Monthly Archives: August 2013

Weekend Fun Guide (Aug 30-Sept 1 2013)

Welcome to the last long weekend of Summer 2013!  It’s back to school time on Tuesday for most kids but there are plenty of things to take your mind off that in our Weekend Fun Guide!  Get out and have some fun with your family this weekend!

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Fall is just around the corner so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear all about our Fall Farm Fun Giveaways and enter to win some fun on the farm with your family!

Around Town this Weekend…

Brampton

Wingfest – An all day outdoor event which will included the sale of tasty chicken wings from a variety of locals restaurants, ice cream, corn on the cob and a beer garden.  Family day activities include fun for children with face painting by Pockets The Clown, jumping castle, a magician, a colouring contest with lots of prizes and live bands to entertain everyone.

Burlington

Ribfest @ Spencer Smith Park – Come out for Canada’s largest Ribfest!  This Ribfest is  a family-friendly, four-day food extravaganza with great musical guests, and activities and games for kids of all ages!

Teddy Bear Picnic @ Royal Botanical Gardens –

Bring along your furry friends and enjoy a day full of teddy bear-themed activities. Get your face painted, go on a famous bear scavenger hunt, and meet a life-sized teddy!

Collingwood

Summer Sundown @ Blue Mountain – Bid farewell to summer with a weekend of World Music.  Enjoy live music, street performers, family activities and fantastic fireworks.

Flamborough

Valen’s Lake Corn Roast – It’s a perfect time to take the family for a hike and enjoy some corn!

Keene

Pioneer Corn Fest @ Lang Pioneer Village – Tempt your taste buds with fresh corn on the cob smothered in butter!  There will be musical entertainment, free horse-drawn wagon rides, school yard games and crafts for kids.

Kincardine

Fall FairWho doesn’t love a good ol’ fashion fall fair?!  Complete with 4H demonstrations, a dog show, parade, tractor pull, Exhibits, Food Booth, Cake Wheel, Petting Farm and more this is bound to be a fun event for the whole family..

Kirkfield

Kirkfield Festival – Come on out for the Kirkfield festival where you can enjoy the Antique Car Show , Pancake Breakfast, wagon rides, entertainment,
Vendors and Display Booths and lots Fun for the Whole Family.

London

Fall Fest – A  showcase of public competitive arts, straw maze, pumpkin carving, featuring a celebration of foods and music.  A merriment of harvesting crops and a fall shopping lane.

Long Point 

Bayfest – Bayfest features three days of activities, many for kids, with a fantastic parade Sunday afternoon and fireworks that night. Join us for a midway, rides, food, vendors and great entertainment found down by the waterfront and in town. Plus there are plenty of other family fun events in town and at nearby Long Point.

Milton

Family Outdoor Movie Night @ Kelso Conservation Area – Join family and friends under the stars, as Kelso hosts a Family Outdoor Movie Series showing Rise of the Guardians. The series is sponsored by RecycleYourElectronics.ca, in recognition of Halton Region and its residents for top performance in collecting electronic waste in 2012.

Mitchell

Fall Fair – Come on out to the 159th Mitchell Fall fair for entertainment, 4H demonstrations, pet shows, vendors and fun for the entire family!

Newington

Fall Fair – Newington is pumped full of excitement over the Labour Day weekend with the annual Stormont County Fair. Entering its 146 edition, the fair has always amassed a huge crowd for its exciting events like the demolition derby, the talent show, the midway, the competitive softball tournaments and the live entertainment. With so much to do, the four-day event is a great way to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

Niagara Falls

Busker Festival – Second Annual Niagara Falls Buskerfest This is a free, all ages, community event showcasing more than 50 performances from world class performers from around the globe, artisan and food vendors and much, much more, in support of arts programming for children and youth.

Paris

Fall Fair – The Paris Fall Fair, held each year over Labour Day Weekend is truly a jewel in the crown of Ontario Fairs. The fair features agricultural displays, a midway, craft exhibits, livestock shows, entertainment, food and more.

Perth

Perth Fair – The Perth Fair kicks off its four days of celebration with a parade. The event, which takes place on the Labour Day Weekend features a plethora of attractions, exhibit and merchant hall, agricultural exhibits and loads of livestock. Bring the whole family as there are events tailored to all age groups.

St, Thomas 

Fire Musters Days – 2 Days of family fun and entertainment, Muster competitions, antique firetrucks and emergency service displays and demonstrations, live stage entertainment, food, vendors, huge car show! Parade, interactive children’s area, firetruck rodeo, and so much more!

Sudbury

Ribfest – Serving the tastiest-lip smakin’ ribs, chicken and pork, this event will also include live music, a children’s area, merchandise village and more food!

Toronto

Hot & Spicy Food Festival – A fiery palette of hot and spicy food, music, dance and the always-popular Iron Chef Competition. It’s free admission for everyone so bring along all your family and friends.

CNE – The Canadian National Exhibition is a much anticipated favourite for families in the GTA.  Come out for a day of fun and enjoy the midway, musical entertainment, horse show, shopping, animals, fun for kids and the list just goes on and on.  Not to be missed!

Drive-in

There are some great family movies in theatres right now so why not take the family for a night out at a local drive-in?!   You can also check out what’s playing on Saturday morning at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!

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Ontario Farmer’s Markets are in full swing bringing you the best and freshest produce around.  Support the Farmers of Ontario by shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend!

Know of an upcoming fun family event?  Email us at info@vacationingwithkids.ca and we’d be happy to share your event!

HELP!! My baby is going to sleep away camp for the first time!

