Top Winter Day Trips with GO Transit

GO train in winter photo

Winter is in full swing and with Family Day approaching, it’s time to jazz up your cold weather routine with your family or friends. Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the best day trips around the GTHA to celebrate the winter season.

From classic winter events like skating, tobogganing and outdoor light festivals to unique interactive live shows, sporting events, theatre and concerts, there’s something for everyone. So, grab your toque, put on your mittens and embrace your winter spirit with our top winter day trips.

GO Ahead. Plan Your Next Great Adventure

Plan a day trip with GO Transit and leave your worries about traffic and weather behind you. Tune in to your favourite podcast, catch up with your favourite people, or just enjoy the ride, as GO Transit gets you to your destination safely.

Looking for a weekend adventure? Our Weekend Passes are an excellent deal for single day or multi-day weekend travel.

Travelling on a weekday? Our e-tickets are an easy, convenient and contact-free way to travel by GO:

  • Buy your e-ticket online
  • Your e-ticket will be sent to you via email
  • Activate your e-ticket online at least 5 minutes prior to boarding

Best of all, kids 12 and under always ride GO for free!

Hello Winter Festival

Barrie hello winter festival

This year the city of Barrie will host Hello Winter, a celebration of all things winter, with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. The city will be aglow with dazzling art installations and will feature some of the time-honoured favourite activities from Barrie’s Winterfest.

When: February and March 2022

Where: All across the city of Barrie

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: Take the GO train or bus along the Barrie Line to Allandale Waterfront GO.

Winter at the Bentway

Bentway skating in winter

Enjoy the magic and splendor of this snowy season at the Bentway. Perhaps best known for its outdoor skating rink, the Bentway Skating Trail features a 220-metre figure-eight loop that runs from the Fort York Visitor Centre (250 Fort York Blvd) to Bastion Street. While you’re out on the trail, be sure to catch Inuvialuit artist Maureen Gruben’s multimedia winter art installation Moving With Joy.

When: December 22, 2021 to February 21, 2022. 12-9pm on weekends/holidays, weekdays from 5-9pm.

Where: 250 Fort York Blvd

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: From Exhibition GO Station, it’s a 13-minute walk east on Manitoba Drive to Fleet Street. Or, from Union Station, take the 509 Harbourfront streetcar to Fleet Street at Fort York Boulevard.

Midnight Skating at Harbourfront

Harbourfront skating Toronto

Harbourfront Centre’s ice rink is renowned for its scenic views of the city, while overlooking Lake Ontario too. As an added bonus, you can enjoy the dance club vibes while skating to music curated by a live DJ. Enjoy DJ Skate Nights every Saturday from January 22nd through to the end of the season, from 8pm-11pm. Affordable rentals are available for helmets and skates.

When: Now until March 6, 2022. Sunday – Thursday: 10am-10pm, Friday – Saturday: 10am-11pm

Where: Harbourfront Centre Toronto

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: From Union Station, take 510 Spadina streetcar to Queens Quay Ferry Docks Terminal, or walk 14 min via Front Street and Lower Simcoe St.

Casa Loma Escape from the Tower

Set in one of the castle’s towers, this escape room is truly unique. The perfect activity for a cold winter’s day, Escape from the Tower is available for 6-10 people and for children ages 8 and up. Book your time slot, band together with your puzzle-solving crew and plan your next great escape!

When: Year-round availability

Where: Casa Loma

Cost: $46 per person

Get there with GO: Take the GO train or bus to Union Station. From Union Station, take the TTC to Dupont Station.

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights

Niagara Winter Festival of Lights

Enjoy the magic of the season in all its twinkly splendor with Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights! From January 10 to February 21, 2022, holiday lights will be replaced with new winter wonderland and love-themed displays. Enjoy as a drive through event or traverse through the enchanted paths on foot.

When: Now - February 21, 2022

Where: Along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands, and across Niagara Falls

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: GO Transit’s route 12 bus takes you right to Niagara Falls Bus Terminal, a few minute walk away from Niagara Parkway.

Tobogganing at Birchwood Park

friends tobogganing in winter at the park

A classic Canadian tradition and one of the best ways to enjoy some quality outdoor time after a massive snowfall. Affectionately nicknamed “Kentucky Hill” for its previous proximity to a KFC, this huge hill is the perfect destination for an afternoon of tobogganing with friends and family. You’ll get your steps in climbing to the top of this mini mountain, but it’s worth the long ride down! After a hard day of play, reward yourself and your sledding crew with a post-workout cup of hot chocolate.

When: While the snow lasts!

Where: 1547 Lakeshore Rd West

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: Take the GO train to Clarkson Station GO. From the station, take the 23 bus eastbound for 5 stops to Lakeshore Rd at Johnson’s Lane.

Currents: An Interactive Light and Sound Show

Niagara Currents at Niagara Parks Power Station

Niagara Parks Power Station introduces a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, where interactive projected images that react to and interact with your physical presence. The story of Niagara Falls, its origins and evolution from water to power, is told through powerful projections combining images with colours, light and sound.

When: Ongoing

Where: Niagara Parks Power Station

Cost: $19.50 - $40. Admission for kids 5 and under is FREE!

Get there with GO: Take GO Bus route 12 to Niagara Falls Bus Terminal, then an 8-minute rideshare to Niagara Parks Power Station.

Visit Hamilton’s Tastiest Microbreweries

Hamilton is home to some of the finest craft breweries in Ontario, among them Grain &Grit, Fairweather, Merit and Collective Arts. So, leave your car at home and explore Hamilton by way of some really well-crafted brews.

When: Anytime. See brewery websites for hours.

Where: Hamilton

Cost: Varies by location

Get there with GO: Take the Lakeshore West Line to West Harbour GO or, take the GO bus from Union Station Bus Terminal to Hamilton GO Centre. Check the HSR website for local transit schedules, trips and maps.

Bird Watching at Tommy Thompson Park

Mother daughter posing for a photo in winter

In 2000, BirdLife International named Tommy Thompson Park an “Important Bird Area” and to date, over 316 bird species have been observed in the park. Spring and fall are the busiest times for bird migration, but winter is the perfect season to observe several species of waterfowl and owls. So, pack a pair of binoculars and hit the snowy trails for a refreshing stroll and a day of casual birdwatching.

When: Weekdays 4pm to 9pm, weekends 5:30am to 9pm

Where: Tommy Thompson Park

Cost: FREE!

Get there with GO: Take the GO train or bus to Union Station. From there you can take the 501 Queen Streetcar and get off at Leslie Street. Walk south on Leslie Street to the park entrance.