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Monday, August 22, 2016

Teen trips that are 'cool and awesome' in Hamilton, Halton and Brant

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 20/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   There are many good things that can be said about day tripping around Hamilton, Halton and Brant.
   Tourism officials say there’s knockout nature, history and heritage, a vibrant arts and culture scene, awe-inspiring attractions, fantastic festivals and distinct downtowns.
   Outdoor adventures and cultural escapes are close to home and there’s the Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail and Grand River in the “Heart of Ontario.”
Use your smartphone at phone inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s homestead in Brantford. (Jim Fox photo)
   But, more than that there are many “teen-approved ways to spend the day,” says the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association.
   “Day trips are a great option for sneaking in some time with your busy teen during these last few weeks of summer,” said Maria Fortunato, association executive director.
   “We’ve got some really fun and unexpected ways to spend the day in Hamilton Halton Brant before heading back to school,” she added.

   Day tripping for teens
   Here’s the scoop for the “are we there yet?” crowd.
Climbing lessons are offered on the limestone cliffs of Milton’s Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area. (Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism)
   - Trying a new sport outside can be family climbing lessons on the limestone cliffs of Milton’s Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area.
   - Learn all about mountain biking at Kelso Conservation Area’s new Mountain Bike Skills Zone.
   There are wooden bridges, rollers, rocks and logs to help riders learn to tackle technical features in a controlled environment.
   - First-time paddlers can enjoy the Grand River’s gentle currents and area outfitters can make it easy to gear up and go.
   They include Grand Experiences and Heritage River Canoe and Kayak Co., while Grand River Rafting offers a Turbo Tube Trip package for four for $99.99.
   - Stand-up paddleboard lessons are available on Lake Ontario in Burlington and give wakeboarding a try at the Binbrook Conservation Area.
   Boarder Pass Canada has a two-tower cable wake boarding system that provides the ultimate experience and is great for those who have never tried the sport.
Defy the law of gravity at iFLY Toronto in Oakville. (Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism)
     - How about defying the law of gravity with a thrilling free-fall experience at Oakville’s iFLY Toronto.
   This gives the sense of what skydivers experience during the free-fall portion of their jump at this indoor facility.

   Hit the beach
   - Stoney Creek’s Fifty Point Conservation Area, Brantford’s Pinehurst Lake, Hamilton’s Christie Lake, Flamborough’s Valens Lake Conservation Area and Burlington’s downtown shoreline are great choices for sun and sand.
   - Designer deals can be found at Halton’s Toronto Premium Outlets while vintage finds are at Hamilton’s Ottawa Street and the shops of Paris (northwest of Brantford).
   - Whisper to the Moon rafting trips includes a paranormal night paddle on the Grand River with a First Nations Haudenosaunee guide to a spirited Six Nations historic building.
   Or, visit Oakville’s Erchless Estate where mysterious sightings of at least nine ghosts have been reported.
   - For an artsy outing, there’s the James Street North Crawl in Hamilton on the second Friday of each month to tour independent art spaces including galleries, shops and studios.
   The Art Gallery of Hamilton is home to more than 9,500 works of art and the nearby Design Annex has hands-on classes, shopping for art pieces and taking in an experimental exhibition.
   There’s the sound of music at Harvest Fest, Aug. 26 to 28, at Christie Lake in Dundas and Hamilton’s SuperCrawl, Sept. 9 to 11.
Snap a “selfie” feeding a giraffe at the African Lion Safari.(Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism)
    Don’t miss the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Alexander Graham Bell’s home, feeding a giraffe at the African Lion Safari’s Wake Up The Wild experience and standing beside one of Hamilton’s hidden waterfalls.
   To have more fun for fewer dollars, there are 21 featured Day Trip Deals for attraction admissions, heritage sites, outfitter experiences, lodging and more at theheartofontario.com/special-offers For more trip details: theheartofontario.com/see-do

   A howl at Ontario Parks
   Mid-summer nightlife can be exciting at Ontario Parks with stargazers, ghost walks and wolf howls.
   Stargazing events are available at numerous parks while Eastern Ontario’s Charleston Lake on Aug. 27 has astronomer and author Terence Dickinson leading an evening in the designated dark sky field.
Cooling off with some wet volleyball in Lake Simcoe at McRae Point Provincial Park. (Jim Fox photo)
   Tour by flashlight at Canada’s largest concentration of First Nations rock carvings at Petroglyphs Provincial Park while Bronte Creek is having a ghost walk on Aug. 21.
   Algonquin Provincial Park’s famous wolf howls wind up on Aug. 25 and Bonnechere’s is Aug. 27. ontarioparks.com/events 


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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