Dundas Street Festival

dundas

This Saturday, June 13 is the annual Dundas Street Festival celebrating the best of Downtown London. This car-free event will have Dundas Street closed to cars from Ridout to Wellington. There will be bands playing on three stages, vendors, food, art, and fun! This is a family-friendly event open to everyone, so walk, ride and play downtown this weekend.

ON STAGE

There will be live music on three stages from 12noon until 11:00pm

BURRITO BOYZ STAGE

Between Wellington and Clarence beside the Library

OUR STREET LONDON STAGE

Between Clarence and Richmond in the Impark Lot

FANSHAWE COLLEGE STAGE

Between Richmond and Talbot in Market Lane

For a full lineup of bands, when they are playing, and at which stage, see HERE.

VENDOR LINE UP

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Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

Family Fun Day: TVCC

tvccfun

If you have a child who is a client of Thames Valley Children’s Centre then you are invited to attend a Family Fun Day!

Come and meet other TVCC families, let your children connect with other kids and siblings like them, chat up the other parents. This is for all members of your family, all ages!

WHAT

Para-sports, crafts, games, face painting, and more fun!

There will be a family swim from 1:30 to 3:00pm

Star Wars characters, and Elsa and Anna will be there!

Pizza lunch will be provided, cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones!

WHEN

Sunday, June 14, 10:30am to 3:00pm

WHERE

Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre

656 Elizabeth Street,

REGISTER

Register NOW with EventBrite for the event and for the family swim if you’d like to splash in the afternoon.

This is a FREE event, but you do have to register in advance to let them know who is coming.

 

This Weekend in London

June

The first weekend in June is loaded with excitement isn’t it? It’s the last month of school and the weather is out of excuses – it has to be warm! To celebrate, London has some incredible things going on.

ED SHEERAN

If you were one of the lucky ones to get tickets, tomorrow night, Friday, June 5 at the Bud Gardens is going to be amazing! The concert begins at 7:30pm with Foy Vance opening.

GATHERING ON THE GREEN

For 33 years, London’s oldest community festival has been taking place in Old South. Join the party on Saturday, June 6 on The Green (the field beside the old LDCSB building at 165 Elmwood Ave) for live entertainment, food, so many kids activities, and over 90 local craft and plant vendors. The event runs from 10:00am to 5:00pm. A full itinerary can be found HERE.

CITY OF LONDON OUTDOOR POOLS

Can you believe it’s time for the City of London’s outdoor pools to open? The spray pads have been open for a few weeks now, but as of this Saturday Thames Pool, Stronach Pool, East Lions Pool, and Westminster Pool are open for weekends only. For more information, see HERE.

LONDON MAJORS BASEBALL

The Majors are playing this Friday, June 5 at Labatt Park against Kitchener at 7:35pm. They are playing again this Sunday, June 7 at 1:05pm against Barrie. Tickets for both games are $8 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors.

LONDON FRINGE FESTIVAL

The London Fringe Festival is on now until June 13. Forty-five theatre companies will be performing 350 times along with 35 visual artists at nine venues over twelve days. See HERE for all of the shows on stage, HERE for the visual artists, and HERE for all of the ticket information.

 

London Cares Curbside Food Drive

curbside

The London Cares Curbside Food Drive begins this Friday, June 5th and runs until June 13. This is our chance as a community to pitch in and restock the London Food Bank with enough perishable food to get Londoners through the summer months. Though many are eager to give at the holiday times throughout the year, the warmer months when people get busy with vacations and having fun are a time when the shelves need to stay filled.

WAYS TO HELP

Make a donation at the curb: put a bag of non-perishable items beside your blue bins on your regularly scheduled recycling pick up date.

Place donations in the bins at the front of your neighbourhood grocery store.

Bring your donations to any Tim Horton’s locations during the donation period.

WHAT TO DONATE

Please check the expiration dates on all products before donating. Expired items cannot be used by the Food Bank. All donations are welcome, however these are the Food Banks most needed items:

  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meat & fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Baby food & formula
  • Pasta & pasta sauces
  • Rice
  • Special diet foods (gluten free, lactose free, etc.)

