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7 of the Best Winter Activities in Muskoka

Year-round cottagers and residents know that Muskoka has a secret winter side which tourists rarely see. Cottage country in Ontario is just as much of a playground in the winter months as the summer, you just have to know where to look.

As the days darken and fall recedes, the area is transformed into a show stopping winter wonderland, boasting snow-covered forests, glistening lakes and frosty hillsides.

Whether you’re planning a family outing or in the mood for a bracing hike, here are some suggestions for outdoor winter fun. 

1. Ice skating 

Located north of Huntsville, Arrowhead Provincial Park is one place where you’ll see Muskoka at its wintery best. The park is well-known for its range of outdoor winter activities, which include ski trails, ice fishing and winter hiking.

One of the most popular attractions, however, is the winding ice skating trail that meanders through the snowy forest for 1.3 kilometres. 

The park is generally busy during winter, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation if you’re planning on visiting. You can book online and purchase a vehicle permit up to 5 days before your visit.

The ice trail is open daily from 9am to 5pm, although keep in mind that it closes between 11:30am and 1pm every day for maintenance.

2. Snowshoeing

There are several good spots to strap on your snowshoes in the Muskoka area, but the locals head for the trails around Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville to catch the stunning views around Peninsula Lake. A highlight is the Starlight Trail which lights up from 5pm to 11pm, making it even more magical.

Trails at Deerhurst are open from late December to March, depending on weather conditions.

3. Cross country skiing

Grab your skis and bundle up! Muskoka is home to hundreds of varied cross-country trails suitable for all ages and abilities.

Arrowhead Park and Algonquin Park are the most popular sites, with their extensive backcountry routes, but it’s also worth checking out the Muskoka Bay Resort in Gravenhurst and Bayview Wildwood Resort in Severn Bridge where you’ll find cross-country ski courses for all levels from beginner to experienced. 

4. Ice fishing

Ice fishing is a unique and fun experience. Everyone should try it at least once. Dress warmly, bring a few friends (and a flask of hot chocolate) and it’s an unforgettable day out – whether you catch anything or not!

Muskoka lakes and winter weather conditions can be tough to predict so don’t go it alone. Use an experienced guide, make sure you have the proper equipment and always follow safety instructions. 

Several Muskoka resorts offer ice fishing packages, including Muskoka Shores Cottages on Three Mile Lake where you can rent an ice hut and try your hand at catching pickerel, perch, and large and small mouth bass. 

5. Snowmobiling

Muskoka is one of the most popular snowmobiling destinations in Ontario, thanks to its huge network of more than 1,600 kms of approved trails.

Muskoka Stay and Play combines snowmobiling with ice fishing and ice skating in several of its specialised packages, while its basic snowmobile experience includes 3 hours on the trails, lunch and all gear.

More experienced riders can pick up a rental and head out alone to explore self-guided routes like the 125km Muskoka Magic Loop around Muskoka Lake or the more Northern Lake of Bays Watch trail which covers around 200 kms.

6. Sledding 

A classic Canadian winter pastime, sledding is peak family fun. You’ve two options in the Muskokas – traditional dog sledding or kick sledding.

North Ridge Ranch in Huntsville and Winterdance in the Haliburton Highlands both offer a range of dog sledding tours. But reservations are a must – slots fill up quickly once the snow starts falling.

If you don’t fancy the idea of being pulled around by a pack, ditch the dogs and go under your own steam. Deerhurst Resort offers kick sledding, which is described as ‘a self-propelled dog sled’. 

7. Fat biking

If you thought biking was a summer sport, think again. You can take to the trails on two wheels courtesy of a fat bike – a bicycle kitted out with extra wide tires so it can navigate snowy conditions.

It’s not just a unique way to see winter up close, it’s also a great workout. If you’ve fitness fanatics in the family, rent them a fat bike at Deerhurst Resort and they’ll have a blast sweating it out in the snow.

Each activity and business listed is open with possible pandemic restrictions in place – make sure you call before you go to make reservations and check on the venue’s COVID restrictions and measures. 

Whether you’re new to Muskoka or a longtime resident, Muskoka Window & Door Centre can help you create the perfect lakeside dream home. From door installation to window fittings, we offer a range of home services. Reach out to our team today to see how we can help with your next project.

