Play tourist in your own community

Play tourist in your own community
Photo by Rick Grant

The following content is from The Haldimand Press’ 2020 Staycation Haldimand summer guide.

 

Staycations are an option for budget-conscious vacationers or people who simply do not want to travel too far from home.

Staycation comes with an added meaning this summer. Our second annual Staycation summer guide was originally supposed to be released in May 2020. With COVID-19 abruptly showing up locally, we had to put this project on hold.

Now that many businesses are reopening and we’re in the heart of summer, we decided there was no better time to let our community know of ways they can spend their summer amidst a pandemic.

This summer will certainly look a little different than most. Tourists may not be as apt to travel as far this summer, the US border remains closed, and many folks are choosing to forgo their usual summer plans. The good news is, you don’t have to venture far to make the most out of your summer! In fact, there are several advantages to remaining close to home. You’ll save money on transportation and accommodations, contribute to the local economy, and feel more connected to the community.

Summer is the perfect time to soak up the sun at local parks, campgrounds, and beaches, or to learn something new at nearby museums and historical sites, while socially distancing of course. You could get outdoors for a day of hiking or biking, spend the night camping in your own backyard, or make a new dinner or dessert to enjoy with your family. Alternatively, you could play a round of golf, browse through local boutiques, or dine on a patio at a nearby restaurant.

Why not play tourist in your own town and support your local businesses that are struggling after an unprecedented financial squeeze?

This summer will look a little different than most, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less enjoyable. There is plenty of fun to be had just around the corner!

Make your pandemic summer one to remember.

 

Haldimand County the place to be

CALEDONIA

Starting with Haldimand’s biggest town, Caledonia. Whether you’re looking to get some fishing in down by the dam or looking to hike the Rotary Riverside Trail, there is plenty of nature to explore in and around this bustling town. If history is your thing, then Edinburgh Square Heritage Cultural Centre is a must see, and be sure to check out Caledonia’s historic nine-span bridge that splits the town in two before it is replaced.

HAGERSVILLE

Heading west down Highway 6, visitors will come to Hagersville next. This town gained notoriety in 1990 for a tire fire that lasted 17 days. If you’re looking to cool down somewhere a little less busy than Caledonia’s pool, consider heading over to the Hagersville pool or the Lions’ Splash Pad, which just opened a few years ago.

JARVIS

From Hagersville you can continue down Highway 6 to Jarvis. Just a few kilometres outside of town is the 600-acre site that previously held the No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School, which was built to train Royal Canadian Air Force members during World War II. Jarvis sits at the crossroads of Highway 6 and Highway 3, making it a great stopping point no matter where you’re coming from or headed to.

SELKIRK

Going east down Highway 3, you can follow Haldimand Road 53 south towards the lakeshore to pass through Selkirk. On the way there you will pass Cottonwood Mansion historical site; to the west is the Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum and Selkirk Provincial Park; and to the south is Waterfront Park, which sits right on Lake Erie. When you’re in town, be sure to check out the many murals on buildings surrounding the main     intersection.

CAYUGA

If you continue east from Jarvis down Highway 3, you’ll find Cayuga. While it only has about 1,700 people, it is the historical centre of Haldimand. This is evident with the grand courthouse on Munsee Street (Highway 54). If you stop here, be sure to follow the trail across the rail bridge for a spectacular view of the Grand River. Heading north, you’ll find Ruthven Park, which is sure to satisfy both history buffs and nature lovers alike.

DUNNVILLE

From Cayuga, you can follow the river along Haldimand Road 17 for a scenic drive to Dunnville. Haldimand’s second-most populated town, there is always something happening here. If water is what you’re looking for, be sure to head over to neighbouring Port Maitland to walk down the pier.

 

What am I?

Guess these local attractions based on the clues. Stuck? See below for answers!

 

  1. Not sure if you’re running late? I’ve been helping the people of Hagersville figure that

out since 2000.

 

  1. I am the only one of my kind in Haldimand. My purpose is to help show sailors the way

to the shore.

 

  1. I am now undergoing replacement, having originally been built in 1927. I am currently

the only one of my kind in Canada, although I will lose that title when rebuilt.

 

  1. I was built in 1850, although I had to be rebuilt after a fire. I still operate to this day.

 

  1. I am a monument to the history of a specific industry in Haldimand and the surrounding

areas. I have since been rebuilt, but was originally put to work in 1896.

 

  1. I am one of the newest additions to Haldimand County’s impressive trails and utilize an

old river crossing that had previously been out of commission.

 

  1. I am 50 feet long and 27 feet wide, but am modelled after a much smaller animal.

 

County introduces virtual summer programming

HALDIMAND—As parents and children look for interesting and innovative ways to fill their summer days this year, Haldimand County is taking a virtual approach to programs and activities.

Beginning Monday, July 20, 2020 staff began releasing videos. These videos will continue to be released on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for a total of six weeks, sharing activity options for children and families including ‘staycation’ day trips and itineraries, sports and craft ideas, ‘how-to’ webinars, and more.

Three contests will take place each week, and one grand prize winner will be drawn at the end of summer. All details related to summer programming and how to participate is available at

HaldimandCounty.ca/summer2020.

Every week will feature three videos and three contests.

On Mondays, ‘A Day in Haldimand’ will highlight one or two towns in the County and the facilities, activities, and local restaurants currently open (with their safety guidelines) that will help make your day trip an event. Use the itinerary provided or mix it up, as this activity is part of the first weekly contest. Families can submit a photo or video showing how they engaged in one of the many different things to do from that particular week’s itinerary. The winning submission will receive a $25 gift card, to be selected from a list of local businesses.

On Wednesdays, ‘Discovery Days’ will include activities that families and children can engage in together, such as crafts, experiments, games, and more. Discovery Days includes the second weekly contest, with families asked to submit a photo or video of the activities completed from that week’s video. The winning submission will receive a $5 gift card for a summer treat!

For ‘Throwback Thursday’, participants can go back in time and enjoy a Heritage Minute or interesting fact from Haldimand County’s Archives. Make sure you are watching these videos because they may include a special clue for our third weekly contest. A lucky winner will receive a Haldimand County swag bag.

Residents are encouraged to regularly check the County’s website and social media accounts for updates related to virtual summer programming and the exciting ways to explore and enjoy summer in Haldimand!

 

7 ways to sink your teeth into summer

Do you love summer and good food? Here are a few suggestions to get the most out of both!

 

  1. Picnics. What better way to get the most out of summer than by enjoying a pleasant family meal or a romantic dinner outdoors? On the menu: fresh, simple foods, and the best company you could ask for. So, what will it be — colourful salads or gourmet sandwiches?

 

  1. Barbecues. When it comes to the quintessential smells of summer, nothing beats the mouth-watering aromas of burgers cooking on the grill. A good old-fashioned barbecue is the perfect meal for friends and family. What more could you ask for?

 

  1. Food trucks. They’re everywhere! Today’s food trucks are perfect for partaking in a whole range of palate pleasers, from the basic hotdog to the fanciest European cuisine by way of the most divine desserts!

 

  1. Outdoor dining. Can you think of a better place to breathe in the summer aromas while enjoying a great meal? There’s a cozy patio for every taste.

 

  1. Agro-tourism. Vineyards, cheese makers, chocolate factories, farm-to-table restaurants — summer is the perfect time to take a culinary tour of your region.

 

  1. Farmers’ markets. There’s no better place to stock up on fresh seasonal eats! Whether you enjoy them on the spot or use them in your favourite recipes, stock up on the freshest ingredients local producers have to offer at your neighbourhood farmers’ market.

 

  1. Ice cream parlours. Ice cream and summer go together like peas in a pod. The classic frozen treat and its countless delectable derivatives are unmatched heat-beaters.

 

Enhance staycations with themed fun days

Enhancing staycations with entertaining themes can improve the fun factor. While any theme can be inspired by an active imagination, these ideas can get creativity flowing.

 

  • Superhero day: Embrace your favorite superhero by dressing up in his or her colours, donning a superhero t-shirt, or watching an action-packed superhero movie.

 

  • Pajama day: This is a fun theme for rainy days when Mother Nature keeps you indoors. Stay in your pajamas all day and enjoy a cozy, lazy day.

 

  • Alma mater day: Parents and children can pull out their trusted college t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other school attire. Bake up some tasty treats in school colors and then find some old photos or look for highlights of your alma mater’s sports teams online.
  • Throwback day: Take a step back in time by playing games or engaging in activities from your youth. Teach youngsters about the toys you enjoyed or watch movies from the era in which you grew up.

 

  • Crazy hair day: Embrace bed head, plug in the curling iron, double down on hair gel or pomade, or put those wacky coiffures into full effect.

 

  • Cultural day: Tap into your personal heritage by researching your family tree and then preparing a meal that coordinates with your heritage.

 

  • Arts and crafts day: Get crafty by tackling a creative project that the family will enjoy. Or engage in individual projects before comparing the final results collectively.

 

10 close-to-home activity ideas

Feel like staying close to home this summer vacation? Great idea! There’s no shortage of exciting things to do right in your area. Here are a few activity suggestions to spice up your summer!

 

  1. A round of golf. Whether you prefer minigolf or you’re a pro on the links, golf is a great way to spend time with friends.

 

  1. A nautical outing. Motorboat, kayak, paddleboat or jet ski — which do you prefer?

 

  1. A day in the water. Whether at the waterpark or in your backyard swimming pool, there’s nothing like a refreshing dip to get the most out of summer.

 

  1. A bike ride. Can you think of a healthier way to rediscover your region than by cruising along local bike paths?
  2. Horseback riding. Breathe in the fresh air and take in stunning views from atop your friendly steed.

 

  1. A wild meet and greet. Take a trip to a local zoo, farm, aquarium, insectarium, or wildlife sanctuary, and get ready to be amazed by all the creatures you’ll see!

 

  1. A tasty treat. Head to an ice cream parlour, food truck, restaurant, cafe, or bakery and dig into some refreshing, decadent treats. It’s a summertime must!

 

  1. Camping. Escape to the great outdoors with family or friends and enjoy life’s little pleasures around the campfire.

 

  1. The great outdoors. Enchanting woods, majestic parks, lush gardens — what does your region’s wilderness have to offer?

 

Answers: What am I?

  1. Not sure if you’re running late? I’ve been helping the people of Hagersville figure that

out since 2000.

Hagersville’s Millennium Clock

 

  1. I am the only one of my kind in Haldimand. My purpose is to help show sailors the way

to the shore.

Port Maitland’s Lighthouse

 

  1. I am now undergoing replacement, having originally been built in 1927. I am currently

the only one of my kind in Canada, although I will lose that title when rebuilt.

Caledonia’s Argyle Street Bridge

 

  1. I was built in 1850, although I had to be rebuilt after a fire. I still operate to this day.

Cayuga’s Courthouse

 

  1. I am a monument to the history of a specific industry in Haldimand and the surrounding

areas. I have since been rebuilt, but was originally put to work in 1896.

Selkirk’s Canadian Drilling Rig

 

  1. I am one of the newest additions to Haldimand County’s impressive trails and utilize an

old river crossing that had previously been out of commission.

Cayuga’s Grand Vista Trail

 

  1. I am 50 feet long and 27 feet wide, but am modelled after a much smaller animal.

Dunnville’s Muddy the Mudat

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