We’ve all heard that life is more about the journey than the destination, but those wise words can be a hard sell to restless kids riding in the back seat! This summer, surprise them with a road trip that incorporates plenty of time for surprises along the way. This two-day tour in and around London, and Middlesex and Elgin counties is overflowing with fun activities that everyone will love. Just in case some rainy weather rolls in, there are plenty of indoor options as well.
Day One: Lunch
Arrive in the London area hungry and fuel up for an afternoon of fun by letting the kids invent their own signature poutine at Pizza Projekt. Zen’Za is another fun choice for a mid-day pizza feast, and the restaurant also offers delicious options for plant-based and gluten-free folks.
Day One: Afternoon
If the weather is on your side, zipping through the treetops is an excellent option for an afternoon of fresh air fun. Boler Mountain's treetop adventure park offers zip lines, rope courses, swinging bridges, Tarzan swings, pirate nets and more. East Park’s massive waterpark, which boasts seven waterslides, including a 55’-high bullet slide, is another great option for a sunny summer day.
If the forecast isn’t in your favour, head to one of London’s incredible indoor play spaces:
- With 3D climbing walls, aerial silks, slack lines, dodgeball courts, kiddie courts, and so much more, Flying Squirrel is not your run-of-the-mill trampoline park.
- For families with younger kids, Play Away’s three-story indoor play structure is an excellent choice that is meticulously clean with clear sight lines that make it easy to keep an eye on your busy crew.
- The London Children’s Museum will keep your kids curious with nine interactive exhibits offering a wealth of play-based learning experiences that encourage cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
- Junction Climbing Centre is London’s largest full-service climbing gym, and its partner site, J2 Bouldering, has an indoor boulder circuit that each climber in your crew can make as easy or difficult as they choose.
Following your afternoon activity, check into your accommodation for the night. If you would prefer to stay in a hotel with a pool the Best Western Lamplighter Inn is sure to please. If you want more room to spread out, Residence Inn by Marriott London Downtown is a great option.
Pair your room with dinner and some friendly family competition at The Factory, The Rec Room, Palasad Social Bowl or Fleetway. Be sure to plan a stop at Nova Era Bakery to pick up some Portuguese-inspired breakfast pastries for a quick and delicious meal on the road the following morning.
If you’d prefer to stay somewhere a little more rural for the evening, there are several excellent farm stay options just a short drive from London, like the farm trailer experience at Jireh Hills, Laughing Goat Lane’s vacation rental (which comes with free goat cuddles) and S.A.M.Y.’s Alpaca Farm’s backyard bunkie, which includes a complimentary alpaca walk.
If you’d like to split the difference between city adventure and farm stay solitude, make the short trip to the cute town of Strathroy and stay at the historic Clock Tower Inn. Spin some vinyl while you enjoy dinner at the retro-eclectic Back Alley Burrito. Then, swing by Muggs Coffeebar and Clayroom to see if your visit coincides with one of their family-friendly pottery painting events.
Day Two: Morning
Weather and growing season permitting, start your day with a pick-your-own experience in a local patch!
- In June, Heeman’s, in Thorndale, offers excellent strawberry picking. The on-site café, The Berry Beanery, has delicious treats year-round.
- Great Lakes Farms, which is on the way to Port Stanley, has strawberry picking, as well as peach picking later in the summer and apple and pumpkin picking in the fall.
- Clovermead Adventure Farm is another excellent option for family fun on a farm. Between May and October, there are 50 fun attractions and a range of fun events, including a Summer Days With The Beekeeper experience and a Fall Pumpkin Festival.
- A horse-riding lesson at Full Circle Ranch is another fun option for a rural adventure to start to your day.
If your family would prefer some outdoor fun minus the farm, exploring the Ska-Nah-Doht Museum at Longwoods Road Conservation Area is a must. This interactive museum preserves and presents local First Nation history through its recreation Longhouse Village, Heritage Log Cabins, and indoor museum. You’ll leave with a better understanding of what life was like for the Haudenosaunee along Antler River (or the Thames River) close to 1,000 years ago.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plans for outdoor adventures, head to Railway 1856 Ultimate Mini Golf in St. Thomas. This wheelchair-accessible course opens at 10 am and has rotating daily specials.
Day Two: Afternoon
As you make your way toward your afternoon destination of Port Stanley, stop in St. Thomas for lunch to enjoy a mid-day meal at Elgin Harvest followed by an unforgettable ice cream experience at Shaw’s Dairy Bar.
Hit the beach for the afternoon. Port Stanley’s Blue Flag Beach is perfect for families, offering one of the finest stretches of sand on Lake Erie's north shore.
If it’s raining, swap sand for steam and spend some time exploring the Elgin County Railway Museum in St. Thomas.
Wrap up your busy day with a relaxed dinner watching the Lake Erie waves on Canada’s largest beachside patio at GT’s On The Beach. Items on the kid’s menu come with a slice of watermelon and a giant Freezie! Be sure to try the dessert nachos for the ultimate sweet treat!
Looking for even more memory-making experiences for your family to connect? Browse our collection of experiences and itineraries that have been optimized for maximum fun and will set the stage for you to learn, play, and explore as a family.