We are an amusement park loving family. We’ve spent many a days running through Disney, Cedar Point and Canada’s Wonderland. For years, we have driven by a highway sign on our way to the beautiful Muskokas telling us to exit for Santa’s Village. Until last week, we never stopped. I can tell you now what a terrible decision that was. Santa’s Village Ontario is an amazing place to spend time as a family.
Santa’s Village Ontario
Located in Bracebridge about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Toronto, the park is a literal oasis for families. I expected the activity range to be for much younger children and was surprised to see how many older kids were enjoying the park.
To be honest, it never really occurred to me to visit Santa’s Village until my friend Ashley told me it was one of her greatest childhood memories. She and her two kids came along with us for the day and enjoyed it as much as we did. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but what I found was a wonderful park perfect for creating childhood memories like Ashley’s.
When you arrive at Santa’s Village there is ample free parking. It’s a quick walk to the park entrance past a fairly large reindeer rollercoaster. Once in the park, the fun instantly begins.
Santa’s Village isn’t a traditional amusement park in the way that it isn’t wall to wall rides. Instead there are incredibly cool playgrounds like Elves’ Island, a really fun splashpad, a jet boat ride, swan boats and shows. There are about 8 traditional rides in the park including the roller coaster, a Christmas ball ferris wheel, and a carousel.
Santa’s Village Rides
Santa’s Village is an easy visit for families of any size as many of the rides don’t have a height requirement as long as the child is riding with an adult. Only two rides require children to be 36″ tall. At 5 and 7, my two kids were able to ride everything without me but I was allowed on several rides.
Sportland at Santa’s Village Ontario
Sportland is an activity centre with lots of action for older kids. Mine loved the bungee trampoline and rock climbing wall. Kids can try either of those activities as long as they weigh in at over 40 pounds. There is also go karting, lazer tag, mini putt and batting cages.
This year, Santa’s Village has introduced even more action and adventure into the park with a new zip line course, an enhanced obstacle course and a jump tower with 40 foot and 70 foot platforms.
Admission to Sportland it free but you will need to purchase tickets per activity.
What You Need to Know for A Great Day at Santa’s Village Ontario
- The park is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm until September 6. After that check the schedule for weekend hours. The Sportland activity centre is open until 9 pm most days.
- You cannot bring coolers into Santa’s Village but there is picnic space available near the parking lot and plenty of food onsite.
- Santa’s Village is shockingly well priced. We ate at Pizza Pizza and paid essentially what you would pay at any regular Pizza Pizza store. There is no crazy price increase because it is an amusement park.
- You will need towels, bathing suits and likely a change of clothes for your kids.
- Santa’s Village is not a traditional theme park and you do not need to worry about rushing through the park. We found the lines, if any, to be minimal and had a lot of time to just enjoy the day.
- Enjoy the playgrounds. Most of our day was spent moving from playground to playground. My kids made friends, climbed, laughed and relaxed.
- Take a ride on Santa’s Summer Sleigh. The jet boat is Christmas themed and will take you out of the park along a river to see some surrounding properties. The people with homes and cottages on the river are incredibly friendly. Kids have fun checking out the variety of water toys and waving to the people on the docks and in the water. It will also likely get you out of paying for a similar ride somewhere else in the Muskokas.
- Santa’s Village isn’t particularly shady. Although you can find spots to cool off, make sure to bring ample sunscreen and hats for everyone.
- If the free mini-putt course golf ball bucket is empty, head to hole 18 and you will see a small wooden trap door. Open it up and grab some balls to play. (This is the course inside of Santa’s Village not at Sportsland).
- Look for the kid’s zipline inside the park on the way to Elves’ Island. It is reasonably priced at $10 and stretches over the water and swan boat ride. My kids loved it.
- Santa is easily accessible. On the way into the park check if he is home for a photo and free elf hat. Otherwise, he rides a golf cart and visits with kids throughout the park.
- Inside the large tree in the middle of the park, you will find a marker for the 45th parallel making Santa’s Village exactly 1/2 way between the Equator and the North Pole. A neat find for a traveling family.
Santa’s Village Family Pass Giveaway
Since it’s Santa’s Village’s 60th Anniversary, the park wanted to celebrate with you by giving away a family pass for 4 to visit this summer. Enter here before August 4, 2015 when one lucky family will be chosen.
A Kid’s Point of View
This video was shot by my kids on a Go Pro Hero 4 Session. It gives you an idea of the park through a child’s eyes.