We are now into the final days of summer and we want to make sure to get the most out of it before it’s gone! With this weekend and the Labour Day Long Weekend ahead, there’s still time to load up some snacks, some comfy Bear Wear and hit the road to check out one of our Top 5 Summer Destinations within Ontario. Let’s go!
#1 – Muskoka
Of course we chose Muskoka as our number one destination – we live here! From the beautiful dark night skies, the great fishing, paddling opportunities and unique shopping & dining options, Muskoka is far and away our favourite place to be for summer in Ontario.
Tip: Check out the Hardy Lake Trail, or the Torrance Barrens for some great hiking. Or if you’re looking to jump in the water, Kirby’s Beach in Bracebridge is great!
While not necessarily very far for us, being in Muskoka, our neighbours to the north-east offer a wide variety of outdoor activities and the chance to get up close and personal with the great Canadian wilderness. From camping, paddling, fishing and hiking to one of the several guided tours available, there are plenty of ways to experience Algonquin and we highly recommend adding Algonquin Park to your must-see summer destinations in Ontario.
Tip: Bring some good shoes and check out the Lookout Trail if you’re looking for a great place to go hiking with some Instagram-worthy views!
If Muskoka had a sibling… it wold be The Thousand Islands. Breathtaking views of the Canadian Shield granite rock, sprawling islands and beautiful blue water almost as far as the eye can see. From helicopter tours to boat cruises, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this magical place. If looking for something smaller scale, you can rent or bring a kayak or a bicycle and take things in at your own pace.
Tip: If you’re a real thrill seeker, we hear that there is a skydiving company in the area offering jump opportunities to the public. That certainly would be provide quite the view! You’ll have to let us know if you try it!
If you crave the outdoors and are intrigued by the idea that Ontario does in fact have a canyon… we recommend visiting the Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park. There is a boardwalk that connects two lookout platforms of the 150-metre wide gorge and 100-metre straight down drop. It really will take your breath away! This unique place is thought to have been carved out by water flow from a glacier that melted millions of years ago. Cool, right?
Tip: There is currently no over-night camping at Ouimet Canyon, but you can find some great camping spots nearby at the Sleeping Giant or Kakabeka Falls Provincial Parks.
YES – in addition to Ontario being home to a canyon, we also have mountains! About a 5-hour drive from Toronto, we recommend checking out the La Cloche Mountains Provincial Park. They do have ‘back country’ overnight camping available, along with great hiking trails, boating, fishing and swimming opportunities. The views here are stunning!
Tip: Be advised that there are no park facilities or organized activities here. This is you and the wilderness. Bring plenty of food, water and anything else you might need during your adventure.
In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.
If you have been to or through Muskoka, there’s a good chance you will recognize the stunning Muskoka Steamships – the Wennonah II and the Segwun. Resting peacefully at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst for most of the year, these humble, but majestic ships have been offering up public cruises through the major Lakes of Muskoka for decades. With an impressive heritage that spans the entire history of Gravenhurst … literally – the Steamships first set sail in 1866, while Gravenhurst was founded 21 years later in 1887 – the Steamships have been attracting visitors from the around the world to our mini slice of heaven here in Muskoka.
With 2020 however, came COVID-19 and that meant the Steamships had to make the difficult decision to close and cancel their early-season cruises. Locals grew to miss the familiar ship whistle ringing through town as the ships used to come and go from the Wharf. But, with hard work and dedication, the stellar team behind the Steamships and Discovery Centre introduced some new Safety Measures for passengers and were able to resume public cruises on August 1st.
With touch-free temperature checks and pre-cruise screening and contact-tracing, reduced passenger capacity, increased staff training, cleaning and sanitizing along with mandatory masks, physical social distancing and more, the Steamships have really stepped their game up to ensure a safe experience for all who choose to enjoy a cruise this summer.
We would like to acknowledge and give props to the team at the Steamships for their perseverance and their commitment to safety. This certainly has not been an easy or straight forward summer, to be clear, so we’re proud to see the Steamships up and running again and have heard nothing by glowing response from those we know who have already sailed this summer. Way to go to all involved and wishing you a successful, albeit shortened, sailing season and all the best moving forward.
If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.
Signaling that dinner is ready doesn’t have to be the first time everyone makes their appearance in the kitchen or dining room. Try baking grandma’s recipes together as a family! Or another great way to elevate your family dinner is to get everyone involved in the preparation. Whether that’s washing or chopping ingredients during food prep, or choosing what plates and table settings will be used, there’s plenty of jobs to go around. This is a great opportunity to connect with each other and create lasting memories.
#2 – Grow Your Own Ingredients or Keep It Local!
Few things are healthier or more rewarding than preparing a meal using ingredients that you grew or sourced locally. It’s likely that the more produce you grow, the more fresh fruit and vegetables that will be part of your regular diet. In addition to the boost in nutrients and vitamins for your body, you’re also helping the environment by reducing the environmental impact of food production. So get those green thumbs going, or acquaint yourself with the local food & farmers’ markets and keep it fresh and keep it local for dinner this summer.
#3 – Sale of the Week Items
Whether it’s dinner at home around the table, or BBQ in the backyard, takeout on a patio, a picnic or something else altogether, Muskoka Bear Wear is there for you to help keep it comfy and these Sale of the Week items should help do the trick!
