Category Archives: Family Outings

Call of the Wild

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Double Stripes by Janice YkemaWhen I first had the Princess, I was new to Toronto.  Didn’t know many people let alone the area, so I often frequented Sherway Gardens, a mall close to where I live.  It was great to get out and not to mention get in some retail therapy.  Now that our Rainbow has arrived, I still love to go there.  It has become my go-to shopping centre.

On my latest trip, I noticed some art that was there.  At door 3 in the corridor, the current exhibit is Call of the Wild, from the artist Janice Ykema.   The Princess loved looking at all the pictures and was going to each one telling me stories about each piece.  Her imagination ran ‘wild’ looking at them and the stories continued throughout our entire shopping trip and she even brought them home to Hubby.

The exhibit will be running until July 13th but other pieces of her work can be seen at Niagara-On-The-Lake from July 29th to August 1st and this weekend at Nathan Phillips Square.

Two Heads by Janice Ykema

 

Things to do in Toronto this Weekend

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It is supposed to rain this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy all that Toronto has to offer this weekend.   Here are just a few of the many things happening this weekend that you and your family can enjoy.

  1. Toronto Jazz Festival Free Music Series at Don Mills.  This weekend at Shops at Don Mills, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival Free Music Series will be showcasing free concerts from a wide array of talented artists.  This event will be continuing right through until June 30th, a day longer than most venues throughout the city.  Come stay dry and listen to some fantastic music!
  2. Nature Play at Evergreen Brickworks.  Do you have a budding environmentalist at home?  I know I do!  At Evergreen Brickworks, located at 550 Bayview Ave, Nature Play invites children to play and engage their growing minds with weekly activities based on changing seasons and weather as well as the environment around them.  Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 – 4.
  3. The Redpath Waterfront Festival.  This weekend only, the Tall Ships come to Toronto!  A free event for people of all ages, there will be food, boats, an after-dark lights and multimedia show as well as a War of 1812 interactive theatre taking up over 2 km of the Toronto Waterfront.
  4. Under the Sea at the Ontario Science Centre.  Does your child love Finding Nemo?  Then the Ontario Science Centre is where you want to be this weekend.  This IMAX film takes you on an incredible journey through the locales like the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Triangle to see some of the spectacular inhabitants that live there.

JIVE BOMBERS-4 Photo Credit - Eugene Beck

Best Friends, Beer, Boats and BBQ, the 4 B’s of Life

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564233_421218287901925_684208018_n My best friend whom I mentioned in a previous post came to visit for the weekend and of course we had an awesome time.  We always plan to go for random adventures and this time I wanted to do something she’d enjoy.  On a previous visit she had mentioned that she really enjoyed culinary trips which gave me an idea.  Toronto is known for it’s food trucks and what a better surprise than to take her on a food truck extravaganza.

On Saturday, we got ready and headed downtown.  Most of Toronto’s food trucks were at Echo Beach for the CBC Music 011Festival but Hogtown Smoke was at Leon’s in front of the Roundhouse.  Her and I both enjoy BBQ so this truck was a great choice.  Hogtown Smoke is Toronto’s mobile BBQ Smoke House and it far more than delivered on taste.  I ordered the Beef Brisket on a Bun and slathered it in the Hogtown Smoke Original Mild BBQ Sauce.  I instantly regretted my decision to wear a white top as the chances of making a mess grew exponentially.  The beef was tender, tasty and cooked to perfection.

After we let the food settle, we walked over to the Roundhouse which houses the Steam Whistle Brewery.  While I don’t drink beer even when not pregnant, my friend loves it.  They were handing our complementary beer which only added to the delicious BBQ we just finished.  We checked out the model train displays they had in the front and then were off to the Harbourfront.

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It was Doors Open Toronto and the water front was busy with boats.  Captain Flinders and his Pirates had invaded Toronto and I thought that her and I could enjoy a boat tour of Lake Ontario.  For only $15, we were able to check out the Toronto Islands, enjoy some quality time and chat.  Overall it was a wonderful afternoon downtown.  Later that evening, we went to the movies and saw The Hangover 3, which wasn’t as good as the previous two.

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It was an awesome weekend with a more awesome friend.

Pirates & Captain Flinders Invade the Waterfront!

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Pirates credit Light Monkey PhotographyAhoy Mateys!  Get your wee buccaneer’s ready to board the poop deck and into the crow’s nest to see Pirates and Captain Flinders invade Toronto’s waterfront.  Shiver me Timbers! Captain Flinders is more fearsome than Captain Hook and Blackbeard on the Seven Seas and on May 25th from 10 am – 3 pm, Lads and Lassies can come watch their favourite scallywags do what they do best, looting for dubloons and booty.  Come prepared with your camera in hand, eye patch firmly placed and shipshape or be prepared to walk the plank to become shark bait!  Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen and come see pirates this weekend, admission is free!

I had a lot of fun writing this post, not only because I love pirates but because I got to speak like one, argghhh!  For some more Pirate Lingo, please click here.

