Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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.

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.

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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 (July 19-21 2013)

Happy Weekend!  Be sure to get out and enjoy the sunshine (and hopefully less humidity) with the family this weekend at a fun festival in Ontario!

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Tim Horton’s FREE Swim

Tim Horton’s is sponsoring FREE swim times at community pools across Ontario until the end of August.  Need to cool down and escape the heat?  Check out where these free swims are located

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National Ice Cream Day

Did you know that Sunday July 21st is National Ice Cream Day?!  Guess this means you can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner right?  And as if that wasn’t exciting enough,  the first 200 guests at each Cold Stone Creamery location will receive free ice cream

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Thinking about taking in a movie with the family this weekend?  Check out what’s playing on Saturday mornings at Cineplex theatres for their Family Favourites.  At 11:00am you can watch a movie for only $2.50!  You can also load the family into the car and head to a drive-in near you for some family fun!

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Visit a a Farmer’s Market near you this weekend to get some super fresh local produce and support the Farmers of Ontario.

Around Town this Weekend…

Ajax

Community Family Day – Looking for a great, free, family event that’s sure to please this summer? Then come to our 4th Community Family FUN Day! It’ll be jam-packed with sports, games, food, prizes, and face painting. Expect great fun for the whole family, especially for youth and with you there, it’ll undoubtedly be the best year yet!

Almonte

Almonte Fair – The annual fair of the North Lanark Agricultural Society is one of the oldest fairs in the Ottawa Valley.  Come with the family to enjoy the midway, tractor pull, vendors, food and fun!

Belle River 

Sunsplash Festival – Come see top racers from all over North America compete for national championships right here in Belle River on the Lake!  There will fun for the entire family with TD Family entertainment tent, live entertainment, a parade, vendors and food!

Blue Mountains

Famarama Children’s Festival – Come celebrate the family all weekend with amazing shows and activities!  Weekend schedule starts with a 10:30am hike, 11-5 Lego playcation, Bubble tower, The Silly People Variety Show, Balloon Twisting, Groove Dancing, Magic Show and The Second City Family Impro Show at 5pm!

Bracebridge

Muskoka Arts & Crafts Show – Now in its 51st year, Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Summer Show is Muskoka’s oldest and largest outdoor art show. Set in a beautiful park, the Summer Show features 200 creative artists from across Canada. Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 enthusiastic people visit the Summer Show to meet the makers and see their work.

Caledon

Cuisine Art – Mark your calendar for the culinary event that celebrates the region’s best food, drink, and creativity! Join artists, taste makers, market vendors and thespians for a weekend to savour all summer long. Watch chefs in action and artists in action! Enjoy tasting stations, a gourmet market, dueling chefs at cook-offs with hosts Ali Hassan and Theresa Albert, and more.

Cayuga

Cayugafest – A great family festival along the banks of the Grand River including live entertainment, contests, craft and food vendors, kid fun zone and so much more for a fun family weekend.

Clarksburg

Raspberry Festival – Come for an hour and end up staying for the full day; try your hand at some of our games, relax while you feed the animals, pick your own raspberries and mingle with both old friends and new.

Fonthill

Summerfest – Pelham Summerfest is a four day celebration of local artisans, buskers, business exhibits, local farmers and street food vendors.

Hanover

Sights and Sounds Festival – Sights & Sounds is a celebration of Art & Music that’s fun for all! Day time enjoy live music under the sun, games, art and more. Evening enjoy theatre, band tour pub crawl and street dance.

Kitchener

Ribfest and Craft Beer Show – Barbequed ribs and chicken, great craft-brewed beer, live entertainment – all in the great atmosphere of Victoria Park.  Life doesn’t get much better!  Bring your friends, family and co-workers and savour the flavour!

Lansdowne

Lansdowne Fair – Agricultural Fair featuring horse pull and harness racing competitions, demo derby, arts & crafts, culinary, floral, vegetable, photography, antique displays, grandstand entertainment and more.

Listowel

Agricultural Fair – The theme for 2013 is “Picture Perfect North Perth!”
There are almost all of the same great events at the fair plus a few new ones! Plan to attend the Listowel Fair where ‘the town & country meet!’