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So we made the commitment to send our 7 yr old son to Ontario Pioneer Camp for a week of sleep-away camp this summer. We had been to Pioneer Camp as a family in the springtime and knew what a great place it is and how awesome their staff is so we knew this would be a good place for his first camp experience.

As time got closer I began to panic about him being away for an entire week when he’s never been away from us for more than one night and generally his little sister is with him. What were we thinking? Why didn’t we send him with a friend or cousin? He was so excited to go so cancelling due to my panic and worry was not an option.

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In the end, he was going and I knew that what I needed to do was to make myself feel at ease about him going. How does a Mom do this? Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Now I know some of you will laugh at this, but one of the main things I was concerned about was him wearing the same outfit the entire week. Really would it harm him if he did? Well, No but I wanted to give him the option to wear fresh clothes if he so chose. So I went out and bought x-large Ziploc bags and in 7 of them I packed a pair of shorts, t-shirt, socks and underwear. Voila, all he had to do was pull out a new bag each day! By the way, the camp counsellors loved this!

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Because he is such a Mommy’s boy (or so I tell myself) and he can be a wee bit on the emotional side, I was worried that he would be terribly homesick and wonder “What? They actually left me here? What were they thinking?” Every time the phone rang that week, my stomach jumped as I was sure the camp was calling to say he missed me. Nope it was always somebody wanting to clean my ducts! So assuming the worst I needed to prepare him to deal with his home sickness should it occur. So here’s what I did:

– Packed his favourite stuffie wearing “camp clothes” so he could be one of the campers and would be there for him to hug if need be

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– Had friends and family write letters so he would have a letter from home to open every day from somebody he loves

– One of my Twitter followers suggested I send him with pictures from home so I made him a little book of pictures with little messages under them

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Being a picky eater, I figured he would either starve or learn to eat new things. But just in case, I stocked him with money in the tuck shop so worst case scenario, he could eat chocolate bars and iced tea all week. Thankfully he didn’t starve and we actually got money back from the tuck shop but it was nice to know he had the option. By the way, he thinks Pioneer Camp makes the BEST chicken. Ahem, i’ll have to get that recipe.

Knowing they would have some downtime, I bought him a new book, as he’s an avid reader, and some fun magazines that he could read.

Lastly I packed him a camera and notebook so he could take pictures and write about his camp adventures.

So after all this preparation, the week at camp is over and we go to pick him up. He runs over to hug us all and then runs back to his friends. Uhm, hello? It’s me Mommy!!

Here’s how it all pans out:

– The clothes packing went over well and he wore everything.

– His teddy bear was a cabin favourite and he got along well with the other stuffies

– He ate a ton and actually gained 5 lbs,

– His notebook had a small scribble in it

– His books were unread

– Somedays he forgot to open his letters had to play catch up

– He looked at his picture book once.

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Needless to say he had a BLAST at Ontario Pioneer Camp and probably would have stayed another week if we’d have let him. My worrying and preparation was not necessary but yes I would do it all over again and probably will next year.

It was hard to let my baby go but I know he made great memories, had so much fun, stepped out of his comfort zone and in the end that is all that matters

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Thank you again to the staff at Ontario Pioneer Camp from the bottom of my heart for making my boy’s first camp experience an awesome one that will keep us coming back year after year!

Read about our family trip to Ontario Pioneer Camp in the Spring and what our kid’s had to say about it.

Don’t forget to follow OPC on Twitter, Facebook and visit their website for more info on this amazing place

Weekend Fun Guide (Aug. 23-25 2013)

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Sadly, Summer is almost over but the fun and events in Ontario are still going strong!  It looks like the weather this weekend is going to be great so get out and enjoy some family fun time!

Drive-in

There are some great family movies in theatres right now so why not take the family for a night out at a local drive-in?!   You can also check out what’s playing on Saturday morning at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!

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Ontario Farmer’s Markets are in full swing bringing you the best and freshest produce around.  Support the Farmers of Ontario by shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend!

Know of an upcoming fun family event?  Email us at info@vacationingwithkids.ca and we’d be happy to share your event!

Around Town this Weekend…

Almonte

North Lanark Highland Games – Celebrate the Scottish culture and heritage of the Ottawa Valley at the 30th annual North Lanark Highland Games.  There will be twenty pipe bands, a hundred dancers and champion heavyweight athletes combine to present what is recognized as one of the Ottawa valley’s premier summer events.

Barrie

Latin Fest – Latin Fest is taking over Centennial beach. There will be live music, beer tents, food & service vendors and a kid zone!

Collingwood

Country Music & Rodeo Weekend – Dust off your boots and hat and get ready for a weekend of live country music and our first ever mechanic bull riding & calf roping! There will also be tons of children’s entertainment and a family interactive variety show.

Guelph

Ribfest – Rain or shine this event provides delicious ribs, first class musical entertainment, a kids area and specialized children’s entertainment, classic cars, a bavarian tent, marketplace and of course delicious, mouth watering RIBS!

Ingersoll

Harvest Fest – The fun of this weekend includes; Craft Vendors, Lawn Mower Tractor Races, Demonstrations, Entertainment, Antique Tractor & Machinery Displays, Antique & Classic Car Exhibit, Children’s Entertainment and so much more!

Kingston

Teddy Bear Picnic – Children will be able to enjoy over a dozen activities, old favorites and new, in good Teddy Bear Picnic fashion.  This years picnic is stacked with fun stuff to see and do, including: Horse Drawn Wagon Rides,
Face Painting, Cookie Decorating, Petting Zoo, Reptile Petting Zoo, Sand Castle Station, Air Castles, Water Fun (Bring swimwear), Live Music and SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!!!

