As a family influencer, the issue I have with a number of my pitches is that they require time away from my family! It sounds nice in theory to explore different cities and celebrate in festivals across the globe, but taking care of two boys under four as a solo parent ain’t easy, and it’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on any parent—least of all my wife!
So it was great when Port Colborne’s Sherkston Shores invited the entire family for a weekend stay at their Lake Erie resort, letting our boys experience something different from what they’re used to in downtown Toronto!
Sherkston Shores Day 1 — A Time to Learn
While the commute to Sherkston wasn’t the greatest (rookie mistake leaving Toronto at 4 PM on a Friday), the accommodations were impressive! The three-bedroom Premium Rental Cottage proved plenty for a young family of four! It had a living room flush with furniture and a cable TV with far more channels than we had to offer at home; a spacious deck where the boys could run around once they felt too penned up; and of course, high-speed Wi-Fi for someone like me who never wants to be too far from the interwebs! It didn’t hurt that the team at Sherkston put a nice care package together of fruit, snacks, and local wine to welcome us to our vacation!
After a good night’s sleep in our queen-sized bed (we put both boys in one bedroom so they wouldn’t feel lonely), we set off to explore the grounds, starting with the Family FunPlex!
A family oriented complex including two pools, two hot tubs, a splash pad, a Boston Pizza, an arcade, a café, a laundromat, a general store, the Mach3 Super Slides and more, Sherkston Shores‘ Family FunPlex is a major hub for families looking for ways to occupy their kids.
We tried making the most of our time there—what family wouldn’t—but it imploded when our threenager hit the splash pad’s playground, realising all too late that it was one that gets you wet.
Many tears and consoling cuddles later, we changed plans and decided to spend some time at the beach.
How NOT to Make Your Way to the Beach in Port Colborne….
Now—here’s a pro tip to get the most from your time at Sherkston Shores—always carry a map. Sherkston Shores has more than 500 acres of property, and you can lose your way very quickly if you don’t know where you’re going!
Case in point, instead of hitting Wyldewood Beach or Sunset Beach, both a 10- minute walk from the FunPlex, our disoriented selves walked 30-45 minutes to Elco Beach on the other side of the property! And it was moments like these that had me better appreciate why so many families invested in the golf carts—on a hot summer day with the sun beating down, carrying 70 pounds of children by way of a wagon is unlikely to top anyone’s list for their choice of recreational activity.
That said, we made it. We didn’t stay as the weekend was unseasonably windy, but we made it. And then left. And then I had to go back when we realised we’d somehow dropped a bag with Sarah’s phone in it! (Thank goodness for Android Device Manager or I’d never have found it!)
With the rest of Saturday spent at a BBQ on Sarah’s side, we got back to put the boys to bed and watch the Saturday fireworks from afar while kicking our feet up in the living room.
A perfect first day, no—but that’s why a weekend has two days!
Sherkston Shores Day 2 — A Time for Play
Our second full day went a little better. After letting the boys enjoy some rare time in front of the tube (where Treehouse reigned supreme), we hit the Family FunPlex once more… but this time for their arcade and food, since we wanted to take it easy this time.
We played the morning away on carousels, stacking games and skeeball. The boys got lollipops, airplanes and a Chase stuffed today for their troubles, and we tried our hand at having a nice family lunch at the FunPlex’s Boston Pizza. (I give ourselves a 6/10 for execution, which is pretty good with boys this little!) We’d coast through the afternoon with some time at the Quarry—which is what I can only imagine is an artificial lake in the middle of the property—and while it was calmer than Elco Beach had been, the wind still wasn’t our friend, and we could only last so long.
The night went out with a whimper of dinner from The Hogfather food truck with some HGTV and our eldest son waking up way too early since he’d messed up his bedtime, but hey—we signed up for this, right?
Sherkston Shores — The Verdict
So you’re probably sitting there asking yourself—”Would he ever do this again,” and the answer is a “Yes, but.”
Someone at my church once said, “There’s light at the end of the toddler tunnel,” and I think that rings true for us. Truth is, no matter how amazing somewhere is, our kids are too young to appreciate the awesomeness we expose them to right now. So while we looked at other families longingly with kids who didn’t need changing and were autonomous enough to play on their own, we knew that’d eventually be us. And it’s at that time we can likely enjoy everything a place like Sherkston Shores has to offer.
I hope you get out there and check it out!
Until the next, I remain,
Disclaimer: Sherkston Shores provided a weekend home for the family with some meal and gas vouchers plus some goodies that were delish! But—as always—all thoughts and opinions remain my own!