures did not disappoint with its huge property of natural beauty and great hiking. We started by following the wooded path to the Suspension Bridge which had an amazing view over the forest of Georgian Bay including Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and much more. It's the longest suspension footbridge in Ontario at 126 metres long.
After the bridge, we started our hike through the Scenic Caves (proper running shoes are mandatory). The tour, which has 19 caves or attractions, is self-guided and takes about 50 minutes. The first cave is called Natural Refrigerator and if you don't mind small spaces, it's very cool (ha, ha) to squeeze right in and see where the early Natives stored their food (at a summer temperature of only 4 degrees C). There is a lot of history in the caves so make sure you read the sign posts along the way to get the full story. You'll enjoy stunning views and learn interesting facts along the way. Another cave highlight for us was Fat Man's Misery, which you can either go over top, or if you're adventurous you can squeeze through, with the narrowest spot being just 36 centimeters!!
After you've finished seeing all the Caves, there's a lovely wooded hike back to the entrance. They offer mini-golf, a kid's playground, a train ride, a gift shop with snacks and some fun Gemstone Mining (extra charge applies). The Scenic Caves was a perfect attraction for our family and we highly recommend visiting one of Canada's Great Natural Wonders.
Visit their website for more information.
The Pottery Restuarant
After a long day of exciting activities, we were only too happy to sit down and relax over a nice dinner with the kids at The Pottery Restaurant. The Pottery is located at the very west end of the Village in the original Blue Mountain Inn. It is casual dining with amazing food, much of which is grown locally within 100 miles. The manager shared the history of the place with us, telling us it was named after one of Jozo Weider's hobbies of sculpting pottery. Blue Mountain was founded by Czechoslovakian born skiier Jozo Weider in 1941. The restaurant is decorated with many pottery pieces giving it a rich warm feeling.
The food was incredible, to say the least. My Kiwi husband enjoyed the Rack of Lamb with fresh herbs, red-skinned garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies, I indulged in the Summer Shrimp Fest with their Pottery Salad (probably the BEST salad I've ever had), Lemongrass Shrimp and Apple Pie Trail Apple Galette (an absolutely divine dessert made with locally grown apples). They have a fairly extensive kids menu but of course our kids stuck with their perennial favourites of chicken fingers and burger with fries. The kids meals come with a FREE sundae and topping. To see their menu or to make reservations, please visit their website here.
After dinner, we enjoyed the open-air Gondola ride which gives you a specatacular view as you climb the mountain side. The Gondolas are available for people and for bikes (Blue Mountain is extremely popular with mountain-bikers). You can take the Gondola up the mountain and do one of several varied hikes, or hike up and take the Gondola back down to the Village. Overnight lodging guests also receive discounted tickets for the gondola!
Visit their website for ticket prices and hours of operation.
Cascade Putting Course
The Cascade Putting Course is one of the newer attractions to Blue Mountain and is a perfect addition for summer family activities. The 18-hole course was created with a natural limestone backdrop and features bunkers, waterfalls and streams. It's a challenging but fun mini-putt course at the base of the mountain. We all enjoyed the course, even though my son shot his very first ball into a stream and then couldn't quite realize his dream of getting a "hole-in-one!" This course is great entertainment for golfers of all ages who will enjoy the beautiful setting as they putt their way through the course.
Click on their website for more information.
Ridge Runner is Ontario's only mountain coaster and takes you on an exciting ride through the woods and the mountain with over a kilometre going downhill.The sleds can carry one or two passengers and you control the speed that you're travelling with a manual brake. This open-air attraction runs all year long and is a hit with thrill-seekers, young and old. Enjoy views of Georgian Bay as you race through the varied terrain, going up to speeds of 42 kilometers per hour. My son and husband had a blast on this ride (and were amused to find themselves behind a shrieking bridal party of women including the bride-to-be herself!!)
Visit their website for hours and ticket information or to watch a short video of the ride.
In the middle of the Village is the scenic Mill Pond with many fun and lower-key Dockside activities. There are paddle boats and kayaks for rent, catch-and-release fishing, beach volleyball, shuffle board and remote control tug boats. The best part is that parents can sit in one of the comfy bright Muskoka chairs and relax while the kids are busy having fun!
Visit their website here.
Rusty's at Blue
One of Blue Mountain's most popular eateries is Rusty's At Blue Bar and Barbecue. It's got the prime location of being at the bottom of the main ski-hill with a large patio and a great view of both the village and the mountain. They are famous for their 10-foot smoker bbq that they run outside smoking yummy ribs, chicken, burgers, corn on the cob and pulled pork. Kids are welcome and it's a great place to grab a family lunch. At night, you can catch a game on the big TV, chill out on the patio with a cool drink or hit the dance floor with their DJ or a live band.
To see their menu and learn more about special events, visit their website.
Perfect Summer Family Vacation
All in all, we had the most amazing family weekend getaway at Blue Mountain Resort. While we kept extremely busy all weekend long, trying to hit as many activities as we could, we know that there is so very much more to explore which means we'll just have to come back again soon! If you're looking to plan a fun family vacation this summer, Blue Mountain is the perfect choice. It's only a 2 hour drive northwest of Toronto and has more to offer than you can possibly imagine!To book a vacation or learn more about Blue Mountain Resort, please visit their website at www.bluemountain.ca