When Lake Ontario and its surrounding communities become frosty and your nose is rosy with chill, you might be tempted to hibernate until birds chirp the arrival of spring. But with a world of history, gardens, and adventure sports at your disposal all year round, staying at home would be a shame. Here’s a list of indoor activities near Hamilton Halton Brant that will have you scraping the ice from your windshield and setting off on a fun winter adventure!
When it’s too chilly to enjoy the atmosphere outside, this indoor flight-themed museum lets you celebrate vintage aircraft that once dotted the sky. More than 40 aircraft are exhibited at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope, including the Avro CF-100. If capturing photos of your favourite planes isn’t enough, climb right into the cockpit of a fighter jet or hone your virtual piloting skills in a flight simulator. If you’re ready to bundle up and experience the real deal, buy a flight in a vintage aircraft; an experienced aviator will take you up in a Fairey Firefly, Westland Lysander, or Avro Lancaster.
This Hamilton destination is a wonderful place to warm yourself during cold winter months. Reignite your fire for all things history while you tour the 40-room villa, which has been a part of local landscape since the 1830s. Former Premier of the United Canadas, Sir Allan Napier MacNab, used to live in the huge property, and these days the Italianate-style structure is a museum. Your guided tour through Dundurn Castle will reveal stories about the affluent family that once lived within its walls, as well as the people who lived downstairs and served their every beck and call. It’s almost like a tour through Downton Abbey!
When the temperatures outside are too frigid to embark on a trek around the 130 hectares of woodland and meadow in Westfield, you can still have a good time. About 30 historical buildings remain in this community, including Mountsberg Church and a Confederation-era home. The guides donning historically-accurate garb and authentic demonstrations will have you stepping back in time. You’ll get to know early Canadian culture like the back of your hand!
You might not be up for a thrilling skydive during the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch a good adrenaline rush. Step into an indoor wind tunnel at iFly. With wind speeds of 175 kph, the 45-foot tall cylinder tunnel will make you feel just like you’re experiencing an authentic plane jump. Once you tackle iFly, you’ll be on your way to becoming a seasoned skydiver and extreme sport enthusiast.
The impressive grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens span across 1,100 hectares, and serve as the largest of their kind in all of Canada. While snow cover may blanket some of your favourite gardens this winter, the RBG Centre is still open for business with indoor and outdoor displays. Inside, you can stay warm and marvel at the living wall and Mediterranean Garden. Hendrie Park, accessible through an underground tunnel, is also open during the winter months.