Celebrate the Holidays in Muskoka This Year with These Local Festive Events

It’s that time again! Whether you’re ready to admit it or not, the holiday season is quickly approaching. That means the Muskoka region will soon be bustling with a nearly endless amount of fun holiday events for everybody. If you’re looking to pick up some unique artisan-made Christmas gifts, support local businesses after the tough year we’ve all had, or just ring in the holidays with your loved ones, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

 

The Muskoka region truly comes alive each holiday season, offering plenty of opportunities to peruse offerings from local businesses, check out the beautiful Christmas light displays all around you, reconnect with friends and make new ones, or show off those arts and crafts projects you’ve been working hard on all year. If you’re looking for something fun to do in Muskoka this holiday season, check out some of these events:

 

Muskoka Arts & Crafts Christmas Show

Where: Online

When: November 19th to December 11th in Bracebridge, ON

Cost: Free

 

Muskoka Arts & Crafts is one of the region’s oldest arts organizations, celebrating the creations of artists, hobbyists, amateurs and art enthusiasts from around the Muskoka area. The organization’s celebrated Christmas Show returns for its 41st installment, this time going fully online to ensure the safety and health of all those involved in the annual show. The Christmas Show launches on Friday, November 19th and goes all the way until December 11th, showcasing handmade works by festive exhibitors which make the perfect gift.

 

The 41st Annual Christmas Show launches at the MA&C Shop on November 19th. Check it out here.

 

Santafest

Where: Bracebridge, ON @ Santa’s Village

When: November 20th to December 22nd

Cost: Free for children under 36 inches, $29.95 for everybody over 36 inches

 

The big man himself and his talented team have totally revamped the annual Santafest tradition, bringing an entirely new experience to families around the region. This year’s Santafest will feature rides like the Candy Cane Express Train, Christmas Carousel and more, as well as brand new activities like the One Million Light Display and horse drawn wagon rides around the Village. For those with a sweet tooth, Mrs. Claus has baked up some delicious treats in her Bakery, all of which will be available for your enjoyment! Santa’s Toy Shop will also be available, as will the New Holiday Market full of local vendors so you can pick out the perfect gifts for your loved ones. The festivities launch on Saturday, November 20th and last until Wednesday, December 22nd.

 

Find out more about this year’s Santafest on the Santa’s Village website.

 

Santa’s Festival of Lights & Shopping Party

Where: Bracebridge, ON

When: December 3rd

Cost: Free

 

There’s nothing quite as cozy as taking in the Christmas lights around the holiday season. Santa’s Festival of Lights aims to capture that feeling with the official lighting of downtown Bracebridge. Join in on the festivities on Friday, December 3rd and watch the downtown area transform before your very eyes. The Festival of Lights is perfect for the whole family, featuring entertainment, a campfire, living window displays by the Bracebridge School of Ballet, and of course, plenty of holiday shopping opportunities!

 

Find out more about Santa’s Festival of Lights & Shopping Party on the Downtown Bracebridge website.

 

Torchlight Parade

Where: Huntsville, ON

When: December 24th

Cost: Free

 

Christmas Eve always feels like the longest day of the year, so why not spice it up this year by attending the annual Torchlight Parade in Huntsville? This family-friendly event is the perfect way to ring in the big day. Watch as snow school instructors and ski patrollers from the Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area descend the hill with brightly lit torches in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous procession of lights featuring Mr. Santa Claus himself! There will be hot chocolate, cookies and acoustic music in the chalet, with the Torchlight Parade officially beginning at 6:00 PM.

 

Find out more about the Parade at the Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area website.

Socially Distanced Winter 2021 Activities in Muskoka

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way we celebrate the holidays and how we are able to enjoy all of the winter activities Muskoka has to offer. However, while winter fun may be different this year, that isn’t to say there is a shortage of things to do. In fact, Muskoka is home to a number of lots of winter outdoor fun.

Skate the ice trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park Among the most popular winter activities in Muskoka is the ice skating trail in Arrowhead Provincial Park. This 1.3 kilometre trail offers an experience unmatched in the region. The trail will open in January, with skating available from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, with a 90-minute window for maintenance from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

If possible, it is recommended to visit midweek or on Sundays, with Saturdays especially busy. In some instances, vehicles have been turned away or with long wait times. While capacities will be reduced as a result of the lockdown, a positive side effect will be more room on the path and better conditions for skating!

For the latest updates on hours, see Arrowhead’s Twitter feed.

Snowshoeing at Deerhurst and other trails Within Deerhurst Resort are a number of picturesque trails to snowshoe, the Starlight, Lookout, and Sanctuary Trails. During the day, the trails provide fantastic views of both the resort and Peninsula Lake. At night, the Starlight Trail lights up from 5:00-11:-00 pm offering a serene winter experience.

Beyond Deerhurst Resort, there are several more public and private snowshoeing options available. Arrowhead & Algonquin Provincial Parks, Gravenhurst Muskoka KOA Campground, and Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails are all ready to be explored by snowshoe during the winter!

