Stay and Play in London, 3-Day Family Guide & Itinerary
Disclosure: We partnered with Tourism London, and were generously hosted by their wonderful partners so that we could share this experience with you! As always, the thoughts and opinions we share below are entirely our own, and the experiences we agree to participated in align with our family’s interests and lifestyle.
Traveling with young children can be tricky. Often times days are long, attention spans are short, and energy levels are abundant! This is why we are happy to report that London, Ontario is one of our top Ontario cities to visit if you have children! Our 3-day stay in southwestern Ontario’s Forest City, was filled with fun, interactive, and hands-on good times for the entire family!
From scoring strikes and holding drone bees, to climbing a pirate ship and digging for dinosaurs, our 3-day stay in London, Ontario was a total blast! Each day was full of hands-on activities and play for the entire family. It’s amazing to be able to play with your kids in fresh, new ways and break out of the regular. So, if you’re visiting London, you have no need to worry about a lack of kid-friendly places to explore, learn, play, and make some special memories together! If you’re like us and you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy as a family, we’re sharing our three day itinerary and a few tips to make your trip even more enjoyable!
Highlights of our Trip
- Gathering local ingredients for a BBQ dinner at Covent Garden Market
- Feeling right at home with TownePlace Suites by Marriott London
- Our first family bowling game and climbing five stories high at Fleetway
- Holding bees and fun on the farm at Clovermead Adventure Farm
- Climbing pirate ships, riding elephants, and playing make believe at Storybook Gardens
- Digging for dinosaurs, exploring space, and tree house dwelling at London Children’s Museum
Where to Stay
We can’t truly say enough great things about our stay with TownePlace Suites by Marriott in London! The team, facilities, and amenities more than impressed us and made us feel right at home! Upon check-in, we were welcomed by super friendly staff and walked into the perfect room for a family of four. Our room featured a beautiful, complete kitchenette (a family essential), two very comfortable double beds, large desk / breakfast buffet, a large, organized closet, and a spacious full bathroom. The room was exceptionally clean and the hotel had several special touches we hadn’t found anywhere else:
- The “cool red van,” as our kids referred to their complimentary shuttle, offers trips within 5 km of the hotel, to and from London International Airport, and is available for group bookings. It was so handy to have a worry free, relaxing ride that we could sit back and enjoy with our kids!
- A large closet, fully organized by The Container Store in partnership with TownePlace Suites. If you follow along with our travels on our Instagram, you may know that we like to unpack most of our belongings so we feel at home, and can access items easily – this closet was a traveling family’s dream!
- “Something Borrowed,” is a complimentary program where you can borrow any additional items you find you may need during your stay, such as: small appliances, board games, umbrellas, grilling tools and seasonings, just ask at the front desk!
- A large complimentary BBQ Patio for guests to use at their pleasure, in partnership with Weber Grills. We took advantage of this perk the first night we arrived, and grilled up our local finds from Covent Garden Market for dinner. I would even go as far as saying that it felt like a date night for mom and dad, as our kids blew bubbles and played corn-hole within the gated patio.
- Delicious complimentary buffet breakfast served each morning from 6:00am – 9:00am, it was the perfect way to start each day. The kids really enjoyed getting to pick what they wanted to eat, which was usually freshly made waffles!
Please know that you will always have a place to call Home here in London, ON. – Keisha G., London TownePlace Suites Team Member
Day 1 | Shopping Local, Play at Fleetway, and BBQ at our Hotel
We arrived in London and went straight to the Covent Garden Market, a year-round indoor and seasonal outdoor market selling local foods and other goods, established in 1845. We truly enjoy supporting local businesses and feel it’s very important to source goods that are Made in Canada (our home country) whenever possible. During our travels, we love to find local ingredients to cook at least one special meal during our stay. So while we were at the market, we gathered everything we needed for a delicious BBQ dinner and small batch fudge for dessert (more details below, and check out our Instagram stories).
Tip: Finding local ingredients to create a meal during your travels is a fun way feel like a LOCAL!
Following our shopping trip at Covent Garden Market, we headed over to Fleetway, an indoor fun centre with tons to do for the entire family, including: bowling, a five-level play structure, 18-hole mini glow-golf, and arcade! When you walk in the doors, you’ll notice two restaurants, Dairy Queen and Projekt Pizza (both of which you can bring to your lane to enjoy while you bowl). We decided to kick things off with a 5-pin family bowling game! This was the first time the kids had ever been bowling, and while their “granny” style bowling was adorable, there were a few times the ball didn’t quite make it down the lane. Luckily, the folks at Fleetway have a handy ramp that the kids really enjoyed using; Emmersyn even scored a strike, that girl can bowl!
Tip: Make sure to pack a pair of socks, you’ll need them for bowling and the play structure.
After a few hours of play at Fleetway, we returned back to our hotel room to prepare our locally inspired BBQ dinner. One of our biggest take aways from traveling with our children, is making sure we have the ability to cook our own meals. We do enjoy eating out once or twice, but not only can it get costly, but sometimes you need a night in to relax after a long day. Our kitchen at TownePlace Suites was exactly what we needed: a full-sized fridge, large counter top space, deep sink, dish washer, two burner induction stove top, a Keurig coffee maker, and plenty of cupboard space (we could have totally moved in!)
