It’s that time of year again, nights are long, clothes are lighter and the lakes call out for late night dips and early morning swims. We are a fortunate family, both my husband and myself are teachers and able to spend the summer languidly travelling about to find the best places for our kids to experience the wonderful province of Ontario. The entire province is covered with fantastic gems of campgrounds, starting in the very bottom of the province all the way to the remote top regions.
Pictures from our Camping Adventures in Ontario:
Our kids are VERY energetic and active and I included campgrounds that have had a lot of things to do, places to explore and/or activities to partake in. The prices are based on sites that we would get for our travel trailer. It will be cheaper if you want tent camping or less on-site amenities.
Money Saving: We have two cards to get a discount to some campgrounds. The KOA card is $30/year and only good at KOAs, and the Good Sam’s Club was $60/5 years and has a number of campgrounds on their list for the discount. Each offers 10% discount on camping rates. Provincial Parks have day passes that are $17, where you can check out all the sites and figure out what works for you and your family/camping troupe.
OUR CAMPGROUND LIST:
- Algonquin Provincial Park – Rock Lake Campground ($51.13/night), has dumping facilities and electricity. Great for exploring/trails/biking/swimming. There is a beautiful lake to kayak/canoe/swim about and a decent beach. You do have to reserve in advance to ensure a spot. Depending on what your camping style is, you may find the sites not that private, and it is for the more “glamping” type of campers!
- Bring water toys!!! This is a great place to kayak and enjoy the beautiful Rock lake environment.
- Rideau Acres Campground – Kingston, ON – Very large campground (mostly seasonal). We paid around $50/night. We had a great time as it was close to a lot of cool activities. The kids really loved all the ducks and birds at the pond. The sunsets over the lake were breathtaking and there were a lot of trails to access and explore. Lots of activities to do in and around the park. Overall a positive experience.
- Ivy Lea KOA – Lansdowne, ON – This KOA was amazing and there is always something cool going on for the kids. We paid about $85/night with our KOA card. There are two small pools, the slide pool was warm (Best Part – Hot tub attached to this pool, so you can watch your kids go down the slide!!)and the adults hot tub was awesome. If you missed an activity there was something else happening within the hour. We will definitely go back. The only drawback was our site was not the greatest, but we would request a different one the next time we go.
- Rockport Boat Cruise to HEART Castle – Need Passport or NEXUS cards! This was awesome!! There is a cheap family rate, and kids under 5 are free!!
- Cardinal KOA (South Ottawa) – Cardinal, ON – We paid about $75/night for camping. Overall, the campground is very clean, mini golf (extra charge) is fun, and the pirate play structure/toddler zone are excellent. There are activities, but most of them cost extra. Easily accessible from Ottawa, and right near the 401. We drove to Ottawa for the day and visited the Parliament buildings and walked through the market.
- Pinery Provincial Park – Grand Bend, ON – This is an awesome park, close to a lot of southern Ontario areas. You will pay roughly $51/night for your site. It is in a touristy area (Grand Bend), so there is an abundance of nearby tourist stores and local attractions. The park itself is quite clean, the dunes and beaches are amazing to experience. There are great walking trails, cycling, and a river to canoe($) on. A very family orientated campground. You do have to book way in advance, as this is a popular campground and books up quick. National Geographic ranked Sunsets here among the “Top 10 Best in the World”. We can’t wait to go back!
- Ryan’s Campground – Deep River, ON – $40 per night and the beach is worth it. This is a very quaint and retro campground. We loved the white sand beach on the Ottawa river. There is a trout pond, that you can go the store and get trout pellets for, and the kids loved this. It is rustic, but the price and beach make it a great experience.
- Craigleith RV Resort – Near Collingwood and Blue Mountain ($45 per night w/e/s)! This is a site that is great for location purposes. There were some fun activities on the weekends that were run by seasonal residents. We even attended a dance at the activity building, which was kind of fun.
- Quinte Isle RV Resort – Cherry Valley, ON – We paid $85 a night with Good Sam’s discount. This place is huge, the newer area we stayed on was right by a pebble beach and we fell asleep listening to the waves crash on the shore. Great brand-new amenities (a rock-climbing wall in the pool was a HUGE hit). Some kids activities at the main activity building. Highly recommend this resort-style glamping experience!
1. Things to check out that are in the area:
Sandbanks Provincial Park – We bought a day pass for $17 and it was awesome!Conservation Areas
- Niagara Falls KOA – Niagara Falls, ON – This is in our backyard, we have visited the campground and seen the amenities, and it looks awesome. There is an indoor pool, which is great to have when the weather is wonky! The rate is around $85 a night, and it is close to all the action Niagara Falls has to offer. We have worked with the owners (Try It Kids-Athlon 2016) and they were wonderful. We recommend experiencing Clifton Hill and all the cheesy, wonderfulness that is the Falls. There are tons of activities and kid-friendly experiences that you can do.
1. Greg Frewin Magic Show – We loved it, and so did our 7 year old.
2. Butterfly Conservatory
3. Skywheel Ferris Wheel
4. Indoor water parks – you can call about day passes. The two that I know have
day passes are at the Americana – Waves Waterpark and Fallsview Indoor
- Horseshoe Lake Camping & Cottages – Seguin, ON – We paid about $60/night. Our good friends are seasonal owners here, and we visited them on one of the overnight sites. There is a lovely beach and some great amenities. Clean grounds and family operated. It is close to Parry Sound and there are a lot of great things to do in the area. Would return if we were in the area again.
- Renfrew KOA – Renfrew, ON – The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We paid around $75/night. We had a great pull through site, and the lake view was awesome. It is a bit more on the rustic side for true ‘glampers’. Our kids loved playing, the mini putt course and riding their bikes around, as it is a smaller campground and traffic is very light. This campground is also relatively close to Ottawa. It’s about an hour drive away.
- N.E.T Campground – Fenwick, ON – We paid about $50/night. We used this as our local site, to make sure things are all good with the trailer. It is clean, and they have great programming for the kids on the weekend. The sites are in a field so shade is rare, you are allowed an extra tent which is also unusual with a RV site. There are quite a few seasonal sites, the overnight sites are at the back and separate. The nice thing about seasonal sites is that there are usually a lot of kids at the campground as well.
Our Future Campsite List:
1. Bon Echo Provincial Park & Bon Echo Family Campground
2. Craigleith Provincial Park
3. Bingemans Camping Resort
Any recommendations???? Please email us your favourite family campgrounds in Ontario!!