London

Home County Music & Art Festival @ Victoria Park London – Home County presents its 40th Anniversary festival in downtown London. Hear some of Canada’s finest songwriters sharing the stories behind their songs on three afternoon workshop stages, and sit back and enjoy the evening main-stage concerts at the Kiwanis Memorial Bandshell.  Home County is renowned for its juried craft show, showcasing 120 Canadian artisans. Craft booths include pottery, glass, jewelry, fine art, textiles, metal, wood, photography and gourmet foods.

Longlac

Summerfest – Lots of activities for all ages. Baseball tournament (non-competitive and competitive). Fish fry, parade, beef on the bun, fish derby, family dance, beer gardens. Pop and hot dog sale, Show and Shine. Volunteer of the year award. Entertainment by local artists. Pony rides (free). And much much more.

Mississauga

Rotary Ribfest – Not only can you indulge in some sticky yummy ribs from many different ribbers but you can also enjoy some live entertainment, carnival and midway!

Mount Forest

Fireworks Festival – Amusement Park, Live Entertainment, One of the Largest Classic Car Shows in Ontario, Motorcycle Show n’ Shine, Helicopter Rides, A&W Outdoor Movie, Award-Winning Mega Magic Show, Friday Night Video Dance, Kids Entertainment, Vendors, Sidewalk Sales and the highlight: Saturday Night Fireworks Extravaganza!

Orangeville

Ribfest – Come on out to the fourth annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest at the Alder Street Rec Centre, July 19-21, for a weekend of fantastic ribs and great music! There will be six energetic ribbers serving up thousands of mouth-watering-barbecued-fall-off-the-bone-get-your-hands-messy ribs. There will also be a beer tent, midway for the kids and continuous live-entertainment on the big stage.

Orillia

Scottish Festival – A Scottish celebration! Ceilidh at Orillia Legion Friday & Sunday; parade Downtown at Noon, pipe & drum competitions, entertainment & vendors at Couchiching Beach Park Saturday!

Ottawa

Ice Cream Festival – Do you like ice cream? Visit the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on Sunday, July 21 (National Ice Cream Day), and learn about the journey from cow to cone. Practice your milking technique on the Museum’s wooden cow and get the scoop on how dairying technology now includes milking machines, and even robotic milkers.  Try your hand at an old-fashioned manual ice cream maker, and taste your own yummy creation, as well as gelato, frozen yogurt and an ice cream smoothie.

Perth

Stewart Park Festival – Under a canopy of majestic maple trees, the Stewart Park Festival in Downtown Heritage Perth brings together an eclectic variety of Canadian and International musicians for a great weekend of over 30 outdoor concerts. The weekend has entertainment for everyone including children’s entertainment and an international food and artisans market.

Sault Ste. Marie 

Summer Festival – Savour the lip-smackin’ BBQ at the Ribfest…Revel in the antics of the street entertainment at Cirque du ROTARYFEST…Frolic in the PlayZone where you get hands-on and creative, Boogie to the continuous free entertainment and take a ride on the midway!

St. Thomas

Day out with Thomas – Thomas is charged up and ready to GO GO for the 2013 Day Out With Thomas tour! Presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by MEGA Brands, Day Out With Thomas provides an opportunity for kids to take a ride with their favorite tank engine, meet the railway controller Sir Topham Hatt, have fun in Imagination Station, and much more in a city near you! Ready, Set… Go, Go Thomas!

Toronto

Beaches International Jazz Festival – We are Toronto’s signature Jazz event, attracting millions of people far, wide, and across the street. Each component that makes up the festival is filled with great music, large crowds and an engaging atmosphere. Experience the robust stylings of Toronto’s fine music artists! Jazz, Blues, Funk, Soul, Disco, Swing, Ska, Reggae, World Beat, Hip Hop, Pop, Samba, Flamenco and more embody the symphonic fusion of sounds that make up Toronto and beyond.

Tirgan Festival @ Harbourfront Centre – Through music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, visual arts, food and crafts, Tirgan Festival highlights the richness of the contemporary and traditional art and culture of Iran. Most events FREE.

Choosing a Campground and Campsite

Have camping on the list of things to do this summer with your family? Choosing the campground that is right for your family will make all the difference in your camping experience.

Some things to consider when choosing a campground:

Distance – Depending on whether you are seasoned campers or going for your first time choose how far away you want to travel.  Take into consideration how far you would be willing to travel in the middle of the night should a big storm roll in and you want to go home.

Length of stay – Does the campground offer enough to keep your family entertained for the duration of your trip

Needs of your family – Does the campground have all the amenities that your family wants i.e.. Beach, pool, playground, snack shop, kids activities, hiking trails, bathroom amenities…

Word of mouth – Ask around to friends and family to see what Campgrounds and sites they recommend.  Word of mouth is always a great way to go!

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Check out the online campground locators available to help you find a great campground that fits all your needs.

Camping in Ontario‘s website offers a great interactive campground locator where you can search by region, amenities or keywords.

Ontarioparks.com allows you to search for campgrounds in Provincial Parks alphabetically, by region, proximity and by services.

 

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Some things to consider when choosing your campsite:

The land – Look for a site that is level and has some grass cover if not fully grassed.  A sandy site means sand, sand everywhere and really do you want to be sweeping out the tent for your entire trip?

Tree cover – It is important that your site has some tree cover so you can get some relief from the hot sun

Traffic – Try and stay away from sites at the front of the park as they will most likely see the most traffic.  Also, avoid getting a site that borders on a busy road or train track outside the park that could create extra unwanted noise.

Bathrooms – Being near a bathroom may sound like a good idea for those late night, half asleep hikes for a bathroom break but keep in mind the foot traffic that will be coming by your site at all hours and not to mention the possible stench. Now if you have a child you are potty training at the time consider bringing a portable potty.

Pool/beach – Yes you want to be close enough to walk to the water but keep in mind that proximity to water can also be dangerous when you have little ones.  Picking a site that is a safe, walkable distance is probably your best bet.

Playground – Many campgrounds have playgrounds to entertain the little ones.  Being close to the playground is probably a good idea as they will likely want to visit it numerous times a day

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Okay you’ve selected your campground and campsite now you need to decide what to bring.

Check out these great Camping Checklist from Ontario Parks and Coleman Canada

Weekend Fun Guide (May 10-12 2013)

YAY for Mommy’s Day weekend!   As nice as it might sound to sit in a spa for the day with a latte (or glass of wine) why not celebrate with the ones that call you Mommy!  Check out your local paper as there are tons of brunches (ahem too many to list) taking place or enjoy a good old fashioned tea party.  Lots of fun events happening across Ontario this weekend that you can get out and enjoy with your family  in our Around Town section below.

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Celebrate mother’s day and give mom your heart!  Go to a local Toys”R”Us location on Sat. May 11th from 11am – 1pm to build a lego heart to take home.  Max. of 100 per store. While they last.  Excludes Express locations.

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25th Annual M&M Meat Shops Charity BBQ Day

On May 11th, 2013, Canadians can help cook up a cure!  Visit any M&M Meat Shops location across Canada to support the Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC). M&M Meat Shops franchisees, staff and thousands of volunteers from coast-to-coast will grill hamburgers and hot dogs to meet the 2013 fundraising goal of $1.3 million. Enjoy a hamburger or hot dog, a drink and a bag of chips for a minimum donation of only $3.00. All proceeds go directly to the CCFC to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases.

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Many more local Farmer’s Markets are opening this weekend!  Be sure to check one out near you to find lots of fresh local produce, local offerings and of course some flower’s for Mom!

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Have you taken your family to the drive-in yet for a night of family fun?  Check out a drive-in near you this weekend!

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Don’t forget that Cineplex Theatres offer Family Favourites every Saturday at 11:00am for only $2.50.  http://bit.ly/ZygvF5

Around Town this Weekend…

Bloomfield

Kids Fishing Derby – Local children will be grabbing their fishing gear for the annual Kids Fishing Derby at Bloomfield Mill Pond Park on Saturday, May 11th.  This much-anticipated event will take place from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Open to kids 12 and under, the derby will feature prizes for the longest and shortest fish, as well as for the most fish caught and the strangest catch. The cost to participate is $2. A barbeque lunch is available for a nominal fee. All participants must be accompanied by an adult.

