Review of Marineland in Niagara Falls, ON

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Although Marineland has been a controversial tourist location for the past couple of years, we wanted to visit to form our own opinion. Our kids had a great time so I want to share some positive points with you on how you can enjoy a day at Marineland with your family.

Arctic Cove

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We began our day with a Beluga Whale encounter at Arctic Cove, which I must say was the coolest part of my day by far. For $8/person you get to meet with a whale trainer and a beluga whale. Our whale buddy was named Andre. During our time with the trainer, we were able to ask questions and learn all about the habits and life of a beluga whale. Each of us got turns touching and feeding this awesome mammal some fish. I will be the first to admit that the shear size and firmness of Andre was a wee bit intimidating for me but the kids had a no fear attitude. According to my 6 year old, the beluga whale feels like a hard-boiled egg.

Did you know?

Adult Beluga whales have 3 stomachs and eat about 60lbs of fish per day

Young beluga whales are grey in colour and as they age they turn white

Marineland - Ontario Attraction

Waldorf Stadium Show

Be sure to catch the King Waldorf Stadium Show which is presented at regular intervals throughout the day. Check the schedule upon entry to see what times the show is that day.   Watch the sea lions, beluga whales and dolphins jump, spin and play in this show the kids are sure to enjoy. One lucky little observer will be chosen from the audience to help out and get a special treat.

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Rides

Marineland has rides for all ages. When the kids were younger, they could spend most of the day riding the kiddie rides and have a blast. In the kid area, your young ones will be entertained by the mini lady bug coaster, orca screamer drop zone, mini ferris wheel and more.

Now that our kids are 6 & 8 and have a love for the bigger rides, we actually had a chance to venture over and try some of the larger rides. It was a little disappointing though that 3 of the rides were closed for maintenance but those that we open we great. Since the park was not too busy on the day we went, lines were short and therefore we were able to ride many times. I think hands down, our family’s favorite ride was the Dragon Mountain Roller Coaster. We honestly rode this about 10 times! My 6 year old, being the brave soul she is, when on the Sky Screamer and gave it a rating of super fun! The other big rides in the area we also fun but for sure the coaster and drop zone were our family’s favourite. 

Buy your lunch or pack a picnic

Food at Marineland is reasonably priced in my opinion but your are welcome to bring your own food into the park and eat at one of the picnic areas or even lay out a blanket on any of the many grassy areas.

 

Pricing for Marineland

Single Day Pass for ages 13 – 59 – $42.95 + HST

Single Day Pass for ages 5 – 12 – $35.95 + HST

Single Day Pass for ages 60+ – $35.95 + HST

Enjoyed your day at the park? You can upgrade to a season pass for only $5 before you leave for the day

Parking is always FREE

There’s so much to do at the Toronto Zoo #Review

Ontario Attractions - Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo - Ontario Attraction

When you think of the Toronto Zoo you automatically think of all the wonderful animals that you can see there.  Yes this is true but there is so much more to the zoo as well.   Let me take you through all the fun we recently had at the zoo with our family…

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The Animals

Everyone loves visiting the animals at the zoo and obviously our family is no different.  The animals are simply amazing in the size, grandeur and their beauty.  From big to small we were amazed by them all.  You can find a list of the over 5,000 animals that call the zoo home here

Ontario Attractions - Toronto Zoo

Be sure to stop by and see the cuteness that is Humphrey, the 1 year old Polar Bear.  He is as full of energy and as playful as a regular toddler.  Our kids were belly laughing at how funny he was.  They could have spent hours watching Humphrey.

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The giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, are currently two of the most popular and visited animals at the Toronto Zoo.  Your tour of the Giant Panda Experience begins in the state-of-the-art Panda Interpretive Centre.  Here you can learn all about what Pandas like to eat, where they originate from, learn cool facts, play games and even see a nice big sample of what their poop looks like.  Clearly, the kids got a good kick out of that!  Once done in the exhibit you can meet the Pandas themselves.  They are such fantastic looking animals and as my daughter puts it, they look like giant teddy bears.  Absolutely a must see exhibit when you visit the Zoo. Clearly this guy (below) had eaten enough bamboo and just needed a good old nap.

