Plan some activities for your vacation to keep your little guy content.

Family Day Activities in Chatham-Kent, Ontario

by Amy Sutton

Face it, traveling with a toddler or preschooler can make you half crazy at times. Having family day activities planned for while you're on vacation can make it a bit less stressful on you and will keep your little one happy and busy. Chatham-Kent, Ontario is nestled along the Thames River near Lake St. Clair. This area has an assortment of family activities to choose from.

1. Water Activities

Plan some swim time for the family to keep your little fish smiling. Head over to one of the seven area swimming pools to cool off on a hot day. Stennett Park (no website; 5 George Street, Ridgetown; 519-674-5583) is perfect for the entire family, with a large swimming pool and wading pool for the little guy. Enjoy the interactive spray features at Kingston Park Splash Pad (no website; 91 Paxton Drive, Chatham; 519-360-1998) or the ground and vertical sprays at the Wheatley Area Splash Pad (no website; 196 Erie Street North, Wheatley; 519-825-4355). Whichever one you choose, just let loose and enjoy splashing around and acting like a kid again with your little one.

2. YMCA

Participate in some of the family activities offered at the Chatham-Kent branch YMCA (ymcaswo.ca). Drop in for Play Zone where you can let your little sweetie pie play with other little ones and make new friends. Attend Parent and Tot Swim or Parent and Tot Gym and Swim with your toddler. You and your preschooler can attend Holiday Mash-Up camp around St. Patrick's Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving, where you'll find games, crafts and stories with those holiday themes. Maybe your family would enjoy Kinder Ball Hockey or climbing, sliding and running around the indoor playground.

3. Indoor Activities

Do you need something to do with your busy body on a rainy or snowy day? Check out the exhibitions at Art Space (artspacechathamkent.com). You can also take part in some of the programs offered through this art gallery. Around the holidays, you and the family can go to the gingerbread house workshop for children where you can work together to be creative and decorate your very own gingerbread house. Catch one of the seasonal shows offered that caters to the younger crowd, like Max and Ruby Live or Peter Pan. Spend the day at the Chatham-Kent Public Library (chatham-kent.ca). Sit with your kiddo in your lap and enjoy Tales for Twos or Preschool Storytime. For even more free family entertainment, stop by the library for Comedy, Juggling and Magic with Vaudeville Steve.

4. Park Activities

Get outside for some sunshine and fresh air on a beautiful Chatham-Kent day. This area has more than 627 acres of parks to choose from. Head over to the Wheatley Provincial Park (ontarioparks.com) in Wheatley where the family can spend the day swimming, picnicking and hiking while taking in the beauty of the forests and spotting the wildlife along the way. You'll even find three playgrounds in the park where you can climb around like a monkey and fly down the slide. Make a day of it at Forsyth Park (no website; Garry Avenue at Forsyth Cresent, Blenheim; 519-676-5405). You and the family can play on this playground that's ideal for little guys, with pre-school swings, teeter-totters and slides. When you're done running around, spread a blanket under a shade tree and relax with a yummy snack.

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