Best of our Canadian Winter Family Day Mini Vacation in Muskoka #NikonMOMents

Best of our Canadian Winter Family Day Mini Vacation in Muskoka #NikonMOMents

Over the course of the next 4 months follow hashtag #NikonMOMents for social shares from the Nikon MOMents team. Each of us will be posting five personal events where we will capture our memories at the heart of the image! This is my fourth NikonMOMents event from my five part series.

  1. Read my first Nikon Mom post here: Family Camping
  2. Read my second Nikon Mom post: Christmas Piano Recital
  3. Read my third Nikon Mom post: Canadian Backyard Ice Rink Party

Family Day (Canada) – 

In parts of Canada, Family Day is a statutory holiday occurring on a Monday in February. Dedicated to spend mindful time as a family enjoying each other’s company. 


Ontario Pioneer Camp

This year marked our second consecutive Family Day spent at Ontario Pioneer Camp. Pioneer Camp is a residential Christian summer camp with exciting programs for kids and youth located in Muskoka Ontario. Each Family Day they open their doors to families for an overnight winter experience. Outdoor activities include: skating, tubing, skiing, snow shoeing, broom-ball, candy making, crafts, and lots of other great winter activities. Our family was introduced to Pioneer Camp in 2013 where We Built Vivid Memories that still stand front and center today. The kids never stop talking about their time at Ontario Pioneer Camp, to be honest neither do we!

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. in R Dream family, Canadian Travel Blogger

Ontario Pioneer Camp is always so inviting when you arrive. From the welcome sign on your family’s room door to a gift bag filled with in-room snacks and card games and a jam packed itinerary.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp.

The first step when arriving is making our bunk beds and unpacking. The kids get so excited to pick their beds and make them their own.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp.

The first night after dinner (which was lasagna, caesar salad and garlic bread) they put on a variety show in the Crow’s Nest which pulls us parents out of our comfort zone a bit. The kids and our whole section were nice enough to volunteer Hubby to take on this next challenge, digging through a plate of whip cream with your tongue looking for something.

Of course, it ended in a tie which means these two need to come back up later for a tie breaker.

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Next up Mr. L volunteered himself to play a little game. They filled their mouths with water and couldn’t swallow it or laugh. Then they made them laugh. It was a lot of fun and Mr. L was the first to spit his water out all over.

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Tiebreaker time called on some fresh new talent as well. It was a dance off. Some of you may recognize my husband’s dancing partner? Shannon from shasherslife.com also known as one of the women behind Blissdom Canada. One of our highlights at Ontario Pioneer Camp each year is spending it with this lovely women and her incredible family, they are such a pleasure to be around.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp.

I do have to say they are very lucky my pictures of them dancing didn’t turn out so well because it was hilarious. They owe thanks to the child who kept stepping out in front of my camera. Huge thank you goes out to them both, they did a fabulous job stepping out of their comfort zone for the amusement of the variety show.

After the variety show, some headed to bed and some of us braved the cold night and hit the hill for a late night tube ride. I didn’t bring my camera along for this part because the wind off the lake was freezing (-40 they say) and my hands couldn’t bare it. After a couple slides we all headed to bed to get well rested for our jam packed Family Day.

Family Day 2015

After a surprisingly great sleep in our bunk beds we were up and ready for breakfast.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Dining Hall

The menu is always so yummy at Pioneer Camp. They really do a great job serving up healthy meals and they also worked with my gluten-free requests.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Dining Hall

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Dining Hall

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Dining Hall

After breakfast we bundled up and headed to the tubing hill once again for some old fashion fun.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Tubing Hill

They also have this cute little play house for the little ones to hide in.

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In between tube rides we snuggled at the warm fire. Which did pose a challenge for picture since the smoke kept getting in my way.

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Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

When the weather is -27 it calls for inside relief. So off to play a little indoor hockey at the Crow’s Nest.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Indoor Hockey Crows Nest

Since they break the families into three groups, it wasn’t over crowded at any of our events. Which makes it all the more enjoyable.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Indoor Hockey Crows Nest

Next up, we headed over to the Ski Hut where our family took some cross country skiing lessons. It was a fantastic opportunity for our family to try something we haven’t done yet as a family.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

Originally we didn’t think Little O who is three would be taking part in cross country skiing but to my surprise they had a pair of ski boots and skis to fit him.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

Our instructor was incredible she had lots of patience’s and she taught us everything there was to know about cross country skiing.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

I was surprised the youngest two where amazing on their skis. I was also surprised that I had a blast, so much so I cannot wait to do it again!

