If there was ever a winter for wimps (like me) to brave the outdoors, it’s this one. Although it’s been unpredictable—never knowing from one week to the next whether we’ll get a blizzard or subtropical weather that’s even making Floridians consider going north—it’s one of the warmest on record.
Taking on winter may be as simple as skating outdoors instead of inside an arena, or it could mean trying a new snow sport altogether. No matter what it means for you and your family, one of Ontario’s favourite places to be a winter warrior is at Blue Mountain Resort.
Nestled in the Collingwood area, Blue Mountain is about a two-hour drive from anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, and easy to get to from Toronto’s airports if you rent a vehicle when you arrive.
And if you needed a reason to pack up the kids and get away for the weekend or March Break, here are five:
Unlike some ski hills, where it can be challenging to find economical accommodations, with rooms starting at $145 per night, the Blue Mountain Inn is as budget-friendly as a resort hotel can get. But don’t let the price fool you—it’s impeccably clean, has a gorgeous indoor pool, great restaurants and was recently renovated. And of course if you’re looking to splurge, need a multi-bedroom suite or simply favour higher-end hotels, The Westin Trillium House is—in a word—outstanding. It’s just a two-minute walk to the pedestrian village, meaning you’ll rarely need to check your car out of valet or hop on one of Blue Mountain Resort’s free shuttles. And it has everything you’d expect from a Westin property, like contemporary décor, ridiculously comfortable beds and bend-over-backwards customer service.
From night skiing and the new Hike ‘N Tube zone to pottery painting at Crocadoodle and Plunge! Aquatic Centre where you and your kids can launch yourselves into an outdoor hot tub by rope, there’s no shortage of fun activities to keep you busy—indoors and out.
Whether you’ve been hitting the slopes for years, taken a hiatus or you’re what the ski and snowboard instructors call a “never, ever,” Blue Mountain’s Snow School has a lesson to match every skill level. Beginners have not one but three bunny hills on which to learn, where they graduate from the magic carpet to a small chair lift as skills and confidence improve. And for intermediate and expert skiers and boarders, lessons can even start at the summit. Book group lessons to save a few bucks or privates and semi-privates for more individual attention and tailored instruction. Don’t forget to take advantage of the free time you’ll earn by enrolling the kids in a longer lesson!
Let’s face facts—after a day of activity outside in colder weather, your body needs food. It would actually be wrong to deprive yourself of freshly baked bread or perfectly al dente pasta, right? Right. Blue Mountain Resort is full of fabulous restaurants where you can do the body good. The best lunch can be had at Firehall Pizza Co., while The Pottery Restaurant and Oliver and Bonacini offer two mouth-watering dinner options, where yummy carbs are just the tip of the foodie iceberg. Feel like pancakes, eggs and bacon for dinner? No problem, because Sunset Grill boasts an excellent all-day breakfast.
If there are two adults on your Blue Mountain family getaway, that means each one has the opportunity for a little me time. Restorative yoga on a therapeutic volcanic hot rock at the spectacular iwa spa is a must; leisurely shopping in the village; and a brisk walk around the pond where you can take in the beauty of The Blue Mountains is also a great way to recharge on your own. But we can’t forget mini-me time, either, so if your little one loves a good mani, then be sure to head over to Glama Gals to be pampered together.