Burlington

Mother’s Day Tea & Springtime Celebration @ At Ireland House at Oakridge Farm! – A spring celebration with a Mother’s Day Heritage Tea, live musical entertainment, special guests, re-enactors and a surprise royal host! Not to be missed!  Tickets for tea must be purchased in advance.

Campbellville

International Migratory Bird Day Celebration @ Mountsberg – The theme for this year’s celebration is bird life cycles, looking at all aspects of a migratory birds’ life, from migration to breeding to nesting and to raising young.  Guided bird watching sessions will take place throughout each day and if you are up to it there will be the challenging Bird Migration Game.

Cayuga

Ruthven’s for the Birds – Join us for International Migratory Bird Day to celebrate our feathered friends! Meet at the banding lab at 8 am (or thereafter) and shadow the expert bird banders as they net and band neotropical migrant birds. Don’t miss the opportunity to see birds up close! Novice birders are welcome. Tours of the mansion will be available at 11 am and 12 noon. Admission by donation.

Coldwater

Tough Mudder @ Mount St Louis Moonstone – More than 10,000 participants are expected over 2 days at Mount St Louis Moonstone this weekend to endure, “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet”.  Tough Mudder is an obstacle course challenge designed to test all around strength, stamina and mental grit but most of all camaraderie. Tough Mudder is not about finish times, it is about completing a challenge.  Although registration is now closed, if you have ever thought of doing this event why don’t you go check it out as a spectator so you can get prepared for the Tough Mudder in the Fall!!

Hamilton

Greensville Optimists 9th Kids Fishing Derby @ Christie Lake Conservation Area – Tagged fish will be worth $50 each, and kids will be given an opportunity to win a Hamilton Conservation  Authority Family Prize Package.  The event runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. All kids must register at the Conservation Area on the day of the event to participate.  Registration does not include regular admission.

Keswick

Georgina Home and Lifestyle Show – Come find what you need all under one roof from things for the home to recreation.

Kingsville

Mother’s Day at Colasanti’s – Celebrate Mother’s Day at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens. The zoo is open from 8am to 6pm, with Colasanti’s famous Sunday Brunch from 9am to 2pm. Reservations are recommended! The buffet includes two hot buffet bars, a full salad bar, an extended dessert table, peach drink and coffee.  All day ride passes are available. Height restrictions apply to all rides. Zoo Shows: 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm.

Leamington

Festival of Birds @ Point Pelee National Park – Become part of spring migration at Point Pelee National Park, the special place where birds and birders meet. Lush forest meets expansive wetlands, offering up opportunities to find a wide variety of species.  Check out their website for specifics on hikes and activities.

Milton

Wildflower walk for Mom @ Crawford Lake Conservation Area – The Wildflower Walk for Mom begins with a spring slideshow followed by a guided walk through park woodlands. On the hike, a knowledgeable guide will explain the natural and cultural history of the area wildflowers. Mom can then relax with a serving of Nature’s Tea.

Norfolk

Doors Open – Doors Open Norfolk will be celebrating the relationship between heritage and the arts in the area. Norfolk County boasts many great local theatres, art galleries, artists’ studios and more. Plan a trip to Ontario’s south coast this spring!  Sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Orillia

Orillia Perch Festival – One of Canada’s Largest Registered Fishing Derbies! Over Sixty Tagged Perch worth $500 Each! Plus … Thousands of Dollars in Daily, Weekly and Grand Prize Draws!  JUST FISH TO WIN !!!  On April 20th until May 11th

Ottawa 

Comiccon – Based on the now extremely popular San Diego Comic-con and other similar conventions, the Ottawa Comiccon offers photo ops, panels with special guests, a gaming zone, music, shopping and more!  Oh and don’t forget to wear your fave costume!

Marvelous Moms @ Nepean Museum – Join us at Nepean Museum the day before Mother’s Day for an afternoon of creative crafting. Make a personalized flower pot, a magical plant marker and fabulous flowers to give to your marvelous mom!

