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| by KATE POCOCK|
Family Travel Ink
Southern Ontario's Top Ten Family Vacations
Crawford Lake Conservation Centre and Iroquoian Village, Crawford Lake: this Iroquois Village dating from the 15th century is located by a beautiful lake surrounded by forest paths. Visit the realistic Turtle Clan Longhouse and sign up for a family program.
The Underground Railroad: The famous novel that chronicles the journey taken by escaped slaves to Canada, Uncle Tomís Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, will celebrate its 150th anniversary at Uncle Tomís Cabin Historic Site in Dresden in June. Other Black History sites: North American Black Historical Museum in Amherstburg (near Windsor) and a walking tour and museum in Buxton (near Chatham).
Niagara Falls: Maid of the Mist boat ride up to the Falls, Behind the Falls hike, photo op with a Mountie, Ripleyís Believe it or Not and kitschy museums, Niagara Parkway, ride over the gorge, and jetboating down the Niagara River for teens.
African Lion Safari, Cambridge: go on safari without leaving your car as you drive through a fenced park containing giraffes, lions, tigers and more. Or, if you donít want the monkeys stealing your car accessories, take the bus. Good Birds of Prey show and water parks for both kids and elephantís swims. Train and boat rides. Guaranteed fun!
London City Visit: Canadaís first childrenís museum (kids love it), Storybook Gardens (a giant playground with storybook characters), Wally World Waterpark, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, double decker buses and London Museum of Archaeology & Iroquian Village.
Native Experience: at Kanata Native Iroquois Village, adjacent to the Six Nations First Nations Reserve (the largest concentration of aboriginal people in North America), visit the longhouses, paddle a canoe, eat bannock and get lost in the brand new cedar maze.
Lifeís a Beach: the beaches of southern Ontario stretch for over 500 kilometres (80 miles). Favourite family shores include the white sandy beaches along Lake Huron from Southampton to the Pinery near Grand Bend. For teens, Sauble Beach is hot.
Lake Huron cruising: take a glass-bottomed boat cruise over the shipwrecks between Tobermory and Flowerpot Island, zoom in a Zodiac across Lake Huron, or take the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry for a two-hour journey to Manitoulin Island.
Niagara-on-the-Lake: butterflies at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, battles at Fort George National Historic Site, buttery fudge on the quaint main street of town. For teens and pre-teens: half-price family theatre tickets and Saturday morning backstage tours at the Shaw Festival and jet boating on the Niagara River.
Collingwood: Caving, Candy and Curvy Slides: tour the Scenic Caves Nature Preserve to see deep chasms carved by glaciers, watch candy being made at the Candy Factory and take the chairlift up Blue Mountain to come down the 1600 ft. on a mini bobsled.
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