Cross-Country Skiing at Algonquin and Arrowhead Within Muskoka are Algonquin Park and Arrowhead Park, both of which are home to a vast collection of natural ski trails. Before heading out, make sure to check the latest information on the Algonquin Park website for permits, road conditions, parking, and more. These trails are perfect, vast playgrounds for the experienced.

For beginners and families, one of the many trails at a Muskoka resort is a superb option. With no shortage of options, you can find the right location and trail for you, with Bayview Wildwood Resort, Cedar Grove Lodge, Bondi Village Cottage Resort, and Sherwood Inn all in proximity. Trails in Deerhurst Resort, meanwhile, are maintained daily to provide a great place for beginners and experienced skiers alike to enjoy a day in the snow.

Fat Biking at Deerhurst Whether you are trying to get in some winter exercise or explore snowy conditions, fat biking is a great choice. Equipped with wide, 4-5 inch tires, and low pressure, fat bikes float across surfaces that would otherwise sink them, such as snow, making it the perfect vehicle to explore with during winter. Deerhurst Resort offers fat bike rentals to explore all the trails they offer, for just $20 per bike. For avid cyclists or weekend explorers, fat biking is a must-try experience. As you can see, though social distancing has impacted the way all parts of life, it hasn’t taken away from the picturesque beauty of Muskoka or the endless options available to explore. This winter in Muskoka, try something new such as fat biking or something classic like the ice trail to get out of the house and enjoy everything the season has to offer.

December 2020 in Muskoka: Fun Holiday Events for the Whole Family

Muskoka during the holiday season is a truly magical place. Throughout December, the region has plenty of holiday events for you and your family to choose from, even during the pandemic. Whether it’s getting a head start on gift shopping, taking a sleigh ride to meet Santa, or having Santa Claus Zoom into your living room, there are many different options to help get in the Christmas spirit in Muskoka this December.

December 5-December 6 – XMUS Festival
Where: Canvas Brewing, Huntsville
When: Saturday, December 5th from 12-5:30 pm and Sunday, December 6th 12-4 pm
Cost: $6 ($5 food bank donation optional)

It’s a holiday gifting market to help start off your shopping, featuring local and non-local crafts, unique art, culinary artisans, gifting, and more. With craft beer, wine, spirits, and the holiday’s best cocktails with a gourmet bites menu, there are worse ways to do your shopping!

Time slots are for one hour with a maximum of 50 people. Masks are mandatory. For information and tickets please see their website.

December 6 – Bracebridge Santa Claus Parade
Where: J.D. Lang Park 
When: Sunday, December 6th
Cost: Free

The Bracebridge Santa Claus parade, hosted by the Rotary Club of Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes, will look a little different this year. In its 74th year, instead of having people line the streets, the club is going to reverse things–with parade viewers becoming the parade! 

A drive-thru parade, the Bracebridge Santa Claus parade will begin at J.D. Lang Park, with a route going from Monica Lane, across Gray Road, through the Bracebridge Fair Grounds before finishing at Fraserburg Road. The parade will run from 1 pm to 4 pm.

For more information, see the Discover Muskoka website, here

Until December 23 – Sleigh Ride to Santa
Where: Back of Beyond Equine Centre
When: From November 20 until December 23
Cost: $62.15

Create a family memory that will last a lifetime, with a horse-drawn sleigh ride to Santa’s North Pole Stables. Santa will be there to greet your family as the sleigh pulls up, with the entire visit occurring outside and in line with social distance recommendations. Santa’s helper will take a family photo with Santa with your own phone before Santa waves goodbye as the sleigh returns you to your car. 

Rides are 15 minutes and full information and tickets can be found here.

Until December 19 – Muskoka Arts & Crafts Christmas Show & Sale Online
Where: Virtually
When: From November 20th until December 19th

The 40th annual Muskoka Arts & Crafts Christmas Show has moved online this year. Shop your favourite local artists from the comfort of your home. Whether you are looking for pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, sculptures, or home decor, the Arts & Crafts show has seasonal gift ideas for everyone on your list.

Many artists provide studio curbside pickup, while others can deliver within Muskoka. For full information, see here.

December 24 – Torchlight Parade
Where: Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area
When: Thursday, December 24th
Cost: Free

Due to COVID-19, the Torchlight Parade will have to be viewed from the car or the parking lot this year, with the chalet closed. However, enjoy the sight of snow school instructors and ski patrollers going down the Flying Dutchman carrying brightly lit torches, creating a magnificent parade of lights–even featuring Santa! 

