Since moving to Alberta from Ontario, I feel like we traded lakes for mountains. So going home each summer, I try to make the most of our visits to the Great Lakes. There is no place I love more than the beach in Port Stanley, Ontario. Read about how to make the most of your vacation here, including FIVE must-do things to experience with your kids!
Family Fun in Port Stanley
Having the summer’s off is one of the best job perks about being a teacher. I grew up in London, Ontario so we have the chance to come back and visit every summer. I love showing my kids around the town that I grew up in and it’s important to me that we’re making happy memories and spending quality family time together. There are so many fun things to in Southwestern Ontario and my favourite is spending time at Port Stanley Beach in Elgin County. Here are the five must-do activities to experience as a family that will be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Port Stanley is by far one of my favourite places in all of Canada. Situated on Lake Erie, I love the small town feel of this community and the beach is so family friendly! The water is warm and the bottom is sandy and shallow with a gradual drop-off. Plus it’s wheelchair and stroller accessible. The beach is patrolled daily during the summer by lifeguards but I do recommend bringing flotation devices or life jackets for your kids. Besides swimming and sandcastles, we love taking long walks along the beach to explore rocks and beach glass that wash up on shore. Water sports are also a great way to experience the lake. The newly rennovated pier also offers great views of the shoreline and a good spot to get some family photos.
Meals at Mackie’s
My kids LOVE Mackie’s!! Believe it or not, this restaurant opened over 100 years ago and is a staple in this charming beach town. You’ll find it conveniently located right on the beach and a great place to take some refuge out of the sun. There are arcade games to keep your kids busy while you order food. I highly recommend the chilli dogs, fries and Orangeade!
I am not ashamed to admit that I frequent Broderick’s Ice Cream Parlour almost every night of the week while staying at our cottage. The ice cream is THAT good. The aroma of freshly backed waffle cones will draw you in as soon as you are in the vicinity. Grab a cone and walk down to the water to wait for the draw bridge to raise! My boys love watching the boats come in and out of the harbour.
Riding the train is a tradition that we do every single year. It’s not often that you get the chance to experience a real, old fashioned locomotive, I promise your kids will LOVE this! The Port Stanley Terminal Rail runs several times per week so make sure to check the schedule to organize your trip. The ride lasts about an hour: you journey down the railway line to Whytes Park where you stop to disembark to tour old rail exhibits and pose for pictures with the circus car before making the return trip.
We were so pleasantly surprised to experience all there was to offer at Clovermead! This Adventure Farm is located about 25 minutes from Port Stanley and well worth the trip. There is so much to do here, I had just as much fun as my boys. A jumping pillow, corn maze, zip lines, tractor rides, multiple play areas, plus SO much more will keep your family busy for hours. Don’t forget to visit their bee hives and learn all about how honey is made!
As you can see, we packed so much into our trip to Ontario but every experience we had was so worth it. Looking for a different sort of experience in Port Stanley? Check out my previous post on my Girls Weekend here!
Kiki and family
“Be a flamingo in a flock of gulls.”