Take a fam­ily hol­i­day themed road trip

South Shore Breaker - - Games - CYNTHIA MCMURRAY cm­c­mur­[email protected]­ald.ca

So much of our time lead­ing up to the hol­i­days is cen­tred around get­ting ready for Christ­mas, be it dec­o­rat­ing, shop­ping, at­tend­ing par­ties or get-to­geth­ers that we of­ten don’t ac­tu­ally get to spend as much down-time with our fam­ily as we would like. Well, now that the kids are home over the Christ­mas break, why not ven­ture out on a good old-fash­ioned fam­ily road trip? Who­ever said road trips are just for the sum­mer cer­tainly hasn’t ex­pe­ri­enced some of the amaz­ing things to see and do in the south shore over the hol­i­days.

For starters, any good road trip must in­clude snacks and drinks. In keep­ing with the hol­i­day theme, make sure to bring along some Christ­mas cook­ies and treats and, of course, a big ther­mos full of hot choco­late — don’t for­get the marsh­mal­lows!

Depend­ing on the weather, how far you want to go and where you start your road trip, here are a few sug­ges­tions:

Liver­pool: While the fes­ti­vals have come and gone, this amaz­ingly quaint town is still a win­ter won­der­land dur­ing the hol­i­days. Beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated Christ­mas lights and trees, spec­tac­u­lar street dec­o­ra­tions and, of course, the Mersey River that winds its way through it all, make this a won­der­ful place to visit. You could start your road trip with a pan­cake break­fast at one of the many eater­ies in the vil­lage be­fore you head out.

Af­ter your bel­lies are full, it’s time to head to Bridge­wa­ter. Lo­cal busi­nesses go all out this time of year with their Christ­mas-themed dec­o­ra­tions. Stroll the town to see the cre­ative store­front win­dows and the hay bale snow­men that line the streets. Af­ter, head to the town’s na­tiv­ity scene at the cor­ner of Aberdeen and Dav­i­son Drive. Don’t for­get to check out Candy Cane Lane at River­side Park.

Jump back in the car and warm up with some hot choco­late as you take the scenic route to Lunen­burg along the Trunk 3 high­way. This iconic whal­ing town is a must-see at Christ­mas­time. While the wa­ter­front is breath­tak­ing any time of year, dur­ing the hol­i­days the whole town shines with Christ­mas spirit — check out the Lunen­burg Her­itage Band­stand that is al­ways beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated and a great spot to get a fam­ily pic­ture.

Next stop: Ma­hone Bay. This lit­tle town is the epit­ome of Christ­mas spirit. Ev­ery year, the town puts out hand­crafted Fa­ther Christ­mas fig­ures and other fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions through­out the en­tire town. The unique lo­cal stores and bou­tiques are filled with Christ­mas cheer and the wreath-lined streets and dec­o­rated homes are truly spec­tac­u­lar to see.

Ch­ester, is just a short drive away, but well worth it. Where Ma­hone Bay has their Fa­ther Christ­mas fig­ures, Ch­ester has their iconic gin­ger­bread men. Lo­cal busi­nesses dec­o­rate their gin­ger­bread and dis­play them proudly through­out the month. Take a stroll down­town to the band­stand and walk along the streets to see some of the exquisitely dec­o­rated homes and then head to the Kiwi Café across from the Ch­ester Play­house for some of their amaz­ing treats, some­thing you will not soon for­get.

Depend­ing on how far you want to ven­ture, a re­ally fun daytrip would also be to Sugar Moon Farm, which is between Truro and Tata­m­agouche. The fam­ily could spend the en­tire day here, hik­ing or snow­shoe­ing the 30 kilo­me­tres of trails. They also of­fer their Maple Magic pack­age this time of year where you can in­dulge in some de­li­cious whole grain but­ter­milk pan­cakes and maple syrup. They top these with an out­stand­ing home­made blue­berry com­pote and maple whipped cream!

Af­ter, the fam­ily can take a guided tour of the sugar camp and then try their ‘sugar on snow,’ a treat ev­ery­one must try at least once.

Re­gard­less of where you de­cide to go on your fam­ily road trip, it is all about get­ting to spend some qual­ity time with loved ones dur­ing this of­ten hec­tic time of year. Take lots of pic­tures and cre­ate some cher­ished mem­o­ries be­cause be­fore you know it, the hol­i­days will be over for an­other year!

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