The holidays are a time for gathering together with friends and family. But when all those visiting friends and relatives are staying at your house, how do you keep them entertained?
Here’s a list of fun ideas to get out, be active and enjoy some quality Thunder Bay time with those you love the most. These activities are all family/beginner-friendly and in most cases, if equipment is required, rentals are available.
Thunder Bay is a destination for Fat Bike riders from across North America. Now is your chance to find out why for yourself. Fat Biking is a great family activity because anyone that can ride a bike can already enjoy Fat Biking – no additional skill required.
Try Centennial Park or Loch Lomond (novice), Sleeping Giant Provincial Park (intermediate), or Shuniah Mines (advanced). Any groomed trail or packed path is perfect for riding
Thunder Bay is home to two alpine ski areas and hundreds of kilometres of groomed nordic ski trails.
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Loch Lomond also features snowshoe (snowshoe rentals available) and fat bike trails.
On the north side of the city you'll find Mount Baldy. Featuring 10 runs, Mount Baldy offers great skiing and snowboarding for both beginners and their more experienced friends. Rentals are available.
Northwest Ontario is home to some of the best Cross-Country ski terrain in the world and the groomed trails in and around Thunder Bay are some of the best. Within city limits, visit Centennial Park for groomed trails (as well as great tobogganing).
Thunder Bay Nordic Trails grooms over 100 km of trails in the region. Check out Kamview, Kakabeka or Sleeping Giant.
Located just south of the city, Kamview Nordic Centre offers groomed skate and classic trails, including a 5.5-km night loop. After your ski, relax and warm up in the bright and comfortable chalet featuring a full-service canteen, and free wi-fi. Rentals are available.
Kamview also offers snowshoe trails (snowshoe rentals are available).
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
West of Thunder Bay you will find the spectacular Kakabeka Falls. Known as the "Niagara of the North," Kakabeka is worth the short drive just for the view, but upon your arrival you will also find 15km of trails at the Provincial Park for skate and classic skiing.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
With over 60 km of trails for skate and classic skiing, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is one of the best places for nordic skiing in the region. And best of all the incredible scenery is free! The Visitor's Centre at Marie Louise Lake is open winter weekends from 10 am to 4 pm.
Lappe Nordic Ski Centre
Located in the beautiful Lappe (pronounced La-pee) area just a few kilometres Northwest of Thunder Bay, Lappe Nordic Ski Centre offers nearly 30 km of groomed trails in a variety of difficulties for skiers of all abilities.
Go Skating at the Marina
Reminiscent of Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto or Rockefeller Centre in New York, the skating area at Prince Arthur’s Landing is a popular winter gathering place. Do a few laps and then warm up with a Hot Chocolate by the fireplace in the centre of the rink.
Note: skate rentals are not available and hockey sticks are prohibited.
Play hockey at one of the city’s many outdoor rinks
The rumour is that Thunder Bay is home to the most outdoor rinks in Canada per capita, and as such there are tons of places to play a game of shinny. Visit the City of Thunder Bay website for a list of all city rinks.
Boreal Journeys, located just outside the city in Kaministiquia, offers (among many other adventures) ‘half day sampler’ packages where you can bring a group out for a 12- to 16-km guided dog sled adventure. No experience necessary.
Outdoor Skills and Thrills is the premier guiding service for rock and ice climbing in the region. They provide all the equipment and instruction required to have even the most novice climber up climbing the first time out.
Try a new restaurant
The culinary scene in Thunder Bay has exploded in the last five years. Ranging from diners to fine dining and virtually everything in between, Thunder Bay resturants will offer your family a chance to catch up over an incredible dinner and save you the clean up. Visit the Tourism Thunder Bay website for a complete list of restaurants in the city.
Thunder Bay is fortunate to be situated in a "hilly" area, and on any given winter day you will find many families happily sliding down the many natural ramps in the city.
Some of the most popular locations include: Hillcrest Park, Centennial Park and Balsam Pit.
Warm up at the Thunder Bay Conservatory
The Thunder Bay Botanical Conservatory is a little tropical paradise in the middle of what can often be a polar vortex. Opened in 1967 as a part of Canada's Centennial celebrations, the Conservatory is a giant greenhouse that is home to tropical plants from around the world.
Visit the Thunder Bay Art Gallery
The largest Gallery between Winnipeg and Sault Ste Marie, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery is home to an expansive permanent collection including Woodland works from Norval Morriseau.
This list does even begin to cover all of the many things to do in the city over the holiday break.
Visit some of these other local/regional websites to find even more things to keep your friends and family entertained.