Take a family holiday themed road trip
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!