London

Festa Italiana – Fun free event with cooking demonstrations, contests, folk dancing, fashion shows, children’s activities, face painting, magic shows and music!

Markdale

Fall Fair – Come out for a weekend of fun at the 155th Markdale Fall Fair.  They’ll have events all weekend including exhibits, vendors, LIVE MUSIC, Fall Fair Idol, children’s area and much more.

Midland

Harbour Festival – Come to the Midland Harbour Festival and experience a fun filled weekend with  exhibitors of one of a kind, unique art & crafts and antiques.  Enjoy the many events happening during the Tall Ships  1812 Tour  in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  Many events are planned by the Town of Midland  during this weekend.

Milton

Kelso Family Outdoor Movie Series Night #3 – Come on out with the family to watch E.T. under the stars at Kelso.  These classic movies under the stars run every Friday night in August.  The series is sponsored by RecycleYourElectronics.ca, in recognition of Halton Region and its residents for top performance in collecting electronic waste in 2012. Ontario’s e-waste diversion program is a success thanks to you!

Ottawa

Midway Magic – Eastern Ontario’s largest midway is in town August 15-25, 2013. You can purchase reduced priced midway ride all day vouchers for $18 (you save almost 50%) at an Quickie store or on line at http://www.midwaymagic.ca

Palmerston

Palmerston Fair – Be Sure to visit this years fall fair at the palmerston fair grounds. With tons of activities for all ages the fair is a great place to spend the weekend with your family.

Peterborough

Wolfstock 2013 – Wolfstock is a three-day event taking place at Beavermead Park in Peterborough.  Enjoy great music all weekend long with over 20 bands performing, be sure to check out the wakeboard competition, as well as the classics car show and vendor village.

Port Credit

Boat Show – Celebrating its 23rd year from August 23-25th, the Port Credit Boat Show is the late summer boat show to attend. Board over 100 new and used power and sailboats or check out the land displays of marine accessories and services. The Speaker’s tent features seasoned boaters who talk about boat handling; boat repair; cruising and more.

Smith Falls

Trainfest – Do you love trains? Ever seen an operating model railway? Ever watched a handcar race, or taken a guided horse-and-wagon tour of our railway history? Well then, gear up and get ready for the 4th Annual Smiths Falls Trainfest. The weekend will feature a variety of vendors, exhibitors, demonstrations, workshops, a kid’s tent, food vendors, and so much more fun for the whole family!

Straffordville

Watermelon Fest – Straffordville Firehall Pancake breakfast 7am, parade at 10am, Silent Auction at the community centre, free admission to enjoy food booths, craft vendors, musical entertainment, games & activities for all ages and family movie in the park at dusk…bring your blankets and lawn chairs!

Tecumseh

Corn Festival – This weekend long event will feature live entertainment, a classic car show, parade, corn eating, tossing and peeling contests and more!

Toronto

Aloha Toronto – Pack your sunscreen, surfer stoke and join us for the largest beach party ever to happen in Toronto! The full weekend event will include an elite, celebrity and leisure SUP challenge, Surfer’s Healing Camp benefitting autism – as depicted in the hit Oprah Network Series “The Swell Life,” classic surf movies, DJs and live entertainment till sundown!

Telus TAIWANfest – Featuring tantalizing cooking demonstrations and musical performances by some of the top acts in Taiwan and much more. This year’s theme is “Children of the Ocean.”

Chinatown Festival – The 13th Annual Chinatown Festival features many cultural dance performances on our two stages (one will be on Huron St. close to the Dundas and Spadina intersection) and of course a variety of vendors selling anything from merchandise to food. We typically attract approximately 150,000 people over our two day event and our visitors consist of families from various cultural backgrounds.

CNE – The Canadian National Exhibition is a much anticipated favourite for families in the GTA.  Come out for a day of fun and enjoy the midway, musical entertainment, horse show, shopping, animals, fun for kids and the list just goes on and on.  Not to be missed!

Waterloo

Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival – Celebrating its 25th year, the Bucker Carnival is bringing back busker favourites who performed in past carnivals. Enjoy a weekend full of busker street performers, Buskerama Camp Kids, fireworks and family fun!

Windsor

Ribfest – This third annual event will feature over 40 food booths and 50 bands, plus carnival rides for the kids.

Winona

Peach Festival – We have something for everyone!  Arts & Crafts, Commercial Exhibits, Peach of a Car Show, Midway rides and games, FREE Entertainment, Souvenirs, more food than you can eat in a week, never mind a weekend!

Zurich

Bean Festival – Come and visit the Custom Rod & Antique Car Show, Midway, Street Market and grab a plate of our Famous Bean Dinner! Main Stage band performances by Allison Brown, Mozart’s Melody Makers, Rusty Vine, AbraKIDabra, Marcel Gelinas, and our feature ROCK band RIBBED!

 

10 Rules to keep your Children Safe Around Water

Guest blog post by  Dr. Alexandra Greenhill from mybesthelper

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I am pretty passionate about helping families become aware of water safety. As a physician mom who did emergency medicine for years, one of the worst moments in my career was having to tell parents that we could not do anything to revive their toddler who drowned in a bathtub filled with draining water while dad went to get a fresh towel.

So save a life – spend 5 minutes reading this and share it with people you care about.

First – five key facts about drownings. Did you know that?

