We’ve visited the city of Hamilton a couple times over the years, mainly as we drove to Niagara Falls or Niagara on the Lake and so we have seen a few fun things during our pit stops. However it was during our most recent visit that we were able to explore the area a bit more in detail with the kids. The city of Hamilton is less than a forty five minute drive from downtown Toronto and if you’re looking to escape the city for a day trip or to see what else is on offer during your Toronto area travels, you’ll want to keep this foodie city in mind as there’s also kid friendly fun on offer for families.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
We’ve visited the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum two years ago and while that visit was mostly for my dad and I, this time the kids had an great time playing in the planes and with the memorabilia around. The museum is home to over 40 aircrafts from WWII to military jets; including an operational Avro Lancaster and there’s also change tables here if you have a diaper clad little one like we do. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable but he also knew that the kids were too young to stroll through an hour long talk and so he ensured that we stood by things that they could play with while he chatted to the hubs and I about the fascinating history of the planes and era they came from. Despite this being our second visit, I still found it fascinating and there were new planes that had brought in to be fixed. The kids also were able to get into certain models and witness some planes taking off and landing. If you’d like a more detailed review be sure to click here for more videos from our previous visit!
Hanes Corn Maze
Hamilton has quite a few farms and many of them allow the public to swing by and purchase produce or run through their fields. We stopped in at the Hanes Corn Maze and my parents drove in from Niagara on the Lake to join us for some fun as well. I totally love that they had a smaller Corn Maze for little ones so that parents who don’t have the energy or time to spend an hour in the Human Size Puzzle carved into over 20 acres of 10′ tall walls of Cornstalks, still can have some fun with their kids. The small one was super easy and perfect for the under 5 crowd. In addition to the corn mazes they also had a pumpkin patch, a whole section with toys and slides for little ones, a farm with a few animals and a bakery where you’ll want to grab a few pies at! Little Monkey said this was her favourite stop!
Hamilton is known as the Waterfall Capital of the World and that stat totally surprised me! I found a pretty awesome site listing the amazing waterfalls in Hamilton and I hope to visit them all one by one. As much as I’d like to have spent an entire day hiking through numerous locations, I only had thirty minutes between naps and dinner to visit one. While Webster’s Fall is the largest waterfall within the city, Tew’s Falls is the tallest waterfall found in Hamilton. Both Webster’s and Tew’s are located at the Spencer Gorge / Webster’s Falls Conservation Area and you can walk between them. On this trip we swung by Tew’s but Sherman Falls is one we’ve seen in the past that I truly love as it’s scenic and easy to get to. Please keep in mind that there are viewing platforms and lookout areas at Hamilton’s most popular waterfalls – these are the best place to see the falls from. Use extreme caution around slopes, edges and other hazards and be sure to respect posted signage, stay on trails and not climb or otherwise bypass fencing – both for your own safety and for the environmental health of the areas!
We visited Dundurn Castle during our last visit and not only is there a large garden for the kids to run through but kids get a good history lesson as you tour through a 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830’s and through the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813. If you’d like a full review of our visit, click here for more details!
With kids the Hamilton waterfront is the perfect place to bike, hike and run through. We loved our scenic trolley tour and the kids couldn’t get enough of the playground there. The tandem bike rentals and ice skating rink are services active families would enjoy during a visit to Hamilton. Click here for more details on what we got up to during our day visit.
There’s plenty more to see and explore as a family in Hamilton and this link will give you more ideas. We’ll share our favourite food finds with you in a few weeks-promise!