As author Bruce Feiller writes in his book The Secrets of Happy Families, “Family vacations: they help families break harried routines, reboot fraying relationships, and return enjoyment to our lives.”
But they can also bring added stress, overspending guilt, and the all-too-familiar need for a “vacation from your vacation.”
“If my family is any indication, family vacations are where the most futile, ferocious fights imaginable can happen,” Feiller writes.
Think about it; the money, the planning, the backseat driving. “Add in cancelled planes, lost luggage, bad traffic, and one kid who always has a nose buried in some electronic device, and it’s a marvel anyone is speaking by the second day,” writes Feiller.
Perhaps it’s time to re-think the family vacation. If you’re looking to switch it up this year, why not become tourists of your own town? After all, when was the last time you looked at your hometown through the eyes of a newcomer?
YOU’LL MEET NEW PEOPLE (and possibly make new friends)
MoneySense Magazine’s 2015 Best Places to Live survey named Aurora one of Canada’s most desirable communities. It’s easy to see why people love living here. Both Newmarket and Aurora bring the convenience of big city amenities with the pleasure of small town charm. Residents are a relatively quick trip away from cottage country or Toronto. Of course, there’s more to it than that.
“Really, it’s the people,” says Wanda Bennett, Director of Corporate Communications for the Town of Newmarket. “You don’t have to go far to see that people in this town are friendly, generous and kind spirited.”
When you’re a tourist in your own town, you can truly take the time to talk to local business owners and residents walking the street. Ask them about their favourite spots to visit in town, or their favourite restaurants to eat at.
THERE’S A RICH HISTORY AND CULTURE TO EXPLORE
When you take the opportunity to indulge in your native attractions as though you’re seeing, tasting, and touring them for the first time, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you discover.
“The Town of Aurora is committed to preserving and celebrating our history and culture. We have a number of heritage buildings and natural features that define the character of Aurora,” says Geoffrey Dawe, Mayor of Aurora. “To find out more about Aurora’s history and culture
I would suggest visiting The Aurora Cultural Centre (formerly known as the Church Street School), The Aurora Museum and Archives, Hillary House National Historic Site, The Koffler Museum of Medicine, The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame and The Aurora Historical Society,” adds Mayor Dawe.
But don’t stop there. “The Elman Campbell Museum and the Newmarket Public Library are a treasure trove of (local) history and knowledge,” says Bennet. “Newmarket’s history is rich and colourful from Native roots, Quaker influences and Rebellions to the many famous movers and shakers throughout Canadian history that have ties to Newmarket.”
YOU’LL BE INSPIRED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
Both Aurora and Newmarket offer beautiful and extensive nature trails to explore, as well as outdoor skating rinks.
“While you’re at the library, take a walk through Aurora’s downtown core, filled with a variety of shopping options,” says Dawe. “Also, don’t forget to take in a performance at Theatre Aurora, enjoy one of the many festivals and special events hosted by the Town, or browse through the Farmers’ Market and Artisan Fair for fresh produce and crafts.”
In Newmarket, be sure to explore Riverwalk Commons. “Newmarket Riverwalk Commons is always alive with fun events, activities and unique pavilions all year long,” says Michelle Valtas, Communications Assistant with the Town of Newmarket. And there are many unique bars and eateries. “Step into any restaurant downtown or on Davis Drive and you’ll notice how lively they are – packed with people enjoying a delicious meal.”
YOU’LL GAIN NEWFOUND APPRECIATION for the town you call home
When you tour your hometown, you’ll awaken a sense of pride, excitement and gratitude. You’ll feel fulfilled by the treasures that exist in your own backyard.
“Touring your hometown allows you to remember an old favourite and share that experience with new friends and family, or get excited about a new discovery,” says Bennett. “Learn more about your home’s past and feel more united and connected with your community.”
Town of Aurora
Town of Newmarket
Aurora Cultural Centre
Newmarket Historical Society
Aurora Historical Society
Newmarket Main St BIA
written by Charlotte Ottaway