Well it turns out there is fun to be had in the snowy outdoors and you can do almost anything as long as you “dress for the weather”. Who knew? This includes wearing many layers and packing hand-warmers in every nook and cranny you can. Winter hack!
The temperature was more than daunting as I was prepping and packing for our 2 night stay at Fern Resort in Orillia. Arctic enough that I contemplated cancelling the whole thing. However, we had just barely managed to survive the madness of Christmas and we were all looking forward to our mini-vacation along with my fellow momstown colleagues and their families. They had all been to Fern many times before and had talked it up to an almost impossible-to-live-up-to standard. I was skeptical seeing as how most of our family vacations since we’ve had our three amazing children have been more work than fun for me.
On the plus side my kids LOVE going to a city, any city really, and staying in a hotel. This is more fun for them than I could have ever imagined, as long as there is an indoor pool, some element of fast food and an ice machine. God forbid we ever stay anywhere without an ice machine. But the effort of making it all happen can sometimes leave me needing a vacation from my vacation. I know I’m not alone in this phenomenon. However, something amazing happened at Fern. I didn’t have that feeling. Not for one moment. There were so many fun things to do, yes even in the coldest snap of winter. Every worry you may have on vacation was taken care of. Kids bored? Take them tobogganing/skating/skiing/dog sledding/snow shoeing/snowmobiling/ice fishing. Kid’s cold? Take them indoors to the pool/watercolour class/yoga/games room. Do you want to do something the kids don’t? Two words: KIDS CLUB! Magical, amazing kids club. As a parent you will love kids club. And the best part was the kids LOVED kids club. It’s all they wanted to do. The staff makes it so much fun that skiing or skating with Mom and Dad really does start to seem like torture. The guilt I felt about having fun without them didn’t exist because they were having more fun than we were. No joke.
Truth be told we stayed mostly indoors on that first coldest day of our visit. But with all the activities available at Fern we didn’t feel like we were missing out. My oldest daughter and I took a watercolour class after breakfast, and then we all headed to the indoor pool for the afternoon, where everyone could blow off loads of energy and build up an appetite worthy of the delicious dinner that awaited us. After our two dinners (an early sitting for the kids and a later one for us while the kids hung out at kids club) we headed off to Mary Lou’s for “Deal or No Deal” where the 6 year won enough Fern dollars to buy some stellar Fern Resort souvenirs. Our evening was capped off with a surprisingly entertaining staff lip sync show. There is some definite hidden talent among the Fern crew.
The next day was a balmy -3 degrees and we had signed up for all 5 of us to try dog-sledding. This was such a novel experience for my husband and me, not to mention the kids. I have to admit that while I was standing on the back of my sled, listening to my instructions about how to get around corners, slow down and stay on track, I was nothing short of terrified. I wanted off. I could see how powerful these dogs were and how excited they were to get going, that I could only imagine my sled (including my 6 year old passenger) flying off into the woods or straight towards the highway. I have to say how happy I am that I faced my fears that morning. It was an utterly amazing experience. We all became a part of the pack that day.
Yes it was cold that weekend but not once did anyone complain. I didn’t have to talk my 9 year old into how sharing a bed with her 6 year old sister or 4 year old brother was going to be “fun”. And the only mention of Disneyworld from my kids (which is what they compare every family trip to since we took them 2 years ago) was how they couldn’t decide if FERN WAS EVEN BETTER!! I think it was the all-you-can-eat jello buffet.
Don't forget to enter our contest for March Break at Fern Resort with your family!