Ontario Attractions - Toronto Zoo

In addition to all the animals that live outside at the zoo, there are also many indoor animal pavilions where you can take a break from the outside elements and enjoy the animals.  Whether your frolicking with the butterflies, laughing at the gorillas monkeying around or coming as close to a python as you would ever get without getting eaten, you will truly find all of the pavilions fascinating and educational.  All of the pavilions are well signed telling you what animal you are looking at and special information on all of them.  But remember, please do not knock on the glass!

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Many of the animals have a time to Meet the Keeper.  During this time you will learn lots of cool facts about that specific animals habitat, behaviours, diet, watch a feeding and maybe have the chance to ask any questions you may have.  Each of the animals will have a posted time to meet the zookeeper or you can find it online so you can plan to be back there on time. We had the pleasure of seeing the penguin keeper and learn about them.  They are such cute little guys!!

Ontario Attractions - Toronto Zoo

The Zoomobile

Be sure to take a ride on  the Zoomobile to get a “behind the scenes” look and guided tour all around the zoo.  Your all day ride pass let’s you get on and off at different parts of the zoo so you can see it all without the little ones getting all tuckered out before the day is through.  For only $8.00 per person or $28.00 for a family of four, the Zoomobile made our list of must-dos at the Zoo.

More fun for the kids…

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New this year and probably the biggest highlight of the day for our kids, next to the animals, was the Gorilla Climb ropes course.  For $8 per person, your children can test their fears and climb as high as they want and try out all the different rope bridges to cross the obstacle course.  All safety harnessed up, our 6 & 8 year old spent almost a good hour facing their fears and being the daredevils that they are.  I could hear the crowds cheering on my 6 yr old daughter as she crossed what most thought was the craziest part of the entire course.  In her words, “It was nothing Mommy”!  Absolutely a well spent $16 for them do enjoy the Gorilla Climb ropes course.  There are height restrictions and adults are welcome on the course as well but I can guarantee you that this is something all kids will love and it’s definitely not to be missed.

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Your kids will love Discovery Zone which is geared towards them.  Discovery Zone houses a children’s zoo, animal demonstrations, theatre shows and a great place to cool down after all the walking you’ve done all day.  Splash Island is a fairly large water park area where you can a find some great water slides, climbers and water sprayers.

A little more info on the Toronto Zoo…

There are always special events taking place at the Zoo, so make sure to visit their website and see what’s coming up

Have your children check out the videos and games on the Zoos website to learn more about the animals in a fun and interactive way.

Admission Rates for May 1 to October 31

 General Admission (ages 13 – 64) $28.00 ($24.78 + $3.22 HST)

Senior (ages 65+) $23.00 ($20.35 + $2.65 HST)

Child (ages 3 – 12) $18.00 ($15.93 + $2.07 HST)

Child (ages 2 & younger) FREE

Parking is an additional $10.00 upon entry

Toronto Zoo is open year round for your family’s enjoyment!

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WIN Passes to the Toronto Zoo!!

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Disclosure – We were provided with free passes to visit the Toronto Zoo but all opinions are our own

Why my Kids Love Ontario Pioneer Camp

Ontario Pioneer Camp

It’s always fun to get a kid’s perspective on things, so I thought it would be fun to get my 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son‘s feedback on what they liked about Ontario Pioneer Camp (OPC) in Haliburton.  Also be sure to read our full retell of our awesome weekend at OPC as a family here!

Check out all the great camps offered for younger children at Ontario Pioneer Camp  here

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Why were you excited to go to OPC?

I was excited because I really wanted to meet new friends

I really wanted to go so I could try archery

What did you think when you first arrived at OPC?

I was really happy we were there even though I was tired from the long car ride.  The show at the Crow‘s Nest was cool and so was the campfire with s’mores

I thought that it was going to be fun! I saw that there were cabins and it was really big.

What was your room like?

The room was big and had bunk beds.  I slept on the bottom so I wouldn’t fall out. The bathroom had a shower

Our room was cozy.  It had bunk beds and a desk. Oh and we all got camp shirts!

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What your favourite part of the shows?

The Crow’s Nest is a cool building for shows.  I like the 3 Little Pigs and all the camp councillors being funny. 

The camp councillors acting silly…throwing balls in each others faces and dumping water on each other.  The songs they taught us were fun.  

What was your favourite thing you ate?

