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WEEKEND UNPLUGGED: How my family survived a tech-free getaway

weekend unplugged

Hello my name is Jenn, and my children are addicted to technology.

Okay so it’s not quite that bad but there are days that I feel they could possibly benefit from a 12 step program.

This is when I start to sound just like my own mother….

When we were kids…

Oy!

Seriously though, we were kicked out of the house after breakfast and returned only when we were hungry. TV had a daily limit and while we had video games (hey! I’m not THAT old), they were reserved for rainy days and sleepovers with our friends.

Now fast forward 20-some-odd years, where my own children are growing up in a completely different world. I work in a digital field so I am tied to my laptop or phone pretty much constantly. I am also the first to admit that my kids are spoiled pretty bad, especially when it comes to technology. They have several video game systems including handheld, they each have an iPad, my oldest has his own TV and computer and they have access to all of it much more than I ever thought I would allow. “When I have kids, I will limit their screen time to…”

Ya, that didn’t really work out.

Lately I’ve been feeling the intense need for us to unplug from the tech and recharge as a family. Doing a completely tech-free getaway would be quite a challenge though. Everywhere now is geared towards tech. “WiFi in every room”, “Big screen TV with 8 billion channels”, even our favorite restaurant has USB charging stations at each booth! Sure, traditional camping was an option but being so early in the season, I wanted to find somewhere that offered the luxuries of a resort (hot showers, comfortable beds, great food and family activities) without the added technology-conveniences that we were needing a break from.

Enter Cedar Grove Lodge

We arrived to our log cabin “Snowgoose” in the evening after a 3 hour road-trip in my new favourite vehicle, the 2015 GMC Acadia. Immediately the sounds and smells of the lake and woods surrounded us and my husband and I felt instantly relaxed. We learned that the great thing about traveling to Muskoka in the spring is that the bugs are not out yet and lake Peninsula is incredibly calm. In my opinion, it’s the absolute perfect time to get away!

Saturday morning, my 6 year old early riser came in to our bedroom (one of two bedrooms in our Deluxe Fireplace Cabin). She was awake and ready for the day. I fully expected her first request of the morning. “Mommy, where’s my iPad?”. I reminded her we didn’t bring it and then the whining began. “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do, can I play on your phone?” Soon after, her brother awoke and chimed in with similar statements. I was reminded just how much we needed this weekend.

Luckily the thoughts of electronics were soon overshadowed by rumbling tummies, so off to the dining room we went. Cedar Grove Lodge is a unique Muskoka getaway for many reasons but one being that all your meals are included. I admit I was probably the most excited about this, being that I do 90% of the cooking in my family.

We ate very well, not just for that first breakfast but for every meal. The dining room offers a selection of items for each meal and every taste bud. When asked about the food, I tell people that it’s like eating at home when one of your parents is a professional chef (I am qualified to say that since my dad actually is one). The food was homemade, gourmet and there was more than you could possibly eat in one sitting. They were even incredibly happy to accommodate my son’s gluten intolerance, going above and beyond. He didn’t just have one GF choice at each meal, he had several, including GF pancakes and waffles for breakfast!

After breakfast, the kids still slightly uneasy about what we could possibly do for 2 days, we toured the lodge. We discovered an assortment of board games, a games room with table games such as ping pong, shuffleboard and foosball and an area where you can borrow an assortment of balls and rackets to take outdoors. Their eyes began to widen as we planned out our weekend. Heading outside, we found a boathouse with paddle boats, canoes and kayaks and the kids began chanting “paddle boats! Please!”

My husband and I sighed with relief, maybe this weekend was actually going to work out.

It was truly a fun family getaway in Muskoka. The kids learned to paddle a canoe, play tennis and beat their dad at the board game “Sorry”. Our son practiced his photography skills and our daughter learned how to help walk our dogs. If I had to choose one though, I’d say my favorite moment was sitting on the dock in a Muskoka chair next to my sleeping husband while watching our kids playing in the water. It was relaxing, peaceful and exactly what we needed.

Sunday morning, I awoke to the sounds of my kids giggling while playing a board game in the living room and as we walked to breakfast, they begged us to stay “just one more day. Please!?”

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Jenn Perry

The author Jenn Perry

Entrepreneur, Child-Wrangler and Domestic-Goddess-Wannabe, Jenn is a married, mother of two. She is also the founder of That’s So Social and Editor in Chief of Travel Mavens.

Likes: travel, eggs benedict, yoga pants, dogs, and Netflix.