Once we had prepared our meal, we brought it to the complimentary guest BBQ patio located through the dining area, next to the lobby. The patio is a beautiful space with picnic tables, umbrellas, two Weber BBQ’s, cornhole toss, AND it’s gated (bonus for those with small children!).
After our meal we turned in for the night to rest up for our next big day in Lonon!
Day 2 | Clovermead Adventure Farm
Our second day in London began with a complimentary shuttle ride from TownePlace Suites to Clovermead Adventure Farm, about a 20 minute drive through rolling farmland on the outskirts of the city. Clovermead is definitely one of our favorite family-friendly attractions we’ve visited to date, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy for every age.
One of the very first things we noticed when we arrived was the attention to detail throughout the entire property. With a rustic, vintage feel, there has been so much thought put into each structure and activity. Old farm equipment and tools adorn rustic barns, signs with clever sayings on them point you in the right direction, even a real vintage fire truck has been transformed into a water pumping play structure.
Clovermead Adventure Farm is home to 24 million bees and you can see many of them on display in Ontario’s largest glass bee hive. There are even smaller glass beehives in the washrooms, I’m telling you, the special details are everywhere! During our visit, we were lucky enough to join in on a beekeeper presentation and hold “drone bees.” Did you know that all male bees are called drone bees and they do not sting? We didn’t either; there’s plenty to learn throughout the farm!
Here are a few tips to help you have the best experience at Clovermead Adventure Farm:
- Arrive early if you need to find parking, and to beat the heat – Everything is outdoors
- Plan to stay for several hours, there is so much to see & do!
- Be prepared to purchase a meal at Beestro Cafe concession or pack a picnic meal, there is a designated picnic area to enjoy
- Bring a wagon or stroller – There is a limited number of wagons to borrow and a lot of walking for little legs
- Bring your swim suit for the new splash pad!
Day 3 | Wortley Village, Storybook Gardens, and London Children’s Museum
After spending the previous day at Clovermead, we were absolutely exhausted and knew we were in for another full day, so we kicked up our feet and enjoyed some local pizza take out in bed and some cartoons – Sometimes, it’s just what you need!
Our third and final day in London, Ontario did not disappoint! We began the day with a delicious coffee and treat at Black Walnut Bakery Cafe, a locally owned and operated cafe featuring in-store roasted coffee and quality baked goods baked on-site by professional bakers. The cafe is tucked into a beautiful little area called Wortley Village, home to several small shops such as The Village Idiot, Art Exchange, Westland Gallery, and unique restaurant, Wolfe of Wortley boasting an ever changing, local menu and expertly crafted plates and cocktails.
We arrived at Storybook Gardens around 11:00am, which seemed to be good timing, as there were a few large groups that had arrived at 10:00am opening. We grabbed our park map and let the kids choose an area they would like to visit most. The park is comprised of eight themed areas, we began with “Pirates Island” and the “Frog Pond.” Both areas were at the far end of the park, which seemed to work out nicely as we made our way back to the exit as we explored.
Tip: Upon entry, grab your kids a Storybook Gardens Map and let them choose 1-3 top picks of things to do (depending on how much time you may have). That way if you don’t make it through the entire park, they were still able to do everything they really wanted to.
Pirates Island has a few really impressive playground features like a huge pirate ship play structure where kids can explore above and below deck, a rock climbing wall, a large net climber, tall tower slides, a toddler-friendly play area, and a fun misting tower the kids really loved on a hot day, who am I kidding, so did we! The Frog Pond area is much more scenic with a lovely picnic area, pond filled with fish, and leap frog statues to play on. We ventured onward through the park and explored child sized buildings perfect for imaginative play, peddle cart track (which turns into a skating trail during winter months), archery station (which was absolutely adorable to watch our kids try), and a few child-friendly carnival rides. The kids especially loved the Elephant Ride and we all enjoyed the Ferris Wheel!
We were lucky enough to explore the entire park, which truthfully doesn’t happen often with a two year-old and a three year-old. We owe this to bringing our collapsible wagon and pulling the kids for many of the parts they would otherwise walk, to conserve a little energy. After all, we still had one more stop to make on our last day in London!
We ended our experience at Storybook Gardens with a delicious, and very Canadian BeaverTails pastry from the shop within the park, and left just in time for an afternoon rainfall! Just a ten minute drive away, we arrived at our final stop, the London Children’s Museum.
This museum is one of the best child-friendly museums we’ve discovered considering the entire museum is centered around hands-on play and learning. With ten exhibits built for kids to explore history, heritage, science, social relationships, art, and culture – We were able to relax a bit and just let them explore! Housed in the former Riverview Public School, which was purchased and renovated in 1982, the exhibits have been thoughtfully created in old classrooms in the three-story historical building.
Our kids especially enjoyed the Science in Your World, Dinosaur, and Things in Caves exhibits, where they were able to play and learn at their own place through exploring and discovery. The London Children’s Museum is a registered Canadian charity and only half of their expenses are covered by admissions. The rest comes from donors, corporate partners, grants and generous community supporters, of whom they’re very involved with through community and outreach programs. If you’re visiting London, we strongly suggest make the time for a visit!
All in all, we would definitely recommend a trip to London for a family with young children. We had an absolute blast and there is no shortage of places to indulge in a little (or a lot) of family fun!
For more details and information or for planning your trip to
London, visit Tourism London:
A huge thank you to our partners & new friends:
TownePlace Suites by Marriott London
Clovermead Adventure Farm
London Children’s Museum