Ice cream sundaes

Pancakes

Note from Mom…The food was awesome and healthy despite their faves! 😉

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What did you think of the following activities?

Archery

It was good.  I think I was really good at it

It was awesome because you get to use a bow and arrow and i’ve always wanted to do that.

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Crafts

I was really excited to do the crafts because I am really really good at crafts

They were cool

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Low Ropes  Course

It was hard but fun

Epic obstacle course

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Rock Climbing Wall

It was really easy because they put gear on you and they helped pull me up

I thought it was really high but really cool.

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Canoeing in the war canoes across Clearwater Lake

It was really peaceful and quiet

Pretty long and there were a LOT of people in one canoe. 

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Fire Blazers game

That was my favourite part because they had water balloons

It was really fun.  Even the parents had fun

Going down the big water slide at the Girl’s camp

It was really fast and I had no goggles on so I got water in my eyes.  It was fun but cold

The water looked too cold for me so I just watched

What was your favourite activity?

I really liked doing the rock climbing and crafts

Archery

Were the campfires fun?

Thumbs up!  Good for roasting marshmallows and I loved the campfire stories

S’mores were yummy.  I thought it was cool that they lit the big fire on the beach by using a flaming arrow

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What did you like about the Beach area?

We could swim and build sand castles.  There were canoes and they set fire works off from a canoe at night time. 

There was beach volleyball, canoes you could ride in and they had tons of life jackets.

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Can you tell me about the Camp Staff…

They were all lots of fun.  Stitch did Gangnum style on stage cause he loved camp so much.  They did a funny show the first night.  They were so nice

They are all funny.  They were kind because you could tell they liked kids a lot.

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Did camp make you sleepy?

YEP…a little bit

No not that much

Note from Mom…Both were asleep the minute their heads hit the pillow!

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What do you love about OPC?

I had a fun time and made new friends

There was so much to do and lots of outside time.  I also liked trying new things

What would you do to show how much you love camp?

I would eat a hot pepper

I would let people throw water balloons at me

What would you like to say to the staff at OPC?

Thank you for making my first camp experience so much fun!

Thank you all for being so much fun.  I LOVE camp!

What would you like other kids to know about OPC?

You should go there because it is a lovely place. When they ring the big bell you have to come running because it means it’s time to eat or change activities.

OPC is a wonderful place because it has nice staff, you can make new friends and it’s a lot of fun

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Would you like to go to OPC as a camper?  Why?

Yes because it is really fun and I really liked the beach.  I liked everything

Yes…yes I would!  I really think it would be fun to be with kids my age.

Ontario Pioneer Camp

942 Clearwater Lake Road RR#2
Port Sydney, Ontario
P0B 1L0

Email: info@pioneercamp.com

Phone: 1.800.361.CAMP (2267) or 705.385.2370
Fax: 705.385.3649

Follow OPC on Facebook & Twitter

Disney On Ice Presents “Princesses & Heroes” in Hamilton March 2014

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Disney on Ice presents “Princesses & Heroes”

Glides into Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre on March 13th – 16th 2014

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Be sure to check out our review of Disney on Ice “Princesses & Heroes”

Enter a world of wonder where heroes and hearts prevail.  Join Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’sAurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away!  See Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes where believing is just the beginning!

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Performing at FirstOntario Centre (formerly Copps Coliseum) for the first time, audiences will be transported to a world where imaginations soar and anything can happen if they just believe.  With the help of the magical pixie Tinker Bell, the Disney Princesses embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Jasmine discovers a whole new world with Aladdin after meeting her unlikely hero in the marketplace. Prince Philip defeats the evil fire-breathing dragon Maleficent in a race to save his true love Aurora. Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s spell so that Ariel can remain part of his world. Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Belle and Snow White also find happiness in this beautifully imagined ice show.

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Tickets On Sale Now

Believing is just the beginning in Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes!  Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White all make their wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics.  This March Break, the show plays in Hamilton for performances.

Ticket Prices: $62 (Rinkside), $48 (VIP), $30$20 and $15.  Additional fees may apply.

SAVE on tickets by using these codes: MUM44 – 4 tickets for $44.00 (weekday shows). MUM4 – $4.00 off (weekend shows)

Excludes Front Row, Rinkside, and VIP tickets. No double discounts. Additional Fees May Apply. Weekday is defined as Monday thru Thursday and Friday Matinee. Weekend is defined as Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday.

