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Unlocking the Must-Do Activities in the York Region

Unlocking the Must-Do Activities in the York Region

I’m not gonna lie. When my friend first suggested going on a holiday to York, I wasn’t entirely convinced. A week long trip later, I was stuffing my suitcase with barely folded clothes, an unreasonable amount of souvenirs, and a promise of coming back.

I wasn’t prepared for the vibrant collection of experiences that York Region offered. But you should be, so get to know the serene art galleries, adrenaline pumping adventures at amusement parks, and quiet afternoons out in nature.

Curious? Intrigued? Read on to uncover the myriad wonders that await in York Region. Because, in the end, the greatest adventures are the ones we share, and this journey is no exception.

Find a Natural Haven at the Aurora Community Arboretum

Address: Aurora, ON L4G 7H4, Canada


Hours: Open everyday 24/7

Nestled within the parkland of the Town of Aurora, the Aurora Community Arboretum spans over 100 acres with one side that traces the East Holland River’s valley. You’ll get an immersive experience as they prioritize nurturing all the flora and fauna there. 

Nature lovers will love the specimen trees including a 200 year old Bur Oak tree. With over 100 species of wildflowers, you won’t run out of flowers you can admire and try to identify. The flowers vary depending on the time of the year you go. 

The northern portion features a huge open meadow. As you explore, you’ll encounter a branch of the East Holland river and several ponds too. 

Pro Tip:
Although the Aurora Community Arboretum  is mostly known for the many plants that call it home, it’s also a great place to go birdwatching. Bring your binoculars with you and try to spot the many birds here including the Pine Siskin and the Mourning Dove.

Have an Interactive Day at the Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park

– Media Credit: melbensky

Address: 3291 Stouffville Rd, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON L4A 7X5, Canada

Phone Number: +1 416 667 6295


Hours: Open everyday from 11 am to 6 pm

The Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park is a huge space dedicated to outdoor activities that you can enjoy year round. There are expansive forest trails that are great for walking and hiking. They also have a driving range on site where you can practice hitting.

The zipline and aerial courses are great alternatives for nature lovers looking for more thrills. The aerial park has 5 courses built over the treetops with wooden bridges and giant swings. 

The Treewalk Village is more suited for younger kids. They can just make their way across hanging bridges onto hammock nests where they can sit and bounce around. 

Pro Tip:
If you can time your visit during the springtime, you can and should partake in the local tradition of collecting maple syrup straight from the trees at the Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park. You walk the trail and go through the process yourself. 

Enjoy Endless Entertainment at Canada’s Wonderland 

Address: Vaughan, ON L6A 1S6, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 832 8131



  • Open everyday from May to September from 10 am to 10 pm 
  • Open everyday in October from 10 am to 5 pm

If your definition of a fun day out involves screaming your lungs out at an amusement park then a visit to Canada’s Wonderland is just what you need. Since its establishment in the 80s, Canada’s Wonderland has been one of the most popular spots in the area. 

With over 200 attractions, you can be sure you’ll find something you like regardless of age (and courage levels). Thrill seekers can have the time of their lives riding any of the 18 roller coasters they have, while mellow folks can enjoy more relaxed areas. 

Kid-friendly rides like carousels, the Flying Canoes, Ferris Wheels, and mini versions of the more exciting rides are also available for you to try. 

Pro Tip:
The Splash Works Park which covers 20 acres inside the park, is perfect during the summer months. There are over 17 attractions here including some giant water slides, tube rides, log jumps, and a wave pool. 

Watch Live Performances at the Flato Markham Theatre

Address: 171 Town Centre Blvd, Markham, ON L3R 8G5, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 305 7469


Hours: Open from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm 

As one of Canada’s best theater houses, Flato Markham Theatre should be on the top of art and culture lovers’  bucket list when in York.  

 With a repertoire of over 300 live performances taking center stage every year, it’s likely there’ll be a scheduled show during your visit. You can expect everything from classical music concerts, live band shows, and dance performances. 

On casual days, they also hold comedy shows and improv performances.Family friendly shows are also scattered throughout the year. 

Pro Tip:
Although there are shows at the Flato Markham Theatre throughout the year, the main season is typically held from the months of September to May. So, a visit during those times is advised. Book in advance, especially if you’re watching on opening night. 

