Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rogues Gallery of Bad Mothers

Not my first born!

Remember how fussy first-time parents get about safety and cleanliness? 

I just found this baby picture of my daughter during a family bowling outing. I'm pretty sure I did not throw away her pacifier... 

To my defence, I want to point out that she's now a healthy 16 year-old.

Speaking of bowling, it looks like it's going to rain this weekend. How about some indoor fun with the kids? Check the list of bowling places on my website. (Note that all the Bowleramas on the list feature the same cover photo but each post gives you information for a specific Bowlerama.)

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Monday, May 27, 2013

New Facebook page for Toronto Fun Places

A little boost to get your gang 
out of the house!
I've finally decided to create a Facebook page as a complement to Toronto Fun Places, my 482-page guide on family outings. (Bragging alert! It has sold over 40,000 copies!) 

Expect updates on existing outings included in the guide and new fun places. I'll also pass on tips to make family fun less... stressful.
(If you know what I mean...)

Like me on Facebook/TorontoFunPlaces to get the ball rolling!

I swear I won't plague this Facebook page with any more cute images and quotes that you already get from friends and companies you like, but when I come across something worthy of a belly laugh, I'll definitely share the joy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

TOP-10 Cool School Fair Ideas on Pinterest

School fairs made easier with Pinterest
I've been in charge of organizing many school fairs when my kids were in elementary school, and it was always a pleasure. But I knew where to get good ideas.

Magazines websites, moms' blogs, teachers' tips, dollar store escapades, all came to the rescue. But now, thanks to Pinterest, I can collect the ideas I find most interesting, based on my experience "in the trenches", on my board School Fair & Party & Fundraising (updated March 2014) under the account Prezeau.

They are suggestions (relatively simple and inexpensive) which I feel would be a big hit with kids as a School Fair activity or as a classroom project to decorate the school prior to an event. Many ideas would also work for kids parties at home.

Note that you need to have an account with Pinterest to be able to access these links. It's easy and it's free. Simply go to

My TOP-10 favourite school fair activities with my comments:
(You'll find these activities and more on my board)

a cardboard labyrinth
snakes made out of a tie
Hoola Hoop decoration
melting wax collective art
cardboard drive-in theatre
magnetic fish made out of solitary socks
helium balloon tent
recycled plastic igloo
no-sand box for little cars
car wash fun

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Cool walk for teenagers: Graffiti lane at Keele Station

Teens will love this Toronto walk!

Take them just east of Keele Subway Station to see one serious graffiti lane. Better yet, let them go by themselves, with friends. A great outing in great company, now that's the way to explore a city! 

Read the full post with photos on 
Toronto Urban Strolls blog.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Will be missed! The "metal monster" at The Distillery

Update on The Distillery

I was at The Distillery last week and the huge metal creature greeting us on the west side of the site was still standing. Just learned from a blog by Steve Kupferman for that it's been dismantled. It's when it's gone that you realize how much outdoor art adds to a place.

It's a good thing the "giant spider" located further east by the food market is still there! Kids love that one too.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridge's Bay Park

Want a big finish to Victoria Day Weekend?
Enjoy the annual fireworks display at Ashbridge's Bay Park on Monday May 20th at 10 p.m.

The streetcar stops and the sidewalks will get quite crowded as you get closer to Woodbine Beach (which sits at the foot of Coxwell Avenue, just east of Ashbridge's Bay and offers the best viewpoint) but once you get to the large and wide beach, there's plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the experience. 

Bring extra sweaters (it's always a bit more chilly by the water) and a thick blanket to sit on. Try to grab a few sparkles for the kids at a convenience store, take some drinks and snacks with you (and maybe some beach toys for the younger siblings to kill the time until the show starts).

Then, feeling the anticipation build up is a big part of the fun. The show starts at 10 p.m. and lasts approximately 15 intense minutes. 

It is lovely the way the fireworks light up the sand and how everyone is so ready to be pleased by the display. No one is ever disappointed by the Ashbridge's Bay fireworks.

To get there
To get to Woodbine Beach, we always try to park along a side street in Leslieville and then take the eastbound streetcar on Queen Street East. Of course, the return is a bit chaotic and more easily handled using the public transit, but everyone is in such good spirit that we normally think it's a small price to pay for a great Victoria Day tradition.

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Woodbine Beach during Victoria Day Weekend (May 18, 2012)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Win-Win evening at the YPT on May 28!

Would you want to get the chance to win a FREE performance for the school of your choice?

I did not realize this when writing my last post on tips to have the best family evening around Young People's Theatre but those who reserve their seat (by clicking on this link) to the FREE showcase offered by Prologue on May 28 at 7 p.m. at the YPT will have a chance to win a FREE performance for the school of their choice!

Wouldn't this be awesome?

Friday, May 10, 2013

What to do with your family around the Younf People's Theatre

Tips for a great family cultural outing!
Here are a few tips to make the most of your outing before or after a show at Young People's Theatre.

Best parking option
The YPT is located at 165 Front Street East, west of Sherbourne. Most parking lots around the theatre offer a $5 flat rate from 6 p.m. and on the weekends.  

The indoor Frederick Street Garage, just north of the Starbucks facing the theatre (in the same building as the café) offers a $5 flat rate after 4 p.m. 

Want them to burn off some energy?
You know your kids. If you feel they'd better enjoy the show after a stretch in the park, take them to David Crombie Park (a 5-minute walk). It is a long and narrow park including an inviting large climbing structure, a great mural, a fountain and plenty of space to run (see more photos at the end of the blog). 

To get there from Frederick Street Garage, walk east on Front Street, along the theatre, then turn south on Sherbourne and left on The Esplanade. At the corner of Lower Sherbourne and The Esplanade, you'll find a line-up of places where you could grab some food to eat in the park: Coffee Times, Pizza Novo, a sushi place and a convenience store.

Want to take them to an exotic place?
Or, you could take your family to a truly whimsical mexican-food restaurant called Pacific Junction Hotel (no, it's not a hotel). Simply walk north from Frederick Street Garage and turn right on King Street. The restaurant is at 236 King East, just east of Sherbourne.  

That's where you might have a chance to sit in a half-bath tub, play pool or ping-pong and try alligator meat tacos (tastes like chicken) or more traditional tacos and nachos. I've shared a large bowl of Mojito with my girlfriends there once, but that's another kind of outing isn't it?

The game room at Pacific Junction Hotel

Facing David Crombie Park

Western part of David Crombie Park

Middle of David Crombie Park (note that there's a different mural now!)

Eastern part of David Crombie Park

Saturday, May 4, 2013

High Park in full bloom

This week's family outing of the week on

High Park with its Cherry Tree Lane in full bloom, combined with a stop at the superb wooden castle inside the park. Spring at its best!

Update, as of May 5: A friend tried to visit High Park this weekend and the traffic was so heavy, they could not access it. She said that next time when visiting on the weekend during the full bloom period, she would take the subway. (It would take you 15 minutes to walk from High Park Subways Station to Grenadier Restaurant, not far from the Cherry Tree Lane.)

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