Tag Archives: stroller

Get Out of The House Mommy Group

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While perusing Facebook today, I stumbled across a self made group from a fellow Mommy called “Get Out of The House Mommy Group.”  One Mom of two little girls created a group and invited her friends to join.  What they do is each Mom makes a list of fun things that Mom’sand their tots can do in their surrounding areas.  What a brilliant idea!

When I was 7 months pregnant, I moved 5 hours away from all my friends and family to live in Toronto.  I was on Maternity leave and was due with my first baby in 2 months.  I knew no one and certainly no other Mom’s.  What was I going to do with a newborn in a city that was so very different from the small town (country girl born and raised) I was from.  For a long time I stayed cooped up in my home, only taking my daughter out for walks to the local plaza and around the block.  It became very isolating.  When I tried to talk to other people, all I could talk about was bowel movements and diaper rash, feeding and sleeping schedules.  I was acutely aware that none of these people found this particularly stimulating, but I hadn’t spoken to another adult woman in months.  I knew then that I needed to get out, even if it was more for my own good than my daughters’.  I searched online and found an indoor playground.  It was the same playground I used for her 3 year birthday party.  There I met other mom’s and found out about all the really fun and interesting things to do with your babies and toddlers.

So when I stumbled across that group today, it made me remember how isolated I was and how long it took me to go out and explore this great city I call home now with my daughter.  So I have compiled my own list of the places that I took and still take my daughter to.

MY LIST OF FAVOURITE KID & MOM FRIENDLY PLACES TO GO IN TORONTO 

1) Amazon Indoor Playground

Located on 1500 Royal York Rd, this indoor playground provides a fun, safe environment for kids to play and interact with other children.  There is a fridge available onsite for those who pack their own lunches and coffee and tea are free to the parents.  $10 per child and $7 for siblings, this is a great deal.

2) Stars & Strollers

Cineplex Odeon provides mom`s a chance to see movies and be able to bring their children too.  With a choice of 2 movies a week, the theatres provide more lighting, lower sound and in-theatre change tables so you can get the big screen experience in a baby friendly experience.

3) Alderwood Swimming Pool

I loved doing Mommy & Me swimming with my daughter.  Located at 2 Orianna Drive, this pool provides baby and toddler friendly swimming times for only $3.

4) All Fired Up Paintable Ceramics

Now that my daughter is older and crafts are her thing, I needed to find a place that could provide a fun environment and the bonus of me not having to clean.  You can choose your own piece, from cups to plates to statues of Dinosaurs (I have a nicely painted one on my bookshelf), and paint it with any certain number of colours you choose.  The best thing is, if you don`t finish, you can come back another day and finish it.

For more places to take your children in Toronto, check out the website Toronto4 Kids.com.

I hope you take the challenge and post your favourite places to go in your local city so other Mom`s can take their children as well!

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Child Friendly Hair Salon and Stylist

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I love, love, LOVE having my hair done.  Since I was old enough to get my hair, dyed, permed, straightened on my own choice, trips to the salon were my favourite things to do.  My hair has been dyed numerous colours, it has been several lengths and styles.  But when my daughter was born, all of a sudden things changed.  I didn’t have that extra cash to go and get my hair done as often as I liked.  And when I found a salon that I really enjoyed, they weren’t exactly “child friendly”.  It was my first mother’s day and there was a salon near my home that was promoting $20 haircuts for mother’s on mother’s day.  I called a booked an appointment.  I loved it when I walked in and there were strollers and kids all around and it was a professional salon.  I was sold!

Cattiva Hair Salon is located on 270 The Kingsway in Toronto, tucked away in the Stath Humber Plaza, and has been my sole salon since I have lived here.  It was rated the 2nd best salon in Toronto by the Toronto Sun.  It was one fateful summer that I was outside playing with my daughter when I met a neighbour of mine whose son was the same age as my daughter.  As we began to talk, it turns out that she worked there.  I asked her about her life as a hairstylist.

