A Staycation weekend in Burlington

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I’m not a camper.

I like the outdoors and come summer time I much prefer to be outside than in but I do not like camping. Sleeping in a tent doesn’t appeal to me and the no bathroom thing just isn’t my cup of tea.

The problem is my kids really want to go camping.

So when Tourism Burlington offered up the chance to go “Glamping” I jumped!

I’m not going to lie, in the days leading up to our trip I began to get nervous. I wondered about the bugs and the beds and most importantly the showers! My kids, however, couldn’t wait so I told myself to suck it up and get through the weekend for them.

The moment I set foot into the KOA Campground cabin I knew that I had it all wrong!

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Talk about glamping! Our cabin was set up with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchenette with a fridge, cooktop and dishes, a dining table and a tv with cable!

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It was stunning. I had packed so much stuff in anticipation of camping that I didn’t need. Toilet paper, paper towels, dishwashing liquid and tea towels were all available in our cabin. It really was a home away from home.

My kids weren’t the only ones who were super excited to check out the bunkbeds! My husband claimed the bottom bunk as soon as he walked in.

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It was the perfect place to come back to after spending the evening bowling and laser tagging it up at Splittsville Burlington. My kids are little so bowling with them can take a long time…I mean a long time. At Splittsville the bumpers come up automatically when the kids go up to bowl. It saved us so much time and all we had to do was ask them to program our lane. It was great because the kids had the opportunity to bowl without frustration and my husband and I were able to keep a little friendly competition going between us.

 

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The staff at Splittsville are always amazing and are always checking in to make sure everything is taken care of. I love the kitchen options as I can go spend an evening bowling, laser tagging and arcading and don’t have to worry about stopping to go grab a bit, everything is right in one place. Take my advice and try the Cactus Cut Kettle Chips, they are amazing!

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After my son whooped me at laser tag I was ready for a rest. All I kept thinking was how thankful I was that I was going back to a bed and not a sleeping bag on the ground.

But first it was campfire time.

We lucked out with some really friendly people at the neighbouring cottage who taught my husband the best way to build a campfire and before you know it we were relaxing by the fire enjoying our roasted marshmallows.

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With all the kids, including my husband, snuggled in to their comfy bunk beds, I cozied up in a big ol’ bed all to myself with a book.

This was my idea of camping.

We were up and at it early the next morning. It was going to be a hot one so I was really looking forward to checking out the lake.

Burlington Beach Rentals can be found right up on the beach in Burlington. I was surprised to know that there was such a beautiful shoreline right in my own backyard!

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The wonderfully friendly people at Burlington Beach Rentals got us set up on our paddleboats and we headed out for a peaceful morning on the lake. It was beautiful; quiet, peaceful and so relaxing. My daughter loved feeling as though she was steering the boat herself and I sat back and enjoyed the view. The stand-up paddleboard yoga that has happening just off shore intrigued me and after I inquired about it I learned they also have moonlit yoga on the paddleboards which sounds amazing!  I made myself a promise that I was going to give the paddleboard yoga a try.

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Peddling those paddleboats worked up our appetites and Burlington has so many options for dining that it’s hard to choose.

We ended up sitting on the patio at the Pepperwood Bistro enjoying the view of the lake while we ate our lunch. My kids inhaled their burgers and pasta and the Turkey Cranberry club was to die for. I don’t think any of us could argue with the deliciousness of my husband’s lobster burger, we all had a taste.

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I could have sat on that patio all day, especially since there was a music festival going on right across the street but we had a baseball game to get to.

We love going to sporting events but it can be a bit of a hassle to get to some of the major league games. When you factor in the time it takes to get downtown, the cost of the tickets and parking and snacks it can run you a fortune and be such an ordeal. Local sports teams are a fantastic option. The Burlington Bandits play baseball right in the city of Burlington. My kids thought it was super neat that they were able to stand right behind the player bench and watch them warm up. My son was beyond thrilled to catch a foul ball and it was great to watch a game so up close and personal.

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We were sweltering by the time we got back to camp so into the pool we went for a quick swim before we barbecued our dinner on the gas barbecue that was provided with our cabin. Eating our dinner outside gave the kids their camping fix and eating off real dishes with running water to clean up with made me happy.

After dinner the kids burned off what was left of their energy running around the park with some of the other kids camping in the campground. The two playgrounds at the campground are a perfect place for the kids to run and play.

No camping trip would be complete without S’mores and my kids couldn’t wait for the sun to go down so that we could light a fire and make S’mores.

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Sundays are for pancakes and that doesn’t change just because you’re camping. The KOA Campground puts on a lovely pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings and the best part is that the proceeds go to charity. My daughter loved that she could put her own toppings on her pancakes and of course she chose to load them up with chocolate chips.

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The staff at Toronto West KOA Campground are so unbelievably friendly and welcoming. They wanted nothing more than to make sure we had a fantastic stay. My son wasn’t feeling well so wasn’t able to make the pancake breakfast and the staff made sure I was able to bring some pancakes back to our cabin and he was so grateful.

After pancakes we were heading home. My kids were a little disappointed that due to our jam packed schedule we missed out on some of the fun activities that happen every day at the campground. The staff heard my kids complaint and went out of their way to bring out the craft from the day before. Watching them sit in the sun making their own t-shirt made me smile and they looked so content.

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I’ve always thought of camping as a summer only thing but I found out that the cabins at the Toronto West KOA Campground are open all year round. I would love to check it out in the fall and get a glimpse at all the beautiful fall colours. They are a pet friendly space and one of the best parts about our weekend away was that we didn’t have to leave our little puppy Duke at home. He’s such a big part of our family that I love to be able to include him. He loved being outdoors with us and he even made some little puppy friends throughout the weekend.

Just the word camping brings out fear in me. I’m afraid of animals and the stuffiness of the tent. I can’t handle the thought of having to pee in the woods and I sleep so much better in a bed than in a sleeping bag. When Tourism Burlington mentioned the word camping I wasn’t so sure. I am so glad that I gave it a shot because we had a blast!

I had no idea that there was so much fun to be had so close to home. The Toronto West KOA Campground definitely offers you a traditional camping experience but if you’re more like me you have the option to take your camping experience up a notch and glamp it out.

The city of Burlington has so much cool stuff happening day in and day out there is never a chance to get bored. Stroll the Lakeshore and stop for a freshly squeezed juice or at one of the many ice cream places along the waterfront. Enjoy local sports and activities, conservations areas and stay active bike riding or paddling through the lake.

Without a doubt my family will be back to Burlington soon and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!

 

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