The parade begins at 6:00 pm sharp, weather permitting.

October 2020 in Muskoka: Live Entertainment, Lake Cruises, Halloween and More

After a very unusual spring and summer season, people in Muskoka are desperate to get out of the house and explore the world around them. Luckily, there are more than enough COVID-friendly events taking place over the fall, letting you and the family enjoy lake cruises, live music, and special events for Thanksgiving and Halloween. Before the snow falls, be sure to get out and enjoy everything the Muskoka region has to offer. Here’s what’s going on in Muskoka this October.

October 2nd – Matt Weidinger Presents the Music of Van Morrison
Where: Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Friday, October 2nd at 4:30 PM
Cost: $125.00

Kitchener’s Matt Weidinger is a young up-and-coming singer-songwriter with multi-instrumental talents and a voice like no other, performing like a veteran musician at just 26-years old. His commanding presence has satisfied audiences of all ages, and his passion for performing is palpable. Weidinger has been playing music for over a decade now, frequenting blues festivals all around Ontario. 

On Friday, October 2nd, Weidinger brings his unique stylings to Peter’s Players, where he’ll perform the music of legendary rock musician Van Morrison. Get ready for an evening of favourites, including Wild Night, Moondance, Astral Weeks, Wavelength, Hungry For Your Love, and many more!

For more information about Matt Weidinger Presents the Music of Van Morrison is available online.

Until October 12th – Travel Back in Time at Muskoka Heritage Place
Where: Muskoka Heritage Place in Huntsville, ON
When: Now until Monday, October 12th
Cost: Full Site Access – $12.65 (Children up to 12 years old), $18.60 (Adults), $16.75 (Seniors)

Muskoka Heritage Place has long been a favourite for Muskoka locals and tourists alike, offering a full day of fun for the entire family. The Museum and Village at Heritage Place have finally reopened, offering a socially distanced day of educational fun and sightseeing. Enjoy a look at the rich history of the region at the Muskoka Museum, and experience the pioneer life at the storied Pioneer Village, offering a unique look at the lives of Canada’s early settlers. The Pioneer Village features a number of activities and demonstrations including candle-dipping, school lesson, cattail dolls and warriors, children’s games, laundry day, wool carding, rug making, and more.

To learn more about Muskoka Heritage Place, visit their website.

Until October 13th – Sunset Cruises on the Peerless II
Where: Peerless II in Bracebridge, ON
When: Now until Tuesday, October 13th
Cost: $32/person (1.5 hour cruise), $38/per person (2 hour cruise)

A sunset cruise on the Peerless II is the best way to enjoy the gorgeous sights and sounds  found on the Muskoka Lakes. This cruise, captained by Captain Potts, allows you to kick back, relax, and take in truly breathtaking views. Aboard the Peerless II, you’ll hear about the region’s local lore and history, giving you further appreciation of the area’s pristine lakes. Due to COVID-19, reservations are required, and masks are mandatory.

For more information about the sunset cruises on the Peerless II, visit their website.

Until October 17th – Muskoka Bay Steamship Cruises
Where: Muskoka Steamships in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Now until Saturday, October 17th
Cost: $33.90/adult (1 hour cruise), $42.30 (2 hour cruise)

Muskoka’s steamships are a longtime staple of the region, with steamships being found on our lakes since the 1800’s. Now you can enjoy a cruise through Muskoka Bay on one of the historic steamships in the region, taking you through the grand estates and cottage islands that Muskoka has become famous for. 

Along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy pristine views of local historic landmarks and gain a further appreciation for the rich history of the region. Due to COVID-19, it’s requested that passengers arrive 45 minutes before the cruise departs. Mandatory physical distancing, face coverings, and temperature checks will be in effect, along with other actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

For more information about the Muskoka Steamships cruises, visit their website.

October 24th – Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst
Where: Downtown Gravenhurst in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 24th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cost: Free

Halloween might look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the festivities! What better way to celebrate all things spooky than trick or treating in Gravenhurst’s historic downtown area? On Saturday, October 24th, bring the kids out for trick or treating in downtown shops and free family activities at the Gravenhurst Opera House, including crafts, face painting, and live music. Put on your best costumes and look for the orange and black balloons!

Find out more about Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst on the Historic Downtown Gravenhurst website.

