Family Fun: A Weekend of Fun and Food in Hamilton
30 Sep 2019
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Disclosure: Our weekend experiences were covered by Attractions Ontario and Tourism Hamilton. All opinions are my own.
Our week is filled with work, school, choir, extra-curricular activities, and youth group. We don;t get to spend a lot of quality time together, or have free evenings to plan fun things during the week. But when the weekend comes, we are all over it!
Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park
Our first stop was Flying Squirrel in Hamilton, an indoor trampoline park. Attractions include a 3D climbing wall, battle beam, dodgeball court, dunk hoops, rope swing, foam pits, slack line, and more. There’s also an arcade and group area for birthday parties or groups. If you need a bite to eat or a refreshment, Drey Cafe has a good menu of items.
Lauren had a blast jumping into the Foam Pit.
Wendy tried her luck at the Slack Line. It’s harder than it looks!
Lauren took the Rope Swing into the giant pillow!
Rachel and Lauren battled it out on the Battle Beam
But it was Wendy who reigned supreme!
Rachel decided to rest in the foam pit.
The girls had a lot of fun in the Parkour Park.
Pro tip: Filling out the online waiver ahead of time will save time when you get to Flying Squirrel in Hamilton.
1550 Upper James St, Hamilton, ON L9B 2L6
Do you have the need for speed? Then you’ll want to experience the thrill of ripping around the track at Lakeland Go-Karts. This super-fun attraction is located on Van Wagners Beach Road, between the Burlington Skyway and Confederation Park.
Wendy and the girls had an awesome time driving around the half-kilometre paved course.
80 Van Wagners Beach Rd, Hamilton, ON L8E 3L8
We truly are blessed to have this beautiful shoreline so close to where we live. Miles of beach, with lots of room for you to set up and watch the boats go by. Lots of free parking is available.
A highlight for Lauren was when I taught her how to skip rocks.
She tried it herself and did really well!
The girls also collected some rocks to take home and paint.
Waterfront Trail, Hamilton, ON (between Hutch’s On The Beach and Baranga’s On The Beach)
Adventure Village is a great place to go for a few hours of fun with your family or friends. Located in Confederation Park in Hamilton, this 3 acre amusement park has lots of fun attractions that will keep you entertained.
This is not your ordinary mini golf. This is one challenging multi-level 18 hole course! This fun course features 5 waterfalls, 6 ponds with fish, a swinging bridge, wooden railroad-trestle, and two shipwrecks.
Think bumper cars, but with a big inner tube around it! Spin, bump, forward and reverse. You’ll want to try this one more than once!
Climb this 25 foot realistic rock climbing wall. Fun for the whole family!
Outdoor Laser Tag
Yes! Outdoor! Throw the laser receiver headband on your head, and head out to the field to shoot your friends! The girls had a lot of fun with this one.
This 4 storey high bungee trampoline attraction is loads of fun! Jump, flip, forwards and backwards… all while safely secured in a harness and bungee cords.
Memories of the Alaskan gold rush! Pan for semi-precious gemstones in the rushing waters. You can keep whatever gems you find!
Sharpen your batting skills, or just bat for fun! This nine-unit batting cage complex is a lot of fun, with variable speeds for all skills.
• 4 Slow Softball
• 1 Medium Softball
• 1 Fast Softball
• 1 Medium Baseball
• 1 Fast Baseball
• 1 Very Fast Baseball
580 Van Wagners Beach Rd, Hamilton, ON L8E 3L8
Baranga’s On The Beach
Looking for some decent Greek food? Look no further than Baranga’s On The Beach. They have a full menu of traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes, with some favourites mixed in for a well rounded menu.
What We Ate
We had a delicious dinner on the patio, with a wonderful view of Van Wagners Beach.
We started with the Bruschetta: Grilled ciabatta, tomatoes, feta cheese, pesto, drizzled with fig balsamic reduction olive oil. We ordered the feta cheese on the side. Very tasty!
Lauren had the Greco Nachos: Thin tri-colour nachos loaded with melted cheddar & mozzarella and topped with tomatoes, onions and feta. Salsa & sour cream or tzatziki on the side. Add Gyro or Chicken. Lauren ordered it with the gyro meat. The nachos were fantastic!
Rachel had Classic Crispy Fish and Chips: Haddock in English style batter over a mound of fries, served with coleslaw and tartar sauce. The fish was lightly battered, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside… just the way it’s supposed to be. So good!
Wendy ordered the Gyro & Salad: All beef gyro meat perfectly seasoned and mounded over grilled pita, topped with red onions and parsley, served with tzatziki. The gyro meat was perfectly spiced, tender, and very flavourful!
I ordered the Beef Souvlaki Dinner: Served with choice of Greek salad, Caesar salad or Beet and Walnut salad, Long Grain Rice, Grecian Roasted Potatoes & Tzatziki. I had the refreshing beet and walnut salad to start. The beef was cooked medium rare like I ordered it, and was delicious! The Grecian potatoes and rice were both very good.
380 Van Wagners Beach Rd, Hamilton, ON L8E 3L8
Royal Botanical Gardens
With 400 acres of display gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a thing of beauty.
Founder and early conservationist Thomas Baker McQuesten patterned the region’s first botanical garden after Kew Gardens in England, and created both a regional botanical tourism site and an environmental agency.
There are lots of interactive exhibits in the main building.
