Wondering how to pack a lot more fun into your family’s vacation schedule? With a little advance planning and some insider tips and tricks, it’s easier than you might think to save serious cash while squeezing even more fun out of your travel budget. Here are 9 ways to spend less dough and find more fun on your next family trip.
Investing in a hybrid vehicle isn’t the only way to cut back on fuel expenses. Choose a close-to-home location to reduce the bill at the gas station while spending less time cooped up in the car. You’ll also forego the expense of a hotel if you choose to spend the day. Hamilton Halton Brant is a short, easy drive from many of southern Ontario’s major centres.
Approximate Driving Distances:
Toronto Niagara Waterloo London Oshawa Hamilton 70km 30km 70km 130km 150km Oakville 40km 50km 90km 160km 100km Burlington 60km 30km 80km 140km 140km Brantford 100km 70km 60km 90km 190km Milton 50km 50km 60km 150km 110km Paris 110km 60km 40km 90km 190km
There’s no better way to illustrate the lesson that the best things in life are free than by showing your kids how easy it is to find few hours of complimentary fun. Some best bets in Hamilton Halton Brant include:
- Strolling the pier and hitting the beach at the Burlington Waterfront
- Catching live music and enjoying the vibrant social scene at some of Ontario’s best festivals, including: Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival, Hamilton’s Supercrawl and the Winona Peach Festival
- Loading up bikes, scooters or rollerblades and hitting Hamilton’s Waterfront Trail, a paved path that runs for almost 8 km along the recently restored waterfront. Pack a picnic or treat yourself to a snack at Pier 8.
- Visiting Art Gallery of Hamilton on Friday Free Nights, offered the first Friday of every month
- Exploring Hamilton’s Griffin House National Historic Site, an early 19th century home overlooking the beautiful Dundas Valley that celebrates the history of Enerals Griffin and other early Black settlers.
If your schedule is a little more flexible, you can score some serious savings while avoiding the crowds. Head to Hamilton’s Wild Waterworks after 4:00 pm and take advantage of the park’s “Sundown Rate” to save up to $11 per person.
If your whole brood is along for the ride, many museums and attractions offer family rates with significant savings. Hamilton’s collection of Civic Museums offers discounted family passes at the Hamilton Children’s Museum, Battlefield House Museum Park and National Historic Site, Dundurn National Historic Site, Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum, Hamilton Military Museum, Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology National Historic Site and Whitehern House and Garden National Historic Site. Westfield Heritage Village, one of Ontario’s best destinations for pioneer-themed play, also offers a family rate.
For families looking for an on-the-water adventure, the Grand River’s gentle currents and shallow depths make it a great choice for those who would prefer to travel without the additional expense of a guide. Grand River Rafting and Grand Experiences both offer a range of self-guided canoe, kayak, raft and stand-up paddle board trips on the Grand River that provide all the equipment you’ll need and even a shuttle ride back to your car at the end of your float.
Purchasing a daily pass for any of Conservation Halton’s parks grants you access to any of their seven parks for the entire day. For example, you can spend the morning exploring Crawford Lake Conservation Area’s Iroquoian village and rare meromictic lake and then head to Mountsberg Conservation Area in the afternoon without paying additional admission. Mountsberg offers visitors amazing animal fun including farm animals in the play barn, bison in the paddock and a Raptor Centre with daily educational programs and events, like Birds of Prey shows. Wrap up a summer day with one of the many family-themed evening programs Conservation Halton regularly offers, including guided hikes, star-gazing and campfires.
There’s a good chance that once you discover the ease, fun and value of a Hamilton Halton Brant family excursion, you’ll want to make more than one return trip. Purchasing an annual membership is a great way to decrease admission fees for your family at Springridge Farm, Halton Conservation, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Grand River Conservation Authority, Royal Botanical Gardens and African Lion Safari.
Dining out as a family can be a pricey experience that young children don’t always enjoy. Make foraging for your food part of the fun by planning a few well-timed stops at Hamilton Halton Brant’s great farmer’s markets, bakeries, pick-your-own farms and roadside stands. Tried and true favourites include Hamilton Farmers’ Market, The Paris Wincey MillsCo., Puddicombe Farms, Chudleighs, and Dyment’s.
It’s never been easier to get the inside scoop on great deals for attractions, activities and dining in Hamilton Halton Brant. Scan our Deals and Packages section while you’re planning your trip and build your itinerary around the discounted activities on offer. You can also sign up to have the latest, greatest deals delivered directly to your email inbox here. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute news too!