Tag Archives: outdoor activities

two kids by a pond

A river in the city – some Time for Nature

Originally published August 27, 2012

My family and I live in a city. You might be picturing a concrete jungle without much opportunity to connect with nature. Yet our neighbourhood is teeming with nature and my kids love it.

We live not far from the Humber River and spend many a lazy day sauntering along the path enjoying what nature has to offer. We have met deer, frogs, snakes, geese (always geese), chipmunks and squirrels. I think we may have even spooked a beaver by accident once.

On a particularly beautiful day, we went to a local park to do some climbing, sliding and swinging. At the edge of this park there is a path that leads down to the Humber River. Thinking our kids would rather play at the playground, we settled on a park bench to enjoy the sun and to watch them play. Continue reading


Family Adventure at Horseshoe Resort

So, what did you do this weekend?

We headed up to Barrie, Ontario for a day at Horseshoe Resort’s Adventure Park, and man was it AWESOME!

Family going to Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park

My kids are young (5 and 3), which means that these kinds of theme parks often don’t work out for our family because of height, weight and age restrictions. But Horseshoe Resort’s Adventure Park promised to have something for everyone as long as we brought along our sense of adventure.

And that we did!

My daughter had her sight set on the Aqua Ogo, but on the way to the Ogo hill, both kids got sidetracked by the Climbing Wall and Euro Bungy! Awesome adventures to be sidetracked by, by the way.

Boy bouncing on the euro bungy at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Wall climbing at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

We were there first thing in the morning so the line-ups weren’t too bad, which allowed the kids to bounce away to their hearts content for a little longer and to climb the wall until their little arms and legs could no longer hold their weight. (I even climbed the wall!)

Then we headed for the Ogo hill. And that was just FUN, FUN, FUN!

Saturday was hot, even at 10 a.m., so cooling off in a giant ball of water while rolling down a hill at a thrill per minute was definitely in order!

Aqua Ogo at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Family leaving a water ball at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

My kids LOVED IT! So did I! We could have spent the whole day on the Ogo hill, but there were so many other things to do, we got dried off and headed to the next adventure.

Which took us back to the Climbing Wall. I didn’t know that my daughter was in training to scale Mount Everest. She’s quite the monkey!

Girl and boy wall climbing at Horeseshoe Resort Adventure Park

After a delicious lunch (the food was fabulous!—so was the break and the chance to sit down for a bit!), we headed off to Horseshoe Resort’s Hummer Tour.

Neither kid was enthused about this. My husband and I couldn’t wait for the tour to start, but both kids thought the idea of sitting in a truck and driving through the forest was less than thrilling.

Another family of four joined us in the modified Hummer and off we went. Not 10 minutes into the tour, camera in hand, bouncing all over the place, my daughter said, and I quote, “This is way better than I thought it was going to be!” proving that even my five-year-old can be impressed.

Family on a hummer tour at Horseshoe Resort, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Mike, our tour guide and Hummer driver, was incredible. He chatted about the history of the forest, about building the trails, and told us details about the Hummer, all while navigating seemingly insane ditches, slopes and hills. It was AWESOME and THRILLING! We climbed and clawed our way through that forest like we were inside the belly of some kind of beast. Mike took us up hills backwards, on slopes that other 4X4s would have toppled over on, through ruts and ditches and down hills until our hearts were in our throats and we didn’t know whether to laugh or gasp for breath.

Then he brought the beast up onto three wheels and let us get out to take pictures! I was amazed at the fun of it all but also at how comfortable and relaxed the whole experience was. Not once did I feel like this was some sterile experience where the participants were allowed only to sit in one spot, securely strapped in, unable to really appreciate the beauty of this beast. We got to get out and really see it! (In case you can’t tell from the picture, that front wheel is several feet in the air!)

Two kids on a hummer tour at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

After the Hummer tour, it was time for some zip lining on the 900 foot Big Zip. The kids weren’t heavy enough for this, so my husband and I went solo. I questioned my sanity as I rode the chairlift (alone) to the top of the hill where I would be fastened to a cable and sent zipping across Horseshoe Resort’s Adventure Park. What a rush! I highly recommend it. It actually wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. (But it was scary enough!)

Ready to zipline at Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

To wind down our day, we checked out the gem mining and the kids panned their way to handfuls of beautiful gem stones.

Kids panning for gemsWe contemplated hitting the Ridgetop Mini Golf, but the kids were beat and so were we. It was a long and fantastic day of adventure and we were all ready to head back to Toronto with our heads full of memories of the great fun we had at Horseshoe Resort’s Adventure Park.

If you’re looking to rediscover fun this summer, I highly recommend checking out Horseshoe Resort’s Adventure Park.

Boys vs Girls

Back and forth. Back and forth. Up and down. Down and up. Around and around. Around and around. Zoom! Crash! Alright! Wow! Wheee!

My head spins. My body aches. I’m out of breath. Exhausted. Continue reading