10 Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer!

Welcome to summer, parents and teachers…WE MADE IT. Amen, hallelujah, and cheers! The children have been educated another year, and we all deserve prizes.

I’m no Pinterest Mom, people. My life is pinnable about twelve days a year. In no particular order, here are 10 things to do with your kids this summer.

  1. Find out what is free: Look for activities like theaters offering free kid movies (usually older movies but still fun because POPCORN!), Kids Eat Free days at local restaurants, Summer Reading Challenges with your local library or bookstore to win a free book or two, tours through local fire stations/bakeries/theaters/museums, outdoor concerts and plays, and local beaches or trails or bike paths. It’s super fun to trot around the city for free, because we are brainwashing our kids to never move away.
  2. Throw a “Read In” and let your kids invite their friends. Set up pillows and blankets and fun snacks all over the living room floor, light some candles, put on some Pandora, and feel really good about yourself for upholding literacy. Post on Instagram for additional bragging. (They could also read the same book and have a Book Club discussion, but don’t give them wine like our grown up book clubs and maybe they won’t totally derail off topic.)
  3. Let your kids make videos or movies with your/their iPhones (top 5 movie making apps: $2-5 each). I cannot believe how electronically savvy kids are nowadays. They are incapable of turning their socks right side out but can somehow produce incredible mockumentaries (we are a sarcastic people), all edited and everything. Then pop some popcorn, pile on the couch, and have Family Movie Night starring your kids.
  4. For those who like to exercise, kids are totally down with Family Boot Camp. Make a big deal out of it. Get new water bottles, wear wristbands, make playlists. Set up an exercise tract with your kids: jogging, bike riding, lifting light weights, yoga, Pilates. Got big kids? Go to the gym together. Record your times and work at besting them all summer. Take it to the high school track, which somehow seems extra fun.
  5. Go to your grocery store and grab a bunch of boxes from out back. Big ones, medium ones, weird ones.  Get out the pillows and blankets and flashlights, then connect boxes with duct tape, and create cities. Sounds like fun right?
  6. “Mystery Thursdays”  Kids know they’re going somewhere fun, somewhere cool, but it’s a surprise. Go to every lake, river, park, exhibit, concert, and attraction in a 150-mile radius.
  7. Summer is a great time to go through toy bins, closets, and playrooms and donate some great stuff. Connect with an actual family or organization rather than generically dropping it off at Goodwill, because human care matters so much, and we all belong to each other. Call the counselor at the poorest school in town, email a children’s shelter, or ask a local nonprofit to connect you with a family in need. You won’t believe how your kids will get behind this.
  8. Cook! Drag out the cookbooks, Select 3-4 new recipes each and make a shopping list. The recipe chooser is the kitchen helper. What a great and tasty way to bond with your children!
  9. Throw a “fancy” brunch for your kids’ friends. Use your good dishes. Put their apple juice in wine glasses. It doesn’t really matter what you make; this is all about the accoutrements. Eat at the good table. Cloth napkins, candles, place cards?  Dress it up, all of it. Then have them change into bathing suits and stick them in the backyard with the hose.
  10. Take a class together! Baking, crochet, cross-stitch, guitar, painting, bread-making, illustrating, pottery, archery, kickboxing, creative writing, sculpting, acting, braiding, cake decorating, weaving, anything. Tons of local colleges, restaurants, craft stores, trade schools, and culinary institutes offer one-day classes or more. Such a fantastic way to connect with each other over a new skill. Plus you can harness their new skills for your own personal gain. Fresh bread, anyone?

So Moms and Dads, make memories, because the days are loooong, but the years are short.  May your summer be filled with laughter, adventure, and non-bored kids. Be safe this Summer 2014!

schoolHave a safe Summer 2014!

It’s almost that time again ladies, gents and kids!  The weekend is almost here.  If we can all survive this storm that is supposed to interrupt our summer days and nights, the weekend promises to be a great one!  Not sure what to do?  Well, take your pick of goings-on in the Durham Region this weekend!sun

1) Door Open Clarington (Saturday, June 14, 2014)

Sites will offer varied experiences – from private homes once owned by well-known families and used to house training school boys during the Second World War’s operation of Camp 30, to industrial sites, open beach and conservation areas. Unique opportunities await you with visits to a crematorium and fish ladder, while the heritage of this area will be highlighted in tours of some lakeside cottages of West Beach, a carriage house and significant architecture, like the Octagon House.

Come and explore some hidden treasures and have exciting adventures in Clarington!

Click here for more information.

2) Fiesta Week Parade (Sunday, June 15 @ 12:30pm)

Fiesta Week kicks off with the annual Fiesta Parade. The parade starts at the intersection of King and Centre streets, travels south on Centre Street, west on Gibb Street, north on Park Road and east on King Street. Fiesta Week kicks off with a parade in downtown Oshawa followed by a concert in Memorial Park. Grand Parade Marshal is Michael “Pinball” Clemons.

Fiesta Week could simply be described as “A TASTE OF DURHAM”. It’s an annual week-long Multicultural Family Festival that gives the residents of Durham Region the opportunity to experience European, Asian and Caribbean cultures and foods without having to get on a plane.

Fiesta Week starts each year on Father’s Day with the Fiesta Parade (beginning at 12:30 p.m.), immediately followed by the Fiesta Concert in Memorial Park. The rest of the week you can sample the food and entertainment at the various pavilions located around Oshawa.