Tulip Festival – The Canadian Tulip Festival is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting some 600,000 visitors annually.  The festival’s mandate is to preserve this heritage and celebrate the tulip as a symbol of international friendship by engaging local organizers, volunteers, artists, performers, tourists and festival-goers in what has become an annual ritual of spring and one of Canada’s best loved and well-known cultural events.

Richmond Hill

Doors Open – In 2013, Richmond Hill will open its doors to some of the most intriguing and charming heritage and cultural sites in the town.  Residents and visitors alike are invited to experience these hidden heritage treasures first hand. Several town facilities, local historical sites and private homes will be featured.

Toronto

Migratory Bird Day @ Toronto Zoo – This year’s theme is “Life Cycles of Migratory Birds: Conservation Across the Americas” This theme addresses the need for conservation throughout all aspects of their life cycle, from nesting to migration to breeding and raising young. One and two hour guided bird watching tours of the Rouge Valley and around the Zoo site will be conducted on the hour until noon.

Weekend Fun Guide (April 19-21 2013)

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Monday is Earth Day so many towns across Ontario are sponsoring local clean up activities over the weekend.  Check your local newspaper or town’s website to see what you can do right in your town to clean up!

Teaching your kids to live eco-friendly on a day to day basis can be done by simply recycling your garbage at home, picking up trash at the park, making litter-less lunches for school or thinking of ways to conserve water and energy.

If you’re stuck for some ideas, check out Earth Day Canada for some great ways to go green.  Eco-Kids also has a great site to find games, activities  books and other ways to help our planet.

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Grab a movie with the family this Saturday at 11:00am for only $2.50 per person thanks to Cineplex’s Family Favourites.  Check out what’s playing here

Around Town this Weekend…

Barrie

Spring Into Clean – Waterfront Clean Up (Saturday only) – Friends, family, and neighbours are encouraged to come out and clean up Barrie’s waterfront area. Volunteers can register at Centennial Park, between 9:00am and 10:00am Supplies and beverages will be provided by Tim Horton’s during the clean-up. Registered volunteers are invited to a free appreciation barbeque at 11:30am that will feature food, music, face-painting and activities for children. Registration open to individuals or groups. visit our website to register!

Burlington

Earth Day @ Royal Botanical Gardens (Saturday only) – RBG is teaming up with Earth Day Hamilton to rejuvenate a section of marsh shore that is heavily used for youth education, and science. The project includes a new boardwalk, floating dock, and interpretation areas for camps and visitors. Come out and help us replace non-native invasive plants with native trees and shrubs, hear from professionals about the Health of the Great Lakes, enjoy BBQ food, guided hikes, and other activities for the kids.

Elmvale

Maple Syrup Festival (April 20th)  The Festival offers something for the whole family; we kick things off on Friday night with the high school Variety Show. Our award winning maple syrup, arts and crafts, midway rides, pancake eating and log sawing contests, great music and of course the sugar bush tours throughout the day Saturday

Guelph

Rotary Forest Earth Day @ Guelph Lake Conservation Area – Come out and join Guelph residents as they plant trees at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Activities include planting trees, music and vendor tents.

Lanark

Temple’s Sugar Bush (Weekends until April 21st) – A wide variety of breakfast and brunch selections are available during the maple season.  Come visit us, have a meal, browse through the gift shop and take a walk on our sugar bush trail.

London

Spring Home and Garden Show – This is southwestern Ontario’s largest home, renovating, gardening, landscaping and lifestyle Show. Get fresh & innovative ideas from the ultimate showcase in indoor and outdoor living. You can expect the best from over 320 professional Exhibitors, exciting Feature Areas, Stage Seminars & Demonstrations and Celebrity Guests in addition to Special Feature Displays, Green Thumb Marketplace, Flower Show, Design Centre, Innovations in Landscaping, the latest in interior & exterior Home Technology and Fabulous Prizes.

Milton

Earth Day Tree Planting @ Kelso Quarry (Saturday) – Conservation Halton will be hosting a public tree planting event on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Kelso Quarry as part of its Trees for Watershed Health Program. All watershed residents regardless of age or skill level can participate and help our local environment. So whether you are a veteran tree planter or just starting out, this program has something for everyone.