Glimpse of the Local Art Scene at The Georgina Centre for Arts and Culture 

Address:  149 High St, Sutton West, ON L0E 1R0, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 722 9587



  • Open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Open on Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm 
  • Open on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm

One of the best ways to get to know any city is through the art and culture scene. The Georgina Centre for the Arts and Culture stands as a beacon of just that in York. With promoting artistic expression as their main goal, it serves as a hub of great pieces. 

Their permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings from celebrated artists like Albert Chiarandini, Bruce SMith, Kay Murray-Weber, Tom Zsolt, and York Wilson. There are also pieces from the culture of indigenous people. 

The Georgina Centre for the Arts and Culture also has rotating exhibits for up and coming artists that are great if you want to open yourself to new avenues. 

Pro Tip:
If time permits, try to attend the many open forum days they have at the Georgina Centre for the Arts and Culture . They provide a chance to meet the artists, gain deeper insights into their work, and understand the intention behind the pieces. 

Have a Relaxing Day at the Spa at the Go Place

Address: 3275 Highway 7 East, Unit 2, Markham, Ontario L3R 3P9, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 261 7777


Hours: Open everyday 24/7

In between the days of visiting museums and amusement parks, you can schedule a relaxing afternoon at Go Place. Located in Markham, York Region, Go Place is the place we go to when we’re in desperate need of a reset. 

It isn’t your ordinary spa either. Spanning an expansive 68,000 square feet, this wellness center offers a year-round retreat with treatments that target different parts of the body. The saunas and jacuzzis are great for overall relaxing. 

They have specialty baths, foot, hand, facial, and body treatments for more specific needs and aches. We always leave rested and ready for more adventures. 

Pro Tip:
If you’re going with a big group of friends, we suggest availing their VIP rooms. You get complete privacy and can have all your treatments done in the same room, so you won’t have to worry about keeping quiet for the other guests. 

Get Your Heart Pounding and Blood Pumping at the Haunted Hollows

Address: 18444 Yonge St, East Gwillimbury, ON L9N 0J4, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 392 8068


Hours: Open on Friday and Saturday from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm

If you’re a horror movie fan like we are, then you’ll be pleased to hear that York has its very own scream park. The Haunted Hallows lets you live out your favorite scary scenes in real life. The forest setting at night just makes it all the more terrifying. 

The location is divided into 5 areas. You’ll encounter deranged doctors and nurses in the Asylum and evil clowns at the Carneil Circus. 

A cannibal butcher tries to catch you for his next meal at the Butcher Shop as the sounds of a chainsaw being wielded after you echoes in Chainsaw Alley. The trip ends at the Swamp where a huge rat with deformities from toxic waste tries to eat you. 

Pro Tip:
We highly recommend trying The Dead Die-ner where you’ll be seated at a table for 2 and served some Zombie-inspired dishes. There are items on the menu designed to look like brains, intestines, and fingers, but actually taste really good. 

Have Some Whites, Pinks, and Reds at the Holland Marsh Wineries

Address: 18270 Keele St, Newmarket, ON L3Y 4V9, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 775 4924



  • Open from Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 5 pm 
  • Open from Friday to Saturday from 9:3- am to 6 pm 

To add some refined character to your trip in York Region, a visit to the Holland Marsh Wineries something you should tick off on your itinerary. This winery has been in the business of crafting high quality wines and serving it to the region for decades. 

When you visit, you can stroll along the vineyard and experience picking your own grapes. Then you’re taken to the processing plant to watch the fruits get turned into different kinds of wine. You’re then given a tour of the wine reserves. 

The visit ends with some light cheese, crackers, and fruits served along with the wine of your choice as you watch the sunset. This was probably the best day we spent in York. 

Pro Tip:
Don’t forget to take a bottle of wine home with you. Their wide selection of wines made on site and some others from different parts of the country are sure to have something that matches your taste. Plus, they have champagne on stock too. 

Appreciate Art at the Latcham Art Centre

Address: 2 Park Dr, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON L4A 4K1, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 640 8954



  • Open on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm 
  • Open from Wednesday to Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm 

The Latcham Art Centre in Stouffville is a highly popular art exhibition space in York. They specialize in modern and contemporary art. So, if you’re into the modern art scene, then this is a great place to get to know up and coming artists. 

