With busy work, school, sports and social schedules, finding time to relax and have fun together as a family can be a challenge. One of the easiest ways to reignite your family’s sense of play is to break away from home routines for a few days. A quick cruise on Highway 401 to London is all it takes to find a change of scenery filled with activities that kids and parents will adore. Follow these three simple steps to plan your next getaway.
Step #1: Pick A Perfect Portfolio of Play
Chances are, different family members have different interests. Keep everyone happy by planning an assortment of activities for two mornings and two afternoons that will complement various interests. Here are some tried and true options for family fun in the London area.
Adventure seekers will adore spending a few hours at 100 Kellogg Lane. This former cereal factory has been converted into Canada’s largest indoor family entertainment centre. With a 170,000-square-foot indoor ropes course, zip lines, a trampoline course, ultimate warrior course, virtual reality zone, massive arcade, and escape rooms, every member of the family will find something they can’t wait to do here!
Zipping around the Go Kart track, hitting home runs at the batting cages, racing down the waterpark’s seven water slides, scaling the 40-foot rock climbing wall or battling it out in bumper cars at East Park London is another excellent option.
Fanshawe Pioneer Village is a living history museum where costumed interpreters bring history to life in a fascinating collection of 19th-century homes and buildings.
A visit to the Museum of Ontario Archaeology will take you back in time as you explore a 500-year-old village with a reconstructed longhouse and the museum’s collection of southwestern Ontario’s archaeological discoveries.
Banting House National Historic Site celebrates one of the most important Canadian medical discoveries of the twentieth century and the life and career of Sir Frederick Grant Banting.
The London Children’s Museum’s excellent hands-on exhibits and engaging learning experiences encourage visitors to explore history and heritage, as well as science, society, art, and culture.
Fresh Air Fans
For kids and kids-at-heart who are happiest outside, a visit to Storybook Gardens is a must. In addition to rides, games and entertainment showcasing favourite fairy tales, there’s the On the Riverbank Splash Pad to cool off at when you’re done exploring.
For fresh air fans who enjoy a healthy side of adventure, head to Boler Mountain’s Treetop Adventure Park. Activities including zip lines, a ropes course, swinging bridges, Tarzan swings, and pirate nets will keep your family entertained for hours in this beautiful piece of Carolinian forest.
Clovermead Adventure Farm is another best bet for fresh air family fun on the farm with over 50 attractions to enjoy.
Step #2: Make Mealtime Fun
The right dining experience can remind your family that mealtime doesn’t have to feel like a bore or a chore! London’s red-hot restaurant scene makes it easy to find a place that will leave everyone at the table with a smile on their face. Excellent meal choices for families looking for food and fun include:
- A luxurious golf simulator suite at The Club House Bar & Lounge
- Canadian-inspired cuisine at The Rec Room’s Three10 Restaurant
- Amazing pizzas and pub fare with a side of 10-pin bowling or billiards at Palasad Social Bowl
- A dessert of chocolate fondue and crepes at Forrat’s Chocolates Lounge
- Breakfast at The Early Bird
- Family-style modern Mexican for lunch at Los Lobos
- A meal overlooking the excitement of an international airport runway at Katana Kafé and Grill
- A build your own burger experience that’s earned You Gotta Eat Here’s stamp of approval at The Bungalow Neighbourhood Hub
Step #3: Up Your Hotel Room’s Play Potential
Prevent kids from defaulting to their devices in the hotel room by choosing a place to stay for a few nights that has amenities or proximity to engaging activities to keep your family playing right up until bedtime. London is home to many excellent family-friendly hotel options:
- The Lamplighter Inn and Conference Centre’s massive pool, waterslide and tropical-feeling atrium offer the perfect place to keep family fun going.
- Staying in an old armoury makes for some pretty cool exploring at the Delta London Armouries! Be sure to request a room in the original section of the armoury!
- Homewood Suites by Hilton London is a perfect home base for visiting Storybook Gardens, East Park London or enjoying some family shopping time at White Oaks Mall. It also has an indoor pool for end-of-day splashing!
- Another great way to add some recreation to your room is by taking advantage of Tourism London’s Stay A Little Longer promotion. Book a two-night stay at a participating London hotel, and you’ll receive a $100 VISA gift card that you can put towards fun activities to enjoy during your trip.