Life With a Baby Community Manager retreat took us to Sudbury, Ontario. I would
be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit uncertain about the variety of activities
that would be available to my family - my husband and our two girls
aged 2 and 4. Not only were my uncertainties erroneous, I was amazed by the
amount of activities we were able to fit into our weekend away.
only a 3.5 hr drive from our home in Vaughan, Ontario. We timed our departure
to correspond with nap time so both girls slept for the majority of the
drive and my husband and I were faced with time to ourselves to chat –
something that does not happen very frequently these days!
We made a
couple of pit stops along the way. Our first was to Bokkies Biltong, a South African
store in Barrie, Ontario. My husband is originally from SA so the thought of
going on a road trip without some biltong was inconceivable (for those who don’t
know what biltong is, think beef jerky, but better). Our second pit stop was
just to a small trading post on the side of the road with a grassy area and
picnic tables, a fountain and plenty of room to stretch our legs.
at our hotel – The Microtel around 4 pm and were very impressed with the
friendly staff, the cleanliness of the lobby and our room, the indoor pool and
of course the fitness centre!
After a short rest and shopping trip to stock up
on some snacks in our room, which had a kitchenette, we headed out to P&M
Kouzzina for dinner. The kids’ menu was full of pictures to colour and activities
to keep the kids entertained. Our waitress also brought out some cucumber
slices for the girls to snack on while we waited for our food to arrive which
is now a MUST anytime we go to a restaurant as a family. The food was fresh,
super tasty and I would absolutely add it to your itinerary when you are in the
area and craving some authentic Italian eats.
we headed to the KUPP Centre, a local indoor playground and let the girls burn
off some energy before bed. They both had an absolute blast. I have been to a
few indoor playgrounds in my time, and this one truly had something for kids of
all ages. They had lots of climbing structures, a super fast slide (my two year
old couldn’t get enough of it), and even a separate area for laser tag.
After a busy
day we were off to bed to get some rest for another fun-filled day.
our day off with the complimentary breakfast at The Microtel. Then, we were off
to Science North for the morning. We have season passes to the Ontario Science Centre
in Toronto and go there at least once a month since both of my girls, myself
and my husband love it. I was not too sure how Science North would compare. As
we entered we walked through a tunnel made to look like we were beginning to
walk underground. It was very realistic – so much so that my 2 yr old was a
little nervous and I had to hold her as we walked. We started at the bottom and
made our way up the four levels. Each level had a different theme filled with all
sorts of activities. The lower level catered to toddlers as they had a
treehouse and pirate ship made into an interactive play area.
As we made our
way to the second floor we walked through the butterfly gallery which hosted ~400
free-flying butterflies, walked quickly by the tarantulas in their enclosures
as neither myself nor my husband had any interest in holding one, found fossils
in the fossil table and stopped at the millipede station. There was another
family next to us who were holding the large millipede and I thought they were absolutely
nuts. But, after my husband and 2 yr old took a turn holding it I thought I
better put on my brave girl pants and show my 4 yr old that there was nothing
to be afraid of. It took a LOT of courage but even I held the millipede – only for
a few seconds, but I did it!
third and fourth levels we met a lot of live animals such as a beaver, skunk,
porcupine, turtles, snakes and bees! Music started to play from the theater, so
we made our way to the center to get ready for the science show. This was
possibly my favourite part and which separated it from the Ontario Science
Centre. It was very interactive and entertaining for the whole family. After
the show we made our way to the final level that was full of so many activities,
but it was getting close to lunch and nap time so we didn’t spend too much time
although we still managed to fit in car racing, the human gyroscope and bed of
headed to Tucos Taco Lounge for lunch. We sat outside on their super chill and
colourful patio and the kids hopped from colour tile to colour tile as we were
ordering our food. As we were looking at the menu we saw a lot of vegetarian
options, but we weren’t aware that it was a vegan restaurant until later in the
day when we were talking to others about it. We ordered the phish tacos, nachos,
mac and cheese and fruit. It was excellent!! My husband is not one to typically
choose to eat at a vegan restaurant, but he couldn’t even tell it was vegan – everything
we headed back to the hotel for family nap time. When we awoke it was time to continue
adventure led us to the Northern Exotics Animal Exhibit. My youngest is obsessed
with animals so I knew this would be a highlight for her – and was it ever! We
saw everything from lizards to parrots to monkeys, alligators, chinchillas,
foxes and lemurs!
came back to the hotel for a quick swim (had to fit that in) and then it was time
for dinner at M.I.C. Canadian Eatery & Whisky Pub and a visit to Bell Park.
I was still pretty full from our amazing lunch so I just had a small pasta dish
and my husband ordered a burger. Everything was very fresh and tasty. Again, we got
the cucumber slices for the girls’ appetizer – I am telling you, this is a
Bell Park was
wonderful! There was a great grassy area and beautiful flower garden which made
a perfect setting for our family photo, a nice sandy beach and a playground in
which my girls could not get enough of the swing and slides. We visited the
park after dinner, but it would be the perfect spot for a family picnic and
Our final day
in Sudbury started again with a fresh continental breakfast at the Microtel and
then it was off to the Dynamic Earth to learn all about nickel mining. We were
greeted by the Big Nickel in which I thought it would be cute to show the girls
a real nickel and have them compare it to the BIG Nickel. Inside there was a great area for kids to play
and had all sorts of interactive stations. My 4 yr old panned for gold while
the two year old got pretty good at manoeuvring the wheel barrow full of ‘rocks’.
We decided not to opt in for the underground tour of the mine given the 2 yr old’s
reaction to the walk through the ‘tunnel’ at Science North. There was also an
amazing outdoor playground, but by the time the kids were finished playing indoors
it was time for us to leave as we were continuing our family vacation in the
nearby Manitoulin Island.
meal in Sudbury was at Di Gusto Wine Bar and without knowing it, we saved the
best for last. We started with an amazing garden salad while the girls had
their cucumber slices and olives followed by a wood oven pizza (It was gone before I could get a picture). It was one of
the best pizzas I have had!! This restaurant is an absolute must when visiting
All in all
I was amazed by everything Sudbury had to offer. From the incredible food
options to the endless family-friendly activities. One weekend was not enough
to fit it all in, so I can’t wait for our next visit!!
For more pictures #LWABSudbury