London Fringe Festival

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The 16th Annual London Fringe Festival opened this past Wednesday, June 3 and will run until Saturday, June 13.  This event is the perfect opportunity to expose your family to art and theatre, as well as to get out and have some fun with your friends!

WHAT IS LONDON FRINGE?

London Fringe is a theatre festival whose mission it is to promote independent artists. There are 45 theatre companies performing over the course of the festival in 350 shows. The festival takes place in nine different venues across London. There are also 35 visual artists displaying their work. The artists get to keep 100% of their ticket price and sale revenues.

THE SHOWS

Drama, romance, comedy, family shows, dancing, magic, puppets: be inspired, be offended, be moved – there is something for everyone! For the full list of shows, when they are happening, and where, see HERE.

VISUAL FRINGE

The shows are just half of the fun with fringe. There are also photographers, painters, sculptures, and some truly beautiful artwork to view and purchase. For the artists and their location see HERE.

FRINGE BUTTON

The Fringe buttons show your support for the festival, both literally and figuratively. Since the artists get to keep their revenues, the funds from button sales support the operational costs of putting on the festival. Wear your button with pride!

 

Mustang Drive-In

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The weather is warming up which means all of your family’s favourite warm-weather activities are returning, including the drive-in!

London is so fortunate to have a classic drive-in theatre just on the south east edge of town. The Mustang was originally built in 1953 with the second screen added in 1976. The two screens both feature movies every night, beginning at sundown. Long weekends and holidays will have three or even four features per screen, while a regular night will have two films per screen.

What makes the drive-in so great? The whole family can go! Where else can you take your newborn or toddler on a date night? Let them fall asleep snuggled up in your arms or spread them out between carseats in the back. As they get older, pick screens that have family-friendly features on first and then send them to their carseats to sleep for the grown-ups show. Older kids and teens can bring their lawn chairs and sit in the peaceful night air. If things get crazy, you can always pack up and leave after the first feature.

IF YOU GO

The Mustang Drive-In is located at 2551 Wilton Grove Road. To get there, take Highbury Road south, over the 401 and turn left onto Wilton Grove Road (at the Tim Horton’s). Drive along until you see the screens on your right.

Vans, trucks, SUV’s and larger vehicles must park in the back rows, sedans and smaller vehicles may park in the front rows or wherever they can find space.

There is a play area in front of one of the screens that anyone can access. There is also a lot of grass space to play catch, blow bubbles, and run around while you’re waiting for the sun to go down.

The bathrooms are NOT wheelchair or stroller accessible. There is no family washroom or changing table (and between you and I, you will want to bring some hand sanitizer and maybe some tissues to the washroom, just in case!).

ADMISSION

CASH ONLY

General Admission is $11 per person

Holidays (3 features) $12.00 per person

4 Features $13.00 per person

Tuesdays $6.00 per person

Thursdays $17.00 per carload

Kids 5-12 years old are $2

Children/babies 4 and under are FREE

There is a Snack Bar that serves the usual movie theatre fare as well as some heartier food to fill you up. There is an ATM at the snack bar.

A FEW TIPS

Bring bug spray

Clean your windshield or bring stuff to clean it there

Anticipate LONG lines at the bathrooms between movies

Dress the kids in their PJ’s so you can carry them right to bed; bring blankies/stuffies to encourage them to sleep in the car

Bring some wipes or washcloths to clean the kids off between playing and watching the movies

 

Budweiser Gardens

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The Budweiser Gardens has started drawing in some big acts lately and if you haven’t been paying attention, you may really be missing out on some great concerts and shows. London is so fortunate to have such a great venue, right downtown! Take advantage of the opportunity to treat yourself! Grab a friend, treat your kids, schedule a date night and go live it up.

Here is who and what are coming to London over the next few months. Check in with the Bud Gardens regularly or get on their mailing list to stay on top of presales and new announcements.

APRIL

April 11: Joe Bonamassa

April 17: The Tragically Hip

April 18: Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience

April 19: The Harlem Globe Trotters Wold Tour

April 22: One Republic

MAY

May 3: Luke Bryan

May 5: Def Leppard

May 10: Stars on Ice

May 23-24: Mamma Mia!