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

We had so much fun skiing we were late for lunch. After lunch we hit the hot chocolate bar for a warm drink.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Warm Fire

Next up was a family challenge. We were given everything to make a gingerbread house but with an arctic theme. Our family didn’t win a ribbon but we had so much fun crafting our own master piece up and working like a team building a graham cracker igloo.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Gingerbread igloo

Next up we took a beautiful winter hike through the thick beautiful forest.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Winter Hike

For most of the trip I was shooting using the A – Aperture setting. However I could never truly capture the beautiful sun shining even when playing within the aperture setting. I went out of my comfort zone and took the same picture using the Night Portrait setting. Which to my surprise captured the beauty in the sun I was aiming for.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. in R Dream family, Canadian Travel Blogger, Nikon picture comparision

Nothing is more peaceful than sharing the beauty in nature with your family.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Winter Hike

After our beautiful walk we went back to the dining hall to make some crafts with the kids. This has to be my favorite picture out of all 611 that we took in the two days. It really captured a son and father bonding over the simplest of things.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Craft Time

King was so proud of his picture him and daddy crafted he took it to school for show and share this week.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Craft Time

Little O and mommy made the cutest little snowman and something I never would have thought to make at home. The final product was so rewarding for us both.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Craft Time

And if all that wasn’t enough we squeezed in some candle making before one last winter game.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Craft Time

Each family day ends with a game that the kids constantly talk about. There are two teams, both sides have a fire roaring. The object of the game is to run to the other team’s fire and throw a snow ball on it without getting tagged. If you get tagged you have to go to “jail” and complete a silly task to get out. Mommy usually sits this one out and packs our room up because have you ever ran in knee deep snow? Yes I would be stuck the whole time.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. Craft Time

As our tradition at Pioneer Camp we snapped a family picture before heading home.

Family Day weekend 2015 Ontario Pioneer Camp. in R Dream family, Canadian Travel Blogger

Even though the weather was -27 with a wind chill of -40 that didn’t stop our family from enjoying all that our Canadian winter had to offer. My hands were frozen, the fog on the lens was a challenge the whole trip however I am so grateful today to have 611 pictures which includes these Nikon MOMents, captured so beautifully as a time capsule of our 2015 Family Day mini vacation in Muskoka.


Learn and explore with me through Nikon’s Learn & Explore series and tag with #NikonMOMents 


When was the last time you were enjoying the cold Canadian winter outside? 

Thank you for reading In R Dream! 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Central Canada Nikon MOMents team
and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”



12 thoughts on “Best of our Canadian Winter Family Day Mini Vacation in Muskoka #NikonMOMents”

  • What a beautiful family! Looks like you all had a great time. Such an amazing way to unwind and spend quality time together. Great pics as always. Makes winter seem bearable.

  • Looks like you all had a wonderful time in the outdoors… what a fabulous way to spend Family Day! My family did the same – gotta enjoy the snow while it’s here! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us through pictures!

  • Looks like a Great Family Day , we enjoy wheeler rides on the tracks loving the cold air and the beautiful scenery along the way , building snowmen and snowball fights , look all the pics and activities you did 🙂 thanks for sharing 🙂

  • 1. I love your snow pants 😉
    2. That hot chocolate looks amazing
    3. Love that photo of your husband & son in front of the window, colouring (the light is gorgeous)
    4. That looks like SUCH a fun weekend!

    • 1. Thanks they give me the push outside I need.
      2. So good!
      3. That is also my favorite picture. I was actually on the other side of the building working on a craft with DS3 and paused it for a moment to run over and snap it.
      4. It was SO MUCH FUN!
      5. Thank you Heather for your comment, you always are so supportive!

  • Enjoyed this post, kinda shows you all the interesting things you can do with your family on a winters day both inside and outside family activities, great job.

  • To answer your question, I can’t remember the last time I was out enjoying the Canadian winter. Does dashing for the door count? 😉 I think I could enjoy it with a family outing like this one though! With all these fun scheduled opps I’d be sure to get moving. It looks like so much fun and your photos capture the experience beautifully!

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