Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Family Day Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Scenic Byways/Historic Routes
Exploring North Bay
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we recently attended a family reunion in Northern Ontario. We knew well in advance of this trip and decided to stop at a campground in North Bay so that we can cut the trip in two while we drove there. So we reserve at a local campground – Dreany Haven – for a night and went to explore the town were my husband lived a few years while growing up. The tradition is to show the places my husband lived/worked to our kids whenever possible when we go to places like this. So it was a given to drive around that afternoon with them. We saw the houses where he lived, the place where his parents owned a butcher shop (now a marketing business), and the structure of the old Burger King (now gone unfortunately) where he used to lived. In the end, he decided to bring us to the waterfront so we can walk a bit before going back to the RV.
Before we headed to the playground that was spotted immediately by our kids, my husband led us toward the marina in order to view the Chief Commanda that seemed parked there. He recalled taking the boat once when he was younger and living in North Bay. Well the Chief Commanda is now a restaurant from what we could see. Nearby you also had the possibility to rent bikes and some water toys. You can also tour Lake Nipissing on the Chief Commanda II if you want to spend a nice evening with a love one on the waters.
We were planning to walk back toward the play structures when we saw something on the other side of the road – carousels! We decided to go check it out and decided to allow the kids to do a ride on the one that had only horses. This carousel works on a 1908 Hersschell-Spillman mechanism that has been restored. Local artists were approached to paint 33 horses and 28 original paintings of local scenes. A rocking chariot, stationary chariot, spinning tub and band organ were carved using local designs to reflect the wildlife of Northern Ontario.
Unfortunately, I would like to highlight the fact that the price was not worth the ride. We went to another similar carousel located in St. Catherines in the past and the price was much more reasonable (something like 5 cents per ride) than the 2$ per child we experience at North Bay. I have to admit my kids had fun doing a ride on the carousel and their smiles were priceless.
On the same place, you can also tour on a mini train in order to introduce you to the rail history of the city and region. We didn’t try the mini train as it would have cost more money to do it.
Once we crossed on the other side of the road, we walked toward the playground so that the kids can have fun. But before we discover the colorful playground, we decided to stop at the chip truck that was located between the marina and the playground. The prices were expensive but we decided to purchase family meals anyway. We needed to eat. The food was great and we found a picnic table in the shade between the chip truck and the playground.
Once we ingested our food, it was time for some fun at the playgroup. I must admit that the playground near the beach and the water was fabulous – very colorful and bright as well as plenty of things to explore and have fun whether you are young or young at heart. The structure that immediately caught the attention of my kids (and husband) was the giant spider web that is located at the end of the playground. The kids – small and big – had a ton of pleasure pretending that they were Spider-Man, jumping and spinning.
In the end, we had a great time going through memory lanes with my husband, had a nice supper at the waterfront and had a ton of fun with the kids. It was a wonderful day and a great way to move a bit after 3 hours of drive and before another 2.5 hours that we would drive the next day.
In North Bay, you can also visit the Dionne Quints Museum which will allow you to read and learn more about the Dionne Quintuplets that were born on May 29, 1934. The museum is open from mid-May to mid-October and you will have to pay a fee to enter the premises. We haven’t done the tour with the kids while we stayed in North Bay for a night.
If you are in the area of North Bay – even if it’s just for one night – don’t hesitate to call Dreany Haven because the folks there are very nice and friendly. If you call ask to speak to Fern or Lorraine and tell them that Isabelle & Rob sent you! They would be pleased to accommodate you if they can.