On six wind-swept acres of sprawling green grass and leafy trees, two half-acre ponds shimmer and occasionally ripple as rainbow trout pierce the surface in search of tiny winged dinners. The scenery is pleasant, but the trout are the stars of the show at Burd’s Family Fishing resort where anglers of all kinds cast lines into well-stocked ponds in hopes of big catches. The staff provides all equipment including a rod and bait, allowing new fisherman to try out the sport without investing in expensive gear and a “Gone Fishing” garage door cover. They also clean the incandescent fish for free and bag them on ice for easy transport. Rod-reelers need only pay admission and a fee per hooked trout. Visitors can also take a respite from angling to picnic among the pastoral landscape and tranquil ponds by bringing their own lunch.
This serene wilderness getaway foregoes television and radios, supplying a sustainable escape from the physical stress constants of urban living with 40 kilometres of cross country ski trails, a wood heated sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. Each of Algonquin’s rooms, includes a double bed or two singles and is infused with a European charm. In the common lounge, meet fellow travellers recovering from technology induced eye ticks, or exercise vestigial legs by bicycling through Algonquin Park. An alternatively powered hot tub relaxes bodies and minds concerned with upsetting Mother Nature, and indoor plumbing is a welcome reminder of the world you've temporarily snubbed behind.
Putting Edge's phosphorescent indoor mini golf course challenges putters with a network of greens hindered by glow-in-dark obstacles. Eighteen holes twist and turn throughout a darkened space populated by painted neon trees and glowing statues. A steady stream of upbeat music sets the pace for players as they navigate their way through the incandescent labyrinth to prove to competitors that their putting skills—like the bottom of Lake Michigan and Celine Dion's hair—are untouchable.
Enormous waterslides twist like snakes above Wild Water Kingdom's acres of landscaped grass and open pools. All in all, 17 aquatic attractions dip, dunk, and douse visitors in torrents of water as they whip down slides with names such as Corkscrew and Sidewinder. Though tykes frolic on the semi-submerged playsets of Dolphin Bay, older visitors scream in delight as they hurtle through the twisting pitch-black tunnels of the Night Rider. Elsewhere, sun-soaked volleyball courts and dual miniature golf courses—one themed after a shipwreck, the other an enchanted forest—provide entertainment that keep suede swimsuits perfectly dry.
Additional attractions include Face Drop, which consists of four ziplines that send guests on 80-foot drops—reaching speeds of more than 50kmph—and a 260-yard driving range keeps stances honed with a steady stream of golf balls.
At My Dive Center, divers can don fins, tanks, and suits and embark on a scuba diving trip—or acquire the skills to do so. The equipment and instructional center’s PADI classes range from the beginner-focused open-water certification course to sessions on more specialized arts, such as learning to take great underwater digital photos of a manatee’s good side.
Located on Hammer St. behind Toys R Us, Barrie Sports Dome spans 350 feet in length and contains facilities for exercising golf swings, kicking soccer balls, and annihilating frenemies in paint ball. The setup of the professional paint ball field changes weekly, and players employ the aid of reballs, a soft, lightweight rubber ball that feels like a regular paint ball without the cost or influence of messy, inconsiderate paint. Choose the driving range option to take advantage of one hour of indoor golf under the glow of Barrie Sports Dome’s 4 million BTU furnace.