Summer Reading Club

summerreading

The TD Summer Reading Club is up and running at all London Public Libraries. This program is open to all school-aged children in London. Whether you have an avid reader at home or one that struggles to read, this program is perfect to prevent that summer slump and keep kids turning the pages in the sunshine.

SUMMER READING CLUB

The program runs at each public library from now until August 22, 2015. Kids must visit a library to register. Upon registration, they will receive a small package with stickers, a passport, and all of the things they’ll need to participate.

Once registered, start reading! Every book your kid reads can be recorded in their Read to Play notebook. Everything counts! Books, novels, short stories, magazines, comics, just start reading. Visit any library during regular library hours and tell a librarian about what you read to earn stamps. Once your card has five stamps, drop it in the ballot box for a chance to win some cool prizes! You may only collect five stamps per day, per kid. Spending too much time by the pool? Submit your book report online HERE to earn ballots as well.

Want to earn more stamps? Do a few of the activities presented: Draw a map of where you live, Visit a grocery store and make a list, Play a game or Do a puzzle.

BOOK SUGGESTIONS

Not sure where to get started? The library website is full of great ideas for books and reading material that kids love. Have a look HERE.

If you have younger kids, grab one of the bags-to-go at either the front of the library or the kids section. A selection of books have been put together by the librarians for when you don’t have time to search and are open to reading something new.

Most libraries also have a number of books on display for all ages, there are reviews online of things that other kids have read, and you can always spend some time at the library browsing the shelves. Set a goal with your kids or for yourself and get reading!

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!

 

 

 

 

London’s Kids Expo

expo

This weekend is the London’s Kids Expo in Victoria Park. This annual event is perfect for families, catering to children ages 3 to 15 years old. There will be carnival rides, entertainment, food, exhibitors and more!

THE EXPO

Kids Expo has been coming to London for 20 years. This year they are bringing carnival rides with a Ride-All-Day pass for $20. Parents ride free with their children! There are also 25 food vendors on site to keep your bellies full, 65 retail exhibitors, crafts, live performances, a bike track, and lots of fun activities. See HERE for a full itinerary of events.

THE DETAILS

Friday, June 19 from 11:00am to 9:00pm

Saturday, June 20 from 11:00am to 9:00pm

Sunday, June 21 from 11:00am to 7:00pm

Admission is FREE

 

 

North by Northwest Warehouse Sale

north

North by Northwest is having a huge warehouse sale in London beginning this weekend. There will be big discounts and savings on swimwear, shoes, sandals, jeans, outerwear and more. Everything will be at least 30-70% off! Top brands like Columbia, Hunter, New Balance, Buffalo, Ugg, Toms and so many more. You don’t want to miss this sale!

THE DETAILS

WHERE: Western Fair District, Progress Building

WHEN: The sale begins Friday, June 19 and runs until Sunday, June 28.

Friday, June 19th from 12:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, June 20th from 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, June 21st from 11:00am-6:00pm

Monday, June 22nd to
Friday, June 26th from 12:00pm-9:00pm

Saturday, June 27th from 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, June 28th from 11:00am-4:00pm

2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Torch Relay

panam

The 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are coming to Toronto this summer! This is a very exciting time for Canadians and especially those of us in southwestern Ontario who haven’t otherwise had the opportunity to attend games at this level.

WHAT ARE THE PAN AM/PARAPAN AM GAMES?

The Pan-American Games are held every four years, one year before the summer Olympics. The Parapan-American Games follow immediately after the Pan Am Games and are for people with physical disabilities. Forty-one countries from the Americas will be competing in summer sports for the Pan Am Games and twenty-eight will be competing in the Parapan Am Games.

WHEN/WHERE ARE THE GAMES?

The Pan Am Games begin in less than one month on July 10 and go until July 26. The Parapan Am Games begin August 7 and go until August 15. They will be held in venues all over the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, Markham, Oshawa, Whitby, Milton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Niagara, and Simcoe County.

TICKETS

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for events and celebrations. Most tickets are under $45 and some are even as low as $20. Tickets are half price for kids under 16 and seniors over 65. All tickets include FREE public transit to and from the event.

TORCH RELAY

Just like the Olympics, the Pan Am Games have a torch relay leading up to the games. The torch left Mexico where the last games were held and began making it’s way across Canada on May 30. This Wednesday, June 17 the torch will pass through London. Canadian decathlete Damian Warner will be carrying the torch through London and stopping at Victoria Park. The celebration begins at 5:00pm in the bandshell. There will be performances and entertainment until approximately 8:00pm.