PERISHABLE ITEMS

Perishable items (fresh fruits, vegetables, and commercially baked goods) cannot be collected at any of the above locations, but can be brought directly to the London Food Bank at 926 Leathorne Street.

 

This Weekend in London

may

Can you believe it’s already the last weekend in May? This month has flown by! Get out and enjoy the beautiful weekend in our gorgeous city!

GRICKLE GRASS FESTIVAL

The Grickle Grass Festival is this weekend! Saturday, May 30 during the day is for the family, but at night the London Children’s Museum becomes an adult-only night of entertainment and fun. Join Growing Chefs! Ontario, the London Children’s Museum and celebrate sustainable living.

LONDON MAJORS

The London Majors are on a winning streak! See if it can continue this Friday, May 29 at 7:35pm against Brantford at the historic Labatt Park.

HOBBY AND TOY CENTRAL GRAND OPENING

London’s newest toy store is opening beside Costco north and they’re having their grand opening event this Saturday, May 30. There will be over $1200 worth of raffle prizes! The store is open from 9:30-6:00pm with festivities beginning at 10:00am.

WORTLEY VILLAGE DOG WALK

Have a dog? Love dog people? Head on down to The Friendly Groomer for a beautiful walk through historic Wortley Village. This event is FREE, but donations in support of Montego Bay Animal Haven will happily be accepted. This takes place Sunday, May 31 at 11:00am.

ARTHUR FORD PUBLIC SCHOOL FIREBIRD SPRING FESTIVAL

Arthur Ford Public School is raising funds for new playground equipment and are hosting a day of food, fun and entertainment this Saturday, May 30! It begins at 2:00pm and goes until 8:00pm. Come for the live entertainment, the bike rodeo, decorated bike parade, and the family baseball game! The event is free, but donations are welcome!

NOR’WEST OPTIMIST GARAGE SALE & COMMUNITY SHOWCASE

This Saturday, May 30 from 8:00am to 1:00pm at the West Park Baptist Church, the Nor’West Optimists are holding a garage sale and community showcase. There will be a BBQ, face painting, raffle, and door prizes!

 

 

End of Year Gifts

endofyear

‘Tis the season, Mama’s! School is ending soon and often that means the end of other year-long programs as well. So, whether you have only a childcare provider or your list includes a teacher, ECE, EA, LST, bus driver, piano teacher, dance teacher, before/after school daycare provider(s), and more, we have some ideas for ways to thank them for all of their hard work. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to just call them ‘teacher’, but substitute that for whomever you want to thank.

NOTHING

Remember that a gift is not expected. Not all children give their teachers gifts, no matter what Pinterest tells you. If this is going to cause you stress, step back and relax. Your child isn’t going to fail the grade if you don’t send a gift to school on the last day. It’s appreciated, for sure, but not required.

A CARD

Teachers unanimously say that a personalized card is always a treasured gift. Have your child make the card if they enjoy that sort of thing. Spend a few minutes to write a few lines about how much you appreciate the teacher and the work they do with your child and you are all set.

A DONATION IN LIEU OF A GIFT

As an alternative to giving them something tangible, you can chosen to give a donation somewhere in their name. For some ideas, see our Gift Guide on donations from Christmas. This is also a great option for group gifts – daycare, preschool or kindergarten classrooms with multiple teachers/ECE’s, school staff that you want to recognize (that secretarial team that makes the school amazing, for example). Note that at this late date, many places may not be able to mail you a card before school is out, so opt for a print out or email version.

BOOKS

Many teachers stock their classroom with their own books. Donate a book or two to your child’s classroom or teacher’s book shelf. Have your child pick their favourite story from home or something new by their favourite author.

GIFT CARDS

A common default is going to be the Tim’s card, but find out if they prefer Starbuck’s instead or if they are that rare breed that doesn’t like coffee or tea at all. Show your child a cup from either place and ask them if they’ve seen it in their teacher’s hand. Chances are they can identify which their teacher prefers. Indigo cards are also a great idea for restocking/updating the classrooms book shelves or letting them pick a holiday read. LCBO is also a popular choice, though you might want to make sure that this will be a welcome gift. A favourite lunch place, somewhere they can buy school supplies or any other place you’ve heard them mention are some other ideas.

