This Weekend in London

MARCH

Spring is here, Easter is around the corner, roadkill is gracing the main roads, and life in this gorgeous city is becoming a bit more bearable. If you would like to get out of your house and shake off some of this cabin fever, here is what London has to offer you:

SUGAR BUSH

It’s the last weekend for many of the sugar shacks in the London area. If you haven’t yet had your maple fix, get on out there and enjoy it. The maple season only happens once per year, but you can buy local maple products throughout the year at local markets and even many grocery stores. Be sure to either stock up or read the labels so that you’re supporting our fabulous local maple farms.

FAMILY FAVOURITES

Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel is going to be playing at Silver City Theatre in Masonville at 11:00am this Saturday, March 28. Admission is only $2.99 per person, no matter your age! If Alvin is a little too squeaky for you, Silver City and most other local theatres are playing Cinderella, the new animated movie Home, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, or Insurgent for the older kids. If you received a Cineplex Holiday gift card and it came with coupons, those coupons expire at the end of the month, so go use them while you can!

BOLER MOUNTAIN

The season is almost over at Boler Mountain, but weather permitting the slopes will be open this weekend for tubing from noon to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday, for skiing or snowboarding from 9:00am to 9:00pm Saturday, 9:00am to 6:00pm Sunday. Go enjoy the snow before it’s gone!

ESCAPE ROOMS

Don’t be scared! And don’t put it off too long or you’ll be disappointed. If your interest was piqued about the escape rooms, book one now for this weekend and have a solid hour where you definitely won’t be thinking about the kids.

BUDWEISER GARDENS

It’s time for the OHL Western Conference Quarter Final. Games one and two are this weekend at the Bud Gardens with the London Knights. They are playing against the Kitchener Rangers Friday night at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm. There are limited tickets available, so snag some quickly!

 

Sugar Bush Season

maple

Oh, sweet maple sugar, it’s almost March! And with March brings the sugar snow and the flow of sap through the maple trees. If you are keen to take your family to a Sugar Bush for this truly Canadian experience, here are some of the popular ones in our area:

CRINKLAW MAPLE SYRUP

Crinklaw’s Sugar House is open MARCH 8 through APRIL 11, Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00am to 3:00pm. They are in London, just south of the 402. For directions, see HERE.

FORT ROSE MAPLE COMPANY

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GIFT GUIDE: Picture Books

books

If you are one of the families that subscribe to the gift guide of “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” then this is for you! And even if you’re not, but you are scrambling to get a last minute gift for a child on your list, may I suggest books? While Robert Munsch, Dr. Seuss, and Sandra Boynton are always going to be around, sometimes it’s nice to try something new. We are a big family of readers and wannabe readers here and these are our picks for best picture books on our shelves. These books are also available at the London Public Library in case you are done your shopping and just want something new to read!

Elephant and Piggie Series, Mo Willems

If you haven’t yet stumbled upon the genius of Mo Willems, you absolutely must start. Elephant and Piggie are the new age of beginner readers. They are smart, funny, and readable for all ages. They are written comic-book-style and will have all kids laughing, and you, too! The latest one, Waiting is Hard, was just released in November.

The Pigeon Series, Mo Willems

Like I said, we are big fans of Mo Willems in this house. The Pigeon series begins with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and ends with The Pigeon Needs a Bath, new this year. My favourite is Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late which has the pigeon echoing many of my own kids bedtime antics. There are board book versions for younger children as well.

No, David! David Shannon

David is another character in a series of books, from board books up to picture books. We love David’s wild antics and naughty behaviour and also how he always figures things out in the end. Lately, we’ve been reading It’s Christmas, David! over and over, but the original will always be my favourite.

The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak

This book has gotten a lot of attention this year and for good reason. My children laughed so hard they became silent laughers and all had hiccups by the end. Break out the silly voices and embrace the directions in the book. Be prepared to read it over and over. And over and over and over. For a book with no pictures, this one is captivating and entertaining.

Oliver Jeffers

To choose one book by Oliver Jeffers would be like choosing my favourite crayon. His picture books are thought provoking and entertaining. My sons favourite is Stuck and my unique little daughter loves The Hueys: The New Jumper. His artwork is memorable and bright.

Peter H. Reynolds

Like Oliver Jeffers, Peter H. Reynolds pairs intriguing stories with simple, yet beautiful artwork. He taps into the heart of a child with autism in I’m Here and The Dot provokes creativity in the most stubbornly uncreative child. His artwork can also be found in the mother-daughter book Someday (which will bring on all the feels, you’ve been warned).

Maple, Lori Nichols

A young girl embracing changing seasons and a changing family. As a mother of two girls, this one was an instant fave for me and my daughters.

Sparky!, Jennifer Offill

Oh, Sparky. I’m not even sure what it is about this book that is so magical – whether it’s the laziest pet in the whole world or the optimism of the charming little girl who just wants a friend. Either way, my children all want a sloth for a pet and I kind of wish we had a tree to let him sleep in.

I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen

I wish there had been a camera on our faces the first time we read this book. The ending is… not something you usually find in a kids book. Do not skip ahead or spoil it, just read it with your kids and watch their faces as you all are enlightened. My kids were shocked and I burst out laughing in disbelief. His follow up book, This is Not My Hat, is equally delightful. If dark humour is your thing, get these books. Jon Klassen also illustrated another award winning favourite, Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett.