Keeping Kids Busy: Glow Bath

Glow bath

The next time you’re at the dollar store, grab a couple of packages of glow sticks or glow bracelets. Save them for a rainy day, literally!

When the sky gets dark, crack a bunch of the glow sticks and put them in a warm bath. Draw the blinds, turn off the lights and let the kids’ imaginations run wild in the glow stick bath tub. There is something magically exciting about glow in the dark items and darkness during the daylight.

SOME SUGGESTIONS:

  • add some bubbles to the bath to see how things glow through them
  • don’t break the glow sticks! They’re apparently very hard to clean out of a tub
  • dry off the glow sticks after the bath and save them for bedtime fun

Keeping Kids Busy: Blocks of Ice

iceblock

Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, we have a great summer activity to keep kids busy on a hot, sunny day. It’s simple, easy, FREE, and will keep kids of all ages occupied. Give them a large block of ice with some toys frozen into it and let them try to help their toys escape.

WHAT TO DO

Round up a bunch of hard plastic toys.

Get a large plastic container or small bin and put the toys in it. Make sure the container will fit in your freezer!

Add water until the bin is just about filled (allow room for it to expand in the freezer).

Put the container in your freezer overnight or longer.

When it’s frozen solid, hand it over to the kids with some spoons and winter mitts (or socks for their hands if they’re all boxed up somewhere).

OUR TIPS

Do this outside! The hot sun will help melt the block of ice, making it easier to rescue the toys without frustration.

Use old toys – bits and pieces leftover that have no home or are not used. There is a chance that some of the toys could get broken.

Make a game of it: freeze a small container for each child with the same number of items in each. Have them race to free their toys first.

Put this in the freezer NOW so that it’s ready whenever you have time to play. It can sit there all summer, so long as you have the space.

 

 

This Weekend in London

july

Summer is in full swing and summer in this city never looked so good. Get out and enjoy!

SUNFEST

Running from today, July 9 until this Sunday, July 12 in Victoria Park, Sunfest is a celebration of world music, dance, art, and cuisine. The festival is free to the public and is family friendly.

THE ABBA SHOW

The ABBAsolutely fABBAulous show is coming to Centennial Hall this Friday, July 10 at 8:00pm. Tickets are available through the Centennial Hall box office. Enjoy the live music, dancing, and costumes of the real ABBA experience.

VICTORIAN TEDDY BEAR PICNIC

Bring your favourite bear to Fanshawe Pioneer Village for a delightful day of songs, games, puppets, and snacks with your bears. Don’t forget your picnic basket! Admission is $7.

LONDON MAJORS BASEBALL

The historic Labatt Park has another home game this weekend when the London Majors take on Guelph this Friday night at 7:35pm. Tickets are available at the gates or online.

 

 

 

Sunfest

sunfest

For the 21st consecutive year, Sunfest is coming back to London this July. Running from this Thursday, July 9 to Sunday, July 12 in Victoria Park, this is a festival dedicated to showcasing the arts from around the world. It’s a celebration of music, dance and artwork! Bring the whole family downtown to see everything from Cuban salsa to Celtic traditional folk music.

THE DETAILS

Thursday, July 9 the festival opens at 11:00am. The live stage performances begin at 6:00pm until 11:00pm.

Friday, July 10 the festival opens at 11:00am. The live stage performances begin at 12:00noon until 11:00pm.

Saturday, July 11 the festival opens at 11:00am. The live stage performances begin at 11:30am until 11:00pm.

Sunday, July 12 the festival opens at 11:00am. The live stage performances begin at 11:30am until 11:00pm.

ADMISSION to the festival is FREE for everyone!

In addition to the music and dancing, there will also be vendors selling crafts and artwork from around the world and amazing cuisine.

 

Skateboarding

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It’s summertime, the kids are off, and whether you’re at home with them full time or part time, you may be looking for ways to keep them occupied – without breaking the bank! We are going to be bringing you some fun summer activities and adventures over the next few weeks that are FREE or nearly free. For more ideas, search FREE SUMMER in the search bar at the top right. 

