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Postcard from Deerhurst Resort

Associate editor Sadiya Dendar takes a quintessentially Canadian trip to Muskoka, Ontario.

Postcard from Deerhurst Resort

Postcard from Deerhurst Resort

Deerhurst Resort at dusk

"A balcony! I've always wanted a balcony," shrieks my four-year-old niece, Nadia, as she races through our suite to the balcony. And there she stays until I lure her back with the promise of dessert. It’s a tough sell: I’m contending with an otter that has decided to tan on the grass a few feet away from our room. And who could blame it? Nestled against 760 acres of waterfront along Peninsula Lake, this historic but newly renovated resort is an idyllic mini getaway for us city slickers.rnrnAnd once out of the room, it’s hard to get Nadia back in, thanks to the indoor and outdoor pools, giant Splash Zone with inflatable slides and trampolines set up right on the lake, indoor rock climbing, and the arcade. (For older kids, there’s also treetop trekking, paintball and rock buggy tours.)rnrnBut the girl is clearly smitten. Upon returning home, her first question is: “When are we going back to Deerhurst? I wish we could all live there. You, me, my mom, my dad, my little sister....” Looks like it’s time to plan another trip.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto courtesy of Deerhurst Resort

Horseback riding

Hop on the free shuttle bus and visit the resort’s rustic stables. We were greeted by a litter of kittens as soon as we stepped out onto the dirt road. The farm offers two different programs: Kids ’n Critters gives tots four and younger the opportunity to mingle with and feed sheep, goats and chickens, before taking a ride on the unbelievably miniature horse, Homer. While Nadia was a bit nervous to get up close and personal with all the animals, the awesome ranch staff encouraged her to enter the pen when she was comfortable. (Homer was another story; she refused to go for a ride, but we did get her to pet him.) Children ages five to 10 can take part in Kids ’n Ponies, where they’ll learn everything from how to saddle up the horses to basic riding skills and brushing techniques.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto courtesy of Deerhurst Resort

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The best... groovy beats

Nadia loved clapping along to the music of the resort's "Decades" live stage show. We heard covers of everything from Maroon 5 and Tina Turner to Bruno Mars and Johnny Cash.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto courtesy of Deerhurst Resort

The best... sweet treat

Just a short drive away is the famous Kawartha Dairy Company. My favourite? A scoop of Muskoka Mocha in a waffle cone.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto: iStockphoto

The best... family-friendly fare

Eclipse restaurant serves up an impressive feast at the kids' buffet, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. every night in July and August.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto: iStockphoto

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The best... heavenly oasis

Shizen Spa brings the best of the outdoors in, with soothing woodland sonds and decor inspired by nature. My massage was out of this world.

Postcard from Deerhurst ResortPhoto: iStockphoto

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