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Show Times

March 13 – 2pm & 7pm

March 14 – 2pm & 7pm

March 15 – 11am, 3pm & 7pm

March 16 – 11am & 3pm

Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.ca, FirstOntario Centre Box Office or by calling (855) 872-5000.

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To join in on the pre-show excitement, Follow the hashtag #DisneyOnIce  on Twitter and be sure to like Disney On Ice on Facebook

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes features an incredible display of special effects, stunning set design and breathtaking choreography on the ice.

 

Maple Leaf Monster Jam #Review

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We were excited to be invited to Maple Leaf Monster Jam at Rogers Centre last evening.  To be honest, as we had never been, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My son isn’t a rough and tough kinda boy but he was super pumped to go to the show.  With his ear protection on he was ready to experience his very first (and definitely not his last) Monster Jam Show!

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Let the noise, cheering, revving engines and flip overs beginnnnnnnn…

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The show begins with all the trucks doing laps to “show off” their power and style. It was awesome to see the actual size of the trucks and the amazing looks. The show is then broken down into two parts, races and freestyle.   Although the race part gets you excited and is fun to watch,  I would say the highlight of the show is the freestyle part.  This is where the trucks get to do what they want.  It was amazing to see how high they could jump and how long such a huge truck could hold a wheelie.  Crashes were spectacular but thankfully there were no injuries due to the high safety standards.    In between the Monster Trucks, quads came out to race for their team which was US vs. Canada.  Canada won 2 out of 3!!

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 What we loved, other than the obvious excitement, was that the show was very interactive from the drivers running up into the stands for photo ops to cheering for your favourite truck to free t-shirts being launched into the crowd.  All in all it was a super fun experience and one that we would definitely recommend and do again.

My 8 year old’s take on the show

What were you expecting when you heard we were going to Monster Jam and were you excited?

I was expecting a lot of crashing.  I was very excited because I had never been

What surprised you about Monster Jam?

What surprised me was that there so many broken trucks by the end of the show.

What was your favourite part of the show?

My favourite part of the show was seeing Son-uva Digger winning the race

What was your favourite truck?

Son-uva Digger was because he is the son of Grave Digger.  Well and I also liked the bus, Higher Education, and wish my school bus looked like that!

What would you want other kids to know about Monster Jam?

The whole show is fun and the trucks are awesome.  It’s really loud and Quad wars is really cool!

Helpful info – As it can be quite loud during the show and children’s ears can be more sensitive to the noise level, ear plugs and headphones can be purchased at a merchandise stand at the show or you can also bring your own.

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Maple Leaf Monster Jam is coming to a city near you!  Get your tickets now for an event that your kids (and you) will not soon forget

For more information on Monster Jam visit www.monsterjam.ca

 

 

Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes – Family Entertainment Review

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Have a little princess or wee prince in your family?  Then you need to go see Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes!  We took our 8 and 6 year old to see the show and they loved it!  We have been in years past and Feld Entertainment never ceases to impress us year after year.

The choreography, set design, and costumes are fantastic!  This year’s show is based on different fairytales and the starring princesses and their heroes along side them.  Of course no Disney show would be complete with Mickey and Minnie who were our MCs for the event.  Tinkerbell also made her appearance to kick off the show and in between stories to magically change the scenery and story with her wand.

Disney on Ice - Vacationing with Kids  Disney on Ice - Vacationing with Kids

The show kicks off with Aladdin being chased through the market and meeting his princess Jasmine.  The wonderful skating in this act left us knowing that the show was going to be a good one.

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho it’s off to work we go.  Snow White and her prince joined the show with 7 of the cutest sidekicks…the 7 dwarfs.  I must say that Dopey was as cute as can be and pretty funny too.

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Beauty and the Beast is one of the faves in our house and this part of the show did not let us down.  The choreographing and costumes for “Be Our Guest” was fantastic!

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Of course everyone’s favourite mermaid was along for the show with her faithful friend flounder, her sisters, Sebastian and King Tritan himself.  The story wouldn’t be complete without Ursula and I must say that her costume was phenomenal.

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Hands down my son said the best part of the show was Sleeping Beauty when Princess Phillip fought the fire breathing (yes real fire) dragon to fight for his princess.  “It was SO cool!”