May 26: Diana Krall: Wallflower World Tour

JUNE 

June 3: Ed Sheeran

June 19-20: Shania Twain

JULY

July 14-19: Potted Potter

AUGUST

August 4-6: Menopause The Musical

OCTOBER

October 4: Kelly Clarkson with Nick Jonas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars and Strollers

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Oh, Mama. Remember those days when you would see all of the new releases? When you watched the Oscars and actually had an opinion on who won? Has it been a while since you went out in public during the day by choice? How about since you went to the movie theatre? If these questions have you sobbing into a dirty receiving blanket, then Stars and Strollers might just be your thing!

At both Silver City Masonville and Cineplex Westmount, you can go to a matinee movie every week – WITH your baby! The best part is, you’ll be there with other moms, just like you. Baby crying? No big deal. Hungry baby? Go ahead and feed them! Dirty diaper? There’s a change table. They even have stroller parking! The lights will be dimmed so you won’t have to trip over diaper bags if you need to get up and the volume will be just a bit lower than usual so that the noise won’t startle your little one.

Every week, both theatres will have two current movies each for you to choose from. This week, for example, you can choose from Cinderella and Run All Night at Silver City or Home and Insurgent at Westmount. Shows are Wednesdays at 1:00pm. Parents who go with their baby (under 2 years of age) will receive $2.00 off their regular admission. You don’t have to have a kid to go – the theatres are still open to everyone! However, kick back and relax, because anyone who is there knows that this viewing is all about the Moms.

And who knows, maybe next March you’ll actually know some of the nominated movies! ;)

Birthday Parties in London: Part 2

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Our list of places to celebrate your child’s birthday is growing! For those of you who want to do something a little bit more laid back, but still lots of fun, this is the list for you!

COOKING AND CRAFTING

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Holiday Activities

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Sixteen days at home with all of the kids begins today! While most of us will have some holiday events at some point, there may still be a lot of down time to fill up and keep the kids busy. Here is what is open and when:

KIDSCAPE

Kidscape is open from Monday to Friday 9:30am to 6:00pm; Saturday & Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.  They are running a day camp for $22/day on December 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, and January 2. For more information and to register, visit HERE.

ADVENTURES ON WONDERLAND

Adventures on Wonderland is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am to 7:00pm.

December 24 and 30 they close at 4pm. AOW is CLOSED on December 25, 26, 31 and January 1.

LONDON AQUATICS

All three indoor city pools (Canada Games Aquatic Centre, South London Community Pool, Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre) are open over the holidays with added recreational swim times.

Note that all three pools close at 11:00am on December 24 and December 31 and are CLOSED on December 25, 26, and January 1. For a full schedule of swim times, see HERE.

PUBLIC SKATING

The city skating rinks are open and ready for you! For skating times and locations, see the full schedule HERE. For Tim Hortons free skate times and locations, see HERE.

Weather permitting, the FREE rink at the Covent Garden Market is open Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, Friday 8:00am to 7:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Victoria Park is also FREE and open from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily, closed between 5:30-6:30 for ice resurfacing.

STORYBOOK GARDENS

Storybook Gardens is open for your skating adventures around the park. For their full schedule and hours of operation, see HERE.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

The Children’s Museum is open for visiting and they are also hosting day camps for children 3 to 12 years old. Camps run from 8:30am to 5:30pm on December 22, 23, 29, 30, and January 2.

The Museum is closing early at 2:00pm on December 24 and January 31, and is CLOSED on December 25, 26, and January 1.  Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa through art and exhibits. For full hours and schedule of events, see HERE.

MOVIE THEATRES

Let’s all go to the movies! The Family Favourite movie at SilverCity this morning (December 20) at 11:00am is Fred Claus. There is no Family Favourite currently scheduled for December 27.

If you want to take your kids to the movies, there are some great kids movies playing over the holidays, including:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (PG)

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Annie (PG)

The Penguins of Madagascar (G)

Big Hero 6 (PG)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1 (PG)

Into the Woods (PG) *opening December 25

For the Cineplex schedule (SilverCity in Masonville or Westmount & VIP) see HERE. For Rainbow Cinemas see HERE.

 

 

Gift Guide: Tickets

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Continuing on with our Gift Guides, today we offer some more suggestions for non-toy gifts this holiday season. If you would like to give your child an experience instead of more ‘stuff’ then this is for you!

London is a fabulous city for families. There are so many events that come through here, all you have to do is know about them and buy your tickets. For Christmas, everyone from children to adults can find an event to enjoy. Here are the highlights of what is coming to London (as of yesterday – keep tabs on our Facebook page for any new entertainment announcements over the next few weeks!). The age groupings are just loose suggestions, most events do not have age restrictions unless noted.