  • Drowning is #1 cause of accidental death in kids 1 to 4 and #2 for kids 4 to 12.
  • Kids can drown in 1 inch (3.52cm) of water, thus in a bathtub or even in a puddle.
  • Contrary to common belief and most movies, drowning happens very quietly.
  • Most drownings occur inside houses and in residential pools.
  • 9 out of 10 times when a child drowned, they were supervised, but the adult was distracted for a bit.

The following 10 simple things to do should make your kids safer this summer. I challenge you to review these with your partner and your nanny/sitter – it would be surprising to you how many of these you don’t quite agree on. People base their approach on personal experiences, and growing up at a different age and/or place brings either stronger or too relaxed attitudes towards this topic, so it’s important to come to an agreement between grown ups so the kids get one set of rules only. So here are the 10 key things to consider:

  1. Learn CPR and get your nanny/sitter to do so too.
  2. Never leave a child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Review with an adult you leave in charge what your kids know about water safety and about swimming.
  3. Teach children to always ask permission to go near or into water and review water safety tips (many sites offer tools, booklets, videos etc).
  4. Get your kids to get swimming AND water safety lessons – research shows they both combine to make the greatest difference in preventing drownings. I remember watching in amazement when Aquaventures (amazing swimming school here in Vancouver) did their water safety practices with my kids and after first landing in water with their flotation devices on, most of the four year olds in the class stayed face DOWN and did not know what to do!
  5. Repeat these rules with your kids every two weeks: Kids forget and for them three months ago is forever!
  6. River, lake, sea and ocean side safety: Too many people forget that most places in Canada are actually close to open bodies of water and a stroll on the beach or riverside can be dangerous. Unexpected currents, steep and sudden drop-offs of riverside into the river, or unusually high water levels because of heavy rains or late spring run-off are common occurrences even if they don’t reach levels currently seen in Calgary and Toronto.Most people also don’t realise that if a river is running quickly, about 15 ¼ centimeters (or six inches) of water can sweep a person downstream, and a little over six-tenths of a meter (or two feet) of water can carry away most vehicles.
  7. Swimming safety – pool, river, lake, sea and ocean – have one adult in a group designated as the one to watch the kids, and ideally rotate this person every 20 minutes to keep them fresh and attentive. Why designate someone? Because often in a group every one thinks someone else is paying attention, and more often than not, no one actually is.  Why rotate? You have seen lifeguards do it – and yes, it’s been shown to make a difference.
  8. Boating safety – a life jacket is a must, and supervision at all times is too – see method above. And again – at least one adult per child needs to stay off alcohol as 40% of accidents are related to alcohol intake.
  9. Remember protection from the sun and proper hydration
  10. Water in the home –
    • Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
    • If you have a toddler in the house, keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. It’s also a good idea to keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.

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About myBestHelper

myBestHelper is an award winning online service connecting parents and babysitters, making booking a trusted babysitter as easy as booking a flight. Parents can post a job within minutes, review a short list of suitable candidates and book their preferred choice.

Made in Vancouver, myBestHelper was founded by a group of experienced entrepreneurs who wanted to use technology to solve a real everyday problem and build a company that people love! Co-founder Alexandra T. Greenhill is a mother of three young kids, a nationally recognised family physician, and serves as chair of the French School Board of BC as well as on the board of the Canadian Institute for Child Health: “I build a service that I would use and that

I can recommend to friends and loved ones!”

For more information or to sign up, visit www.mybesthelper.com.

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

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!

Say Cheese!

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.  If you sign up now, they will email you a coupon for “Buy 1, Get 1 Admission 50% off Coupon”!

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?

Weekend Fun Guide (August 16-18 2013)

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So it might feel like Fall is already here but trust me that there is still lots of summer left.  Our weekend fun guide is proof that there are lots of fun summer activities taking place across Ontario this weekend! Get out and have some fun with your family this weekend!

Drive-in

There are some great family movies in theatres right now so why not take the family for a night out at a local drive-in?!   You can also check out what’s playing on Saturday morning at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!

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Ontario Farmer’s Markets are in full swing bringing you the best and freshest produce around.  Support the Farmers of Ontario by shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend!

Know of an upcoming fun family event?  Email us at info@vacationingwithkids.ca and we’d be happy to share your event!

Around Town this Weekend…

Barrie

Caribfest – This cultural celebration will feature an African and Caribbean Arts exhibition cultural celebration Reggae, Soca, Steel Pan music and dance on the main stage.   Food will be a big part of the celebration with a number of vendors providing a wide variety of tasty Caribbean dishes.

Bayfield

Fall Fair – Our fair promotes family friendly activities, healthy competition in many areas, and entertainment for all ages. It presents facts about many aspects of agriculture and especially focusses on beans with our theme this year.Enjoy a wonderful weekend meeting old friends and making new ones. Be part of the community which meets annually at the Bayfield Fall Fair.

Bracebridge

Highland Games – “Scot or not, come enjoy a wee bit o’ the Highlands in the Heart of Muskoka”.  Come on out to beautiful Bracebridge for a weekend of dance, music, strongman competition, pipe bands and more!

Bradford

Carrot Fest – Carrot Fest takes place on the streets of downtown Bradford, Ontario.  Here you will find a street market, with over 300 vendors, Ontario DockDogs Association Competition, Pro Wrestling, CarrotFast 5km Charity Run, Gable Bros. Midway, inflatable amusement rides, main stage, strolling entertainment, buskers, live music, artisans and much more!

Burlington

Children’s Festival – The 22nd Annual Children’s Festival is being planned for Saturday August 17th & Sunday August 18th, 2013. Get ready to juggle more fun than you can handle… Children’s Festival fun has run away to join the circus!