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Probably the most famous princess of all, Cinderella, appeared in her carriage and danced her night away with her prince with amazing lifts and skating.

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Last but not least we were dazzled by Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder taking the ice

Disney on Ice is a great family tradition and a show not to be missed!

 

 

Holy Carp! Ross Petty’s The Little Mermaid is a must-sea show this Holiday Season

Ross Petty's The Little Mermaid ticket giveaway

Ross Petty's The Little Mermaid ticket giveaway

Last week we were invited to the opening night of Ross Petty’s The Little Mermaid.  My sister has raved about these productions for years and I do trust her opinion but we had never been as I thought the kids were too young.  I was so excited when I told my family we were going and expected the same from them.  My 6 yr old daughter was thrilled, my 8 yr old son groaned cause he didn’t want to go to a “girl” show and my husband, well he knew he was coming no matter what and if he was lucky he might get to see some mermaids in bikini tops!

Well let me tell you, this show was not what any of us were expecting … It was FANTASTIC!!

If you think you are going to see a stage show of the popular movie Little Mermaid…think again.  Ross Petty’s Little Mermaid is not the like the fairy tale version everyone is used too.  This show is pee your pants funny, hip, modern and all around good family entertainment.  We loved the interactiveness of the show.  It had my family booing the villains, cheering for the good guys and laughing until our cheeks hurt.  Complete with Rob Ford Jokes, references to Miley Cyrus and current hit songs … how could this not be funny and entertaining?

Quick synopsis of the show… Angel (Chilina Kennedy), your “little mermaid”  lives at the bottom of the Toronto Harbour with her sisters and flamboyant Aunt Plumbum (played by Dan Chameroy who is no rookie to Petty’s productions) . Angel who has no interest in material human things is more concerned with the dumping of trash and pollution into the waters.  On her 18th Birthday she is allowed to go to the surface where she saves Adam (Marc Devigne) and falls in love with him.  Word gets around that an evil wanna be Donald Trump, Ogopogo (Petty) wants to build a casino and entertainment complex in the harbour.  Angel, her sisters, Plumbum and environmental activist Adam set out to foil Ogopogo’s plans and save the harbour.  Sooo do they save the harbour?? Well you’ll have to go see the show to see how it all turns out!

The cast of the show was brilliant.  The singing voices of Angel and Adam were beautiful.  The hilarious antics of Carl the ClownFish (Reid Janisse who is also the creative writer…applause) Sponge Bill Triangle Pants and Shelly the Shrimp had us in hysterics.  Ross Petty himself plays the villain that everyone loves to hate, Ogopogo.  With his sexy sidekick Eris at his side, these two played an awesome evil duo. This show would not have been complete without the over the top and fantastic Plumbum.  Whether they were a main character or a trusty side-kick, the entire cast did a phenomenal job and the standing ovation at the end and the smiles on everyone’s faces were proof of that.

Closing Remarks from Ross Petty himself (well the jist of it anyhow): “It is a pleasure to be here.  We have an extraordinary creative team and script writer.  It is a pleasure for me to be on stage with these incredibly talented people.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Like us on Twitter…or however it goes”

Ross Petty's The Little Mermaid

My opinion… This production was cleverly put together with the entertainment of the entire family in mind.  There is a fantastically fun story line for everyone to enjoy, music and references that the kids can relate to (What does a darn fox say anyhow?), over the kid’s heads humour for the parents and an all around wonderfully crafted show.  A must-sea family show this Holiday season!  Trust me, you will love it!!  Ross Petty’s The Little Mermaid IS Ontario’s O-FISH-AL Family Musical

Here’s the feedback from my kiddos after the show:

Daughter (6): “When I grow up I hope Ross Petty is still alive because I am going to dance and sing in his show one day”

Fave Character: Angel – She can roller-skate and sing so beautifully

Fave Part of the Show: When the mermaids sang “Mermaids Like Us” (The Mermaid version of Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us”)

Funniest Part: Everything Sponge Bill Triangle Pants did.  

What do you want to tell people about the show: “Go See the Ross Petty Show and be sure to boooo really loudly when Ogopogo (that’s Ross Petty by the way) comes out”

How many thumbs up:  2 enthusiastic ones!

 

Son (8):  “That was the best show i’ve ever seen and i’ve seen a LOT of shows in my eight years”

Fave Character: Definitely Sponge Bill Triangle Pants.  He was soooo funny.  Well and he’s Sponge Bob’s cousin so I have to like him

Fave Part of the Show: When they did “What Does the Fox Say”.  It’s cool that the had recent stuff in the show

Funniest Part:  Mommy I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt.  The whole show was funny but I think the funniest part was…hmmmm…yah the whole thing

What do you want to tell people about the show: It’s a very funny, non classic version of the Dalt Wisney movie and you HAVE to go see it!

How many thumbs up: 2 and a pinky! 

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Don’t miss out on this must-sea show!  Ross Petty’s The Little Mermaid is playing now through January 4th at the Elgin Theatre.

Get your tickets now

Tickets can be purchased online at www.rosspetty.com by phone at 1.855.599.9090 or in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office, 189 Yonge Street, Toronto

For group discounts call THE Group Tix Company at 647.438.5559 or Toll Free at 1.866.447.7849

Most evening Performances begin at 7pm, Matinees at 2pm

“Harvest Fun Starts Here” Strom’s Farm #Review

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Strom's Farm Guelph Ontario

Just on the outskirts of the city of Guelph, you can find a fantastic family farm for some great fall fun with your family.  Strom’s Farm is a 2nd generation family farm currently owned by Channing and Amy Strom.  From the details of all the activities to the owner’s walking around and engaging with the visitors, you can definitely feel the love and pride of ownership as you spend time at Strom’s.  It is truly  a fantastic place and and that is why we wanted to share with you why our family loved it so much.  Strom’s Farm definitely deserves a visit from your family!

Harvest Fun Activities run every Weekend thru Oct. 27 where you can enjoy the 6 acre corn maze, tile, rope, cedar and straw maze, wagon rides, pedal carts, corn trail, sand pile, pumpkin chuckin’, puppet show and homegrown popcorn!

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Upon arrival we looked around and thought that we wouldn’t be there for long as at first glance there didn’t look like there was that much to do.  Boy were we wrong!!  When you go, plan to spend hours there as there is so much to do and see!

Unleash the kids from the van and they went running off in different directions to go have some fun.  We reeled them back in and the FUN began…

Pumpkin Chuckin’

Slingshotting gourds sound like fun?  Oh yes it is!  Safety goggles on and we were ready to launch gourds into the field to try and hit the targets.

Pumpkin's Chuckin' at Strom's Farm Guelph Ontario Farm fun at Strom's Farm Strom's Farm Guelph Ontario

A Pumpkin of a Show Puppet Show

Strom's Farm Puppet Show  Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

This show will have the kids laughing, cheering and clapping.  The show takes place 3 times per day for your enjoyment so you can watch it more than once while you enjoy a little rest and some popcorn.

A-Mazing Mazes

Heading into the 6 acre corn maze you are given a word find and your mission is to go into the maze and find all the clue boxes which contains the words you need to circle. You are also given a map to find the clues and good luck wishes.  Really how challenging could this be?  HA I had no idea.  This maze is huge and very well laid out but I still managed to get lost and turned around a few times.  I think we were probably in there twisting and turning for a good hour.  A total blast though and a must do when you visit Strom’s.

IMG_7495  IMG_6211  Corn Maze at Strom's Farm Ontario

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Made it out of the corn maze and ready for your next challenge?  Next you can move on to the Tile Maze, Rope Maze or Straw Maze.

The Straw Maze looks easy until you read the main rule…You can ONLY turn right in the maze!

Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

The Kids loved the Rope Maze and did it over and over again to see who could do it the quickest!

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The Tile Maze was my brain teaser for the day.  I stood there for 20 mins with a bunch of adults trying to figure it out.  I am happy to say that I did finally figure it out and then headed off to find my family as they had taken off long before!  I could share the secret with you but I think it’s more fun for you to figure it out for yourself when you go.  Good luck! :-)

Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

Also be sure to save some time for the sand pile, pedal carts, Spiral maze, wagon ride and of course to take some pictures!

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Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario   Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

 Feeling Hungry?

All the fun made us hungry so we headed over to grab some hot dogs and fries from the food barn.  You can also get sausages, homemade pizza and homegrown popcorn to nibble on. Oh and we dare you to go into the bakery and NOT buy something!  The smells that welcome you when you walk into the bakery will make you salivate.  We tried their apple crisps, butter tarts and a pumpkin pie and they were all delicious.

