Summer vacation rituals are great, but occasionally it’s fun to shake things up with a few days away that are completely unexpected. This summer, Hamilton Halton Brant’s huge crop of family-friendly fun makes it the perfect destination for a vacation switch-up. The following three itineraries will help you narrow down your options by having your family choose between activities based on the themes of water, land, or air.

Family Fun Theme: Water

Start your day off with breakfast on the beach. Some of our favourite morning sand and snack pairings include:

For the afternoon, shake off all the sand by spending a few hours enjoying Wild Waterworks’ huge heated wave pool, six crazy waterslides and relaxing Eazy River. Smaller children will have a blast in the wading pool with slides, mists, spray and fountains. Consider renting a Cabana for the ultimate experience. FunSplash Hamilton at Binbrook Conservation Area is another fantastic outdoor waterpark option. The family will have a blast competing on 25 different inflatable obstacles set on the Lake Niapenco reservoir.

A hotel with a pool is a prerequisite for any family holiday that’s all about water-based play and there are lots to choose from in Hamilton Halton Brant.

For your second day, enjoy some time out on the water instead of in it! Want to hit the Grand River for a few hours of care-free floating? The Five Oaks to Brant Park is Grand River Rafting’s shortest Turbo Tubing trip at about two hours of paddling. This easy adventure is perfect for families with young children and people wishing to see what tubing is like before doing a longer float.

Other options for spending day two afloat include climbing aboard the Hamiltonian for a sightseeing tour of one of North America’s most noteworthy harbours or loading everyone into a canoe to explore Kelso Reservoir, but there are dozens of more ways to explore the region’s shorelines.

Family Fun Theme: Land

If your family prefers finding fun that allows everyone to stay dry, this itinerary is for you. Begin your land-based adventure with a stroll that will allow everyone to stretch their legs after your drive. Excellent family-friendly options include:

  • Triple C Farms’ Animal Walks invite guests to lead an alpaca, mini-horse or donkey around the farm.
  • The Six Nations Nature Trail is home to Canada’s largest stand of Carolinian forest.
  • Dundas Valley Conservation Area’s Heritage Trail showcases beautiful forests and the Niagara Escarpment.
  • Exploring Crawford Lake Conservation Area’s Longhouse Village is a fun way to learn about what daily life was like over 600 years ago for Indigenous peoples who lived in the area.
  • Oakville’s Bronte Village has a collection of 100 At Home In Bronte hand-painted Muskoka Chairs, each with a hidden lighthouse icon waiting for eager eyes to spot.

After a few hours of outdoor exploring, spend your afternoon stepping back in time. Fun ways to play within a different time period include:

For your second day, do some land-based cruising by bike:

  • The Hamilton section of The Waterfront Trail splits into two sections: The Hamilton Waterfront Trail and the Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail. Both trails are mainly off-road, 6m wide, paved asphalt, and offer a smooth, wide surface that’s perfect for newer bikers and rollerbladers. If you don’t feel like bringing your own bikes, tap into the network of rental bikes from Hamilton Bike Share.
  • If your family prefers terrain that’s a little more rugged, mountain biking trails at Hilton Falls, Kelso and Mountsberg Conservation areas won’t disappoint. Take advantage of the on-site mountain biking school at Kelso Conservation Area to help boost new riders’ confidence.
  • Brantford’s Rotary Bike Park is a must-try biking experience for riders who like to try a few tricks.

Family Fun Theme: Air

Look up, way up, and set your sights on the sky for this two-day adventure.

On your first morning, trade the busy amusement park scene for some more nature-based ways to play that will get your adrenaline pumping just as effectively as any roller coaster! Ideas for fresh-air fun families will love include:

For the afternoon, give your crew a taste of the excitement of skydiving with an Airborne Experience at iFly Toronto’s convenient Oakville location. The vertical wind tunnels offer a safe, seamless skydiving experience that gives you the feeling of freefall as you float on a smooth cushion of air.

For your second day, celebrate the magic of flight. Airplane enthusiasts will adore exploring the incredible collection at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, which has almost 50 different aircraft on site. Or change your perspective on a scenic flight over the Brantford area offered by Branford Flight Centre. Other locations include Long Point and Lake Erie, Niagara Falls or downtown Toronto! Aircraft rentals are also available for licenced pilots.

For families who would prefer to send things sailing through the air, take a few hours to introduce your crew to the fun of disc golf. A disc golf course is very similar to a traditional golf course, but the goal is to land flying discs into baskets located throughout the fields and forests instead of hitting a golf ball into a hole. Consider giving these courses a try:

Wrap up the final day of your air adventure by stepping into one of these four very cool open-air art experiences offered in Hamilton Halton Brant or having a nose-to-beak experience with the winged wonders living at the Mountsberg Conservation Area’s Raptor Centre.

This summer, Travel True in Hamilton Halton Brant and discover the pure pleasure of creating new memories with your favourite people. From incredible natural landscapes for outdoor adventures, like the Niagara EscarpmentGrand River and scenic Lake Ontario shorelines, to fascinating sites that celebrate our country’s past, fun summer festivals and events, and immersive experiences and tours that put you in the heart of all the action, discover the perfect backdrop for unforgettable summer fun.

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Now thru October 20

Grand River Rafting: Five Oaks Trip (Self-Guided)

Grand River Rafting Company

119 Jennings Rd, Brantford

Date & Times: Various across Seasons and Days Price: $35 to $50 per person depending...

Now thru November 30

Grand Experiences: Bruce Trail 2 Day Hiking Package (Guided Trip)

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Dates and Times: Available every day of the week - book in advance! Price: $525.00...

Now thru October 28

Bruce Trail Waterfall 5 Day Hiking Package

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Dates and Times: Contact for availability Cost: $1,349 to 1,679

Now thru August 16

WTF Is Music Bingo?!? at Dog-Eared Cafe

Dog-Eared Cafe

121 Grand River St N, Paris, ON

Date and Time: Jul 19th & Aug 16th - 7:00pm to 9:00pm Cost: $2.00

Now thru January 1

Museums Burlington Online Galleries

Joseph Brant Museum

1240 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington, ON, L7S 1C5

Now thru October 15

Grand Experiences: Paddling the Grand River – Paris to Brantford

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Date & Times: Every day, starting at 9:00am Price: varies depending on choice of boat

Now thru October 20

Sound Bath Meditation Experience

Staycation Beach and Boat Rentals Inc.

Beachway Park, 1100 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington

Dates: Multiple days throughout the summer Price: Single Pass - $69.95, 3 Pass - $180,...

Now thru December 7

Oakville Museum Guided Tour

Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate

8 Navy Street, Oakville, ON, L6J 2Y5

Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. General admission by donation (Suggested $7 per...

Now thru October 10

Guided Sunrise Paddles

Six Nations Tourism

Brant County Highway 54, Ohsweken, ON

Dates and Times: Every Wed starting Jun 26th until Oct (at sunrise) Cost: $35 per...

Now thru August 4

Adventures in the Valley Summer Camp

Dundas Valley Conservation Area, 650 Governors Road, Dundas, ON, Canada

Dates & Times: July 10th - 14th July 17th - 21st July 24th - 28th...

Now thru October 31

One Axe Pursuits: Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing

One Axe Pursuits

7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON

Dates: May to October Duration: 6 hours (10:00am to 4:00pm) Price: $250/person Contact to book...

Now thru October 13

On The Water with Six Nations Tourism

Six Nations Tourism

2498 Chiefswood Road, Ohsweken, ON, N0A 1M0

Season Dates: May 18th to Oct 13th Length: 3 hours. All tours must be booked...

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