 

Kajama _06P0592 credit Light Monkey Photography

17th Annual Smart Start Student Art Show at Sherway Gardens

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sas logoArt is in everything, from the architecture in the buildings we see to the scribbling’s of our little ones as they first learn how to use a crayon.  Art in childhood has been known to stimulate and develop imagination as well as refining cognitive and creative skills.  Art can add to the overall success at school by developing a sense of craftsmanship and goal setting.  Art enriches all aspects of life and that is why is should be supported and celebrated.

From April 6th to the 13th, over 100 talented high school students across Toronto will be showcasing their art in the 17th Annual Smart Start Student Art Show at Sherway Gardens.  There will be original drawings, mixed media, paintings, sculptures and more.  Come support local talent and have a night out with your family.

 

Toucan created by Thomas Malichen- Snyder who is a grade 10 student at St Patrick Catholic Secondary School

Toucan created by Thomas Malichen- Snyder who is a grade 10 student at St Patrick Catholic Secondary School

What Do You Have Planned For March Break?

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Every school kid dreams of March Break, that week-long vacation from school and learning.  I cannot wait to experience the Princess’ first March Break and all that it has to offer.  Here are just a few of the many activities happening from the 9th – 17th that you and your little ones can enjoy!

  1. March Break at Shops at Don Mills.  The Shops at Don Mills have been busy planning activities for everyone to enjoy during March Break.  From riding the miniature train, kids yoga, face painting and balloon animals, crafts to music & play, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Simply click the link above for all the activity times and details!
  2. The Berenstain Bears Live!  On March 12th and 13th, The Living Arts Centre is presenting The Berestain Bears Live.  Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for kids and there will be juice and snacks provided.  Come see what’s happening in Bear Country!
  3. March Break Dance Camp.  Have a lover of dance?  Gotta Dance Studios at 3581 Dundas St W are hosting a dance camp from March 11th to the 15th.  Ages 3 – 16 are welcome and there will be dance workshops including celebrities from Stomp and So You Think You Can Dance.  Register now!
  4. March Break at the Ontario Science Centre.   Does your child enjoy science? Then look no further than the Ontario Science Centre.  From Einstein Alive to Cosmic Journey’s, there is something for every one of all ages.
  5. Sherlock Holmes and the Clock-Maker Mystery.  Come to Blackcreek Pioneer Village and take part in solving the mystery based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character.  Tickets are only $15.

Shops at Don Mills March Break Train

Family Fun Things to Do for Family Day!

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I love family and what better way to spend Family Day by spending time with those you love.  I have family coming in from out-of-town and Hubby, Princess and I will be spending time with them.  Here are just a few things that are happening around Toronto this Family Day Weekend.

  1. Woofjocks Canine Performance.  On Monday, February 18th, Toronto’s Waterfront will be hosting Woofjocks Canine Performances for free.  Times are 11:30, 1pm, 2:30 and 4 with photo opportunities at the end of each show.  Come enjoy!
  2. Free Crafts & Family Movies.  From 2-4 on Family, the Queen’s Quay Terminal has a fun packed afternoon of family fun with crafts, face painting and movies.
  3. Fantasy Fair.  Woodbine Fantasy Fair is open this Family Day from 10 – 6.  Come enjoy an indoor fairground and all the fun that goes with it.
  4. Family Day Weekend at Toronto Zoo.  Fur family meet human family!  Come see all the animals and their cute babies.
  5. Kids Fest Toronto.  On the 17th and 18th, come by Kids Fest, Canada’s Largest Indoor Inflatable Show.  Enjoy as your kids jump, bounce and play!
Woofjocks Canine Performance

Woofjocks Canine Performance

Ways to Give Back this Year

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While we all enjoy the mountains of gifts, the delicious meals and time with family, there are some less fortunate and don’t get all of those things.  So here are a just a few things that we can all do to give back to those in need.

  1. Gingerbread Cookie Factory.  For the last 21 years, volunteers of the Trillium Health Centre fundraise with all proceeds go to support the senior’s health services at the Trillium sites of The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre.  Daily from November 30th to December 23rd at Sherway Gardens, gingerbread cookies are available to decorate and they are $4 each or three for $10!
  2. All Aboard the Miniture Train at Don Mills.  Come aboard for a magical tour as the miniature train travels through the centre square, past the holiday trees and the finest shops! Tickets will be sold at Guest Services for $3/person per ride with net proceeds to the Toronto Fire Fighters’ Toy Drive.
  3. Tie Up Loose Ends At The Salvation Army Gift Wrap Booth.  The depot will be open all week at Sherway Gardens, with the exception of Sunday, from 10 am until 8 pm and on December 24th from 10 am to 3 pm.   Just $5 minimum per package with 100% of all proceeds going to fund The Salvation Army to assist those in need in the local community.
  4. Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.  The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Campaign has grown into one of Canada’s most significant and recognizable annual charitable events and is a friendly reminder that the spirit of the season is giving. The funds raised provide food and clothing for thousands of needy families right in our own community throughout the holiday season and beyond at Sherway Gardens until December 24th.
  5. CTV Toy Mountain. Help support CTV’s Toy Mountain this year with an unwrapped gift or cash donation at many locations throughout the city.
  6. Toronto Food Banks.    Donate your time, money or food to your local food bank and help those in need this holiday season!
Gingerbread Cookie Factory at Sherway Gardens

Gingerbread Cookie Factory at Sherway Gardens