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On your way out be sure to stop and grab one of their hundreds of pumpkins, beautiful fall arrangements and be sure to take some fall pics as their backdrops are fantastic!

Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario Strom's Farm Fall Fun Ontario

Thank you Strom’s Farm for a super fun day out with the family.  We loved your farm and will definitely be back to visit in the future! :-)

An additional great fact about Strom’s Farm… For every Harvest Fun Pass purchased this year, 50 cents of it will go to Beads of Courage Canada.

 

 

 

Ho Ho Ho Santa’s Village is the Place to go!

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When I was a little girl one of my favourite memories is when we would go to Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Ontario.  Last weekend we had the chance to take our kids for the day and let me tell you, I was giddy with excitement.  I love when I can share what I enjoyed as a kid with my own children.

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I will be honest, with a 5, 7 and 11 year old in tow I wasn’t too sure how long we would be there as it’s hard to keep them all interested with such an age gap.  Well our time there was so much fun for all of us … all 7 hours of it!!  It truly is fun for all ages and a great place to make family memories.

After moving through a very quick line-up at the gates we entered into Santa’s Village where the kids were given their elf hats so they could feel like Santa’s helper for the day.  It’s these little touches that make this place great.  It was funny to see hundreds of little elves running all over the place!

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Does it get any cuter than this?

Right off the bat I loved the cozy warm feeling of Santa’s Village.  There were Christmas tunes floating through the air, you could smell the yummy goodness coming from Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop and you felt like you were in a little forest of fun with all the trees surrounding you.

Let the fun begin….

The kids were quickly drawn to the wooden cutouts where you stick your face through the hole and have your picture taken.

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So cute you could just eat up these little gingerbread people!

Next they ran over to the “old school” playground with tunnel slides and swings.  They could have spent a ton of time here but we had to drag them away so we could move more than 20 ft past the front gate.

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Dress up anyone?  This was more fun for my hubby and I probably as we dressed the kids up to have their “Christmas Card” picture taken.  There are racks of christmassy clothes you can dress up in and take pictures with some Christmas backgrounds.  Too fun!

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Say Cheese!

And we’re off to the rides!  The Red Baron Airplane Ride, Jumpin’ Star Dropper and Air Bouncers were all a hit with the kids!  But out of the rides, I think hands down their favourite was Santa’s Roller Coaster.  The best thing about the rides, as opposed to other theme parks, is that the lines are short and move quickly which as a parent is fantastic because there’s no whining!!

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“Hungry and time for lunch” as my 5 yr old declared.  Food is all reasonably priced and there are lots of kid (and parent) friendly options from pizza, sandwiches, fries, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.  For dessert have an ice cream or Beavertail.  What we loved was the souvenir cup you can buy for $5.99 and refill for only $1.  This came in handy as it was really hot when we were there.  Another great option is that you can pack a picnic to save on costs.

Speaking of hot day, be sure to pack your bathing suits and towels to enjoy their fun splash pad and beach area.  Who doesn’t love running through candy canes that dump water on you?

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Nope, unfortunately if you lick the candy canes they don’t taste minty

Taking a break from the sun, we were happy to find the little 3D cinema where we could watch “Sleigh Ride”.  This was a short film but it was in a nice little cool building and we all got to wear big 3D glasses!

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Looking good!

Well of course while we’re at Santa’s Village there is a place where you can meet the jolly man himself.  This was definitely  at the top of our kid’s list because how often do you get to stop in for a visit with Santa in the middle of the summer.  As you stroll through his house you can see where he writes his letters, see his gift list, and maybe even find a gift already wrapped under the tree for you.  Bring your camera as you can get a pic of the kids with Santa.  And don’t forget that a  little eavesdropping from the parents and you can start your Christmas shopping early!  😉

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After seeing Santa, be sure and go visit his trusty reindeer that help him get the presents delivered on Christmas Eve.  They are super friendly and you can touch them and feed them.  Rudolph is that you?

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All Aboard the Miniature train!  This was a fun little train ride that takes you through a good portion of the village and gives you a different viewpoint of the grounds.  When we on here our kids spotted Elves Island and that was our next stop…

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Be sure to cross the bridge into Elves Island when you go for some fun on the playground, test your courage as your climb up the rope cargo net and let your inner Picasso out on the colouring wall.  This area was full of kids running around and having fun but I must admit that many adults (myself included) were loving the cargo net!