October 31st – The Great Pumpkin Trail
Where: Pioneer Village at Muskoka Heritage Place in Huntsville, ON
When: Saturday, October 31st from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: $10.00 per family or $3.00 per person

The annual Great Pumpkin Trail at Muskoka Heritage Place has become a favourite of children throughout the region, giving them a safer place to trick or treat without walking through busy streets in the dark. The Great Pumpkin Trail isn’t just a perfect event for the kids – it’s a great opportunity for parents to socialize and enjoy the festivities too! Pioneer buildings will be decorated by local businesses, with themes kept on the less spooky side so young trick or treaters can enjoy the evening. Rope lights guide your way to each destination, and the Mayor will judge the best decorated building.

Early trick or treaters are recommended to arrive before 6:30 PM – last site entry will be at 7:30 PM. This is an entirely outdoor event, so be sure to dress warm depending on the weather!

For more information about the Great Pumpkin Trail, visit the Muskoka Heritage Place website.

Muskoka’s Inspirational Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected the world in an unprecedented way. The lives of millions of Canadians have effectively been put on pause until the end of the crisis, jobs have been lost, wages reduced, opportunities lessened, and yet we continue to persevere. The ongoing coronavirus crisis has brought out the best in us, with thousands coming together to raise funds and gather supplies for hospitals, food banks, and shelters in need.

The response here in Muskoka, particularly, has been nothing short of inspiring – from offering special services to those in isolation to making generous donations to local healthcare facilities, the people of Muskoka have come together as a community to take care of those in need, rising to the occasion in every way possible. During this time of uncertainty, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge a few of the remarkable things made possible by the great people of Muskoka, and what you can do to make a difference.

Home deliveries in Huntsville and Gravenhurst
Those who are in self-isolation can take advantage of services offered by the Gravenhurst Caretageon Group and the Faith Baptist Church in Huntsville, both of which are offering local delivery services to help deliver essential supplies to those in need. These delivery services are available to those who are at-risk and unable to run errands or pick up groceries and medication.

Those who are interested or know of somebody who requires delivery services in Huntsville can fill out the application on the Faith Baptist Church’s website, and those in need in Gravenhurst can place an order by calling 705-710-4542.

These services are currently only available in Huntsville and Gravenhurst, though more volunteers could make expansion possible. Those interested in volunteering in Huntsville can fill out the Faith Baptist Church’s volunteer form, or inquire about assisting the Gravenhurst Caretageon Group by emailing gravenhurst2020@gmail.com.

Lunch for all thanks to Gravenhurst Against Poverty
Those in need continue to have reliable access to meals thanks to the fine people at Gravenhurst Against Poverty (GAP), who continue to offer regular take-out lunches with the help of volunteers and donations from local businesses. During the crisis, only bagged take-out options will be offered to patrons, featuring items like soup, sandwiches, and fruit. GAP runs their lunch program every Tuesday from 12:00 to 1:00 PM, and a supper and fresh food giveaway on Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. GAP continues to run thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors. To make a donation or volunteer your time with GAP, visit their website.

Generous donations made to local hospitals
As COVID-19 slowly spreads throughout the country, our nation’s hospitals are at risk of becoming strained and overburdened. Generation monetary and equipment donations help to lessen this burden on our healthcare system, allowing hospitals to be better prepared for a possible outbreak. On Saturday, March 28th, Mayor Graydon Smith of Bracebridge announced that a generous $135,000 was being donated to the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Foundation, which will be used for new beds in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The donors wished to remain unnamed, stating that they made the donation to support the community they love during its time of need. Many other locals have contributed what they can towards local hospitals, offering monetary donations as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), which can be used to ensure that healthcare providers are adequately protected from the coronavirus.

How you can make a difference in your community
The best and most important thing you can do during these unprecedented times is to stay home and limit unnecessary contact. This helps to keep you and those around you protected, and reduces the risk of community spread.

Those who are healthy and able can go the extra mile by volunteering their time with local food banks and home delivery services, which help to provide essential services to those in need. Some of the organizations that currently need your support include:

These critical organizations rely on volunteers and donations in order to continue serving local communities. You can also make a difference through monetary and PPE donations to Muskoka’s hospitals:

In addition, the Muskoka Builders’ Association has launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a $100,000 COVID-19 fundraising campaign. The MBA has pledged $10,000 on behalf of its members, with all funds remaining in the community to benefit our local food banks, shelters, and hospital foundations. If you wish to make a donation to the ongoing COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit the official GoFundMe page for more information.

The outpouring of support seen over the last month should make Canadians everywhere proud. The continued efforts of communities around the country is truly inspiring. Whether you’re doing your part by self-isolating, volunteering with local food banks and services, or making donations to organizations in need, every little bit helps. When we work together as a community, we ensure that people of all walks have the chance to stay safe and healthy in these uncertain times. We’ll get through this crisis together and come out stronger than ever before.

