I missed out on last week’s wordless Wednesday because of the first week of school and all of the excitement of our youngest entering Kindergarten. So here is our latest nature walk that we went on over the weekend. I played with some of the photographs, let me know what you think.
Make sure you link up below so that I can visit you too. Have a great afternoon.
This week I am featuring my garden. The only surviving plants are my tomatoes (the lettuce and zucchini were unfortunately dried up due to the extreme heat we had a few weeks ago) but my tomatoes have thrived very well. I couldn’t wait to show them off.
Make sure you link up below so that I can come visit you too! Have a great week 🙂
Family time is special time in our house. We always make sure we do one small activity a week together (usually hiking, biking or swimming) and once a month a larger bonding activity (which usually involves some travel). Finding the right venue is extremely important for family bonding – you can’t enjoy each others company if you are miserable waiting in lines or can barely hear each other over the crowds.
This past weekend, we spent the day at Centreville on Toronto Island. This was our first time experiencing the ferry and Centre Island (even for me who grew up just north of Toronto!) and we were all excited. We weren’t quite to sure what to expect but we were ready for our special adventure and our mission to get on as many rides as possible and capture a selfie doing it.
When you are looking for a family friendly venue or attraction to take the whole family to like Centreville Amusement Park, here are some helpful areas to look at before deciding where to go:
A family oriented environment like Centreville is important to encourage bonding, learning and fun. Not only are there opportunities for fun but with lots of benches, breaks and nature everywhere you go, you can really focus on family and enjoying each other’s company. There is no pressure and you can just take your time at each area and even step away from the amusement park to take in some pretty spectacular views of Toronto.
A relaxed pace. One of the very first comments I made to my husband was that I felt like we had stepped off the ferry into another time. People were riding bikes, roller blading, ducks were walking across the grass and above all there were no angry guests, no shouting and no loud noises. This is so different from what I am used to at any amusement park and I LOVED it. It truly made the difference to us as a family.
It is so important that there is something for every one of all ages. My kids are seven years apart so planning activities for them can be hard. We have been to several places where they can’t go on rides together (one is too small, one is too big or maybe they just aren’t interested). This never happened at Centreville. Our eldest took his little brother on the brand new Toronto Island Mine Coaster, they played mini putt, we went on The Centreville Train ride together and even went down the log flume ride (and I still deny that I screamed the whole way down). It was an incredible experience for us a family, we have not laughed like that in a long time. And with over thirty rides to choose from, we were never once bored and actually stayed four hours longer than we had originally planned to.
A variety of food choices located conveniently near the attractions. We like to pack light and always have since our eldest was a baby. I prefer to only bring refillable water bottles and some small snacks so that I can enjoy my day just as much as my kids. Centreville had a conveniently located centre space (which resembled a small town square) that sold a variety of refreshments, drinks and meals. Located just outside the attractions (and under a five-minute walk) was a delicious restaurant, Carousel Cafe, that accommodated my boys love of meat and my need for a vegetarian meal (their spicy black bean veggie burger is incredible!!). We were able to sit outside on the patio right by the water, watching canoes go by and ducks swimming while we ate and planned our afternoon.
Quiet spaces to rest, for when the little ones get tired after all the walking and rides. I’m lying a bit here because this was a must for my husband and I, especially after lunch! It was extremely hot on the day that we visited Centreville so it was nice to just sit down in the shade by the water edge or even by the splash pad area.
The cool factor is always a must. My son and I were on a mission to get a selfie on each and every ride we went on. We hit up each ride (except for the windmill as my stomach can’t quiet handle the circular motion) in the park and managed to snap a selfie on over half the rides. The log fume ride and the Toronto Island Mine Coaster were by far some of the wilder rides but the Centreville train was exciting as it passed by Far Enough Farm. Far Enough Farm definitely added a great late afternoon treat as we walked through and met the animals. It was awesome to see how much the animals loved their farm handlers, at one point we were calling to Darby (the Centreville horse) who ignored us but when Darby’s farm handler called, the horse came trotting over excited to see him.
Tips for Your Next Trip to Centreville:
Arrive early to take advantage of the small line ups for rides. While the boys never waited more than five minutes for a ride, when we first arrived they were able to go on the same ride over and over because not too many people had arrived yet.
