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Postcard from Blue Mountain

Ceri Marsh beats the cold-weather blahs with a quick getaway to this Ontario winter wonderland.

By Ceri Marsh
Postcard from Blue Mountain

Postcard from Blue Mountain

Postcard from Blue Mountain

Winter weekends with small kids can feel as endless as a Russian novel. When spring is still ages away, the snow-covered wonders of your local playground can wear thin pretty fast. Unless, of course, the snow is falling somewhere else. Just two hours north of Toronto, Blue Mountain Village is a great escape for rekindling your romance with winter. Staying at The Westin Trillium House on the mountain sets the scene nicely. Within moments of arriving in our mountain-view suite, my husband has lit the fireplace and Esme, five, and Julian, two and a half, are happily curled up on the couch watching the night skiers shush down the mountain face. From this vantage point, winter’s as charming as a snow globe.

Postcard from Blue MountainApplepie Trail. Photo courtesy of Blue Mountain.

What to do...

We enrolled Esme in one of the kids’ ski classes, which ran for two hours. Young kids can’t handle the hill much longer than that, so you’ll want to have other activities planned. Luckily, the mountain’s small village delivers, and programs like The Apple Pie Trail highlight the abundance of yummy food and wine throughout the Collingwood area. Or, hit Activity Central in the village and pick up snowshoes and toboggans. (We hiked the trails with the kids lounging luxuriously in the toboggan.) Wanna go faster? Barrel down the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster.

Postcard from Blue MountainEsme in a big chair. Photo: Ceri Marsh.

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The best... family dinner

Pizza, of course! The Firehall Pizza Co. is modelled after a Northern Ontario fire hall, and the lively atmosphere means you don't have to worry if your kids won't use their indoor voices.

Postcard from Blue MountainPhoto: iStockphoto

The best... way to pass a post-ski afternoon

Esme and I spent a leisurely hour at Crock a Doodle pottery studio. Choose from one of the hundreds of ready-to-paint pieces and create your own keepsake.

Postcard from Blue MountainPhoto courtesy of Crock a Doodle.

The best... place to warm up

Grab a hot apple cider from The Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery, hop up on one of the giant Muskoka chairs behind the hotel and watch the skaters on the pond.

Postcard from Blue MountainPhoto: iStockphoto

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The best... place to stay inside

The West Trillium House's awesome aquatic centre includes a heated indoor-outdoor pool and an indoor water playground that's perfect for even the smallest of splashers.

Postcard from Blue MountainPhoto courtesy of Blue Mountain.

Did you know...

-Blue Mountain Resort had Ontario’s first chairlift in 1959. Today, they can move 21,000 skiers every hour.

-To keep its 98 percent mountain coverage, Blue Mountain’s snow-making system uses 49,000 litres of water per minute. At that rate, they can fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than an hour.

-The Chippewas of Rama First Nation used to believe that a mythical thunderbird that controlled the weather lived on Blue Mountain.

Postcard from Blue MountainPhoto: iStockphoto.

More family-friendly vacation ideas...

Postcard from Blue Mountain
This article was originally published on Dec 18, 2012

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