by Abhinav Kumar Vaughan sits at the foot of the door - between the busy metropolis that is Toronto and the sweet calling of the Ontario countryside beyond. Residents and visitors to the city are therefore spoiled with choices when it comes to day-long activities and getaways. In this, I am compiling a list of fun, educational and rejuvenating activities that you can indulge in with your partner or your family. Trust me, you are going to be blown away by the variety of nearby activities that you never even considered. Here are 8 Ways for you to spend your Saturday in and around Vaughan:
Roadshow Antiques North [Innisfil]
If you like browsing through antiques and making epic rare finds, Roadshow Antiques North might just be the place to go. This 32,000 sq-ft mall houses over 200 antique dealers, and calls itself, "Canada’s largest quality antiques mall." In addition to the size of the place, the extensive collections they have will call for setting aside a full day to browse this vast space. They have regular auctions so you can test your wits against collectors from around the region in the hunt for that rare barn find!
Black Creek Pioneer Village [Toronto-Vaughan]
Where do you start with Black Creek Pioneer Village? There's something here for everyone. Once it opens in the spring, the village is a smorgasbord of activity. From meeting baby lambs, to their Pirates and Princesses event, and their Soldiers and Spies re-enactment. As a visitor, you not only get to see these skits and activities, you get to partake in them too.
Stratford Festival [Stratford]
If you love all things Shakespeare then you’ll forgive us for including the Stratford Festival (the furthest jaunt from Vaughan on this list). Leave a little early to beat the traffic, and you’ll cut your journey time from much less than two hours. Replete with plays and performances and all things Shakespeare, Strat Fest is really lovely way to spend a day imbibing literature and culture, and giving audience to some incredible theatre talent. Book early is the mantra here because boy does this place sell out fast!
McMichael Canadian Art Collection [Kleinburg]
Continuing on the cultural (and historical) track, a treasure the McMichael public art gallery is an absolute treasure! Surrounded by 40 acres of woodland, it is the only publicly funded art gallery in Canada encapsulating indigenous Canadian art. Consisting of artworks from by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and contemporary artists, the importance of this awe-inspiring gallery cannot be overstated. The wonderment of the art being preserved and presented so breathtakingly cannot be captured in words.
David Dunlap Observatory [Richmond Hill]
This one’s an anomaly – mostly because it’s not so much day getaway, but something that will awaken your night owl. Opened in 1935, the David Dunlap Observatory will first blow you away with its incredible surroundings and architecture. But it’s when night sets in that they amaze with their astronomical journey. Programs usually start at 8.30pm and run to about midnight. It is hard to explain the excitement that runs through the assembled crowd as the dome of the observatory is opened and the telescope focused on some wondrous astronomical phenomenon.
Kortright Centre for Conservation [Vaughan]
Amidst 300 acres of pristine woodland is situated Kortright Centre for Conservation. No, this is not just another walk in the park, rather it is a great place to learn about sustainable living, and get incredible insight into the flora and fauna that exists in this part of the world. The Centre runs regular educational programs and camps, suitable for kids and adults, on a whole lot of wildlife subjects. You can unleash your inner hipster, too, with their macro photography workshop – only the subjects will be far cooler than just your average rose.
Lego Factory Tour [Vaughan]
There are few experiences where not only do you get to learn but also indulge your inner five-year-old so fully. The Lego Factory Tour is one such place and boy does it deliver! See how the ubiquitous but still so coveted Lego bricks are made, and what goes behind the design of each shape. You will marvel at how raw plastic turns into something that has caught the fancy of millions of children and adults alike, all over the world. And then there’s the opportunity to play with Lego yourself and recreate your long lost space-glider-thingy! Legoland Discovery Centre has special adult nights if it’s just you and your significant other.
Fern Resort [Ramara]
About an hour away from Vaughan – or think of it as an ordinary commute into Toronto on any weekday, only much prettier – is Fern Resort. Over 100 years old, Fern has been the go-to getaway for families and couples to be pampered. Though the resort has weekend packages, too, its close proximity to Vaughan and Toronto means many people prefer to spend the day there, enjoying their renowned spa or enjoying a variety of outdoor activities such as golf, volleyball and swimming. But let’s not kid about – nothing beats their two hour spa body wraps which leave you floating like a cloud!