Rise 2 Fame

Rise2Fame-header

If you have a child or someone you know who is between the ages of 6 and 21 years old who is oozing talent and is looking to get noticed for it, then NOW is the time to audition for the next Rise 2 Fame competition. The Rise 2 Fame competition concludes every year at the Western Fair in September, but the preliminary auditions happen all summer at various cities, festivals, and fairs across southwestern Ontario. You can even enter by submitting a video of your performance for the chance to attend the preliminary here at the Western Fair Carousel Room on August 10.

WHO CAN AUDITION

Contestants will be split into two groups by age: Juniors Ages 6-12 years old and Youth Ages 13-21 years old

SING, DANCE, or PLAY – Vocal Solo, Instrumental Solo, Dance Solo, Dance Group, Variety Solo, Variety Group

Non-professional residents of Ontario only

For all of the eligibility information, see HERE.

PRELIMINARIES

There are 16 preliminary auditions being held. The dates, deadlines for submitting applications, and locations can be found HERE.

For information on the online video submission, see HERE. Once your video is up and approved, you are encouraged to share the link to get people to vote. The video with the highest number of votes will win the People’s Choice award, so share your (child’s) video on our Facebook page so we can enjoy!

Good luck!

 

 

 

@ The Barre London

barre

You may be familiar with Pilates, but have you heard about the Barre workout? Barre studios are all the rage in the States and in the bigger Canadian cities and now you can do it here @ The Barre! At The Barre is a new Pilates, Barre and Fitness Studio in downtown London run by a one-woman powerhouse, Kristy Leblanc.

WHAT THEY OFFER

BARRE CLASSES: Barre workouts are designed for all fitness levels that focus on balance, strength, and endurance. There are three types of classes – Barre Basics, Barre, and Yogi Barre, each of them challenging and conditioning your body with the elements of ballet and the roots of Stott Pilates.

PILATES CLASSES: Stott Pilates is one of the best ways to tone and strengthen while giving you a great overall workout. At The Barre offers classes on the mat, classes on the reformer and classes with the cardio-tramp. The reformer can look intimidating to those who have never tried it (or at least it was to me!), but think of it this way – it’s an entire workout lying down and how can that be a bad thing? ;) The workout you will get is not at all passive. With body weight and resistance, the reformer is a classic for a reason.

SEMI-PRIVATE/PRIVATE: @ The Barre offers both private and semi-private (2-3 people) sessions for those wanting an even more personalized experience. This option is perfect for anyone needing specific attention while recovering/healing from an injury, wanting to achieve personal goals, returning to fitness after a baby, or requiring a specific schedule to be met.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

  1. CLASS SIZE: You cannot beat the small classes and personal attention that you get @ The Barre. For a workout that is so dependent on proper form and technique, the personalized attention that you get from Kristy is essential for the results you want. It’s relaxed, like you’re just working out with a few friends… because you are! Kristy is right there to help with modifications, adapt to your abilities, and push you just that little bit harder.
  2. POST NATAL CORE: Come on, moms. The core is the one area that we need and miss the most, and nothing wakes it up like a little (or a lot of) Pilates. The combination of all that stretching that your abs and mid section went through, with all of the lifting and hunching over that you do with your baby and toddler means that your entire core is likely in need of some TLC. Pilates and Barre will give your core that extra attention it needs to regain the strength you lost and rebuild those muscles to prevent injury and keep you fit for your family!
  3. FUN: The classes have great, upbeat music and are lots of fun! Kristy moves you through a full body workout at a pace that keeps you moving without getting bored. If someone had told me that I was going to love the Reformer, I would not have believed them, but it’s great! Throw in the cardio-tramp and you will be so surprised at how fun a workout can be.
  4. STUDIO: The studio is a beautifully redone building right downtown. They have FREE PARKING right outside the door. The studio offers everything that a large studio would offer, but with all of the personal attention that is unique to @ The Barre.
  5. THE WORKOUT: I fit a workout in almost every day, but after my first Barre class, I felt it! Move over Buns of Steel, because Barre is where it’s at! My only dance experience is the kind I would do on a Saturday night before I had kids, but this class makes you feel like an actual ballerina at the barre – grace, strength, and fluidity. There wasn’t complicated choreography, just classic moves that work your body from the shoulders to the toes.

YOUR FIRST CLASS

She says the hardest part is showing up for your first class, so Kristy is making it easy on you by giving you your first class for only $10. Pick the style of class and time of your choice and get there! Follow @ The Barre on Facebook to keep up on promos and classes.

At The Barre is located at 615 Richmond Street, unit D. Find the parking and entrance in the back off Hyman Street. For the complete schedule and more information, see HERE.

Spina Bifida Awareness Month

sbhao

June is Spina Bifida Awareness month in Canada! Do you know the facts?

WHAT IS SPINA BIFIDA

Spina bifida is a neural tube defect (NTD) that translates to ‘split spine’. When the brain and spine of a fetus is being formed, the bones of the spinal column do not close the whole way down. The place on the spine where the bones split remains open while the rest of the fetus continues to develop around it. There are different types of spina bifida, but the most common (and most ‘severe’) is called myelomeningocele. With myelomeningocele, the spinal cord is not protected and is exposed to amniotic fluid for the last eight months of a pregnancy, causing irreversible damage.

People with spina bifida will have some degree of paralysis, depending on where the opening is and how much damage there was in utero. These are not things that can be determined until after birth. Some people with SB only require special shoes or orthotics and some use a wheelchair to be ambulatory. About 80% of people with SB will also have hydrocephalus (an excess of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain) which is treated by inserting a shunt into the brain’s ventricles.

Spina bifida is a physical disability and does not generally effect cognitive, social or behavioural aspects of development.

HOW TO PREVENT SPINA BIFIDA

The cause of SB is not yet known, so there is neither a cure nor a means of preventing SB. Taking folic acid at least three months before conceiving and in the first few months of a pregnancy has been shown to reduce the likelihood of having a baby with spina bifida by about 70 percent. There have been studies that show certain medications increase the probability, genetics, and possibly environmental factors.

SPINA BIFIDA AND HYDROCEPHALUS ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO

The SBHAO is an invaluable resource for families and people with SB. They provide resources, support, connections, and advice. The SBHAO is run only through donations, they don’t receive any funds from the government. If you are at the LCBO from now until June 20, drop as much change as you can in the boxes at the checkout counter to support this wonderful organizations and the families impacted by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Hobby and Toy Central Grand Opening!

hobbyandtoy

London’s latest and greatest toy store, Hobby and Toy Central, is having their Grand Opening celebration tomorrow, Saturday, May 30! This will be the fourth store in Ontario for Hobby and Toy Central, as well as their online store. They bring to London a focus on selection, quality, and service to help every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and child find the perfect toy! Are you intrigued? Come see for yourself what makes them special.

GRAND OPENING

LOCATION

705 Wonderland Road north, beside Costco

TIME

The store is open from 9:30am to 6:00pm. The festivities begin at 10:00am and go all day.

FUN STUFF

There will be live entertainment with Drew Ripley, a Rubik’s Cube Demo with Eric Limeback, marshmallow shooters, RC Helicopters, slot cars, and board game demo’s throughout the day. For specific times, see HERE.

Temporary tattoos, popsicles, kids playstations, and more than 100 items will be given away from Playmobil, Breyer, Plasma Car, and Carrera.

A fantastic raffle with more than $1200 in hobbies and toys to be won!

 

Shift London – Phase 2

shift2

Last month we told you about Shift London, London’s rapid transit initiative that has been introduced to the city and is going to advance now onto phase two of development. Once again, the City of London is wanting to share information with you and is asking for your input in return. This is going to be a big step for our city, so please consider whether you can attend one of their two Public Information Centres.

WHAT IS SHIFT?

Shift is a bold and important initiative for transportation for london. It focuses on rapid transit as part – along with cars, bikes and pedestrians – of the transportation systems that will help our city grow and prosper.

Shift will define where Rapid Transit will go, what it will look like, and how it will be implemented. (see: source for more information)

PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE

All Londoners are invited to attend one of two Public Information Centres next week to present the preliminary recommended Rapid Transit corridors and feedback that was received so far. The centres are drop-in open houses with information displayed.

Thursday, May 28 at 4:30pm

Western Fair District, Agriplex

RSVP HERE

Saturday, May 30 at 10:00am

Goodwill Centre, 255 Horton Street

RSVP HERE