GROUP GIFTS

You’ll have to act now, but all it takes is one parent slipping a letter into each child’s backpack. Invite interested parents to send $5 or $10 per teacher to school in an envelope addressed to your child. Collect the cash, buy a larger gift, sign the card from all the kids whose parents donated money. I guarantee a lot of the parents who receive that letter will happily let you do the shopping on their behalf. Get a gift card for a spa, a nice restaurant or anywhere else where your teacher might want to spend a bit more money over the summer holidays.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Does your child constantly run out of pencil crayons and glue? Odds are good that his/her teacher does as well. Stock them up with markers, erasers, pencils, glue sticks, and whatever else they might need for next year. For bonus points – buy them a pack of personalized labels (just check the shipping dates to make sure they’ll get here on time!). Make sure they aren’t retiring next year though! ;)   Just to reiterate – gifts are appreciated, but not mandatory. Really. And while teachers will be appreciative of whatever you do give them, first ask yourself whether they would want 20 of whatever you plan on giving them. Twenty notes of appreciation? Yes. Twenty beach-scented candles? A bit overpowering. Twenty bedazzled photo frames? Eek.

The Grickle Grass Festival

grickle

This coming Saturday, May 30 is the 6th annual Grickle Grass Festival at the London Children’s Museum. In partnership with Growing Chefs! Ontario, this event is part fundraiser, part family day of fun! Are you interested in sustainable living, healthy living, art and music? This is your event.

DAYTIME

From 10:00am to 5:00pm the London Children’s Museum will be taken over, both inside and outside, for the festival. It will be a full day celebration of learning, focusing on sustainable living, healthy choices, environmentally friendly food and where it comes from, the importance of fitness, and taking care of the world around them. Bring the whole family for button making, garden planting, dance partying, cooking demos, and so much more!

ADMISSION is the regular Children’s Museum admission of $7 per person, $2 for babies 12-23 months.

EVENING

In the evening, the museum turns into a fully licensed music venue for the adults. Every floor of the museum will be filled with music and art for you to enjoy at your leisure. The evening event is a fundraiser for the daytime programming.

ADMISSION tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For advanced tickets, purchase HERE.

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Plant a Row, Grow a Row

plantarowgrowarow

Gardeners, green-thumbs, and wannabes, as you are planning and/or planting your summer garden this weekend, consider London’s Plant a Row, Grow a Row Campaign. Founded in 2012 this program encourages you to plant a little bit extra in your garden and to donate that extra produce to the London Food Bank.

DID YOU KNOW?

The London Food Bank is able to easily collect and distribute non-perishables, but low income individuals/families also need the most important part of our diet: fresh fruit and vegetables. While you can imagine the obvious trouble with collecting such items in a drop off bin at a grocery store, they are able to collect and distribute fresh produce when it is brought directly to them.

PLANT A ROW, GROW A ROW

This time of year is the absolute easiest way to contribute to your London Food Bank by making space in your kitchen garden for a bit more produce. Did you grow more zucchini than you can handle? Decide kale is just not your thing? Have more tomatoes than you can can? Rhubarb running wild? Had enough beets for one season? Bring your excess to the London Food Bank! Either make the conscious decision to over-plant or just bring them whatever you don’t want. Pick it at it’s prime and get it to the Food Bank ASAP.

SEEDS

If altruism isn’t motivation enough to get on board with this, Plant a Row, Grow a Row has received a whole lot of seeds to give to you at no cost! Bush beans, pole beans, leaf lettuce, spinach, summer squash, cucumber, kale and beets are available for your garden. Just plant, grow, keep what you want and donate the rest back. See Facebook for more information.

 

 

 

The Three Sisters

3sisters

We are fortunate in London to live in a place so rich in history and to be able to learn about the history first hand! If you have a child around grade three or above, there is a good chance they will know what The Three Sisters are already through their social studies unit on Native Canadians. If they’re lucky, they may have even gone to the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and learnt about the crops and legends of the First Nations people who lived and farmed right here in London and area before the European Settlers came over.