Cobourg

Ribfest – Northumberland Ribfest isn’t just about ribs. We also had a great line-up of entertainers appearing at the historic Victoria Park Band Shell and our popular Marketplace will also be back.

Dunnville

Agricultural Fair – The 19th Annual Dunnville Agricultural Fair will feature competitions in home/hand craft,(quilting, knitting, fancy work, crafts & clothing), canning, baking, horticulture, amateur photography, art (any medium), community challenge, junior competitions, school fair, home craft demos, goats, novice goat keepers, sheep, future shepherds, light/heavy horse show, miniature horse show, baby show, pet show, petting zoo, kid’s games & activities, entertainment, food, fun, Emergency Personnel Chilli contest!

Elora

Riverfest – Elora celebrates their town and music with an awesome line up of musical talents!

Jacksons Point

Splash Festival – The Festival is a fun-filled weekend with sports and water activities for kids, teens and adults; not to mention plenty of food, music and art!

Kitchener

Kidspark – Kidspark is an exciting day full of activities, entertainment, music, art, crafts and more!  Because Kidspark is celebrating it’s 25th Birthday be sure to stop by the Rogers TV birthday party zone to create a make and take birthday party hat, decorate a cookie and have a turn at one of our carnival games.  Cookies and birthday party hats available while quantities last.  Happy birthday Kidspark!

Leamington

Tomato Festival – A free festival that is packed with family fun!  Throughout the weekend there will be live entertainment, craft and food vendors, children’s village, splash pad, custom car show and a parade.

Lindsay

Ribfest – The Lindsay Ribfest is the event of the summer! Mouth watering ribs will be fired up on the grill all weekend long, waiting for you to bite in. If ribs are not your thing, we have pulled pork, hamburgers, fries, and plenty of sugary goodness for your sweet tooth.  Don’t forget to take time to enjoy the great rides at our Midway, tour the wide variety of vendor booths, or grab a seat and enjoy some of the live music we have all weekend long.

London

Pawlooza – Pawlooza is the ultimate dog party! It’s a festival for dogs and animal lovers! Join an estimated 25,000 people and 6,000 dogs for Canada’s most unique and dog-friendly festival experience. You can take your dog dock diving, go swimming in the Pawlooza pond, test your dog’s agility, go offleash in the FunZone, get trick advice, get obedience advice, get readings from a pet psychic, run the lure course, learn about pet first aid, watch agility demonstrations… shop from 175 vendors and get free samples!

Markham

Jazz Festival – The Markham Jazz Festival is a premier event now entering its 16th season. Bring your friends and family to experience all the cool Jazz and the warm hospitality in a fabulous and quaint heritage village environment.

Midland 

Tugfest – Tugfest hosts both historical and distinctive tug boats from around the world, there will be plenty to do down at the harbour, including the new interactive event, Homemade Tugboat Race!

Art Walk – This year will be the 5th annual Art Walk happening downtown Midland Friday August 16th through to Sunday August 18th. Come downtown for live music, childrens activities, artisan markets, art sales, food, chalk drawing and more.

Milton

Corn Harvest Festival – Come out to the festivities where you can eat Fresh Ontario sweet corn and hot dogs, make a corn husk doll, take a tractor drawn wagon ride and tour all that Country Heritage Park has to offer.

MInden

Haliburton Fair – Now in its 149th year, the Haliburton Fair has lots of family fun and kids activities. Some of the adventures awaiting you: Free children events and entertainers, Rock Climbing Wall, Rope Ladder Challenge, Mutt Show, Demolition Derby, Horse Pulls, Miniature Horse Show, Lawnmower Pull, Arts and Crafts exhibit building, Antique Car Show, Auction, Music and entertainment from the stage all day, camping available, and much more.

Ottawa

Lumiere Festival  – Lumiere Festival Board are pleased to announce the 2013 performance line-up which features a broad variety of arts and entertainment experiences for the whole family including music, story telling, fire dancing, film and circus arts.

Owen Sound

Tall Ships – The tall ships are sailing into scenic Owen Sound Harbour this August. Experience deck tours on thePride of Baltimore II and Playfair as well enjoy historical re-enactors adjacent the ships. This three-day event also features live music, children’s activities, historic dramatizations, food, artisans, and much more. On the final day, take in the spectacular Parade of Sail as the ships depart.

Summerfolk 2013 – Over 40 acts and 40 artisans come together for 3 days of folk on the water. In addition to all the talent, there will be an area for the children and lots of food.

Port Dover 

Summer Festival – Antique vendors will be returning to their usual location on Market Street along side the very popular book and magazine tables. There are wonderful eateries throughout the town – some near the park and others down by the harbour front and beach for you to enjoy.

Richmond Hill

5 Senses Festival – Check out all the activities including East Side Gallery Richland Imagination Station, Ontario Science Centre, the Marketplace, and more!

Toronto

Mabuhay! Philippines Festival – Celebrating its 13th year of showcasing the best Filipino arts and culture in Canada, the festival is going full circle going back to its original location at Harbourfront Centre.  Join us on August 16, 17 and 18, 2013 for three days of FREE multi-disciplinary entertainment that is guaranteed to bring joy to every member of the family.

CNE – The Canadian National Exhibition is a much anticipated favourite for families in the GTA.  Come out for a day of fun and enjoy the midway, musical entertainment, horse show, shopping, animals, fun for kids and the list just goes on and on.  Not to be missed!

