Wondering how to keep the kids entertained during your summer vacation? Take the family to Santa’s Village — this is Santa’s summer home in Ontario’s cottage country. Open from mid-June until the Labour Day weekend in the first week of September, Santa’s Village is 60 acres of pure fun, just minutes away from Bracebridge. Its location at the curve of the Muskoka River and surrounded by thick forest and woodlands give the park a magical fairytale aura.
When you visit Santa’s Village for the first time, get the lay of the land by riding around the park in the miniature train, the Candy Cane Express, and preview the many exciting attractions that are available. If you love being on the water, tour around the lake and shoreline on Santa’s Summer Sleigh Jet Boat. Santa’s Village has many theme rides (even ones for the smallest family members) as well as waterparks, animal farms and children’s entertainers. And of course, Santa and all his friends are here, too!
For up-to-date information and details on Santa’s Village we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Santa’s Village
Getting here from the Greater Toronto Area is easy. For those of us who travel by car rather than reindeer and sleigh, follow Highway 400 north to Highway 11 (just north of Barrie) and continue towards Bracebridge. Exit on Highway 118 and follow the signs to Santa’s Village.
Visit Santa’s reindeers at the petting zoo before stopping by Santa’s house to take a photo with him. The splash pad in the park is a welcome attraction on really hot days. Daily tickets for admission are available, but you may want to get a Santa’s Village season’s pass, to take advantage of unlimited access to rides bundled with special perks, so kids can relive the fun over and over.
There’s no shortage of fun for older tweens and teens, as well as adults. Sportsland provides all sorts of activities older kids will love. Spin around the track in go-karts. Practice your baseball swing at the batting range. Have a blast mini golfing or bowling. The more adventurous can tackle the rock climbing walls.
For more aerial pursuits, Muskoka Zip Lines and Aerial Park offers an assortment of exciting packages.
Once you work up an appetite, visit Riverside Rotisserie Restaurant, where full-service meals are offered. For dessert, savour a yummie Beavertail covered in your personal selection of toppings. And don’t miss the freshly baked goods at Mrs. Claus’ Bakeshop.
Accommodation is available if you want to stay longer at Santa’s Village. Cozy cabins and yurts are available to rent next door at Santa’s Whispering Pines Campground, or you can bring your own tent or trailer. Be sure to make online reservation bookings in advance to ensure you get a spot.
At Whispering Pines, you can rent canoes, bikes or kayaks, do arts and craft projects, watch movies, fish, hike, go on scavenger hunts and relax around the bonfire. Early risers are treated to sharing breakfast with Santa Claus himself.
Fun historical fact: during the 1950s, the newly constructed Highway 11 diverted traffic away from downtown Bracebridge, so the industrious residents came up with the idea of Santa’s Village to attract visitors back to Bracebridge. Since Bracebridge is on the 45th parallel — between the North Pole and the equator — it seemed the perfect place for Santa’s summer cottage, plus Santa-inspired attractions and waterpark. And we’re so thankful they had this idea because every year, countless families get magical memories here at Santa’s Village.