Author Archives: Vacationing with Kidsj

The Finality of it all Makes me a Little Sad

So as I’m writing this, I am sitting in a clinic waiting for my husband to come out from having a vasectomy. (Insert groan from all men here). As I sit here and wait I can’t help but feel a little bit sad with the finality of it all.

Once we had our 2nd child we said we would wait 5 years until we made the final decision on whether we were done having kids or not. The 5 years came and we both agreed that we were happy with having just the two kids and that there was no way we wanted to go back to sleepless nights and diapers.

Having both agreed that we were done and he was going to go for the procedure why do I feel like crying? Is it the fact that he is giving up his “manhood”? (He’ll be happy I threw that in) Is it that I know that we will never hold a new baby of our own? Because we have closed a chapter in our lives?

Whatever the reason, most of all I am so thankful for the two beautiful children we have and the great life we have together!

How did you feel when your hubby went for a vasectomy or did you have your tubes tied? How did you decide who had the procedure?


Weekend Fun Guide (Sept 6-8 2013)


I hope everyone had a smooth transition this week as the kiddies headed back to school and there were very few tears.  It certainly felt like Fall was in the air all week and our Weekend Fun Guide shows that as well.  This weekend there are tons of Fall Fairs, Fall and Food Festivals to attend.


Also, be sure to check out our list of local farms that offer Fall Fun and Festivals now through the end of October.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to enter to win Family Passes for a day of fun on some of these great farms!!

Around Town This Weekend…


Fall Fair – Packed full of fun as always you will be able o enjoy the midway, hall exhibits, live entertainment, tractor pull, heavy horse show, adult strong person competition and so much more!


Agricultural Fair – the Arthur Fall Fair is an annual celebration of community and agriculture held every year on the weekend after Labour Day.  Come out and enjoy the Livestock , parade, food, tractor pull, midway, western horse show, blacksmith demo, shows, prizes, games and more.


Ribfest – Not only will there be the tastiest ribs but also roasted yams, roasted corn on the cob, beavertails and many other dishes for every appetite! We also will have great musical guests, a giant midway and activities for kids of all ages. A beer garden will be proudly run by the Aurora Rotary Club.


Clovermead Honey Festival – Come and see how honey is harvested from the hive, dip your own beeswax candle, safely see a live bee hive opened, and ask your questions. A Bee Beard demonstration at 2:30 pm. Don’t forget the wagon rides, bee barrel train rides, jumping pillow, pedal go carts, music, animals and buckets of fresh family fall fun on the Adventure Farm!


Worm Rodeo @ Chappell Farms – This is a country fair with a difference! With games for the kiddies, food, refreshments, prizes for the champions and even neighbours you haven’t met yet.  Make friends with the animals already found at Chappell Farms.  There are small animals for the kids, big and little, to see and feed.  Sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, peacocks, and Tom the turkey.  Live entertainment, food, refreshments, and yes (did we mention that we are on a farm) there will even be corn and fresh produce.


Fall Fair – Festivities begin September 5th to September 8th, 2013 with amazing shows, rides, entertainment, food, crafts & vendors, and more!


Fall Fair – It all kicks off with twoonie rides, pizza and movie and the official opening of the fair on Friday night. The rest of the weekend is filled with tractor pulls, competitions, animals, agricultural demos, talent shows, antique car shows and so much more.


Fall Fair – Come out to the annual fall fair and enjoy the midway, Entertainment, Homecrafts, Concessions, 4X4 Truck Pulls, Demolition Derby, Agricultural Awareness Tent, Petting Zoo, 4-H Achievement Show, Horse Shows, Junior Dairy Show, Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull, Children’s Pet Show and Children’s Activities.



Locke Street Festival – Locke Street Festival is an annual event with stalls, live entertainment, food and everything you need for a fun-filled family day out.


Ribfest & Craft Beer Show – Barbequed ribs and chicken, great craft-brewed beer, live entertainment – all in the great atmosphere of Memorial Centre Park. Life doesn’t get much better! Bring your friends, family and co-workers and savour the flavour! Admission is free but please don’t forget a donation for the food bank.


Mighty Machines Showcase @ Bingeman Park – The Mighty Machines Showcase is a family oriented community event that brings Mighty Machines to life, providing adults and kids a chance to see construction and other service vehicles up close.


