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6 December 2021

Family Winter Getaway on Rice Lake

Nestled on the pretty shores of Rice Lake in Northumberland County, Elmhirst Resort is an all-season property run by generations of the Elmhirst family. In the summer, the resort offers all the usual warm-weather activities you’d expect: swimming (whether at the outdoor pool or the beach), volleyball, tennis, fishing, water sports and so much more.

But come winter, the resort transforms into a snowy wonderland that is a perfect escape for families looking for an easy, fun and relaxing winter getaway. Having three young kids myself, I am always on the lookout for places that offer the conveniences and amenities needed for a fun getaway with kids. I’m all for adventure, but sometimes we just need a relaxing break from the monotony of winter. Here you’ll find all you need to enjoy good-quality family time and make the best of the cold months ahead.

Private Cottage Stays

Elmhirst Resort is dotted with cozy cottages in different sizes and configurations. Couples and small families can choose the 1 or 2 bedroom spaces, while larger families or groups will find the 3, 4 or 5 bedroom cottages perfect for everyone to have enough space to spread out. Cottages come with cozy living and dining spaces as well as kitchens and fireplaces. Windows and decks overlook island-studded Rice Lake, providing beautiful water views in the day and starry skies at night. 

Meals Made Easy

One of the best things about a stay at Elmhirst Resort is the flexibility it offers for meals. If someone in your group has an allergy or is particular with their food (or you just want to cut down on the costs of the vacation), the full kitchen in each cottage makes it easy to create your own meals. You can even purchase some ingredients at the farm store: fresh eggs to whip up breakfast or burgers to throw on the BBQ.

But if you’d rather not cook, the on site restaurant has farm fresh meals with options that both adults and kids will love. Many ingredients are either grown right on the property (known as Elmhirst’s Own) or sourced from local farms. Dine in or take out options are available. For families with young kids that go to bed early, having all these options is amazing as you can choose to feed the kids early, put them to bed and then enjoy a romantic gourmet take out meal in the cottage. Or have the whole family dine out early and then enjoy a glass of wine and some dessert (a creme brûlée perhaps? Or maybe cheesecake with a berry compote?) by the fire after the kids go to bed.

Outdoor Adventures At Your Doorstep

In the winter, Rice Lake freezes over and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Step out the front door of your cottage and you are right in the thick of the action. Skate or play a game of hockey on the frozen lake, snowshoe the trails on the property or take a nice long hike through the woods. There’s always something to do outdoors. Join in on a campfire to warm up your toes or head out on the lake to try your hand at ice fishing. When you’re ready for a break, or the kids need some downtime, your cottage is just steps away.

Animal Fun

Elmhirst is home to a lot of farm animals and interacting with them is sure to be one of the family’s favourite activities. Check in at the front desk to ask what the daily animal activities are during your stay. There might be a chance for the kids to pick freshly laid eggs in the hen house, play with the barnyard animals, help with farm chores or check out the horse stables. Every day there are sleigh rides pulled by the resorts mighty Clydesdales and opportunities to see the animals wandering the farm.

Indoor Relaxations

During the winter, the outdoor pool might be closed but there’s still water fun to be had at the resort’s indoor pool. This pool is open daily but keep in mind it is not supervised so be sure to keep an eye on the kids. Also available at the resort is a full service spa which presents a great opportunity for one parent to enjoy a few hours of pampering while the other one has some fun with the kids. Treatments include massage, acupuncture, facials and pedicures.

On January 28-30, Elmhirst Resort will host its annual Kiteweekend — where guests can learn to snow kite with an instructor. Snow kiting is an exhilarating sport that harnesses the power of the wind to propel skiers across the frozen lake.

**Take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit on this vacation. Families can claim up to $2,000 of accommodation costs for stays between January 1 through December 31, 2022 and receive a 20% tax rebate — that’s $400! **

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Category: Ontario