By Dawn Huddlestone

Winter is no time to hibernate, not with so much family fun to be had in the great outdoors! Just a few hours north of the city you’ll find a winter wonderland with every activity you enjoyed as a kid—and plenty more that you didn’t.

Whether your family has always enjoyed Canada’s snowy season, or it’s a new-to-you experience, Huntsville is the ideal place to sample everything winter. Just two hours north of Toronto, you’ll find a one-stop destination where you can up your cool factor and create new memories with your family.

One of the most magical times to experience winter is at night. At a resort like Deerhurst, you can try a snowshoe trek along a gently lit trail around Peninsula Lake’s Sunset Bay. Or head to Arrowhead Provincial Park and glide along a torch-lit forest trail under the stars on their Fire and Ice nights. It’s totally Instagram-worthy!

By day, skate on a frozen lake—it’s the most iconic of Canadian winter pastimes. Or explore the local trails by snowshoe. At Deerhurst Resort, there’s even a snowshoe labyrinth to solve. A-maze-ing!

What about cross-country skiing? Slide effortlessly (almost!) along track-set trails through a snowy field or forest. If it’s your first time, just ask for tips to get you started. While some places charge for rentals, at Deerhurst, skates, snowshoes, cross-country skis and hockey equipment are all available for use by resort guests as part of your resort fee. Just pick them up and go!

There are plenty of other unique experiences in this easy to get to part of Muskoka, too. Have you ever been snowmobiling? Guided tours complete with outerwear and safety tips are available—no experience required. There are even pint-sized sleds for kids to zoom around the trails on. It’s fun for the whole family!  So is downhill skiing—try it for the first time together at the nearby, super family-friendly Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area. Lessons and rental equipment are available at the hill and there’s terrain for all abilities.

Need to heat things up a little? Head inside to the pool or the hot tub, pump up your adrenaline at an indoor climbing wall or solve a mystery at the ZigZag Escape Rooms, Muskoka’s only escape cabins. That’s where the whole family can work together to find the deed to a treasure, or uncover the clues to find out what happened to a missing painter. But hurry—the clock is ticking!

And at the end of the day, sit back, relax and make some ‘smores next to a roaring campfire. What’s more Canadian than that? Best of all, you’ll be creating heartwarming new memories that your kids will want to continue when they have their own families.

Experience all this and more at the Snow Wonder! Family Winter Celebration, January 25-27 at Deerhurst Resort. You’ll find all the same fun activities, along with snowcurl bowling (a super-fun mashup of bowling and curling), ice carving demonstrations, a snowman making contest, a kids’ photo op with our mascot, Charlie the deer, and a campfire with live music. Or warm up inside with VIP seating to The Backyardigans Show and the indoor PlayZone with giant inflatables.