Skateboarding, biking, roller blading, scooters – they’re all the coolest ways for kids to get outside and get active on wheels. While this cooler summer weather may not be as hot as we would like it, it definitely encourages more outside activity without the risk of overheating. Take advantage of that by testing out one of London’s eleven great skate parks across the city.

Whether your kid is still using a scooter or a stride bike, or they’re proficient on whatever wheels they can ride, the skate parks are a great place to meet new friends, try new tricks and get in a lot of exercise and fresh air without any resistance from them. If you head out, make sure they’re well suited with a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and possibly some wrist protection. With learning new tricks can come some serious road rash if you’re not careful!

If your kids are too young to ride or you’re not sure if a board is worth the investment, pack a picnic and visit your closest skateboard park with your kids. Watch the other kids, see how interested your kid is in the action and decide where to go from there. Did you know that the City of London Spectrum offers Skateboard Clinics for new riders ages 7-9 and 10-12? Keep up with all of the CoL skate park-related news by following them on Facebook.

The parks are spread out through east, south, west, and central London:

Park Address Difficulty
Basil Grover Skateboard Park 555 Wharncliffe Road South Beginner – Intermediate
Kiwanis Skateboard Plaza 1475 Brydges Street Beginner – Intermediate
Medway – Kiwanis Skate Bowls 1051 Wonderland Road North Intermediate – Advanced
Naiomi-Almeida Skateboard Park 828 Deveron Crescent Beginner – Intermediate
Rivers Edge Skateboard Park 15 St. Julien Street Suitable for all levels
Springbank – Byron Skateboard Park 1085 Commissioners Road West Beginner – Intermediate
Stronach Skateboard Park 1221 Sandford Street Beginner – Intermediate
Victoria Skateboard Park 580 Clarence Street Advanced
West Lions Skateboard Park 20 Granville Street Beginner – Intermediate
White Oaks Skateboard Park 70 Ponderosa Crescent Redevelopment – TBA
Wolseley Skateboard Park 656 Elizabeth Street Suitable for all levels

Canada Day in London

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Tomorrow is the day when we all gush red and white and proudly wave our maple leafs. Canada Day brings out the best in our country and our communities. If your family is looking for some way to celebrate your true north, strong and free, here is what is happening in London:

LONDON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

The Children’s Museum will have lots of great Canada Day activities like Canadian yoga, creating a Canadarm, and learning about basketball, our constellations, and Alexander Graham Bell.

PALASAD

Palasad North and South are celebrating Canada Day with 1/2 price classic pizza, 1/2 price jumbo wings, and loonie bowling games.

FANSHAWE PIONEER VILLAGE

Fanshawe is celebrating Dominion Day the way it was back on the first Dominion Day in 1867. Join them from 10:00am to 4:30pm.

STORYBOOK GARDENS

Come dressed in red and white for $1.50 off your admission!

FIREWORKS

BYRON SPORTS COMPLEX

The Byron Optimists are hosting their annual Canada celebration and fireworks. Gates open at 6:00pm, donations accepted.There will be music, face painting, speeches and fireworks, of course!

HARRIS PARK

Downtown comes alive with Harris Parks fireworks over the Thames River. This annual event is a classic.

SOUTH LONDON COMMUNITY CENTRE

Events begin at 2:00pm and end with fireworks. There will be entertainment, food, and lots of fun!

EAST LONDON OPTIMISTS

The Optimist Club of East London will be putting on a show at Argyle Arena. The party begins at 11:00am and continues into the night with a fireworks show.

GRAND BEND

What could be more beautiful than fireworks on the beach? Live bands and family-friendly entertainment will have you rocking on this Canada Day.

ST. THOMAS

Both St. Thomas and Port Stanley will be having Canada Day activities during the day, then head over to Pinafore Park for fireworks in the evening.

FREE Summer Fun: The Library

freesummer

It’s summertime, the kids are off, and whether you’re at home with them full time or part time, you may be looking for ways to keep them occupied – without breaking the bank! We are going to be bringing you some fun summer activities and adventures over the next few weeks that are FREE or nearly free. For more ideas, search FREE SUMMER in the search bar at the top right. 

