First, let's say that tubing down the Grand River in Elora Gorge Conservation Area is not as adventurous as it seems from the trail above (as a mother I thought is good news!!).
My 9-year-old thought the 1-hour long descent did not offer enough action. (We showed up at the end of the summer. There is apparently more action earlier in the season.) I still think it beats floating down lazy rivers in any water park. Parents really enjoy the relaxing sight-seeing, offering a completely different view of the cliffs. The section where everyone gets into the water is simply gorgeous, with high walls of rocks closely framing the river. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to be allowed to ride alone (note that the rental tubes are huge, kids under 9 will hardly fit on top of them). They don’t recommend more than one participant on one tube, especially when the current is fast flowing. With kids under 9, I’d only do it at the end of the summer. You might have to wait an hour before some tubes became available. In the peak of the season, they can be sold out by 9 a.m. but don't worry. People return, alive and with their tube, from this adventure. Here’s a good tip: my patient husband waited in the line-up for the next tubes to be available, a book in one hand and a sandwich in the other, while I swam with the kids in the small lake by the beach house.
A nearby great swimming hole is Elora Quarry Conservation Area.