Click here for more information.  Don’t miss out!

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Have a safe and wonderful sun-filled weekend!

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Well, It’s that time again folks. Father’s Day this year kind of snuck up on me just as quickly as 2014 did! Karmyn and I am so not prepared.  My baby girl is at that age where I do all the shopping, gift buying and wrapping, but she takes credit for it.  But what do you do? What do you get for the most picky dad ever? Yes, that’ll be my hubby, hands down.  Here are some inexpensive Father’s Day gift ideas you may want to try if your treasure chest of knowledge is a bit lacking like mine:

1) App-Happy

Oh no! You need a gift for Dad pronto! Click and get an instant application for his iPhone, the ideal gift for the kind of dude who likes practical gifts. Some of them are free! All apps are available through Apple’s App Store. Another great idea: get him an iTunes gift card.

2) On guard, hamburger patty! He’ll grill with glory with this clever BBQ sword skewer — it comes complete with a musketeer mask. Sigh, you always knew he was a hero.

3) A Guy’s Guide

Give the dad-to-be in your life this hilarious–and useful–illustrated handbook from Parenting editor Shawn Bean. He’ll learn how to build a car out of cardboard, swaddle junior, and even deliver a baby on the subway.

Buy Show Dad How

4) TV Game Trivia?

Scene It? Seinfeld is the perfect way to satisfy any hard-core Seinfeldfan — it’s packed with trivia questions and real clips from the entire series.

5) For the gift that keeps on giving all year long, sign up your brewski-loving papa for the Beer of the Month Club — they’ll deliver four different varieties of American microbrews right to his doorstep. Or try another monthly club — gift options include other dad faves like wine, cigar, and pizza too.

6) Travel shave kit, with shaving essentials plus genuine badger hair shaving brush, is perfect for traveling — it’ll keep him smooth on business trips and vacations (because we know you don’t want beard burn.)

None of these tickle your fancy?  How about these easy-to-do ideas for the Foodie Dad?

1) Allrecipes has more than 340 trusted Father’s Day recipes complete with ratings, reviews and     cooking . Quick and easy pizza dough, no kneading required.  Click here for some DIY recipes.

2) Mix-and-match these fun, summery recipes from Food Network for an amazing Father’s Day . Serve with easy-to-make bok choy for a Korean-inspired meal. Try it out here.

Remember, this weekend is about Dad, parents and children alike. Some are with us, some are not, but one thing remains true.  We love them to the moon and back!

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The weather is changing and the sun is beginning to burn brighter nowadays FINALLY marking the arrival of Summer, well not officially anyway.  So, you’ve got the little ones, hubby may be home too and it’s really nice outside, but can’t think of something to do as a family this weekend?  Here are some ideas of what’s going on in the Durham Region.

1) Brooklin Spring Fair (Thursday, June 5 to Sunday, June 8) 3pm-10pm – Luther Vipond Memorial Arena Brooklin ,67 Winchester Road, Whitby ON, L1M 1B4

Tons of activities planned at this year’s fair.  Kids and adults alike will have loads of fun! Click here for a list of scheduled activities.

2) Bowmanville Rockin’ Rotary Ribfest (Friday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8) 12pm-11pm – Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Centre , 2440 Regional Highway 2, Bowmanville, Clarington ON, L1C3K7 

Ribfest is a family event – there is something for everyone – delicious foodgreat musicmidway rides, lots of children’s activities, numerous vendors with a large selection of items for sale, plenty of community groups, a licensed area, and best of all – succulent mouth-watering ribs!

As an added bonus, parking is FREE and admission is by voluntary donation.  Proceeds from your donations will go to support children with special needs in our community and support the Clarington Older Adults Centre!!!

Click here for more information.

3) Pickering Village JAMfest (Firday, June 6, 6pm – 11pm and Saturday June 7 11am – 2pm) – Old Kingston Road, Pickering Village109 Old Kingston Road, Ajax ON, L1T 3A6

JAM (Jazz Arts & Music)features the George Oliver Trio, White Ash, California Sun, Old Man Flannigan’s Ghost, Hot Rocks and Crush. Works by local artisans, food vendors and community groups.

For more information, click here.

4) Oshawa Children’s Community Fair (Saturday, June 7 11am- 3pm) – Memorial Park – Oshawa Simcoe St. S. at John St. W., Oshawa ON, L1H 7M7

Many activities for children including a dime raffle, magicians, a climbing wall and face painting, and raffle prizes. A barbecue will also be provided, hot dogs are $1. Proceeds from the dime raffle with benefit Feed the Need in Durham.

Fun games and activities including:

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Is Friday night date “night”? Leaving the kids at home?  Well, there’s something for you ladies and gents as well…

5) The Food and Wine Festival (Saturday, June 5, 12pm – 5pm) – Newcastle Community Hall and Garden 20 King Avenue West, Clarington ON, L1B 1H7

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarington holds its 15th annual Spring Food and Wine Festival. A variety of local wineries, breweries, and restaurants, caterers and culinary schools will be serving food and drink. Only those over the age of 19 may participate. To order tickets, click here.

So all-in-all, not a bad weekend ahead.  Pack up the kiddies, the sunscreen, the $$’s and enjoy all that Durham Region has to offer.  Maybe I’ll see ya there!

BE SAFE AND ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

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