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Ready for a ride on Santa’s Sleigh?  Well, seeing as it’s summer and there’s no snow, this is really the next best thing!  Decorated to look like a sleigh, with the reindeer leading the way, this 50 ft. jet boat is super fun.  Captain Ricky, who has “steered” the sleigh for the past 32 years will entertain you with his personality, music and boat manoeuvres as you tour down the beautiful Muskoka River.

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Well our day has come to an end and we are ready to leave the park…but wait…Santa is hanging out at the exit saying good bye to all the guests.  Okay one more picture …

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What a great Santa!

As we pulled out of the parking lot, our very sleeping kids were already asking “When can we come back”?  See you soon Santa’s Village and thanks for all the memories :-)

On top of all of this, there is Sportsland which is geared to the older kids (ahem or your husband). This area is free to enter and is pay-as-you-go so be sure to check it out! Here you can find Go Karting, batting cages, an arcade and a Bungee Trampoline which our kids loved.  Pics not included as I had so much fun taking pictures the rest of the day that my battery died 😉  Fact of life when you’re having fun I suppose.

Want to get on Santa’s “Nice List”?

Sign up here to receive their news, contests and special offers from Santa’s Village.

Be sure to follow Santa’s Village on Twitter, Facebook and visit their website to plan your visit as you are sure to have a blast!

Has your family been to Santa’s Village?  What were your favourite parts?

Run away with the Circus for the Night

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Look up….look wayyyy up!  Yep, that’s the Big Top which means the Shrine Circus is in town!!

We were invited to attend the opening night of the circus last weekend and of course we were thrilled and to say the kids were super excited would have been an understatement.  From the moment we could see the Big Top in the distance, the kids didn’t stop smiling!

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Before the show started we were given a special behind the scenes tour of the Big Top and to see the animals getting all prepped for their big performances.  Now I know most of us wouldn’t want an audience when we’re having our shower but thankfully the elephant didn’t mind us watching him get his spray down before the show. It was the coolest thing to watch as the elephant completely cooperated during the process and even helped out by lifting his foot to be washed.  It was so cute to watch the elephant interact with the circus employees as he would playfully poke them with his trunk. We also got to watch the tigers (from afar) resting up for the show and the horses looking beautiful.  The best part of the behind the scenes look was to hear about how well all the animals are cared for.

Ringmaster Richard Curtis

Once we grabbed our hot dogs, snow cones and caramel corn and took our seats we were greeted in song by the charismatic Ringmaster, Richard Curtis.  Richard was an awesome ringmaster that kept the crowd engaged with his booming voice, good looks (for the ladies) and all around enthusiasm.  You could tell he loves his job!

Tigers, Trapeze and Elephants…Oh My! 

Here we gooooo! Now I don’t want to give away the entire show as I feel you need to experience this amazement for yourself but i’ll give you a little peek into some  of what you can expect under the Big Top through pictures!  Get ready for amazing animals, feet juggling, heart stopping stunts and SO much more.  Watching these performers you will be dazzled by their strength, courage, love for the Circus and the overwhelming feeling of family!

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Get your Tickets Now

Grab your family and head to see this classic circus for a night of fun you won’t soon forget!  Oh and did I mention YOU can ride an elephant?  Right before the show starts and during the intermission you can take a ride on the back of an elephant! How cool is that?!  So don’t forget to bring money for the reasonably priced food, face painting, elephant rides and fun light up toys for the kids!  Most all, get ready for some family FUN!

Use the coupon code “FUN” and get your general admission tickets 50% off, 2 for the price of 1!! An amazing deal for an AMAZING show!

Show Dates

June 21-July 1 2013                Rexdale – Woodbine Centre Parking Lot

July 5 – July 14 2013               Brampton – Powerade Centre Park

July 18 – July 21 2013             Vaughan – Interchange Parking Lot

July 25 – July 28 2013            Oakville –  Entertainment Centrum Parking Lot

August 2 – August 5 2013       Markham – Markham Fair Grounds

August 9 – August 11 2013      Ottawa – RA Centre Parking Lot

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The Shrine Circus can’t wait to entertain your family!