We talk about the London Public Library a lot and that’s because it is so full of wonderful, FREE activities for your kids, year round. Summer is no exception. Each branch currently has a flyer that you can take home outlining all of the special days and events running, along with the age range and whether advanced registration is required. Drop in at your closest or most preferred library and pick one up.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The obvious things you can do are find books to read and read them! There are also toys, puzzles, train tables, and computers to play, and often crafts or learning activity stations. You can also read or rent magazines, rent movies, music, audio books, and comics/graphic novels. Summer activities include: Story Times, Family Movie Nights,Books for Babies, TD Summer Reading Club, Mad Science, Sparky the Fire Dog, insects, puppets, magic, coding, origami and so much more! Activities vary by branch.

HIDDEN COSTS

If you’ve lost your library card, there will be a $2.00 replacement charge. There is also the risk (a very real risk in my house, unfortunately!) that you’ll forget a book or two and have to pay the late fees. Remember: books and CD’s are 21 days, DVD’s and Quick Picks are 7 days.

MORE INFORMATION

For locations and branch hours, see HERE.

For branch programs, see HERE.

 

Free Movie Night in the Park

The City of London is once again offering free movie nights in Victoria Park! Grab a blanket, a lawn chair, a snack and your family and head down town for a family adventure. This year, the movies are on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. All of the movies are family friendly and begin at sundown (approximately 9pm).

movie

Tim Hortons Free Swim

familyswim5

Every summer the local Tim Hortons’ in our area sponsor free swims at the City of London outdoor pools. These swims are a great chance to try out your closest pool or pool hop to another one that you’ve never had the chance to visit! Below is a list of all of the pools participating and the dates and times of their Tim Hortons free swims.

Byron Pool
1130 Brock Lane

July 02 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 26 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

East Lions Pool
1731 Churchill Ave

July 12 from 2:30 – 5:30 pm

July 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

July 28 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Gibbons Pool
2B Grosvenor Street

July 07 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 19 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Glen Cairn Pool
370 Chippendale Cres

July 15 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 01 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Northeast Pool
1050 Victoria Ave

July 17 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 02 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Northridge Pool
15 McLean Drive

July 09 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 25 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Oakridge Pool
825 Valetta Street

July 05 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 29 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Southcrest Pool
15 Hazelwood Avenue

July 01 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 18 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Silverwood Pool
36 Sycamore Street

July 11 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 23 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Stonarch Pool
1221 Sandford Street

July 05 from 3:00- 5:30  pm

July 14 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 28 from 6:00- 8:00 pm

Thames Pool
15 Ridout Street

July 04 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 22 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Westminster Pool
650 Osgoode Drive

July 08 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

July 24 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 08 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

This Weekend in London

June

Welcome to Father’s Day weekend! We hope you didn’t forget or accidentally celebrate it a week early (why does it feel like it should’ve been last weekend?)! If you are looking for some last minute ways to celebrate, the city is here to deliver. So much going on, so much fun to be had. Get out and enjoy some of it!

BEER AND BBQ SHOW

Beer. BBQ. A match made in summer heaven. If you’re in agreement, head on over to the Western Fair District, Canada Building. There will be beer, wine, spirits, BBQ, food trucks, live entertainment, demonstrations, seminars, and so much more! This is a 19+ event – no babies, toddlers, children or underage teenagers will be allowed in the show.

SHANIA TWAIN

A new block of tickets has just been released! This is Shania’s big Rock This Country tour with all of her biggest hits and new music. She’s just finished her two year gig in Las Vegas and is now bringing the music across North America. She will be at the Budweiser Gardens for two shows – Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20 at 7:30m.

NORTH BY NORTHWEST WAREHOUSE SALE

North by Northwest is having a huge sale at the Western Fair District Progress Building this weekend. All swimwear, clothing, footwear, outerwear, and accessories will be 30-70% off. For all of the dates and times, see the link above.

LONDON’S KIDS EXPO

The London’s Kids Expo is this weekend in Victoria Park. This event has free admission! There will be food vendors, exhibits, crafts, live performances, and so much fun! There will also be carnival rides – a ride all day pass is only $20 for kids and adults ride with them for free!

LONDON MAJORS BASEBALL

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than by spending it on the ball field with your favourite men. The London Majors are playing two games this weekend: Saturday at 7:35pm against Hamilton and Sunday at 1:05pm against Brantford. Play ball!