When you think of the Waterloo Region in Ontario’s heartland, what comes to mind? Well, it’s a university town and a tech heaven, but who knew that this region, just an hour west of Toronto, is also a popular family getaway hotspot, where a variety of attractions and adventures await? Head there for a day or a weekend, and experience a train-load of fun; visit a water park or a museum, do some bowling or devour candied crickets at a butterfly conservatory. BUTTERFLIES FLY FREE “Think of the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory as a tropical escape,”says conservatory board chair, Doug Wilson. With some 2,000 free-flying butterflies imported from Costa Rica and the Philippines, the inviting enclave is indeed an escape. With its cascading waterfalls, 150 species of plants, plenty of birds, bugs, turtles and fish, the conservatory is a nature lover’s dream. Don’t miss the honeybee observation hive – and if you visit during March Break, you will have the opportunity to put your taste buds to the test with samples of insect recipes. A LOOK INTO HISTORY Waterloo Region Museum exhibits tell the story of Waterloo Region and the feature gallery showcases travelling exhibits from home and around the world. Doon Heritage Village, located at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener, is a living history village that shows what life was like in the year 1914. Joseph Schneider Haus, a National Historic Site, is a farm house built by one of the area’s early Pennsylvania-German Mennonite settlers. McDougall Cottage, located in the historic factory district of Cambridge, is an 1858 worker’s home that celebrates the area’s Scottish heritage. Experience family fun in WATERLOO REGION BY JAMIE ROSS