Windsor

Balloonapalooza – Featuring a kaleidoscope of colour and endless excitement, Balloonapalooza is the family event of the summer! Comprised of over 80 cold air balloons and other inflatables, Balloonapalooza is destined to transform downtown Windsor into a dazzling array of activities for people of all ages.  This breathtaking event that will bring thousands of people to the city centre for two days of fun, food and festivities.

Woodstock

Cowapolooza – A 3 days free family fun festival in Woodstock Ontario. It’s an exciting blend of music, entertainment, and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Who wouldn’t want to fight Darth Vader?!

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Have a Star Wars lover in your house and heading to Disney World?  Your little one is going to be over the moon excited when they get to take on Darth Vader at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios!

Potential Padawans are trained to wield a lightsaber and use the force to defend against the Dark Side. The very humorous Jedi Master trains the little ones so they are prepared when the Storm Troopers and the infamous Darth Vader make their appearance.  One by one, the children will each get a  turn to fight Darth Vader.  Trust me when I say that this is an experience your little one won’t soon forget!  I will admit that my husband was a little crushed that they told him he was too old to participate but the joy he saw in our son far outweighed his disappointment. This is a not to be missed adventure at Disney World … hands down.  Have fun and May the Force be with you!

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TIPS

– Be at the park before opening

– RUN…yes run to the area where you register as spaces fill up quick (Next to the ABC Sound Studio)

– Have your camera and video camera batteries charged because your little one will want to watch as they fight Vader over and over again

– Recommended ages are 4-12 yrs old

– Be ready to enjoy this very cool experience

Simple Adventures = Great Fun

We have been on the go all summer long and honestly it was starting to feel like we lived out of our van! This week we are taking a much needed week at home to relax and get caught up on the mountain of laundry our adventures have created.

For the first time all summer, today I heard the dreaded “I’m bored” from my 5 yr old. Option one was for me to come back with an “Oh really?” followed by some sarcastic comment. Option two was to go do something. So we hopped on our bikes and headed out with no destination in mind. Each kid took turns leading and we wove through the streets in our neighborhood stopping at different parks, exploring forests and finally stopping at the local pizza store for lunch. We had so much fun and the kids want to do it again tomorrow.

It’s the simple things that kids love and today proved that fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and be planned out! Just go with the flow and let them lead the way!

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Weekend Fun Guide (Aug. 9-11 2013)

Summer
Another Summer weekend means lots of great fun in the sun activities planned across Ontario.  You can attend a waterfront festival, go to an event all about celebrating your furry friends, attend an old fashioned fair, celebrate peaches or attend any other of the great events listed across Ontario.  Whatever your plans, have FUN!

Around Town this Weekend…

Ajax

Waterfront Festival – Experience Ajax’s Waterfront like never before at the Region’s largest spanning waterfront festival.  With activities and events taking place at various locations, there’s something for everyone! Walk it!  Ride it! See it all!

Alliston

Potato Festival – It all gets kicked off with a parade and then the weekend will be filled with live entertainment at the refreshment tent, the midway, bingo, the dog agility show, a lumber jack show, a mountain bike show, lawn tractor races, magic show, baby show, scottish dancers, and of course lots of food cooked by our non profit organizations.

Amhertsburg

Woofa-Roo Pet Fest – Woofa~Roo is a fun filled festival for pets and their people featuring live acts including, Dock Diving, Howling Contests, Musical Entertainment, Charity Events and much more! You’ll even have an opportunity to have your photo taken with Zeus, the World’s Tallest Dog!  Specialty vendors, artisans and professionals will be present to showcase various pet & people goods and information.

Brantford

Ribfest – Three days of warm weather and sunshine in August for Brantford Kinsmen Annual Ribfest also known as Brantford’s Own Annual Ribfest held at Cockshutt Park in Brantford, Ontario. An astonishing amount of mouth watering ribs, chicken and beer to be consumed over the weekend while enjoying live entertainment and a midway for the kiddies

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Brockville

Ribfest – If the smell of the ribs isn’t already calling your name, come out and enjoy the live music, rib eating contest, vendor village, kid zone, petting zoo and free pony rides.

Campbellford

Campbellford Fair – A real country fair with a midway, children’s activity centre, petting zoo, novelty games, contests, demolition derby, livestock shows and more.

Drayton 

Drayton Fair – Enjoy some good old family fun at the fair including; midway, tractor & truck pull, livestock shows, magic shows and a demolition derby!

Fenelon Falls

Fenelon Fair – Celebrating their 125th year, the Fenelon Falls Fair will have a midway, demolition derby, truck & tractor pull, food, live entertainment and more.

Fergus

Scottish Festival & Highland Games – Whether you are coming by yourself or with the entire clan there’s something for everyone, you don’t even have to be Scottish! Celtic Music, crafts for the kids, heavy events championships, bagpipes, drums, author appearances, bands, Highland dancing, story telling, singing, clan information and heritage, beer tents and vendors galore! Enjoy the best of Scotland… without the airfare.

Goderich

Celtic Roots Festival – The Goderich Celtic Roots Festival is an annual celebration of the music, craft, and culture of the Celtic nations, immigrants of which form a strong historic background to Huron County.

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Grand Bend 

Aquafest – Aquafest is a free eco festival to promote stewardship of our fresh water resources. It takes place on Aug 5th, 6th and 7th, 2011. Admission to all of our events are free, and the festival goes on rain or shine. Highlights include a presentation on environmental and ethical health practices with Dr John Howard, Chair of the Canadian Physicians for the Environment, a concert with Danny Michel, water themed art and photography exhibits, activities for children including water games, bouncy castle, popcorn, snocones, musical entertainment and story telling. Other highlights include canoe rides, film festival, water demos and exhibitors. On Sunday we are hosting the Great Lakes Chowder Competition, judged by Chef Anthony Walsh. Come on out and sample some great chowder made from sustainable fish products from the Great Lakes. Entertainment by the Cameron Britton trio.

