Things to do in Toronto: Enjoying a family staycation at the cottage

With the rise in cost of just about everything these days, it’s no wonder that more and more families are opting for a staycation. Instead of flying away to an exotic island or an all-inclusive resort, families are enjoying their vacation time at home or close to home. While some families may not consider this, not only is this option more affordable, but it also decreases our carbon foot-print.

Things to do in Toronto, Stay at a CottageCurrently, there is an increase in families who are staycationing at the cottage. This is something my family and I have done for the past six years. What started-out as a need to save money turned into a family tradition.  With so many activities for the entire family, it’s no wonder the time spent at the cottage just flies by.

Cottage activities – Outdoors

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of cottages for both grownups and kids is ‘unplugging’.  Many cottages still do not have cable TV or internet.  This forces families to get outside and spend time together in ways that would likely not happen during everyone’s busy schedules back in the city. These circumstances provide families the opportunity to get active and creative with various outdoor activities.

Cottages often provide many hiking opportunities. Exploring the trails will allow you to get close to nature and provide a chance for your little ones to get outside and get some exercise. It’s also a great way to potentially see some local wildlife such as birds, wild turkeys, and potentially even a deer.

Grassy areas surrounding cottages offer a great arena for various games, including soccer, tag, horseshoe, frolf (freezbie-golf), and bocce ball.

Things to do in Toronto, Lake

On a hot summer’s day, nothing beats jumping into the lake water for a swim or to just float around.

As night falls, and the stars come up, a favourite family activity is sitting around the camp fire roasting marshmallows and making smores.

Things to do in Toronto, sunset

Cottage Activities – Indoors

If you want a break from the sun or if the weather isn’t cooperating, head indoors for some family fun. Some of our favourite indoor activities include playing one of the many board-games we have or lounging on the couch reading our favourite books.

You can also bring the outdoors inside by doing various arts and crafts with your little ones such as rock painting and making pictures out of leafs.


A cottage rental for a week can range anywhere from $800 to $2,000 for a week (depending on location and cottage size). Gas for the drive is approximately $100. Total cost for a family for a week ranges from as low as $1,000 up to $2,400.


The two main cottage country locations close to Toronto are 1) the Muskoka region (north west) and 2) the Kawartha’s (north east).

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why a staycation in cottage country is an optimal choice for all Torontonians alike.

If you’re looking to rent a cottage this summer, here are some of my favourite cottage rental sites:;;

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