Muskoka Builders’ Association Launches the COVID-19 Relief Fund

The Muskoka region has not been spared by the ongoing spread of COVID-19 that has confined millions around the world to their homes. According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the area has reported a number of positive cases since the outbreak was initially reported in early 2020. As proud members of the Muskoka Building Community, the Muskoka Builders’ Association (MBA) has launched a $100,000 COVID-19 fundraising campaign to benefit the area’s local food banks, shelters, hospitals, and hospital foundations. All proceeds raised by the fundraiser will remain within the community. Muskoka Window and Door Centre is a proud longstanding member of the MBA.

Some of the vital charities and services that will benefit from the MBA’s COVID-19 relief fund include:

To kick off the campaign, the MBA has pledged $10,000 on behalf of its members. Muskoka Window & Door Centre is a long-time member of the Muskoka Builders’ Association, and we take pride in being able to assist our community during its time of need. All funds raised will go towards giving food and other essentials to those in need, purchasing critical PPE for healthcare workers, and offering shelter and safety to ask-risk individuals during these uncertain times.

Every dollar helps in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis

Each and every donation made to the fundraising campaign goes a long way in helping those in the Muskoka region who have been affected by the crisis, and will ensure that our fearless healthcare workers, food bank volunteers, and other vital professionals have the resources they need to continue in their battle against this pandemic. They need our help now more than ever before – your donations allow them to continue working to keep us safe in the coming weeks and months.

The building and construction community in the Muskoka Parry Sound region cares deeply about each and every person affected by the ongoing crisis. We want to ensure that our fellow citizens remain happy, healthy, and strong throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Help us help our community by pledging any amount you can to show those around us that they’re not alone in this fight. Times may be tough, but when we work together, no obstacle is insurmountable. Together, we’ll get through this and come out stronger on the other side.

Remember, every donation to the COVID-19 Relief Fund makes a major difference to the community. Share the campaign’s GoFundMe page with your loved ones to spread the message about this important fundraiser, and donate to the campaign today – contributions of all sizes matter during these difficult times.

March Break in Muskoka

March Break 2020 is almost here, giving you and your family the perfect opportunity to pack in an entire week of great events for the entire family. There’s no shortage of family fun on Muskoka’s March Break schedule – from Friday, March 13th to Sunday, March 22nd, there are over a dozen events and activities taking place all around the region. Here’s just a taste of what’s going on during this year’s March Break:

March 13th to April 24th – Muskoka Maple Trail
Where: Huntsville, ON
When: Friday, March 13th to Friday, April 24th
Cost: Free entry, varying costs for local vendors

The famous Muskoka Maple Trail returns for another year of incredible culinary offerings and family fun. The festivities kick off on Friday, March 13th and go all the way until Friday, April 24th, with many of Muskoka’s favourite vendors offering plenty of delicious treats. This year’s Maple Trail stops include Erika’s Bakery & Gift Shop, the Deerhurst Resort, Farmer’s Daughter, Maple Bluff Farm, Hubbert’s Maple, Whimsical Bakery, Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm, and so many more. Parents can enjoy a quick stop at the Lake of Bays Brewing Co., Muskoka Brewery, Sawdust City Brewing Co, Clear Lake Brewing Co., and Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery.

The Maple Trail will culminate with the highly anticipated Muskoka Maple Festival on Saturday, April 25th, which will feature a full day of maple themed goodness for the entire family.

Get the scoop on all the hotspots along the Muskoka Maple Trail by visiting their website.

March 14th – Cranberry Dinner
Where: McArthur House Cafe, Bala, ON
When: Saturday, March 14th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM & 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Cost: $60 per person

Take your loved one out for a delicious three course cranberry dinner at Bala’s McArthur House Cafe! The dinner takes place at the McArthur House Cafe at the Muskoka Lakes farm and winery, where you can enjoy the Cafe’s delicious cranberry-based culinary offerings and a glass of wine. Choose from two seating times: 5:00 to 7:00 PM and 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

Find out more about the cranberry dinner at the Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery website.

March 16th – Peter Mennie, “That Magic Guy”
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst, ON
When: Monday, March 16th @ 2:00 PM
Cost: $5 per person

There are few things kids love more than magic. “That Magic Guy” Peter Mennie will bring his unique comedic magic show to the Gravenhurst Opera House to kick off the March Break. The show is sure to elicit plenty of great reactions from the kids, and will leave them in amazement. Crowd participation and interactive elements ensure that the whole family is in stitches!

Find out more about Peter Mennie’s magic show at the Gravenhurst Opera House website.