So remember, the 3 ways to elevate family dinner this summer: Do it together, keep it local and rock some comfy Muskoka Bear Wear.
Summer sure has had it’s share of heat and as we enter the second half, we’re serving up some tips on how to stay cool and beat that heat with Muskoka Bear Wear!
#1 Jump in the Lake – Go Swimming!
Whether it’s a pool, a pond or one of the many gorgeous, pristine lakes throughout Muskoka or the rest of Ontario, go jump in!! Make a splash! Few things will cool you off quicker than that first plunge into the water. If you’re sweltering in the heat, don’t wade in, don’t tip your toes in, just shout ‘cowabunga’ and jump right in!
#2 You Scream, I Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!
Cone, cup, bowl… it doesn’t really matter. If you need to cool off fast, the best and most delicious thing you can do is grab some ice cream or frozen yogurt. With so many flavours and options there has got to be a frozen delight for you. Classic, creamy soft-serve vanilla, banana splits, root beer floats, rainbow sorbet, moose tracks, cookie dough, chopped fruit, nuts, whipped cream, chocolate sauce…. if the heat ails you, ice cream is your salve! Have another scoop, we won’t tell anyone!
And if you’re looking for a great local place to get some ice cream we recommend checking out Melody’s Muskoka Ice Cream in Gravenhurst, Ontario! They just introduced homemade ice cream pies. Need we say more? Learn more by checking out Week 18 in our #MBWShoutouts here.
#3 Grab Some of our Sale of the Week Items!
Whether you’re chilling on the patio, hanging on the beach or any of about ten thousand other fun things this summer, Muskoka Bear Wear is right there with you and your family every paw print of the way! Check out our Sale of the Week page for great deals to help you beat the heat and keep cool this summer!
The summer is usually about getting outside to hit the water or the trails, or to gather around a bonfire under the stars or long list of other great activities outdoors. But sometimes, when that rainy day rolls around, and you feel more inclined to bundle up and get cozy, well for those days, our favourite thing to do is to throw on our comfy Bear Wear threads and watch a couple great movies together with the family.
Assemble the snacks, round up the family and enjoy these Top 5 Summer Movies for the whole family!
Few movies are as synonymous with teenage life in the summer-time as the ‘Summer Lovin’‘ classic Grease. This 1978 musical was based off the 1971 Broadway Musical of the same name and tells the tale of Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko’s (John Travolta) summer fling over the summer of ’58. ‘You’re The One That I Want‘, ‘Greased Lightning‘ and ‘Summer Nights‘ remain iconic, instantly-recognizable songs 40+ years after the film first debuted. It’s hard not tap your feet and sing along through at least a half dozen songs on every watch-thru. Summer and Grease just Go Together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.
“Hey You Guuuuuuuys!” No must-watch movie list would be complete without The Goonies. Several members of the young cast have gone on to have lengthy Hollywood careers such as Corey Feldman, Sean Austin, Josh Brolin and Martha Plimpton. The story follows a group of young, adventurous friends who are preparing to say goodbye to one another as a development company plans to demolish their homes and build a golf course unless funding is raised to stop the development. The kids stumble upon a treasure map and embark on an quest to find the treasure in hopes of saving the neighbourhood. They run into several unique challenges along the way that ultimately tests their resolve and their friendship. “Goonies never say die” is one of the famous quotes from the film and is a great message about perseverance. Goonies easily found its way on to our Top 5 Summer Movies for the Whole Family.
Back To The Future (1985)
“Wait A Minute, Doc. Are You Telling Me You Built A Time Machine…Out Of A DeLorean?” These are the famous words from small-town California teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) before being thrust into a time-travel adventure that has become a cult classic and spawned two sequels. In this, the original, Marty is sent back to the 1950’s where he meets younger versions of his parents, for whom he must convince to fall in love or else he himself will cease to exist. Increasing the stakes for Marty is how he also must return to his own time to save Doc Brown. This 80’s sci-fi comedy is packed with plenty of nostalgia – though, that’s probably fitting for a movie about time travel!
The Sandlot (1993)
The epitome of a coming-of-age story, The Sandlot is a summer classic about feeling like an outsider, but then finally finding your tribe. Scotty Smalls, a shy 5th-grader moves to a new neighbourhood and manages to make friends with a group of boys who play baseball together. They embark on several funny and heart-warming adventures together – including the retrieval of a very important Babe Ruth-signed baseball that they accidentally knocked over the fence. ‘Legends never die‘, as they say in the film, and this legendary film makes our Top 5 Summer Movies for the Whole Family.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Moving our way through the decades, we land on one of our favourites from the 2000’s… Walt Disney’s Lilo & Stitch. This summer classic revolves around two boisterous, mischievous characters; a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo (Daveigh Chase) and a blue alien that Lilo adopts, thinking him a dog, that she names Stitch (Chris Sanders). This fun, colourful adventure centres on Lilo’s love and belief in ‘ohana‘, the Hawaiian term for family. Stitch is hilarious and this movie has plenty of laughs along the way! Just as Lilo was committed to leave no one behind, we’re certainly not leaving this one off our Top 5 Summer Movies for the Whole Family.
There you have it, our Top 5 Summer Movies for the Whole Family. Cozy up in some comfy Muskoka Bear Wear with the family and try to knock out all five of these movies this summer!
How many of these films have you already seen? What are some of YOUR favourites? Be sure to tell us on one of our social media pages!