I’ve written before about visiting Burlington, Ontario with my family during the summer a few years ago. On that visit we learned how great Burlington was as a staycation venue, especially for families in Toronto or the GTA. It’s close enough that you don’t need to spend a lot of time getting there but has so many things to do that you’ll be surprised you haven’t spent more time there already. We had the chance to go back to Burlington in a different season and let me tell you, my opinion hasn’t changed. It’s still the perfect location for a family staycation.
While our last trip was accidentally multi-generational, because my Mother-in-Law came for the afternoon and ended up enjoying herself so much she returned the next day with my Father-in-Law; this trip was purposefully multi-generational. Burlington is the perfect spot for families from the GTA to meet and catch up. The close distance means nobody is too tired after travelling to get there and the variety of places to eat and activities means that nobody will be bored. Another huge benefit of multi-generational tips is that the parents can get a date night while the grandparents bond with the grandkids!
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Burlington which was really conveniently located and had amenities that made the whole family happy. My kids (12 and 8) absolutely adored the indoor heated pool. It’s the largest hotel pool in the city of Burlington and my kids swam every inch of that pool! There’s also a sauna and whirlpool in the pool and fitness area which is great for worn out parents or grandparents! There was also an arcade area near the front of the hotel – with air hockey and billiards! It really is a perfect place for a family stay.
Last time we visited Burlington, my MIL fell in love with the Royal Botanical Gardens. We were all curious to see the gardens at the height of the fall colours and we weren’t disappointed. While there were some plants that had already dropped their leaves, the Rock Garden and Arboretum were full of magnificent colours. The Laking Garden does close in September – so we couldn’t visit it this time but the rest of the RBG more than made up for it! There are parts of the Royal Botanical Gardens open year round so it’s a four season destination!
My husband and I went to Spencer’s at the Waterfront for our date night out. The food was amazing and it was great to have some alone time. I loved that Spencer’s puts a focus on where their food comes from. They only serve sustainably caught seafood, and use local produce and meat whenever possible. Much of the produce is grown on their own farm! The dining room at Spencer’s is all glass walls – which allows you to see the beauty of the seasons from inside. It’s well worth a visit for a special night out.
Our other big outing as a family (once we could pry the kids out of the hotel pool!) was to visit the Joseph Brant Museum. The museum had just been reopened – previously it had been a smaller community museum that was a replica of the house of Joseph Brant. The original museum is still there but the new 12000 foot addition has added a lot of space and light to the museum. The best part about all of the renovations is that the site is now fully accessible. Our kids love history so they really enjoyed exploring the new museum. The museum is open year round (but is always closed on Mondays) so it’s a perfect addition to any family trip to Burlington.
As a family friendly staycation destination close enough to the GTA to be convenient but far enough to feel like a trip, Burlington has something for everyone!