Posts Tagged ‘summer fun’

Ontario Place: Racing Cars and Hanging Out

At the end of summer we were invited to the Fisher Price Fall Toy Preview event at Ontario Place. After a busy morning of playing with toys, my 3 and 6-year old were invited to spend some time having fun at Ontario Place.

My 3-year old loves her older brother. No matter what he does, she has to follow. Walking around Ontario Place they were up on benches, along curbs, zig-zagging around trees.

On of our first stops had to be the Power Wheels race track. My son loves these though he’s getting pretty close to being too big to ride them. I remember the first time he drove around the track, he would stop in the middle of the track to checkout the engine, adjust the radio, he even offered to give someone a ride who was stuck. I was surprised my 3-year old picked it up right away. She was around the track a few times without incident. She loved the fact that she was in a pink Barbie car too.

The kids moved from one car ride to the next. This one required no steering but it went pretty fast, forwards and backwards. They loved it. And since this ride is down a hill (not that visible) there weren’t that many people waiting to ride so they went on two more times.

If my 8-year old had been with us, she would have made a bee-line to the Frogger ride (where you hop up and down). My son has always been too short but this time he was just right and eager to ride.

I wish I had video of his ride. When the ride went up he was so excited but when it made it’s first drop he screamed. Not one of those ‘whee this is fun’ type of screams. His scream was more like ‘oh my god what have I gotten myself into’. After a few more drops he was fine but continued screaming.

Before we ended our day we took a ride together in the ferris wheel. The kids were busy saying hi to all the other riders who passed us in their ferris wheel cars. It was great seeing all around the park and out to the water.

After this the rain started. We were soaked by the time we got to the van but both kids thought it was worth it. Thanks to the folks at GCI Canada and Fisher Price for a fun filled day.

A Day of Firsts

Day 1 at Disney World and we had to visit Magic Kingdom first. When you have young kids Magic Kingdom has to be your first stop. It will probably be one of the resorts we visit more than once on our current trip.

We’ve actually visited Disney World a few times, I think six times, but even with all those visits there are still things we haven’t seen or done. Today was actually a day of a few firsts. Today we checked out Country Bear Jamboree, a show we’ve never seen before. Similar to the Enchanted Tiki Room, this is more an attraction that you sit in an air-conditioned room to watch a themed animal animatronics show. The kids seemed to like it, I felt it was a little dated, especially some of the songs, though I’m sure my six-year old son will start singing the song ‘Blood on the Ground’. Probably not a show we’ll see again (unlike Enchanted Tiki Room which we have to see every time we visit) but I’m glad we did see it; I’m glad we had the chance to try something new at Disney.

We also tried Splash Mountain for the first time, especially after we found out our three-year old met the height restrictions, just. barely. Usually the stand-by wait for Splash Mountain has been up to 1.5 hours but when we walked by it was only 15 minutes. Everyone loved it. Yes we got wet, not too wet but wet enough. And once wasn’t enough; we went on two more times. If given the chance the kids would have kept going on but there were some other rides we wanted to hit before heading back to the hotel.

Since this was our youngest daughter’s big ride, just passing the height requirement, she received her Splash Mountain pin. (The kids like to participate in pin trading, but we also buy a few select pins on each visit, like for the resort we’re staying at and a specific ride pin that really means something to each child on that trip).

My six-year old son’s favourite roller coaster is Thunder Run; he experienced for the first time last year. So this year my eight-year old daughter convinced him that he should try her favourite roller coaster, Space Mountain. He sat in the car between me and my daughter. While we whipped around I asked if he liked it and he said ‘no’. Oh dear. I could say close your eyes and it will pass but the ride takes place in the dark so that wouldn’t accomplish much. As the ride continued he started screaming but not ‘get me off this ride before I jump’. No it was ‘this is awesome’. At the end of the ride I asked how he liked it and he said he loved it. After his initial fear of the lap restraint not holding him in, he relaxed and really loved it. He loved it so much he went again. So he earned his Space Mountain badge.

I love that a visit to Disney World means we can visit the attractions and rides we love but that we always find something new to try; a new resort, ride, food. It makes it a great new experience every time.

Book Bash: A Children’s Literature Festival

The public library is one of our favourite hangouts. During the summer there’s the Summer Reading Club and during the school year our local branch is a quick walk on our way home to pick-up new reads, plus they have great programs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The library is cool on hot summer days and warm and windy cold ones and the staff, at least at our local branch, is amazing, especially those who oversee the children’s department.

With 3 kids we spend a lot of time in the children’s department. To be honest, I can’t remember the last book I read where the main character was over the age of twelve. That also explains why my Write a Review Wednesday posts all focus on children’s literature; we love it.