Hamilton

Teddy Bear Picnic – f you go down to the woods today…children will enjoy old-fashioned games, a teddy bear parade and a teddy bear hospital. Don’t forget to bring your own teddy bear to join in on the fun!

Milton

Heavy Horse Field Days – See farming before tractors with Horse drawn wagon rides, Farrier demonstrations, Harness demonstrations, Blacksmith shop, Plowing & disking with horses, Cutting grain and hay with horses, Thrashing demonstrations and the Country Canteen will be open.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Peach Celebration – It’s a Peach of a Celebration as Niagara-on-the-Lake pays tribute to the growers and those who promote fresh peaches. Two full days of activities: live music, historic displays, entertainment, fun, kid’s activities and lots of Greenbelt-grown peaches.  Admission is free.

Oakville

Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival – As always there is a stellar line-up including renowned international and Grammy nominated artists.  This FREE event showcases seventeen bands on five stages throughout the streets of Downtown Oakville. Savour delicious food at our many restaurants and patios surrounded by live entertainment while enjoying Downtown Oakville’s unique boutiques, galleries and friendly service.

Orillia

Orillia Waterfront Festival – Fun for all ages! In-water boat show, cottage & outdoor products, variety of vendors, water ski shows, Kiwanis beer garden, great entertainment including Ronnie Douglas Blues Band, Dr. Krane, The Sensations & Even Steven! Hilarious Cardboard Boat Race Sunday at Noon! Port of Orillia & waterfront parks, Lake Couchiching

Owen Sound 

Buskerfest –  Owen Sound will be hopping with the fifth annual Streets Alive! Buskerfest. Presented by the city’s downtown merchants and businesses through the Owen Sound Downtown Improvement Area, the event provides a mix of local grassroots performers and seasoned veterans, including musicians, aerial acts, jugglers, stilt walkers, and children’s performers.

Perth

Garlic Festival – Perth Garlic Festival is a celebration to the ‘stinking rose’. The warm August air of Ontario’s prettiest town is scented with the pungent aroma of garlic while thousands of ‘garlic heads’ revel in the many attributes of this wonderful herb.  Bring the entire family as there will be cooking demos, face painting, Birds of Prey Show, live music and lots and lots of garlic!!

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Sauble Beach

Sandfest – Sandfest is Sauble Beach’s annual summer party! Join us for an incredible weekend of family fun, including live music, sandcastle building, a classic car show featuring over 450 vehicles, vintage motorcycles, Sauble’s Got Talent and so much more.

St. Catherines

Dog Days of Summer – Don’t miss this great event celebrating our four-legged friends! There will be activities, vendors, food, and more to keep you entertained all afternoon including: a doggie play zone, photo studio, entertainment and contests.

Sutton

Sutton Fair & Horse Show – It’s the 158th year for the Sutton Fair and Horse Show and it is going to be fun for the whole family!  This year’s theme is the Year of the Bee.  Come out for some midway fun, food, entertainment, atv challenge, tractor pull derby, animals and much more.

Toronto

Grange Festival – Join us on Friday August 9th for an afternoon of free activities! This is a family friendly event with lots to see and do. Free activities and games for children, food, a magic show and more! This is a rain or shine event

Taste of the Danforth – GreekTown Taste of the Danforth sponsored by Pilaros is one of Toronto’s signature events, showcasing the best of Hellenic food, culture, and music our multicultural city has to offer – from souvlaki to mezes, authentic Greek music to interactive children’s games! Come enjoy the culture that makes the Danforth a year round destination.

Jerk Festival – Jerk Food Festival 2013 is celebrating its 12th anniversary and you are invited! Come and indulge in a wide array of jerk foods – if you dare, try the jerk Frog Legs or jerk alligator! If not stick to the conventional jerk items like jerk chicken, jerk pork or jerk fish.  Enjoy live entertainment and a kids zone.

Turkey Point

Summerfest – Five days of fun for the whole family including bed races, music, contests, sand sculpting, car show, lots of food, pet show, water safety and more!

Verona

Cattail Festival – This festival has something for everyone.  The weekend will be filled with Musical Entertainment – Live Shows, Performers & Exhibitions, Great Food – Marketplace and Family Fun & Activities.

Woodstock

Summer Streetfest – The Ultimate Annual 4-Day Street Festival in Downtown Woodstock! During the festival Dundas Street will be closed to vehicular traffic and the streets will open to musicians, street performers, outdoor cafes, arts and crafts, BBQs, shopping, inflatables and much more!  Bring a chair, and enjoy the live music in Museum Square!

Drive-in

There are some great family movies in theatres right now so why not take the family for a night out at a local drive-in?!   You can also check out what’s playing onSaturday morning at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!

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Ontario Farmer’s Markets are in full swing bringing you the best and freshest produce around.  Support the Farmers of Ontario by shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend!

Know of an upcoming fun family event?  Email us at info@vacationingwithkids.ca and we’d be happy to share your event!

Weekend Fun Guide (Aug. 2-5 2013)

Happy long weekend to you all!  This weekend you can hang with some pirates, enter a sandcastle building contest, enjoy some amazing musical talent or attend one of the many awesome festivals taking place across Ontario this weekend!  Whatever your plans… have a fun and safe weekend with your family!