Alexander Family Farm Day @ Halton Region Museum – Create – Play – Explore – Dance your Sunday away with  a Geocache Challenge, Discovery Hunt, Farm Game challenges, Pioneer Chores, Farm crafts, Visit the Blacksmith Shop, Enjoy food and beverages provided by Rotary Club of Milton and more.


Niagara Food Festival – The Festival features a diverse group of food vendors providing a taste of Niagara; live entertainment on the Festival Main Stage, celebrity chefs on the Festival’s Mobile Culinary Theatre; spectacular fireworks displays, contests and more


Oak Park Fall Fair – Rain or Shine there will be fun activities for everyone including: YMCA Skateboard Park, Live Music and Entertainment, Wagon Rides and Inflatables, Huge Silent Auction Inside, Cotton Candy and Face Painting, Beer Garden & Barbeque, Crafts and Games and much more…!


Fall Fair – This year there will be lots of new displays, vendors, competitions, and educational booths.  In addition, we are honoured to be able to display the talents and creations of students, farmers, gardeners, photographers, artists, crafters, culinary experts and livestock owners and handlers. There will be  over 400 judged events at this fair so indeed, there will be something for everyone.


Fall Fair – The fair annually features exquisite displays and competitions involving paintings, photographs, agriculture (fruits, vegetables and crops), livestock (sheep, cattle, poultry and rabbits), flowers, knitting, woodworking, sewing, crafts, school displays, culinary creations and many other artistic works. As well as one of the largest midways throughout the area.


Owen Sound

Fall Fair – With activities for all ages, this well-loved family event hosts a midway, miniature horse show, 4-H regional show, truck & tractor pull, lawn mower races, demolition derby, music in the entertainment tent nightly, food, displays, quilt show, great camaraderie and so much more.


Fall Fair – Fun for the whole family with livestock, demonstrations, contests, entertainment, midway and more.


Renfrew Fair – It’s a weekend packed full with agricultural, animal and art shows and not miss  entertainment, food and midway and smash up derby!


Fall Fair – Harvest the Excitement! Come discover our agricultural heritage and enjoy fantastic entertainment all weekend long along with the midway, displays, food and fun!

St. Catherines

Greek Festival – Come visit the Niagara Greek Festival for authentic Greek food, pastries, drinks, dancing, entertainment, music and more! See our entertainment schedule for more details and be sure to visit the Children’s Area for plenty of family fun while at the festival!



Taste of the Kingsway Festival – Over 200 exhibitors will be participating in this year’s event along with the ever popular Scotiabank Dog Show, Rock Climbing Walls and Street Performers, Midway Rides, Clowns & Face Painters, Charity Pancake Breakfast . …and so much more


Fall Fair – Everyone’s favourite events are returning to the Fair like the Demolition Derby and Tractor Pull and new ones like the Cowboy’s Obstacle Challenge are planned. The Midway will be back with some new attractions and all the animals, agriculture and crafts will be here for your enjoyment. Bring the whole family and join our celebration of agriculture and community.

Fall Farm Fun Guide


Fall is in the air and the farms across Ontario are gearing up for fall fun on the farm.  One of the great things about living in Ontario is that there are lots of farms that offer fun for families.  Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and create some great family memories on one of the great local farms listed below.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to enter to win Family Passes for a day of fun on some of these great farms!!


Snyder’s Family Farm Enjoy a day out in the country! We have something for everyone, puppet shows, petting zoo, hayride, corn maze, and so much more. Fall treats to tempt anyone, freshly made caramel apples, deep fried mars bars and pumpkin pie. Over 16 activities to enjoy, come out to Snyder’s Family Farm and create memories to last a lifetime.


Chappell Farms – Attractions include: Farmyard animals, hay maze, Corn Maze, Boo barn, Trike track, Sand Diggers, Play area, Pick your own pumpkin.  Added attractions on weekends include: Magic shows, Live entertainment, Jumping castle and a Haunted barn.


Downey’s Farm – Fall fun at Downey’s includes Unlimited Wagon Rides, Live Entertainment, Super-Cat-Super-Curve, Dump Truck Slide, Balloon Typhoon, Trike Track, Face Painting, Straw Jump, Farm Animals, Super Corn Maze and the The Black Hole.  You will not want to miss the fun!


Brantwood Farm Fall Festival Weekends – Face Painting, Pony Rides, Hayrides, Corn Maze, Haunted Hay Maze, Obstacle Course, Pumpkin Bowling, Needle-In-Haystack, Pumpkin Putt, Pumpkin Bounce, Pumpkin Picking, Apple Picking and Food.