So the news that the Toronto Public Library is hosting their first every Children’s Literature Festival is very exciting. Book Bash takes place this Saturday (August 28) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North York Central Library.

They’ll have storytelling, puppet shows, face painting, crafts and more. But the best part, the part that has me really excited, are the two reading stages. Authors like Eric Walters, Barbara Reid, Kenneth Opal and many more will be on hand to read from their works. You can see the reading schedule for the Outdoor Stage and the Indoor Stage on the Book Bash site.

And the event is FREE! What a wonderful way to end summer, hanging out with the family celebrating the joy of children’s literature. If you have kids and read them books, which I’m sure you do, head out to the Book Bash Children’s Literature Festival to show your support of great kids books and their authors and illustrators.

Last Day of Camp

Friday was the last day of my 3-year-old’s first summer camp session. I think she really loved it. She went in as a little girl and came out a camp cat. Happy, until I told her we had to wash it off before bedtime.


Remember how I lamented at last week about summer camp. Well I survived. I didn’t think I would but I guess I’m made of stronger stuff. My oldest daughter arrived back from her week away camp on Saturday. We were at the pick-up spot first, in case the bus arrived early, which it didn’t of course.

When the bus pulled in I went to meet my daughter who bounded off the bus happy and tanned (seems she forgot how to use her sunscreen when away). She started talking about her whole trip, what she did and ate, the friends she made, the fun she had. She obviously had a great time so I wasn’t surprised when she said she wished she was still at camp. I guess the extra long week for us must have gone extra fast for her.

But she’s home. This week my two youngest are in day camp all day so it’s just the two of us which will be nice. I’m even thinking of treating her, well both of us, to a manicure session later this week. I think she’ll like that and I’ve heard it might help me with my habit.

So maybe this summer camp ordeal wasn’t so bad. Of course I might change my tune when my daughter asks to be away for 2-weeks next year.

Heading to the Beach: Guest Post on NTFFC

School’s out, vacation has begun and what better place to spend the hot summer days than at the beach. My July book review post on Allie‘s site No Time for Flashcards shares a few book about visiting the beach and exploring the water to help get your little ones ready for your next seaside visit. Pop over for a read. And if you have a beach book your kids enjoy I’d love to hear about it.

You can find my book reviews every first Saturday of the month over on No Time for Flash Cards. I hope you’ll pop by and check out some great books to share with your kids.

Top 10 Tuesday: Songs of Summer

There’s something about summer that time travels me back to my youth. Sweating in the hot sun. Eating popsicles on the front porch. Running through the sprinkler. Listening to summer songs on my dad’s car stereo as we drove around town. Just like certain smells can harken memories so can sound, especially those summer tunes that were so apart of growing up. Now that I’ve discovered I’ve been able to relive those moments, right here on my computer. So for Oh Amanda‘s Top Ten Tuesday post today I give you, in no particular order, the Top 10 Songs that make me thing of Summer (and I take no responsibility it these tunes stick in your head):

  1. Hot in the City, Billy Idol
  2. Summertime. Summertime, The Jamies
  3. Summer in the City, The Loving Spoonful
  4. Here Comes the Sun, George Harrison
  5. Car Wash, Rose Royce
  6. Let’s Go Trippin’, Dike Dale & The Deltones
  7. Going Up the Country, Canned Heat
  8. Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran
  9. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
  10. In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry

What songs make you think of summer?

Celebrate Canada Day with a Gun Salute

It’s Canada Day! Families will be celebrating all over the country. Some will have backyard BBQs and pool parties. Other’s will travel to visit family and friends. There will be fireworks and balloons, face paint and beer, lawn chairs and sunshine.

Things aren’t so different at our house; we’re celebrating too, though maybe not in a traditional way. Maybe it’s our proximity to our friends to the south or maybe it’s just a child’s fascination with…um, water. Either way, here’s our tribute to Canada, a 3 kid gun salute

Happy Canada Day! How are you celebrating?

Summer is about…Reading

There are many signs that summer is upon us, like starting summer camp or enjoying that lazy afternoon ice cream, but in our house summer is also greeted with books. My kids, all 3 of them, enjoy participating in the Toronto Public Library‘s Summer Reading Club program. They participated last year and had a great time (including an end of season party).

Today was the first day of sign-up though you can sign-up at any time during the summer. My kids wanted to get a jump on collecting their stickers to we signed-up today. The kids each received their poster (where to place their stickers) and an activity book full of puzzles and colouring and even recipes based on this year’s jungle theme. The activity guide also recommends some great jungle themed books the kids can read but you don’t have to stick to the jungle. The whole point is getting the kids reading. And with each book they read, and report on to the librarian, they get a sticker for their poster.

It can be hard to find something to occupy the kids during the summer, but the Toronto Summer Reading Club program keeps them entertained and reading and it’s FREE.