Family Life


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Embracing the snow with a winter stay at The Briars

I am not a fan of the snow. I don’t like being cold or wet. Plus I am a commuter. Snow wreaks havoc on life, turning my 60-minute drive into a will-this-ever-end kind of trip. Basically, snow is my enemy. But I have a three-year-old, so I am trying to embrace the snow.

In order to do this, I planned a small winter getaway. In the past, this would mean a beach, a tropical drink and hot, hot sun. This time I opted for snow, venturing not to far outside of the Toronto area to Lake Simcoe. My little family of three spent the weekend at The Briars, a quaint resort in Jackson’s Point, Ontario.

Briars getaway - embracing the snow with a winter stay at the briars

I packed more than I had ever packed for any trip…ever. My husband’s size 13 winter boots take up a bag of their own, and then there was the snow pants, mitts, hats, scarves and so on for each one of us.  Our car was packed to the roof as we pulled in for our two-night stay.

After we were settled, we headed to the dining room for dinner. Our package included a meal plan, the menu was mouthwatering, and there was no snow indoors, so this was an ideal activity for me. After a really delicious meal (Yay for kid’s menus!), it was time to bundle up and head outdoors. It was 8:00 and -25 degrees, but I promised the kiddo we would sit outside by the fire. Yes, it was freezing, but it was also peaceful and lovely, staring up at the stars, listening to the fire and watching my daughter play in the snow.

The next day, we took a morning dip in the indoor pool (another activity that was right up my alley), but I knew what was coming after lunch: the great outdoors. Luckily it was a balmy -6 degrees, perfect weather for a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the snow. Two massive Clydesdales (Bubba and Jasper) pulled us down the trail. The kid had a great time. The husband had a great time. And I had a really, really great time.

After that, we went sledding for nearly two hours. It was my daughter’s first time going down a toboggan hill on her own and she loved it. I trudged up the hill, dragging two sleighs in one hand and holding my daughter’s hand with the other. It was a workout and I enjoyed every moment (especially because we are a family from Hamilton, where tobogganing has recently been outlawed). When I ask my daughter about her favourite part of the weekend, she says, “When I fell off the sleigh on my face and got snow all over me.”

The day was capped off reading by the fire in our room. The cozy downtime was welcome as my husband and I were exhausted from all the outdoor activity (and I didn’t even make him do the snowshoeing!).

As we drove home next day, I said to my husband, “The snow really does look nice. If I didn’t have to commute, I think I could learn to really love it.”

To plan your getaway to The Briars, visit

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