Julie at one of her shows

Julie has worked in the business for 16 years and has worked for some major hair companies like Loreal and Schwarzkopf.  She has worked for magazines, has herself worked on fashion shows and has worked and traveled the globe.  She put all that behind her and returned to the salon when she became a mother herself.  She has 2 young sons, whom I know and adore, and works 6 days a week tirelessly making ragged moms like me look good.  She is truly talented.  I have never ever walked out of her chair without being absolutely happy with my hair.

Cattiva also has Mommy Monday’s where you can bring your tot and strollers in while you get your hair done.  It is reasonably priced and that alone you can’t go wrong.  You can call and book an appointment 416-239-7741.  Be sure to ask for Julie, you won’t regret it.

Family Outings – Royal Ontario Museum

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It looks as though Old Man Winter has finally hit Toronto.  While kids love the snow, sometimes its just too cold to go outside.  You don’t want your kids stuck inside the whole day, it will drive them and yourself absolutely squirrely.  I find when the weather is inhospitable for outdoor adventures, its best to find an indoor adventure, outside of your own home.  I really enjoy the Royal Ontario Museum for a day out.

It is great for both adults and children, and can be a great educational experience.  It is open on the weekends from 10 – 5:30 and admission for adults is only $15 each, students 15 – 25 is $13.50, children 4 – 14 is $12 and children under 3 are free.  Special exhibits are additional, but some are worthwhile to take a look at.  We saw the water exhibit in the summer and there were some hands on things for parents and children alike to play with.  When we choose to go the ROM, it’s only a $30 day out for the three of us.  We like to bring our own lunch to cut down on the costs.   I find their cafeteria, like most places, is overpriced.  I would also stay away from the gift shop if you want to keep the price down.  My husband bought our daughter a 2 foot high stuffed dinosaur for $40 the last time we went.  The gift cost more than the three of us to get in for the entire day.

Located in downtown Toronto, it is easily accessible by transit.  You can get off at Museum  station and it is just a short walk outside.  The entrance of the museum is architecturally stunning.  Once you have paid admission, you will enter a large room where you then decide which direction you wish to start your tour.  The entrance room is filled with dinosaur skeletons, armour, statues, paintings and an actual totem pole that seems to stretch on for the full height of the museum.

Statue in the entrance of the ROM

My daughters’ favourite part of the ROM has to be the dinosaur exhibit.  She is more excited about seeing the dinosaur skeletons than she does about seeing Santa.  We have to ensure she is holding one of our hands, because as you can see in the photo below, she loves to run to each exhibit, completely disregarding everyone else.  Excitement takes over, and all the manners and good behaviour I have tried to instill fly out the window.

Toddler on the Run!

The ROM is also very stroller and kid friendly.  There are elevators that access each floor and the hallways and aisles are wide enough for strollers.  They have a children’s part of the museum where kids can play and learn at the same time as well as socialize with other children.   It also gives Mom and Dad a well deserved rest.  Sometimes they have people dressed up like dinosaurs walking around for the kids to talk to and it makes for a great photo opportunity for children that are not afraid.  While my daughter loves Barney on TV, she was very leery of this dinosaur up close and personal.

Nervous about Baby Dinosaur

My husbands favourite part is the bat cave, albeit my least favourite (I was raised in the country, I know what its like for real bats to swoop around your head.)  Mine is the Canadian exhibit, especially the paintings during the wars.  My hubby always sighs when I ask him to go into the Canadian exhibit.  His argument; “Why do we have to look at the Canadian exhibit? We live here don’t we?”  I love learning new and interesting things about my home and native land and getting to see and touch things from generations past.  He enjoys looking at rats with wings.

Painting in the Canadian Exhibit

I strongly recommend the Royal Ontario Museum for a fun family day out.  It is relatively inexpensive and there is an exhibit for all tastes and cultures. There are things for both kids and parents, reasonable student prices, stroller and wheelchair friendly, easily accessible by transit and is open 7 days a week.