When I excitedly told family and friends that we were going away to Sudbury for the weekend I got several questions of “why Sudbury?” and “what’s there to do in Sudbury?”. To be honest, I only really knew about Science North and Dynamic Earth but I was excited nonetheless as it was a mini-vacation and time to spend with family which is always needed! Little did I know that Sudbury Tourism had a whole itinerary full of family-friendly activities to keep us busy all weekend long!
We planned to leave home fairly early so, after a stop at our local library to tire the kids out before the drive, we headed out. After only one quick stop for a bathroom break and to stretch our legs, we arrived at our hotel – the Microtel in Sudbury. We lucked out with early check-in at 2pm and quickly got changed into swimsuits to cheer the kids up after a long drive. We were impressed with the cleanliness and comfort of the rooms and the kids loved running back and forth from the hot tub to the pool and back again.
Once they’d had a good swim we went to grab dinner at the Taphouse Northern Grill + Pub. The kid’s meals at the Taphouse were the perfect size – 2/3 kids ate their entire dish (and I didn’t want to bring leftovers back to the hotel so that made me happy!) and there were veggie options for me which is always a bonus too! The boys had energy to spare and the first stop on our itinerary was KUPP Centre – an indoor playground with laser tag! Insider tip – wear some slippery shorts/pants here because those slides are FAST and even more fun with slippery bottoms! Avery flew down and of course us adults had to climb up and slide down more than a few times too. Indoor playgrounds can often be really noisy and overstimulating but I have to say, this place was awesome! I’m sure it helped that we were there in the evening so it wasn’t crazy busy but there was quite a lot to do there – including a rock wall – so the kids were spread out and everyone had so much fun. We even got 2 rounds of laser tag in – that was Avery and Jackson’s favourite part, Lucas couldn’t get enough of the slides! Awesome way to tire everyone out before heading back to the hotel for a comfy sleep!
On the itinerary for Saturday morning was the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre. I’ll admit – I wasn’t overly excited for this excursion. It was in Capreol, about 45 minutes away from our hotel, and I wasn’t sure how the kids would do at a “museum”. I was worried they’d get bored and be a pain the whole time. We got there as soon as it opened and were taken on a tour to show us the trains that are on the property. The kids actually listened pretty well to the information and history and they LOVED getting to climb aboard the trains and see what everything looked like inside (especially the school car). What was amazing was that my hubby had mentioned he had family who worked for CN and that there might be some kind of mention of them at the museum. As it turned out there were several framed photos/documents of his Great Grandfather so we got to take photos of him with them and send them home to the rest of his family. Although our boys are too young to really understand and appreciate this little bit of history, it was really amazing for Gerald to be able to see this and I loved sharing that with him. After the Railroad Museum we were taken on the second part of the tour which took us to the old Fire Hall. The kids were able to climb on a fire truck and the best part was that they got to touch all the buttons and turn all the lights on! It was hard convincing them to get off the firetruck after that! We toured through the rest of the building which included the old jail in the basement and then mine and Avery’s favourite part – the miniature railway set up. I wish I had thought to take photos of the setup because it was incredible! The detail that went into constructing this is truly amazing; the kids would have stayed a lot longer I think! Definitely don’t miss out on the Railway Museum if you’re headed to Sudbury, it’s absolutely worth the extra little drive!
The town of Capreol is teeny tiny so we considered heading back to Sudbury for lunch but we were all hungry so we stopped in at the M&R Grill instead. We were surprised to find it was packed inside but we got a table and the kids loved that there were toys to play with while they waited for food. The staff were SO friendly and even gave each of the boys a train hat to take home. The “small town feel” was awesome and it was the perfect choice for lunch. The boys got in the car happy, full from lunch and sleepy so they had a great little nap on the way to our second stop on our itinerary – Dynamic Earth!