Cricklewood Farm – This is our 13th year of designing and creating our corn maze.  This year a percentage of our maze sales will be donated to the Canadian Wildlife Federation with our goal being $2,000.00The 6 acre corn maze is in the shape of 3 American Badgers. There are close to 2 miles of pathways for you to explore. The shortest path is about a mile in length. Be sure to check out the Toddlers and Grandparents Maze. It’s only 1/2 acre in size and is included in our regular maze admission price. It’s short and easy to do, and a prize awaits your return


Yeehaw Adventure Farm – Weekends in October come out to the Harvest Halloween Hillbilly Hoedown! The great weekend activity is Fall-Farm-Fun- Hillbilly Style! Good old fashion country fun for the whole family-Seniors and Jr (of course), families (big and small!) corporate and large groups, church youth groups always welcome!


McMaze – When you visit the farm during the fall you can enjoy the many activities for the kids in the fun farm, take on the challenge of a maze and choose your Halloween pumpkin.  At night time enter the haunt maze…if you dare!


Dyment’s – So much to do at this Farm!!  Activities include: Barnyard Play Area, Machinery Shed, Straw Fort, Corn Bin, Animal Farm, Bouncing Ball Track, Spook Hut & Spookley Theatre, Agri-Maze, Trike Track, Wagon Rides, Corn Maze, Zip line, Inflatable Farm Train, 9 hole mini putt, Dyment’s own fry truck (YUM)

Hanes Corn Maze – Hanes isn’t just a corn maze.  But the corn maze will amaze or haunt you.  You can also visit with the farm animals, run in the play areas, have a picnic,  and do hands-on activities. Don’t forget to pick up our pumpkin from the pumpkin patch while you are there.


Richardson’s Farm & Market – Oodles of fun awaits you at the farm this fall.  Explore the 6 km of trail in our 7 acre corn maze, challenge yourself to figure out the  Jammed Tractor mini maze, cats cradle maze and pathway puzzle maze and play in the strawbale maze.  Lasso some toy horses, play in the corn box, enjoy a tractor ride, visit the animals and chuck some pumpkins at targets.  Of course before you leave, don’t forget to get a pumpkin!


Rounds Ranch Pumpkin Mania – Enjoy some family time on a wagon ride to pick your own pumpkin, Pie eating contests, pumpkin toss, Pumpkin slam dunk, Pumpkin hockey, Pumpkin seed spitting, or spend some time in the play area with the animals, on the pedal carts, corn maze or riding a pony.


Howell Family Pumpkin Farm – Come join them on the farm for the Haunted Spook barn , Super corney cobbs maze adventure, Pumpkin slingshot, Haystack jumping, Train-o-saurus Rex ride, Rubber duckie race, Straw jump barn and so much more


Strom’s Farm – Have some fun times at Strom’s Farm in their Harvest Fun area including; Jumpin Jack Tile Maze, Rope Maze, Straw Maze, Pumpkin Chuckin, Wagon Rides, 6 acre Corn Maze (4 miles of paths), Sand Pit, Pedal Carts ,Cedar Spiral and a Pumpkin of a Show Puppet Show.  Open Weekends Sept 21 thru Oct 27


Pingle’s Farm Market – Fall Farm Weekends –  Play areas, Straw Maze, Trike Track, Farm Animals, Bunnyville, Face Painting, Bugsy Balloon, Pumpkin Balloon, and Pedal Cart Track with more new carts!  Don’t forget to check our newest addition to the Fun Farm, Pingle’s Barn Bouncer.


Leaping Deer Adventure Farm – Spend an afternoon at Leaping Deer Adventure Farm and Market and you’ll find plenty of fun activities to keep the family entertained.  Watch your fave pig race, tackle the maze, go on a wagon ride, pick your own pumpkin and so much more!


Buckhorn Berry Farm – You can’t help but have a great day with all these fun activities!!  Your admission includes: Daily Entertainment – Tim Holland, Barnyard Animals , Mazes (a straw bale maze and 2 corn mazes, one of them is haunted, Play area with a huge sand pile, Pumpkin Bowling,  Bonesville Cemetery, Pumpkin Patch Wagon Rides and Pumpkin Cannon.  Don’t forget to check out the Haunted Barn and the Junior Spook Barn for a small additional fee!


