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Getaway at KOA Toronto West

by Linda Cvetanovic

Summer has finally arrived and for travelers looking for a fun and affordable way to staycation, we highly recommend a “glamping” getaway at KOA Toronto West.  My family was given the opportunity to visit for a weekend and try out their new deluxe cabins and I have to say they are the perfect combination of outdoor fun mixed with the amenities that make life easier.  As a life long camper, I want to make sure my children have the opportunity to experience the joy of sleeping outdoors, cooking over a campfire and making new “campground friends”.  As a mom who has to pack all the camp gear, plan meals, and is no longer so fond of “roughing it” the deluxe cabin is a great choice for a getaway close to home.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West - Kampstore Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - deluxe cabin

We arrived on a Friday night and my girls (aged 4 & 7) were beyond excited to finally be at the campground.  We checked in at the Kampstore (a quick and easy process) and were escorted to our cabin by a friendly staffer.  Our cabin was the “Columbia” which has a bunk room – perfect for the kids, a separate room with a queen bed and a kitchen/living area with an additional queen pull out sofa.  More than enough room for the 4 of us.  If you travel with children you know the challenge of trying to get unpacked and organized while they are exploring and underfoot especially when the weather outside is less than ideal (yup, it rained), fortunately all the cabins come with a digital TV that includes netflix.  I just found the cartoons on the television and my girls settled in at the kitchen table  while we unpacked and set up their bunk beds with linens.  The deluxe cabins come with all linens, towels and cookware which cuts down on what you need to bring.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West - interior cabin Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - watching tv

 

Once unpacked it was time to eat and my husband was charged with tending the grill – a hardship for any BBQ guy! The gas BBQ was perfect for cooking up dinner.  The rain had settled into a gentle sprinkling but everything was too wet to eat outside so we opted for dinner indoors.  The kitchen had a small table and chairs which was plenty for us to enjoy our meal.   After a quick clean up of the dishes (dish soap, dish rack, towels were all supplied) we decided to take a walk up to the camp store.  I forgot to mention that the camp managers have two adorable little dogs which live at the campground since my girls are crazy about dogs, we trekked up to see if they could be found and after asking the manager the dogs were brought out for some petting (or should I say smothering).

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - dogs

We returned to our cabin and despite the rain, we built a small campfire so the girls could make s’mores – a little water can’t stop us!  After enjoying some sweet marshmallow treats, we headed inside to get the girls ready for bed (did I mention there is a full bathroom!) With the girls settled into their bunks, my husband couldn’t resist the lure of the nearby Mohawk Racetrack & Slots.  He headed out and I grabbed a magazine to enjoy the peace and quiet.  A great first day for all.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - eating smores Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - campfire Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - smore closeup

After a good night’s sleep, we all woke bright and early to get the most of our day.  The sun was rising and the kids were eager to get going…the adults were more eager to get coffee but I digress.  I will let you know that there is a one-cup coffee maker, you will need to bring your own loose coffee or K-cups but it’s well worth it!   Eggs and bacon were cooked on the BBQ and toast and fruit were prepared in the kitchen.  After breakfast, we burned off some energy in the playground behind the cabin and then popped over to the recreation room to build paper bag kites with the KOA staff.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  -coffee IMG_1206 Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - crafts

Every weekend throughout the summer you will find events happening that will engage your kids and provide additional family fun experiences.  One of the things I remember most about camping when I was young is that you always made new friends.  Inevitably there were some kids in your age group that you bonded with and spend the rest of your visit playing with.  As luck would have it across the way in another cabin were two children close in age to my girls.  They met up and started making plans on what they could do together.  Throughout the day the girls (and one boy) found lots to do.  All the kids were keen to try the “mining” experience and I have to admit, I was interested in seeing how this worked too.  “Miners” can purchase a sack of gemstones which they bring to the mineshaft beside the Kampstore, the contents are emptied into a pan and dunked in the trough and then sifted to retrieve your gems. The kids loved this activity and had a great time checking out their gems and referring to the accompanying flyer to identify what they had found.  They loved it so much we bought a second small bag to do this again on Sunday before we left.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - sack of gems Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - miners
Getaway at KOA Toronto West - mining Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - gems

While we basked in the sun from the sidelines in one of the many adirondack chairs on site, the kids led by one of the super enthusiastic staff enjoyed group games in the main playground area. As the afternoon wore on despite the fact there had been rain and cooler temperatures my kids were keen to hit the pool (no matter the temperature).  We all suited up and headed down to the pool along with our new friends and their mom.  The pool is solar heated and this early in the season was cooler than the bathwater temps I prefer.  My husband, always the trooper jumped in and played with the kids who didn’t seem bothered by the cool water.  The other mom and I sat poolside and talked while the kids swam. I found out that Sarah was a travel writer (you can check her KOA experience out at Solo Mom Takes Flight) so we had lots to chat about.  The remainder of the day was spent between the playground, colouring on the patio, and playing board games – a pretty successful day I’d say.  We managed to separate the new found friends long enough to have dinner and then meet up again for s’mores and roasting marshmallows by the campfire before heading off to the outdoor movie complete with popcorn.  My youngest was exhausted after a full day and was fast asleep by the time I carried her back to our cabin.  My hubby and I enjoyed a beverage and the solitude before heading to bed ourselves.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - group games Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - relaxing
Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - pool Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - friends

The end of the weekend signaled the end of our staycation.  We tidied up our cabin and loaded the van before heading up to the pancake breakfast.   Sunday mornings at the Kampstore, the staff serve up delicious pancakes made fresh on the griddle and accompanied by local maple syrup. If that’s not enough there are chocolate chips and whipped cream toppings too.  At $2.00 for kids & $4.00 for adults (including a juice/coffee) this is a breakfast that you can feel good about – all proceeds are donated to Care Camps for kids with cancer.  After breakfast and one more round of mining, we were on our way with a weekend full of great memories and two tired but happy kids.

Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - pancakes Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - grillin pancakes Getaway at KOA Toronto West  - kids pancakes

Getaway at KOA Toronto West – just the facts

  • There are several styles of Deluxe Cabins to choose from and they include most everything you need.  The only thing I didn’t bring that I should have was a vegetable peeler.  For those that don’t need all the amenities a one room camping cabin will suit your needs.
  • Deluxe cabins are open year-round (will definitely plan a fall visit!)
  • Campers can choose from RV sites or tent sites – water & electrical hookups available
  • Nearby outdoor attractions include Conservation Halton Parks – great for a daytripping.

I spent our visit looking at cabin accommodations from a family vacation perspective but my husband was eyeing them up for a guys getaway weekend, he thought it would be perfect to get a bunch of his friends together a rent a few cabins and “chillax” in luxury.  Thank you to the KOA Toronto West for hosting us and we look forward to our next visit.  The staff and management at the KOA Toronto West were fabulous – service, smiles and always ready to help. For more information on KOA Toronto West or to book a site please visit the website.

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