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York Durham Headwaters
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Art, Skiing and S’mores in Headwaters Region
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Art, Skiing and S’mores in Headwaters Region

By Christine Martin

As a family, I think it’s safe to say that we absolutely love to explore and try new things.

Ever since our kids were small, we’ve always loved taking them on adventures both locally and abroad.

Everything from visiting new cities to eating diverse foods to trying new activities—there are so many options out there to help expand their life experiences and broaden their world view!

We’ve always made it a top priority to explore and emphasize the importance of “firsts.”

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This last weekend was one of those family “firsts” for us in the Headwaters Region of Ontario, where we had the opportunity to go skiing, including an hour private lesson for the kids at Hockley Valley Resort.

I grew up taking ski lessons every weekend with my family but haven’t been since I was a child. Chris also had a few experiences with skiing and snowboarding when he was younger, but hasn’t been back on the slopes since.

The kids have never been skiing, so this was an exciting first for them.

We all geared up and headed to the slopes for the private lessons. It was incredible to watch the instructors work with the kids, up and down the small hill, patiently trying to keep them standing and making sure they didn’t crash into anyone!

After the lesson, all three kids declared skiing as their new favourite sport and begged for more ski lessons once we are home.

Thankfully, there are a few local ski hills in our neck of the woods such as Dagmar and Brimacombe, which are still part of the York Durham Headwaters region!

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Hockley Valley Resort had lots of personal touches throughout that made the experience even greater for our first time skiers, including open fire pits at the bottom of the ski hills with free s’more making supplies for all ages! Such a fun and delicious activity to do après skiing! For dinner, we enjoyed the most delicious meal at cabin, the resort’s cozy, modern farm-to-table restaurant.

The kids absolutely loved the spaghettini with Ontario buffalo mozzarella and basil, while we enjoyed the Wellington County beef tenderloin served with sunchoke crema, mushroom and faro ragout, wilted greens and onion rings!

My mouth is watering just thinking about it again!

Along with our dinner, the chef at cabin introduced us to the best un-oaked Chardonnay we’ve ever had from Adamo Estate Winery next door.

We loved the wine so much that the next day, we just had to venture over to buy some Chardonnay to take home with us.

This winery is absolutely stunning and worth a visit. You can go to simply buy wine, have a wine tasting, order from their espresso bar or in-house restaurant or just enjoy the views! We could have stayed there all afternoon and will definitely go back when in the area again!

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The following day, we were off to another family first adventure, this time to Ann Randeraad’s rustic pottery studio, about 15 minutes away from Hockley Valley Resort.

We are a pretty creative and artistic family—crafting is one of my kids’ favourite pastimes—and we’ve frequently visited local pottery painting studios to paint ceramics.

As it turns out, the York Durham Headwaters region abounds in opportunities to get crafty as a family, with Meta4 Gallery, Maggiolly Art on Broadway, the Markham Museum and Alton Mill Arts Centre all offering kid-friendly art classes in everything from painting to pottery.

My kids have quite the collection of little creatures they’ve painted over the years, but we’ve never had the opportunity to create actual pottery before.

It was such a neat experience not only for Chris and I to try our hands on the wheel, but to watch the kids get into it and use their creative expression to create a piece of pottery out of clay!

This is a family first we will never forget!

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Our final stop was a visit to the Museum of Dufferin, a hidden gem and a great place for families to learn about the history of this part of Ontario. There is truly so much to discover! The kids loved the indoor train station and authentic jalopy!

The York Durham Headwaters area has so many wonderful places to visit and activities to try out this winter, from skiing to pottery to cooking classes and so many other amazing options. Bundle the kids up and head out for an adventure, I guarantee you won’t soon forget it!

Photography courtesy of Christine Martin

Photography courtesy Hockley Valley Resort

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's Globe Content Studio.
The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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