Hosting eight curated exhibitions annually, the center likes to showcase and embrace different art styles and media inspired by diverse cultures and techniques from all over the world. Each of these exhibitions are carefully chosen to be inclusive.

The Latcham Art Centre takes art education up a notch by consistently offering programs where you can get a more hands on and immersive learning experience. They have classes for children, and seminars and workshops for adults. 

Pro Tip:
Make sure you stay updated by keeping tabs on their website or social media accounts. Those are the media they use to update the public on the calendar of events they hold. Some events allow you to meet and greet visiting and local artists. 

Learn History through Art at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Address: 10365 Islington Ave, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 893 1121


Hours: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

Situated in Kleinburg Village, the land that the McMichael Canadian Art Collection stands on is historical. It was the original dwellings of the Ojibwe Anishinaabe and Huron-Wendat People. 

It’s also along the Carrying Place Trail which was how the indigenous people traveled back and forth between Lake Ontario and the Lake Simcoe-Georgian Bay Region. 

Within the walls of this museum is a wide collection of artworks, antiques, and historical objects totalling around 7,000 pieces. These pieces include ones from the Group of Seven, the First Nations, Metis, the Inuit People, and Tom Thompson.

Pro Tip:
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection has its own on site restaurant called the Cabin that you have to try. The restaurant itself was designed, built, and decorated by award winning Canadian artists, with a great selection of dishes to match the decor. 

Cool Off at the Richmond Hill Wave Pool

– Media Credit: jen_ri09

Address: 5 Hopkins St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 0C1, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 508 9283


Hours: Open everyday 24/7

If the weather in the York Region isn’t exactly cooperating with your vacation plans, then you might want to drop by the Richmond Hill Wave Pool instead of just moping in your hotel rooms. This pool site is open the entire year and is indoors! 

Here, you can choose to have a slow day by resting on the recliner seats or lying down on the wooden decks. A trip to the sauna rooms can help you warm up on cooler days, while a dip in the temperature regulated pool can let you cool off in the summer heat. 

Kids will have a great time splashing around in the pool, especially in the Swirl Pool area or in the water basketball courts where they can shoot some hoops. 

Pro Tip:
The Richmond Hill Wave Pool might be open year round, but some parts of it like the 10 foot waterslide and the wave pool are only open during the summer. There are fewer lifeguards when it’s not summer, so make sure the kids are in your line of sight!

Discover Where Art and Heritage Converge in Unionville at Varley Art Gallery

Address: 216 Main St Unionville, Unionville, ON L3R 2H1, Canada

Phone Number: +1 905 477 7000 with ext. number 3261



  • Open from Tuesday to Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm 
  • Open from Saturday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

The Varley Art Gallery stands as the creative heartbeat of Markham, paying homage to F.H. Varley, a revered member of the Group of Seven. This public gallery in the historic Unionville celebrates Canada’s artistic legacy and nurtures local artists. 

The art heavily features contemporary Canadian art. There are paintings, photographs, and sketches on display, while sculptures and statues are scattered throughout. 

You can wander through the gallery’s rotating exhibitions which always reflect a dynamic array of community interests and cultural influences. The engaging educational programs like workshops and open forums are great to participate in as well. 

Pro Tip:
After looking at the art at the Varley Art Gallery, take a short walk from the location to the Salem-Eckhart House. This house was where F.H Varley lived out the last years of his life and has been repurposed as a mini gallery of his more personal works. 

Learn about the History of Newmarket, York at the Elman W. Campbell Museum

Address: 134 Main St S, Newmarket, ON L3Y 3Y7, Canada

Phone Number:+1 905 953 5314



  • Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm

The Elman W. Campbell Museum lets you relive the story of how Newmarket transformed from the base of the first Quaker settlers in the 1800s to the bustling hub it is today.The museum has a collection of artifacts including local relics and documents.

Look for the model of downtown Newmarket in the mid 1920s. There is also a log cabin that’s a recreation of the original ones used by the early settlers as their homes.

The building where the museum is located was once the registry office of the entire York region in the 19th century. From the cut stone foundation, 3-bay facade, and a slate roof, it has retained the majority of the original architecture. 

Pro Tip:
Look out for events that the museum hosts like reenactments of significant battles or more kid friendly ones like Halloween celebrations where the staff dress up in period clothing or Lego building competitions to celebrate the early builders in the area.