The ice and snow often has many folks hiding from the elements. However, Durham Region has so much to offer that it will lure even the snowbirds out of hiding. For a getaway full of winter fun, check out some of these fantastic things to do in Durham Region!
First things first, you need to fuelled for your day of adventure so plan a visit to Hy-Hope Farm in Ashburn. What started as a small table at the end of the driveway has since transformed into a year-round farm market! For over 40 years now, Dave and Carol have served up freshly baked goods, jams and preserves year round. Pop in and grab a snack before your next stop and plan to visit again in the summer to check out the 18-hole golf course!
Next, it’s time to hit the slopes! Strap on some skis or a snowboard and tackle the hills at Dagmar Ski Resort in Uxbridge. Home to the region’s largest terrain park, there are 18 runs with options for all skill levels. With a family-focused atmosphere, Dagmar is the perfect spot for a winter outing with the family to teach the little ones (and the big kids!) how to Alpine ski. If you’re looking for a mix of downhill adventures with a side of snowtubing, Lakeridge Ski Resort is the place to be! Take in the beautiful views as you’re nestled in the Oak Ridges Moraine while you zip and zoom across their 23 runs including banked slalom and moguls, three dedicated snowboard terrain parks, snowcross and more. Of course, if you’re more of a winter wanderer than an adrenaline junkie, Uxbridge itself has a number of fantastic cross-country ski trails like those in Walkers Woods and the Durham Forest at your disposal. It is the trail capital of Canada, after all!
After a day of playing in the snow, it’s time to warm up with some après ski action. Banjo Cider’s firepits are back along with their mulled ciders (with non-alcoholic options available) and s’mores kits to keep you nice and cozy. Pull up a chair to the communal fire or get a gaggle of your friends together and plan a Saturday adventure with a private firepit all to yourselves. Two Blokes Cider in Seagrave also offers private firepits with seat pads and plenty of blankets to snuggle up in. The best part? These fine folks will tend to your fire so you can focus on enjoying their tasty cider and the rustic ambiance!
Chances are by now, your stomach is starting to rumble. Port Perry is the perfect destination for some great eats to satisfy your hunger! If you’re craving pizza Pickles & Olives Bistro is known for their stone-baked pies with interesting combinations like their Chicken Florentine and Teriyaki Chicken pizzas. If pub fare is more your jam, be sure to stop in at the Jester’s Court. Customers rave about the liver and onions as well as the shepherd’s pie. Whatever you indulge in, make sure you say hello to their resident spirits – yes, the Jester’s Court is haunted! Not to worry though, the ghosts are all friendly. However, if you want some worldly flavours to tickle your taste buds with, Marwan’s Global Bistro is the place to eat. Dishes like Chicken Marsala and the Thai Chili Mango Rainbow Trout are inspired by the culinary travels of Marwan himself. Don’t forget to try a bowl of their Old Flame and Cheddar Soup to start!
Speaking of Old Flame, if you’re not quite ready to end your visit in Durham Region, grab a pint at Old Flame Brewing Company. Housed in the original Ontario Carriage Works building, you’ll find a number of fantastic brews with a focus on German-inspired lagers. Grab a flight so you can enjoy a few of their beers – why have only one when you can try four? Plus it pairs perfectly with the live music that happens every Saturday night!
If you’re looking for a more family-friendly stop, you won’t want to miss the Nutty Chocolatier before saying goodbye to Durham Region. Old fashioned in the most charming of ways, you’ll find a number of tasty treats from handmade truffles to peanut brittle. If you’re watching your sugar intake, they also have no sugar added options to accommodate dietary restrictions! Plus the shop is absolutely adorable so it’s certainly worth a stop.
As you can see, Port Perry and the surrounding area has plenty to offer. While day trips are a popular travel option, you should consider staying overnight to fully enjoy all these wonderful stops! There’s no better place to stay than The Piano Inn. This historic building dates back to 1884 and offers five beautiful rooms that guests will adore. If The Piano Inn is fully booked during your visit, make sure to at least pop by the cafe to get a taste of its charm!
So, what are you waiting for? As you can see, it’s worth braving the elements for a winter getaway to Durham Region!
Story by Lindsay Davies
Lindsay Davies is a crazy Canuck who’s been bit by the travel bug. Proud to call Ontario home, she loves exploring the province and beyond. As a graphic designer and social media marketer by trade, she travels the world while sharing her adventures to inspire others on her blog, I’ve Been Bit! When not behind her computer screen, Lindsay is in her natural habitat when she’s chasing waterfalls, exploring new trails, frolicking on ice roads (don’t knock it until you try it!), and indulging in the odd glass of wine, beer, or cider. Chances are you’ll be able to spot her by some funky coloured hair or a wacky pair of tights she’s wearing! Follow her adventures on Facebook (@IveBeenBit), Twitter and Instagram (@IBBtravel).