Thiessen Orchards – Hours of fun at Thiessen Orchards as you enjoy the Bouncy Castle, Barrel Train ride, Face painting, the Corn Maze and hay rides. Apple sales, the Kountry Kitchen, haymow, pumpkin patch and picnic area are open everyday as well.  Now Open is their Haunted barn…if you dare!


Whittamore’s Farm – Their Pumpkinland had so much to do you may want to go more than once!!  Here’s what you’ll find at the “Farm in the City”; 1,000 of Pumpkins, Wagon Rides, Spooky Forest, Farm Animals, Tractors n’ Trucks Sand Toy Lot, Playhouses & Climbers, Wooden Milking Cow & Goat, Animated Singing Chicken Show, Corn Maze, Combine Climber & Silo Slide, Straw Pyramids & Jumps, Tractor Tire Climb, Rock n’ Ride Horseplay, Horse Swings, Spider Web Climb, Giant Tree Fort & Slide, Strawberry Mountain & Turbo Slide, Duckie Races, Nature Trail.  Weekend & Holiday Activities include: Pumpkin Cannon Show, Farm Bouncer, Pedal Tractor Track, Balloon Typhoon


Springridge Farm – Everyone loves Harvest Festival at Springridge Farm where families will enjoy: A professional puppet show, Wagon ride to the 5-acre, Corn Trail, Spooky Boo Barn, Spiderweb Climber, Farm Yard Pipe Slide, Access to the Fun Farm Yard: Farm Animal Barn, Escarpment Educational Lookout, Giant Sandbox, Plywood Milking Cow, Witches Mouth Corn Trail, Tricky Trails Corn Maze, Straw Bale Jumping & Pyramids

Niagara Falls

Warner Ranch and  Pumpkin Farm – Haunted Hayride – During the Halloween season enjoy the fright and delight of our Haunted Hayride, held the last three week-ends in October on Fridays and Saturdays with the first ride going out at 7:00 pm with the last ride departing at 10:45 pm.  The hayride lasts 30 minutes and takes you through 50 acres of haunted forest.  Our Haunted Hayride attractions will ‘jolt’ you off your seat. Venture through our haunted forest in October, if you dare!


Saunder’s Farm – Family Fall-tastic Fun!  Just to name a few things, your family will have fun in the Pumpkin patch, mazes, Hayride, Barn of terror, Puppet shows, Pedal cart track, Monster parade, Activity zone, Discovery barn and SO much more.

Maple Hill Corn Maze – A-Maize-ing Fall Fun for the whole family! Get Lost in our Adventure Maze, hop on a hay ride, & play the Corny Facts Game. Have lots of fun in our 15 acre corn maze!!  To go through the maze at night bring a flashlight and add a whole new challenge.

Cannamore Orchards – Home of the spooky wagon ride!  After you pick out your pumpkin,  check out their family activity area where you can do outdoor finger and patio stone mazes,  a pipe maze, an indoor dark maze, rainbow maze, many play structures for children, a sand box with toys and the picnic areas.  Visit the animal corral and see our singing chickens!


Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch  – Fall Family Fun admission includes: Tunnel Hill Slide, Pedal Carts, Pig Races at Hugli’s Speedway, 6 Acre Corn Maze with Educational Signs & Colour Find Game (fun for big kids too!), New Bouncing Animal Buddies, New 125 foot Tube Slide, Hop Dot Colour Maze, Pumpkin Cannon Show with pirates , Pirate Ship Maze, Hay & Pumpkin Mazes, Duck Races, Giant Hill Slide, Giant Sand Box, Hay Jump, Country Puppet Show, Jumping Horse Swings, Friendly Animals, Wagon Rides to the Pumpkin Patch (pumpkins not included), Haunted House of Terror (includes the scary wagon ride to and from the house) and 6 Acre Creepy Corn Maze crawling with, spooky creatures at night, The Magic of Illusionist Steven Anthony – evenings only

Port Stanley

Great Lakes Farm – The apple barn is open daily for already picked apples, fresh apple cider, our famous apple pies and other apple-based sweets, treats and delicacies fresh from our bakery. You can also. Pick your own apples, pears and pumpkins, explore our corn maze and straw mountain or take a ride around our orchard with a Tractor ride. 


