September 5, 2020

By: Mrinalini Sundar

After all these months of trying to manage work and handling a bored toddler in lockdown life, I finally decided to give all of us a break and enjoy a “family day out”. Our day had to include great food, fun activities for my little one, trying out something new as a family and much less screen time. I put my thinking cap on and designed a plan for the entire day which also included a stay at a local hotel.

On the water:

Our day started at the CharterAbility dock. CharterAbility is a registered charity dedicated to providing accessible and recreational boating at no cost to people of all ages who are deprived of the opportunity by virtue of their physical limitations or personal circumstances. Their dock on 16-Mile Creek is fully accessible with washrooms and a pontoon boat perfect for visitors who are looking to discover wildlife and enjoy some water right in the heart of Downtown Oakville.

Experiencing Oakville from the water has been on my bucket list for a long time, and something we hadn’t tried as a family. We were on 16 Mile Creek for about an hour and it was spectacular! We were blessed with amazing views and appearances from blue heron, geese, ducks and swans. Keep an eye out for turtles, water snakes and frogs while you are out and about! This unmatched experience ended with a magnificent sight of the Toronto skyline as we emerged out into the open water of Lake Ontario.

The trip ended around 12 p.m., which meant our next stop was going to be a restaurant. I chose The Crepe Kitchen, the 2019 Best Brunch Talk of the Town Award-winner. There is something for every member of the family at this café! I had the 3 mushrooms crepe, my husband went with veggie (perfect for vegetarians) and our little one had the popular Nutella and bananas crepe. The rustic décor, open kitchen concept, mild music and beautiful patio made this restaurant a total winner.

Downtown action:

With the little one wanting some playtime, we found ourselves at Lakeside Park where the views are magnificent! There are slides, swings, climbers and plenty of space for kids to be occupied. We also walked to the lighthouse, took in all the Toronto views and raced back to the garden at Erchless Estate.

Next on our agenda was window shopping in Downtown Oakville. This neighbourhood hosts so many different stores, but I fell in love with Must Boutique, as they offer upscale, trendy and comfortable clothing and apparel for women.

All the walking and play meant one thing for my little one – time for ice cream. Our next stop was La Diperie, a cute ice cream store with a ton of flavour. A cup of cookies and cream later and we were off on our next adventure!

Locked in a room:

We spent the next hour at Narrow Escape, an exciting escape room experience that is designed to test your brainpower, stimulate your senses and get you solving puzzles. This is the perfect activity for a family looking to test their problem-solving skills. I chose their North Pole Meltdown, but, they offer more difficult options such as Baker Street and Claustrophobia. For something scarier, try their Zombie Apocalypse room.

Time to chill:

We had done a lot for a day, so it was time to get some rest before heading out for dinner. I booked a double bedroom at the Holiday Inn Oakville Centre. A special thumbs up to the management team who made us feel special with a gift package which had snacks and chocolates for us. We were able to safely take advantage of their indoor swimming pool, gym and cozy room with a brilliant view. All the rooms are sanitized and the pool and gym need to be booked in advance. Only one family is allowed to be in the pool at one time for a period of 45 minutes. If you have a bigger family, check out their Junior Suite with a view of the atrium. They also have the king bed and corner suite option.

Wine and dine:


After we settled in, we decided to head to Buca Di Bacco, the Best Wine Menu Talk of the Town Award-Winner. We were treated to live music, traditional Roma pizza and amazing wine on their patio before heading back to our hotel and hitting the sack.

Every activity brought my family a little closer, and the variety that Oakville offered was only icing on the cake! If you are looking to explore Oakville this September, here’s some inspiration. Tell us what went into your staycation itinerary and tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!