FAMILIES/CHILDREN

Wild Kratts Live at Centennial Hall, December 27, 2014

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival at Budweiser Gardens, January 4, 2015

Disney on Ice – Worlds of Fantasy at Budweiser Gardens, January 29 to February 1, 2015

Mike the Knight in the Great Scavenger Hunt! at Centennial Hall, March 10, 2015

FAMILY/KIDS-TEENS

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This Weekend in London

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Need to keep busy this weekend? We have a few suggestions!

Ladies Night 2014

The Lambeth Village Co-Op Preschool is running a Ladies Night TONIGHT, Thursday, November 20 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Lambeth Legion. Tickets are $15 each or $25 if you bring a friend!

Budweiser Gardens

The boys are playing again this weekend at the Bud! Check out the Knights Friday night at 7:30pm against the Mississauga Steelheads and the Lightning Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm against the Windsor Express.

Matthews Hall Holly & Ivy

Visit Matthews Hall on Friday, November 21 from 3:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturday, November 22 from 9:00am to 6:00pm for a holiday shopping event of unique gifts and crafts. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children.

Winterfest Holiday Shopping

The second annual Winterfest Holiday Shopping event at South London Community Centre is this Saturday, November 22 from 3:00 to 8:00pm. There will be over 70 vendors with all proceeds going to the London Food Bank.

Shrek The Musical at the Grand Theatre

Shrek opened this week at the Grand Theatre. Catch the show Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 1:00pm and 7:30pm, or Sunday at 1:00pm.

 

And good news! Boler Mountain isn’t open yet, but it’s been so cold that they’ve started making snow! Shine up your ski’s and get ready to hit the slopes soon.

Shrek The Musical

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London’s The Grand Theatre is known for putting on sensational holiday show’s every year. Last year’s production of Elf will be hard to top, but they sure are trying by taking on the beloved story of Shrek.

Shrek is based on the 2001 animated film. It tells the tale of a grouchy ogre, his sidekick Donkey, and a cast of hilarious fairy tale characters including a princess, a dragon, a gingerbread man, and, of course, a few bad guys along the way. Your family will fall in love with the musical version of the story they know so well.

Shrek The Musical opens this Wednesday, November 19 and runs until December 28. There are still tickets available HERE or through the Grand Theatre box office. They are selling out though, so don’t wait until too late to purchase yours. Ticket prices range from $29.95 to $79.10.

The Grand Theatre recommends the musical for children 8 and up, based on the length of the play (2.5 hours), but if your children will be okay with sitting for that long, they are welcome.

Are you a Children’s Museum member? You can get tickets to the show this coming Friday, November 21 for 50% off! Email kate@londonchildrensmuseum.ca for the promo code. Do it quickly! There aren’t many tickets left.

This Weekend in London

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Here is the best of London for the weekend of November 7-9, 2014.

BUD GARDENS

On Friday night the London Knights are taking on the Windsor Spitfires at 7:30pm. Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm the London Lightning play the Brampton A’s. For tickets head to the Bud Garden’s website.

SANTA CLAUS PARADE

The parade will be going through downtown London this Saturday night, November 8, beginning at 6:00pm.

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR

This weekend is London’s annual Holiday Home Tour in support of Thames Valley Children’s Centre. Each year, selected homeowners in London open their home to the city’s top designers and florists to have their house decorated in beautiful holiday themes for this tour. This is a wonderful event that directly benefits so many programs and services for children with disabilities in London.

ORIGINAL KIDS THEATRE: CRAZYTOWN

The Original Kids Theatre Company is putting on a production of Crazytown this weekend at the Spriet Theatre, Covent Garden Market.  This play is a comedy for the whole family! Tickets can be purchased at the door or online in advance.

CANADALE NURSERIES

Canadale Nurseries in St. Thomas will be celebrating with a Christmas Open House each weekend in November. There will be activities for the whole family, including meeting Santa’s real live reindeer and pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Clause.

SHOPPING GALA

Notre Dame Catholic School at 767 Valetta Street is having a one-stop shopping event on Saturday, November 8 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. There will be lots of vendors with unique gifts to choose from. Get your Christmas shopping started early! Admission is $2 (children are free!) which includes a door prize ticket.

MOUNT ZION CHRISTMAS MARKET

The fourth annual Mount Zion Christmas Market will be held this Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm at 471 Ridgewood Crescent. There will be many vendors, as well as door prizes, a bake table, and a tea room. Mike Lawson will also be there to buy your unwanted silver and gold!

 

Have a great weekend!