March 18th – Team T&J
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst, ON
When: Wednesday, March 18th @ 11:00 AM
Cost: Free

Team T&J host a unique show featuring interactive music and entertainment that encourages kids to explore, get creative and participate in what’s described as a “high-energy, super powered concert”. The show is free for the entire family, sponsored by the Gravenhurst Public Library.

For more information on the upcoming Temam T&J show, visit the Gravenhurst Opera House website.

March 19th – The Stunt Ventriloquist
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst, ON
When: Thursday, March 19th @ 2:00 PM
Cost: $5 for children, $10 for adults

Tim Holland has developed his reputation as a master ventriloquist over the last two decades, hosting a hilarious show full of unruly puppers, dangerous juggling, and unique unicycle stunts that leaves the audience in awe. His Stunt Ventriloquist puppet show has taken him around the world, sharing the stage with renowned performers like Sharon & Bram and Martin Short. His show at the Gravenhurst Opera House is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained during the March Break.

For tickets to The Stunt Ventriloquist, visit the Gravenhurst Opera House website.

March 20th – Camp Articus
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst, ON
When: Friday, March 20th @ 2:00 PM
Cost: $5 for children, $10 for adults

Camp Articus is the perfect way to cap off an eventful March Break, featuring high flying fun that everybody can enjoy. Camp Articus is a one-of-a-kind theatre circus show that fuses theatre and circus arts for an experience you won’t soon forget. The show sees Camp Counsellors Phillip and Lindsay on a backwoods journey where they’ll put their circus performance skills to the test, juggling marshmallows, dangling 20’ above the ground, and so much more.

For tickets to Camp Articus, visit the Gravenhurst Opera House website.

February 2020 in Muskoka: Winter Festivals, Family Day and More

There are few things more beautiful than the Muskoka region in the wintertime, offering residents plenty of opportunities for winter hikes, ice fishing, skiing, and so much more. February in particular brings out the best in our communities, with plenty of family friendly events that everybody can enjoy. Whether you’re enjoying one of the area’s annual winter carnivals or taking the kids out to celebrate Family Day, there’s plenty of enjoyable activities for everybody to enjoy.

February 13th to 17th – Gravenhurst Winter Carnival
Where: Gravenhurst, ON
When: Thursday, February 13th to Monday, February 17th
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children (children under 5 get in for free)

This year’s Gravenhurst Winter Carnival marks the events 50th anniversary, bringing with it plenty of new and exciting activities, along with longtime favourites. The demolition derby will be returning this year, and a new lumberjack presentation will also take place at the Carnival. The annual Carnival is sure to feature family favourites like bed races, snowmobile radar runs, polar bear dips, and so much more.

For more information, visit their website.

February 15th – Fifth Annual Muskoka Hullabaloo
Where: Muskoka Brewery, Bracebridge, ON
When: Saturday, February 15th from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cost: $10 (includes 3 beer token)

On Saturday, February 15th, Muskoka Brewery hosts the fifth annual Muskoka Hullabaloo to kick off the Family Day long weekend in style! The Hullabaloo rages on from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Brewery, featuring beer, food, and local artisans. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample over 20 beers and cocktails, dance to live music, and take part in games and activities with friends.

More information about the Muskoka Hullabaloo is available at their website.

February 17th – Family Day @ Muskoka Discovery Centre
Where: Muskoka Discovery Centre, Gravenhurst, ON
When: Monday, February 17th
Cost: $10 for kids, $16 for adults

The Muskoka Discovery Centre’s Kidzone will be open on Family Day, giving you the perfect place to take the kids for an afternoon of educational fun. The Kidzone is one of Muskoka’s most beloved destinations, offering the chance for kids to take part in activities like the LEGO building creative centre, the interactive water table, play in the tree house, and so much more. What more could a kid ask for?

For more information about the Kidzone, visit the Muskoka Discovery Centre website.

February 17th – Baysville Winterfest
Where: Baysville, ON
When: Monday, February 17th from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free

Muskoka winter celebrations continue with Baysville Winterfest 2020, bringing with it free Family Day fun for everybody! Families can enjoy a full day of kids crafts, skating, hot chocolate, games, and even a chili cook off! The festivities kick off at 8:30 AM and run until 4:00 PM, giving families the perfect way to spend the holiday.

For more information on the event, visit the Baysville Winterfest Facebook event page.