Make a mission for the day! For my eldest son and I, this was to snap as many selfies as we could mid-ride. We had so much fun snapping these photos.
Pack light and enjoy the amenities. When you pack light you have less to worry about and can just relax and enjoy yourself.
Buy the all day ride pass – it is worth it. The rides are so much fun and I can still picture my kid’s faces as we went on the rides together. Since there is no admission fee to get into the area you are already saving a lot so take advantage of this.
Use the Far Enough Farm experience to educate your child about animals and the need to love and protect them.
We noticed some pretty awesome historical signs up in the park, like the one near the Carousel ride. Check them out with your older child and when you get home do some research about Centre Island and the ferry. You may learn some new and cool facts.
Have you been to Centreville and if so what is your favourite memory of Centreville?
This post is generously sponsored by Centreville, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit www.centreisland.ca.
I had quite a few items to photograph this past weekend in order to get caught up on blog posts. What I didn’t take into consideration was the effect that the weather may have on my photos! We had intense heat over the weekend and it seemed to have left a glossy, almost foggy look on all my photos (well I am blaming the weather as this has never happened to me before!). So I am taking my fails and sharing them with you today, if you have any suggestions or tips for this photographer to prevent this, I would love them to as this has never happened to me before.
Well here are my two only good photos from that day that I took in the shade:
Make sure you link up below so that I can come visit you to! Have a great week!
I love attending plays and this was a huge part of my childhood. My parents took us to Beauty and the Beast, ballet, Phantom of the Opera and so many more fantastic live shows. I love the architecture of the theatres, the thrill in the audience and the raw emotions from the actors. Sometimes I feel as though children are not encouraged to attend because they have shorter attention spans or they may act out. While this can be true at times, you should always encourage them to attend with you. These are social experiences that will last with them for a long time. One of the best places to experience live theatre is at the Shaw Festival!
Here are some helpful tips for your child’s first visit to a live play:
Arrive early and walk around the city. Niagara on the Lake is stunning in the summer months with the flowers and scenery, so take advantage of this with your child. Pack a lunch to enjoy in one of the parks or try out one of the fabulous restaurants that line Queen Street. This walk really helped our youngest burn a lot of energy while allowing us to see lots of beautiful architecture in the city as well as the lake.
Visit the local shops along Queen Street. We found so many unique shops and this one particular shop really caught the attention of both of our boys with the wind chimes. They fell in love! We spent twenty minutes in this store alone and they came home with a special chime just for them to remember the day.
Niagara on the Lake is rich in history and everywhere you turn there is a sign or flag to display that heritage. Why not really make it a day and visit Fort George for an hour or two? During the War of 1812, Fort George served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army. This was an important part of our trip as well as we were able to blend some education value into this stop as well as having fun walking around the site (and pretending to shoot cannons!).
The doors to the Royal George open an hour early, so make sure you get in there and take some time to relax in the downstairs lobby. Use this time to make sure your children go to the bathroom, get a small snack and maybe something to drink. The boys loved the mini stage and tables that were set around it. We enjoyed some cool, quiet time before the show started.
The play will make your trip so research what you will see and talk about it with your children. We attended Peter and the Starcatcher, which was fantastic and was a perfect fit for our family! It was full of humour, action and adventure. At one point our youngest was so involved in the action scenes with the Black Stache that he called out no when he was attacking Peter. It was adorable to watch how involved they were in the play and to me this is what theatre is all about, drawing you in to the raw emotions and feelings of the play. The actors in Peter and the Starcatcher did an amazing job drawing you and keeping you entertained throughout the whole two hours. We did not want the show to end!
End your day with ice cream! We stopped in at the Il Gelato di Carlotta, which serves the most divine gelato! I had the Dolce Vita and was in love at first bite. This was the perfect way for us to celebrate the wonderful day we had. Not only is their gelato delicious, they also source all of their fresh fruit from local farms (a win win in my mind!).
The Shaw Festival is the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your child to live theatre, which will be an experience they will not forget!
What other tips can you offer to parents taking their child to live theatre for the first time?
Disclosure: I received tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher. All opinions expressed are my own.