Orillia

Orillia Perch Festival – One of Canada’s Largest Registered Fishing Derbies! Over Sixty Tagged Perch worth $500 Each! Plus … Thousands of Dollars in Daily, Weekly and Grand Prize Draws!  JUST FISH TO WIN !!!  On April 20th until May 11th

Owen Sound

Home & Cottage Expo – Everything you need for your home and vacation property is showcased at this annual event. It’s the largest home show in the BruceGreySimcoe region and one of the most popular, visited by thousands every year. See contractors, interior designers, landscapers, home improvement specialists, outdoor recreation and consumer electronics suppliers, and much more all under one roof, and spilling out into a vast display area outside the main entrance.

Picton

The Firelight Lantern Festival – A family-friendly community arts event coming to Picton on April 20, 2013. The crowd will gather at Benson Park before dusk, and as the sun sets, hundreds of handmade paper lanterns will be lit and we will parade them through the darkening streets of Picton, winding up in Delhi Park. Revelers will gather to hear live music and watch a shadow puppetry performance. Afterwards there will be light installations to explore, and food and drink available for sale.

Toronto

Earth Day @ Toronto Zoo – (Saturday & Sunday) – Once again the Zoo will partner with Earth Day Canada and many top environmental education organizations in Ontario to provide you with fun resources that will help you change the world for the better! Programs like Backyard Naturalists, FrogWatch and the award winning EcoKids Program from Earth Day Canada await you! We look forward to sharing with you effective ways that YOU can make a difference. Join us at the new Tundra Trek area for a fun-filled day of conservation and education.

Earth Mudder Celebration @ Evergreen Brick Works – Join us for a full weekend of family-friendly fun to celebrate the Earth and all her glory. Check out the packed schedule of events. Plus, take part in special muddy activities to prove how Earth Mudder you really are and for a chance to win a trip to Costa Rica.

Earth Day Tree Planting @ Downsview Park – Help us grow the urban forest at Downsview Park. Approximately 2,000 trees will be planted! Meet in the parking lot at the base of 70 Canuck Avenue (near the corner of Keele Street/Sheppard Avenue). FREE. First come, first served, no registration required. One tree planted per person/family, while trees last. Shovels and tools provided. Staff are available for assistance. Please dress appropriately

TIFF Kids International Film Festival (April 9th-21st) – TIFF Kids offers a diverse slate of films from Canada and around the world — films that take children and parents out of the everyday, and use the power of film to foster thought and encourage discussion about the complex and challenging issues facing young people today, and have lots of fun doing it.

Canadian Tire Home and Auto Show @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre – The Canadian Tire Home & Auto Show, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features 650 booths showcasing the latest and greatest products to make the most out of life in Canada. Celebrity appearances and demonstrations throughout the day including chef Lynn Crawford, Cesar Millan from Dog Whisperer, Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, and professional angler Bob Izumi.  Visitors can take their photo with the Stanley Cup and other Hockey Hall of Fame trophies.

Made By Hand Show @ International Centre – With over 35,000 square feet of shopping and over 190 quality handmade exhibitors, this is a one-stop shopping experience not to be missed. There is something for everyone in every media: original artwork, baby/toys, body, candles, clothing, ceramics, fashion accessories, jewellery, photography, knitting, pottery, paper goods, wood and a range of gourmet goodies. It’s a family filled day – free face-painting, balloons, crafts, door prizes, raffles and thousands of one-of-a–kind gift ideas

Uxbridge

Earth Day Celebration (Saturday) – It’s a “FREE” family fun event! Many GREEN activities planned including GREEN product demos, samples, gardeners with GREEN thumbs, local farmers and much more…. so you come EXPLORE.

Walkerton

Saugeen Home & Recreation Expo – Come on out for our 13th Annual Saugeen Home & Recreation Expo, The 2013 event promises to be better then ever! There will be child friendly attractions, families draws, interesting and interactive demonstrations, exciting new products and fantastic deals will be offered at the show!

Welland

Earth Day Extravaganza – Face painting, Yoga @ 9am, Recycled crafts, Seed swap, Yellow fish road initiative, Bird house building workshop