THE LEGEND

The legend of the Three Sisters was passed down from generation to generation to teach about farming. In the story (a version can be found HERE) there are three sisters who are very different, but inseparable. They each have different characteristics that compliment each other. One day, they see a young Native boy and become curious. One by one the sisters disappear in the night as summer turns into fall. At the end of the tale, they are reunited joyfully in the young boys lodge where they help to feed his family.

WHO ARE THE SISTERS?

The Three Sisters are three plants: corn, beans, and squash (traditionally pumpkins). According to legend, the three sisters are inseparable and cannot grow without each other. When planted together the corn acts as a pole for the beans, who in turn strengthen and help support the corn stalks. The squash provides ground cover and acts as mulch to prevent weeds and keep the soil moist.

PLANTING THE THREE SISTERS

If you have space in your yard somewhere, consider planting the three sisters this spring and see what happens! Talk about the history with your children and do a little research into how the three crops would be used by the original residents of London. Start this weekend!

  1. Plant the corn about 4 in a square foot and water frequently.
  2. When the corn is about 6 inches tall, plant the beans between the corn (about 6-7 per square foot)
  3. Plant a squash or two, depending on how much space you have. Squash grows and takes up a lot of space, so give it room!
  4. Water your plants frequently and fertilize as needed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Try some of these links:

http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html

http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/get-activities/signature-projects/the-three-sisters-exploring-an-iroquois-garden/

https://farmtoforkguelph.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/fall-in-ontario-is-time-for-the-three-sisters/

http://www.evergreen.ca/downloads/pdfs/BeanKeepers-ThreeSisters.pdf

http://www.wabano.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CLANconnections-AUGUST-2014-final-2.pdf

http://www.foodshare.net/files/www/Field_to_Table_Schools/Eat_in_Ontario/Gr3-ThreeSisters.pdf

 

Organics Live: Contest

orgbox

Moms, let’s talk for a moment about grocery shopping, trying to eat clean, trying to figure out what ‘eat clean’ actually means, and of course, the elusive challenge of trying to get your children to eat more vegetables. The struggle is real. Let me introduce you to Organics Live London delivery box.

Organics Live London delivers certified 100% organic, sustainably produced, and locally focused food and grocery items to homes and businesses for up to 20% less than the cost of retail with FREE delivery. Not only are they driven to provide your family with the cleanest organic produce, but they do it with a large focus on the environment as well by running a carbon neutral operation and sourcing from local farms for seasonal produce whenever possible. Clean food, clean eating. 

HOW IT WORKS

With only a few clicks, you will have a huge chunk of your weekly groceries delivered to your door on Tuesday evening.

Their website is very easy to navigate (if you’ve managed to read this post, you’ll be fine!). Sign up, enter your delivery and payment information. Choose from either a small box (1-2 people), regular box (2-4 people), large box (4-6 people) or fruit box. Done. Your boxes will magically begin arriving.

CUSTOMIZE

I know, I know, you have picky eaters. We all do!

Instead of receiving things in the box that you just know that no one will touch, you have until 10pm Sunday night to customize your box by removing and adding from the set lists. You can even list up to five items that will just never appear in your boxes.

If you find it’s too much produce to get through in a week, you can get your boxes every two weeks.

If you are going away, put the boxes on hold and they won’t show up.

Be brave, be bold. Challenge your family (and yourself!) to get one new thing each week and find a way to eat it. I discovered this week that roasting rainbow Swiss chard with feta cheese is the stuff of food dreams, whereas putting it in my morning smoothie is not something I plan on repeating. Experimenting is awesome for you, awesome for kids.

PAYMENT

There are multiple payment options available: VISA, MasterCard, VISA debit, and eTransfer.

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WIN IT

If cutting down on your grocery shopping, grocery costs, eating healthier and eating cleaner aren’t enough to convince you, one look at an Organics Live box arriving at your door definitely will. For a chance to WIN a LARGE BOX of 100% organic fruits and vegetables, visit our Facebook page and do the following:

1. Like LondonMoms.ca on Facebook

2. Like Organics Live London on Facebook

3. Like and share the Giveaway photo (make sure it’s set to share PUBLICLY so that we can see who shared it!)

**Winner must reside within London city limits

**One random winner will be chose Friday, May 15, 2015 and will be notified via Facebook.