Springbank Park in London, ON in the winter
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Winter Road Tripping in the Forest City


  • By Everett Hanmer

The Forest City has plenty of options for the perfect winter road trip! No matter who you are hitting the road with or what type of action you're seeking, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for in London, Ontario!

 

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A post shared by Dana Harper (@wanderingdana)

London’s many hiking and walking trails transform into a winter wonderland during the colder months. Bundle up and experience the great outdoors at your own pace in Medway Valley Heritage Forest, Westminster Ponds or Springbank Park. Each one offers a variety of different trails and the opportunity to spot some unique birds and other winter wildlife. 

If you’re looking for something at a faster pace, there are many outdoor thrill-seeking options to choose from. Boler Mountain is the ultimate one-stop shop for outdoor winter adventures, offering skiing and snowboarding for alpine enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. If skiing and snowboarding isn’t for you, then slide over to their tubing runs where you can hop on an inner tube and let gravity do the rest. Hold on tight as speeds can reach up to 70 km/hour! Their indoor chalet is a perfect place to warm up and watch all the outdoor excitement or grab a bite to eat.  

Want to go skiing without the hills? Why not try cross-country skiing at Circle R Ranch? Enjoy the winter landscape on their 13 km of groomed skiing trails. If you prefer something at a slower pace, they also offer snowshoeing! 

And don't worry, if you don’t have your own equipment, both Boler Mountain and Circle R Ranch offer equipment rentals.

Want the thrill of the hills without the skis? Then tobogganing with your friends and family might be just the perfect activity for you!  There are many parks in the city with hills that are perfect for some tobogganing fun. Some of the best parks with hills to slide down include Basil Grover Park and Doidge Park. 

After a morning of fun and adventure, you will have worked up an appetite for lunch! For a quick sandwich or burger on the go, head to BTRMLK or Beach Boy Burger. Their savory sandwiches will have you licking your lips with each bite. If you’re looking for more of a traditional sit-down option, The Squire Pub & Grill and El Poco Lobo offer a variety of sandwiches, salads and tacos that will be sure to fuel you up for the afternoon ahead. 
 

afternoon

Are you looking for some indoor fun for the kids? Visit one of London’s many indoor play areas like Play Away Indoor Park, The Factory or Funvilla. These indoor playgrounds have tons of fun options such as indoor jumping pillows, high ropes courses, wall climbing, huge play structures, virtual reality games, arcades and more! These will have the kids (and the kids at heart) bouncing off the walls with excitement!

If you are looking to climb up the walls instead of bouncing off them, then Junction Climbing Centre is the place for you! This full-service rock-climbing centre is the largest in the city and is great for climbers of any experience level. From the moment you step inside, it’s wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling fun with climbing options. They have many automatic belay routes of varying difficulties where you can clip yourself in and head up as high as you dare. If you want to climb but stay a little closer to the ground, then try out their bouldering wall! No matter which type of climbing to do, Junction Climbing Centre will not leave you hanging when it comes to excitement. 

Do you wish that golf season didn’t have to end when the snow flies? In London it doesn’t! Pack your clubs, book your time slot and stay in the swing of things at one of the city’s indoor golf simulators at The Club House or Extreme Indoor Golf. Is indoor mini golf more of what you’re looking fore? The Club House also offers mini golf and Fleetway’s glow in the dark course makes for a unique and fun experience!

If you are looking for something to do at a slower pace, spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful art and culture at Museum London. For the history buffs, go back in time and learn more about the area’s local military history at The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum or stop by The Museum of Ontario Archaeology to get a glimpse of what it was like in Southwestern Ontario 13,000 years ago. All of these options will let you explore the art and history of London, while staying warm!

After a full afternoon, it’s time for dinner! If you are looking for some international options, try Massey's Fine Indian Cuisine or Dimi’s Greek House for a meal that will transport your tastebuds to a different country. If you’re in the mood for great pasta, head to Fellini Koolini’s or Abruzzi Ristorante for some authentic Italian eats. For more of an intimate atmosphere, try Old South Village Pub. Their cozy restaurant in the heart of Wortley Village is the perfect place to wind down the day, and with an extensive menu of traditional favorites, they will have something for everyone, even the pickiest eater in your family!

 

evening

After dinner there is still plenty of time to keep the fun going! You can lace up your skates and visit one of London’s outdoor rinks for a nighttime skate. Enjoy the lights in every direction as you skate in Victoria Park or take in the hustle and bustle of the downtown at Covent Garden Market’s Rotary Square rink. If you are looking for a family friendly skate, a 250-meter outdoor skating path winds through the play area at Storybook Gardens. And be sure to grab a hot chocolate and delicious pastry from their rink-side Beavertails concession stand! 

If you’re looking to keep the excitement level up in the evening, then Palasad SocialBowl is where you need to go for the night. They have lots of fun indoor options like bowling, billiards, arcade games and escape rooms. If you work up an appetite, their restaurant has plenty of great options to fulfill your evening hunger! 

Maybe a low-key evening out is more your style? We recommend taking in a show at the historic and newly renovated Grand Theatre London. This downtown cultural centre has a full playbill of great shows running throughout the winter season. While you’re there, be sure to enjoy one of their giant chocolate chip cookies!

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg for a fun-filled road trip! Keep your hibernation plans on hold as there are great experiences and activities all winter long in the Forest City. 

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