Puck’s Farm, It’s Fun! – So much fun to be had at Puck’s Farm  this fall including; Carnival Rides, Fall Colours, Pumpkins for Sale, Pony Rides, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, the Amazing Maze and Friendly Critters! Merry-Go-Round, Bouncing Castle, Tubs of Fun, Kiddie Ferris Wheel, Frolic and Kids Train


Fernwood Farms & Market – Pumpkinland will be open the last 3 weekends in October  which will include Wagon rides, Corn Maze, Games, Mini Putt, Pumpkin Hunt, Pick your own pumpkin, play areas and animals.

Stoney Creek

Green Mountain Farm – Hamilton Area’s destination for haunted family fun!  For the Fall this Hamilton farm offers Haunted hay rides, a haunted barn, corn maze, pumpkin carriages, pioneer village and animal corral.  Food is available for purchase and they serve TIM HORTONS coffee!  Each weekend they have a little something different for their visitors … Cash Mob, Scavenger hunt, Spooktacular giveaways and Creepy crawly costume party!

St. Clements

Nauman’s Farm –  Fun activities you can do with the family at the farm include a Corn maze, Rope Maze, Straw Jump, Straw Mountain, Beam Swing, Sand Pit, Two new, Giant Tube Slides and the fantastic Pumpkin Slingshots!!!  Open weekends until October 31st

 St. Thomas

Ferguson’s Produce – Scarecrow Days – Lots of fun to be had for the whole family in the corn maze, target shooting with gourds, Halloween displays, Face painting, Horse drawn wagon rides, Make your own scarecrow, pick your pumpkin and then enjoy some burgers and fries.

Talbotville Berry Farm – Join in on the fun of the Fall Family Weekends!  Pick your pumpkin, go for a wagon ride , try your skills at the corn maze, eat lots of yummy treats and try the haunted maze if you dare! The kiddies can play the Maze Game! Every Child goes home with a Baby Pumpkin & Colouring Page!


Apple Land Station – Come to “Pumpkin Hollow” and find the perfect pumpkin for your fall decorating.  There are hundreds to choose from.  Take a family time home with you and carve Jack-o-Lanterns for everyone…maybe you’ll find the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!  While you’re hear enjoy a visit with the animus, take a ride on the train, spend lots of time playing or rolling down sand mountain and end it all off with a stroll through the corn maze.

Thunder Bay

Gammondale Pumpkinfest – Your admission includes: A tractor pulled wagon ride to the mazes with prizes. Farm animals, tire swing, trike trails, Kids Corny Maze, BOO Barn, Pumpkin Sling Shots, Pumpkin Catapult, Black Tire’d Horses, Corn Stalk Horses, Bronco Train, Rubber Ducky Races, and NEW Pumpkin Peddle Carts.


Cooper’s CSA Farm & Maze – There’s plenty for the family to do on the farm. In addition to our 10 acre corn labyrinth, we are home to a giant corn box, a combine harvester slide, horse swings, mini mazes, echo tubes, animal viewings, wagon rides, and a farm kitchen full of delicious homemade treats. Come and shop at our farm store for great produce, baked goods and preserves.


Parkside Farms – Admission to Pumpkinfest includes ; A Pumpkin, Wagon Ride, Story Book Forest and the Corn Maze.  Be sure to visit the animals while you are there and grab a treat from the farm market

Frootogo Orchards – Experience Fall at the farm.  The fun includes mini corn maze, slides and swings, tot play area, jumping straw, giant sand box, trikes, animals and more.  New this year, there will be puppet shows and a large corn maze.


Vango Adventure Farm –  A wonderful world for families and children to explore and experience farm life, animals, and TONS of fun activities. While our park is fairly new, we’ve been in the farming industry for several years and wanted a way to share the fun of farm-life with everyone.

Know of a great farm that offers Fall fun or are you the owner of a Farm in Ontario?  Please share it with us at

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!


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…


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.


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!


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


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


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.


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 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.


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.


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, in recognition of Halton Region and its residents for top performance in collecting electronic waste in 2012.


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


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.


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 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!


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!


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!


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!


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 and we’d be happy to share your event!

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


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.


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!


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


– 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.


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)


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!


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!


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 and we’d be happy to share your event!

Around Town this Weekend…


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.


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


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.


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!


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!


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!!!!!!!!!!


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


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.


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.


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, 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!


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


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.


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!


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!


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


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!


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!


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


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!


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


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.


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!”

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