Drive-in

There are some great family movies in theatres right now so why not take the family for a night out at a local drive-in?!   You can also check out what’s playing onSaturday morning at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!

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Ontario Farmer’s Markets are in full swing bringing you the best and freshest produce around.  Support the Farmers of Ontario by shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend!

Around Town this Weekend…

Barrie

Kempenfest – With over 350 exhibits, midway, live entertainment, food and family fun, this is one Festival you won’t want to miss!!

Bracebridge

Midnight Madness – Come out and enjoy this shop and play event!  Take a break from shopping and try out the giant hamster ball, try the sports challenge, watch the entertainment or grab some yummy eats.

Burlington

Joseph Brant Day Festival – This all day event will include community exhibitors, a summer BBQ and refreshment stands, splash park for kids, fair-style games, crafts and hands-on activities, a treasure hunt adventure, artisans and vendors, the famous Brant Day Silent Auction and tons of other attractions.

Campbellford

Waterfront Festival – Fill your bellies at the Pancake Breakfast so you are ready for a day of silly fun including duck races, ice cream eating contest, belly flop contest, boat and tub races, kids activities and so much more!

Cobourg

Sandcastle Festival – Looking for a great day out with the family? Want to express your inner artist? Always wanted a beach front property? You can find all of this in a beautiful setting right on Lake Ontario! Cobourg is known for it’s breathtaking waterfront and what better way to experience it then with a friendly little competition.  Families, businesses, adults and youth may enter to create their own sculptures or castles and win great prizes!

Collingwood

Village Beach Party @ Blue Mountain – It’s the summer’s hottest party for all ages – featuring a Bob Marley Tribute Show, Calypso music, Live Music, Yoga, hikes, face painting, movie under the stars and family fireworks by the Mill Pond.

Hamilton

Valens Lake Beach Party – This party on the beach is sure to be a fun filled day for the family.  The day includes games, sand sculpture contest, prizes and more

London

Chalk Festival – There will be 16 artists that will be working all day Saturday and Sunday to complete their work of art while competing for awards. Come experience this great form of art while the artists transform the concrete pad in Victoria Park into an outdoor gallery

Maxville 

Highland Games – Come witness an outstanding display of music, dance, sports, fiddling, pageantry, and tradition. There will be more than 60 pipe bands, more than 200 dancers and giants that hurl telephone pole-sized cabers and 50 pound iron hammers around the infield. It is a memorable and incredible event.

Merrickville

Canalfest – Come out for a fun family weekend filled with food, kids acitvities, live music, craft show, silent auction, animals and canoe rides.

Milton

Pirate Festival – Whether ye be young or old, or just looking for a good time with your mates, the Pirate Festival offers fun for all! Children will enjoy stories, crafts, our Pirate Ship and a wide variety of shows designed to be family friendly. Adults will find much to entertain them  live music, vending marketplace, the Mud show, and a Saturday Night Captain’s Keg for those looking for an entertaining night in our tavern. Our colourful cast is ready to engage and entertain you – how can a weekend spent with Pirates not be fun? Add to the fun, and arrive dressed like a pirate if you choose!

Mount Forest

Hootenanny Hay Days – Haydays features an open jamboree with local entertainment, excellent food and top class entertainment presented locally.  It is an enjoyable weekend for all music fans alike!!!!

Orillia

Orillia Waterfront Festival – Fun for all ages! In-water boat show, cottage & outdoor products, variety of vendors, water ski shows, Kiwanis beer garden, great entertainment including Ronnie Douglas Blues Band, Dr. Krane, The Sensations & Even Steven! Hilarious Cardboard Boat Race Sunday at Noon! Port of Orillia & waterfront parks, Lake Couchiching

Oakville

Waterfront Festival – It’s BIG! It’s BACK! It’s FREE! There is something for everyone at the Oakville Waterfront Festival, from live musical entertainment, to local craft brewers and food trucks, amusement rides and so much more.

Ottawa 

Busker Festival – Amazing shows for the whole family including acrobats, contortionists, hula hoopers, yo-yo’s, musicians, comedians escape acts, magicians, jugglers and more!

Port Burwell

Tub Daze – Port Burwell East Beach plays host to various activities and events for Tub Daze.  See throughout Port Burwell different sites for events and happenings.  Awesome fireworks on Sunday evening at dark.

Rockton

Ice Cream Festival @ Westfield Heritage Village – Celebrate summer with the sweet taste of ice cream at this lively family event.  Edwardian carnival games, amusements, foods, music, ice cream making demonstrations and living history make the perfect…

Simcoe

Friendship Festival – Each year ‘Norfolk’s Largest and Friendliest Summer Festival’ delights thousands of local and visiting friends of all ages with a fun filled weekend of arts, crafts, antiques, food, special events including a soap box derby, car show, free live music, beer garden, bocce ball tournament, kidszone and much much more

Toronto

Festival Kompa Zouk Ontario – This festival offers the opportunity to showcase emerging artists as well as more well known international performers. FKZO has grown into one of Ontario’s premier, bilingual and multicultural family festivals. This year, multiple stages will bring a variety of musical genres for the entire family.

Jambana Festival – JAMBANA™ Festival is Canada’s premier ‘Fun For The Family’ festival celebrating the sights, sounds & tastes of the Caribbean mosaic.

Island Soul Festival – One of our most popular festivals! Island Soul celebrates the rich artistic traditions, emerging art forms, innovative expressions and vibrant lifestyles of the Caribbean.

Know of an upcoming fun family event?  Email us at info@vacationingwithkids.ca and we’d be happy to share your event!