When we were in Sudbury briefly last year we had stopped at the Big Nickel and the kids had wanted to go down into the mine but we didn’t have time so they were thrilled to be back and actually able to go inside this time. We arrived just in time to join a group heading into the mine for a tour! After waking everyone up from their nap in the car, an hour long tour underground sounded…..fun?…..but after the really cool movie on the elevator on the way down, they were a little more awake. We put on our hardhats and ventured into the wet underground. The tour was really informative and interactive too which kept it interesting for children. When the hour was up I was surprised it had gone so quickly actually! And then we had lots more to discover outside of the mine. The kids played with an interactive sand table, climbed into the play area, went outside to the slide and sandboxes, and explored all the different rocks to see. I would absolutely add Dynamic Earth as something to see on your family trip, it was a lot of fun and didn’t take up too much of the day. I think we spent about 3 hours max there and that was enough to see most everything in enough detail for young kids.
We decided to head for dinner at Tucos Taco Lounge which we’d read great reviews about on social media. I was excited because the whole restaurant is vegan and vegan tacos are very exciting! It was REALLY hard to choose what to eat when we arrived; we wanted a bit of everything. So we ordered a big plate of nachos, small mac & cheese dishes for 2 of the kids and then 3 different taco options to try out. Our eyes were obviously bigger than our stomachs but the food was DELICIOUS. The kids didn’t even balk at the mac & cheese (vegan cheese can sometimes be different tasting), they loved their dinner too. We left very full and wishing we had room for a few more of those yummy tacos! Vegan or not, add this to your list of restaurants to try, my hubby is not at all vegan and even he’s still raving about this restaurant!
Saturday evening we headed to Bell Park beach to meet up with the rest of the Life With A Baby crew to check in and get some family and group photos. As community managers with Life With A Baby we are always chatting away online to the other managers but we are from all over the place so we rarely get to see each other in person. It was wonderful being able to catch up if only for a moment and the kids had a great time playing at the park and running up and down through the flower gardens! On the way back to the van we took our time walking the boardwalk and stopping on the rocks to watch the boats. Needless to say, we had a great sleep Saturday night after a full day of activities!
Both mornings we had breakfast at our hotel – the continental breakfast was more than I expected. We had loads of options – cereal, oatmeal, bagels, muffins, fruit, yogurt, waffles – there was something for all of us and we may have snagged a few muffins for the inevitable mid-morning snack that is expected by our boys! Nice to have this included in our hotel stay – it definitely makes a difference when travelling with family.
I was most excited to go to Science North so I was really happy to see that on our itinerary for Sunday. We had brought the kids last summer on our way through so I knew there was enough to do there that we’d be spending most of the day and I definitely wasn’t wrong. We arrived shortly after it opened and the kids raced in to start exploring! What I love most about Science North is that EVERYTHING is geared towards the kids – they get to see and touch and learn about every exhibit and not once was anyone bored. We went into the butterfly area and waited for butterflies to land on us, we watched a movie about climate change, we built and raced cars around a track, we got to see and touch a whole bunch of different animals, the activities were endless. We made sure to get to 2 of the live shows that were offered and Jackson was even chosen as a volunteer to demonstrate how a vacuum seal works! He was smiling from ear to ear. Lucas LOVED the flying squirrel demo and they are so soft to touch! While Daddo and Avery were exploring a few exhibits that the younger boys weren’t interested in, I took Jackson and Lucas down to play in the toddler area which kept them busy for at least a half hour until I told them we should go back and check in with the other two. We stopped briefly for lunch at the Elements restaurant right in Science North – it was pretty reasonable for a pizza and a few drinks and the kids gobbled it all down so that they could get back to exploring! We stayed until about 3pm and only left because we knew we had a long drive home, we definitely could have stayed and seen even more. Maybe next year!
Before we left Sudbury we had to stop at Flurples for vegan ice cream! It’s this cute little walk-up ice cream place that had a whole bunch of options and it was busy! Between us we tried quite a few different treats (go for an oreo milkshake or a chocolate cone – my 2 faves!) and I wish I could go back right now because it was so GOOD! The kids didn’t even notice that their ice cream was vegan and my hubby said if I hadn’t told him he wouldn’t have known his strawberry milkshake was vegan either. Absolutely worth the stop – put it on your list!
As you can tell, we had an absolutely amazing time in Sudbury! I was so impressed with all the different activities – especially because most of the families that were there from Life With A Baby were off on different adventures from us – there really was something for everyone and all ages too! So to answer all the “What is there to do in Sudbury?” questions – EVERYTHING and more! I can’t wait to go back and check out even more attractions (and restaurants!) next year!
**Check out more photos and fun by searching #LWABSudbury