February 21st and 22nd – Huntsville SnowFest
Where: Huntsville, ON
When: Friday, February 21st to Saturday, February 22nd
Cost: Free

The Huntsville SnowFest is a two day celebration of all things winter, featuring a full lineup of outdoor activities in downtown Huntsville. The festivities begin with a downtown pub crawl, with guests travelling to participating venues in a horse drawn sleigh. The next morning the fun starts again, with activities like Nordic and alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, fat biking, skating, and so much more. Saturday night will also feature live entertainment from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

For more information about Huntsville SnowFest, visit their website.

February 27th to March 7th – Matilda the Musical
Where: Rene M Caisse Memorial Theatre, Bracebridge, ON
When: Friday, February 28th to Saturday, March 7th
Cost: $30 for adults, $25 for children (special rates available for groups of 10 or more)

If outdoor activities aren’t for you, the Rotary Club of Bracebridge has the perfect event for you with their annual winter presentation! ​Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical will take the stage from Friday, February 28th to Saturday, March 7th, telling the story of a magically talented girl who is pitted against mean and nasty grown-ups. Matilda has been a longtime family favourite on the page and on the screen, and the Rotary Club’s musical presentation is sure to be a hit.

Find out more about Matilda the Musical on the Rene M Caisse Memorial Theatre website.

Muskoka is Home to Some of Ontario’s Best Craft Breweries

The Muskoka region is home to a wide assortment of activities for people of all ages – from hiking the many beautiful nature trails and swimming in Muskoka’s scenic lakes to checking out local museums, art galleries, and local shopping opportunities, there’s no shortage of things to do all year long. One of the most popular year-round activities enjoyed by many in the area is to take a tour of Muskoka’s impressive craft breweries, or just stop by for a quick pint. The region is home to some of Ontario’s most acclaimed craft breweries, including Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Sawdust City Brewing Co. in Gravenhurst, Lake of Bays Brewery in Baysville, and Clear Lake Brewing Co. in Muskoka Lakes.

Muskoka Brewery
In 1996, Muskoka Brewery was founded in Bracebridge, Ontario. Originally located in the downtown area, the 8,000 sq ft brewery has since moved to a much larger 40,000 sq ft space. Muskoka Brewery is one of Ontario’s most acclaimed craft breweries, offering a wide selection of great beer including perennial favourites like craft lager, cream ale, Mad Tom IPA, and Detor, one of Ontario’s first ISA’s (India session ale).

Along with its lineup of regular offerings, Muskoka Brewery offers a wide variety of seasonal favourites. Tours of the impressive brewery are available year-round, as are special events including live music, open mic nights, and much more.

Find out more about Muskoka Brewery.

Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Founded in 2011, Sawdust City Brewing Co. in Gravenhurst, Ontario quickly became renowned throughout the Muskoka region for its dedication to creating exceptional craft beer. Its 20,000 sq ft brewery opened in 2014 in downtown Gravenhurst, and business has been booming ever since.

Tours of the brewery are available by appointment from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM every Saturday, offering visitors the chance to check out the impressive facilities and get a behind-the-scenes look at how their favourite beer is made. Sawdust City’s tap room gives visitors a chance to try its wide assortment of craft beer, including favourites like Lone Pine, their West Coast IPA, Ol’ Woody Alt, an Amber Lagered Ale, Little Norway, a Pale Lager, and the always refreshing Golden Beach Session IPA.

For more information about Sawdust City Brewing Co., visit its website.

Lake of Bays Brewery

Opened in 2010, Lake of Bays Brewery has become a staple of the community of Baysville. Lake of Bays has a simple philosophy – to make great beer, stay down to earth, and have fun running the business. The Brewery has a wide selection of beer currently available, including the Northern Glow Brut IPA, Lift Lock Light Lager, Switchboard Pilsner, and Starboard New England IPA among other favourites. The Lake of Bays Brewery and retail store open year round, with brewery tours available by appointment on Saturday afternoons between 12:00 and 3:00 PM, and on Sundays by chance. In addition to brewery tours, visitors can enjoy Saturday winter music sessions and other regular events at the Brewery.

Find out more about Lake of Bays Brewery by visiting its website.

Clear Lake Brewing Co.

Founded in September 2016, Clear Lake Brewing Co. is the newest addition to the Muskoka craft brewery scene. Offering a full lineup of craft favourites including the Clear Lake Session Ale, Clear Lake American IPA, Clear Lake Cran Radler, and everything from pilsners to porters, there’s a little something for everybody at the Muskoka Lakes-based brewery. Clear Lake Brewing serves up cold beer, features a full restaurant, and hosts a variety of events and live entertainment. Clear Lake closes for the winter season, but the brewery is a summer hot spot for locals and tourists, and Clear Lake beer is available in a number of nearby Beer Store and LCBO locations. Learn more about Clear Lake Brewing Co. on its website.