With seas of gardens, trees, forest and marsh, Royal Botanical Gardens is a great destination for families, friends, or kids on a school trip.
680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4
No trip to Hamilton is complete without a stop at Donut Monster. All donuts are made fresh daily from scratch, using only high quality ingredients.
They have unique flavours like Hazelnut Espresso and Lavender Lemon, which are sure to tempt your sweet tooth.
If you are in the mood for milkshake, then try the ones at Donut Monster. They are fantastic!
246 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON L8P 4B9
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Founded in 1972, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum has an amazing collection of aircraft that were flown by Canadians and the Canadian military from the beginning of World War II to the present. Any monies raised by this non-profit organization go to the preservation and maintenance of the collection. CWHM is home to the massive Avro Lancaster Bomber, one of two in the world that still fly.
In 2014, the Canadian Lancaster flew across the Atlantic to England to fly with the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster for a two month tour. These two iconic aircrafts flew together at over 60 aviation events, witnessed by millions of people throughout the United Kingdom. The Canadian Lancaster then made its journey home, back to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Footage was captured of the entire trip for a documentary called “Reunion of Giants”, which is available for purchase at the museum’s gift shop or online.
After checking out the aircraft collection, be sure to try your luck at the light simulator. It’s a lot of fun!
Here are just some of the aircraft you can see at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton:
1941 de Havilland DH.82C Tiger Moth, 1944 Douglas C-47 Dakota, 1945 Avro Lancaster Mk. X, 1945 North American B-25J Mitchell Mk. III, 1950 Noorduyn Norseman MK. V, 1956 de Havilland Canada DHC-1B-2-S5 Chipmunk, 1944 Consolidated PBY-5A Canso, 1942 Boeing PT-17 Stearman, 1951 Fairey Firefly Mk. VI, 1939 Douglas DC-3 Dakota, 1943 Fairchild Cornell Mk. II, Fleet Fort, Fairchild Cornell Mk. II, 1937 Fleet Model 21K, 1952 North American Harvard Mk. IV, Nanchang CJ-6A
Under restoration to flying condition
1945 Grumman Avenger AS 3, 1951 North American Harvard Mk. IV, Bristol Bolingbroke Mk. IVT, 1942 de Havilland DH.82C Tiger Moth, 1942 Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA, 1959 Grumman CS2F-2 Tracker
Future restoration to flying condition
1941 Stinson 105, 1944 Avro Anson Mk. V, 1950 Cessna L-19 Birddog
1940 North American Yale, 1971 Beechcraft CT-134 Musketeer, 1978 de Havilland Canada DHC-5A Buffalo, 1941 Cessna Crane Mk. I, 1958 McDonnell CF-101B Voodoo, 1946 Beechcraft Expeditor, 1965 Canadair CT-114 Tutor, 1947 Auster A.O.P. Mk. VI, Lockheed T-33 Silver Star, 1940 Fleet Finch Mk. II, 1960 de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.6, 1970 Northrop CF-5A Freedom Fighter, Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter, 1940 Fleet Fort
There is so much history within the walls of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
9280 Airport Rd, Mount Hope, ON L0R 1W0
Located on historic King William Street in an area of Hamilton that has become a culinary hub, The Mule serves up a gluten-free menu, and is definitely not your traditional Mexican food. Known as the place where tacos, tequila and bourbon come to party, The Mule offers a fresh twist of flavours from down south in a fun and hip atmosphere.
What We Ate
Talk about an amazing meal!
Lauren had the guacamole and chips. We are pretty picky when it comes to guacamole, as we make it at home. This one didn’t disappoint. The chips were perfect as well.
Rachel had the fries supreme. It was packed with toppings, which she loved.
Wendy ordered the mango salad. It was refreshing, full of flavour, and had a nice kick of spice!
I ordered this amazing pork belly dish. Pieces of pork belly with chillies, green onions, carrots, cilantro, and a delicious sauce. This one was so good, I ordered a second one to take home!
Then it was time for some tacos! Lauren had the Cease and Desist tacos, which are your classic beef.
Rachel had the Achiote Chicken tacos. They were pretty awesome!
Wendy had the Halloumi tacos, and loved it!
I had the Pork Belly Banh Mi tacos. These Vietnamese inspired pork belly tacos hit it out of the park for me.
41 King William St, Hamilton, ON L8R 1A2
Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area
Our last stop was Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area to see the sunset over Hamilton.
Carved by melt-water rivers plunging over the Stoney Creek Escarpment, you can see the many layers of rock, including red shale, Cabot Head grey shale, limestone, and shale dolomite.
Devil’s Punchbowl is truly a sight to be seen, and offers one of the best views of Stoney Creek and Hamilton Harbour from the lookout.
Unfortunately, there was no water flowing into the punchbowl, but that didn’t stop us from admiring the beauty of the area, and the sun setting to end a wonderful family weekend in Hamilton.
Ridge Rd, Stoney Creek, ON L8J 2X4
Take a trip to Hamilton!
If you want a place to visit within an hour of Toronto, give Hamilton a try. Visit attractionsontario.ca to plan your trip. Lots of amazing places to visit, many fun things to do, an abundance of greenspace, and a great selection of restaurants make Hamilton an awesome destination for the whole family!
Craig is a husband, father, team leader, travel and food writer, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, and social media strategist. He likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and Travel Media Association of Canada. If you are a PR agency or brand and would like Craig to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send him an email.