Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life


Some ideas for the road


Is it a long drive to meet your family during Christmas time?

Here's a fun resource for car games (if you want to know what you could do with a roll of cheap alluminum foil and other original activities): I also love to have a bag of treats and things to hand to the kids as surprises during a road trip. I just visited the The Labour of Love (in Cabbagetown, Toronto, at 223 Carlton on the south side) and noticed many cool options:

The $20 tin box of 50 travel games seen above (including bingo cards) is a sure value! So are the two lovely activity books on Canadian wildlife, $12 each.

A little box with 15 string games for $15


Little Moose, a $12 puppet finger book (the first time I saw one of these was the Sleeping Kitties book in Despicable Me!)


Trivia questions in tiny boxes for all kinds of themes, selling for $10 (I bought some as hostess gifts, to be used at the end of the meal).


Little $5 glass bottles to send a message. Kids could think of a message to write in them during the trip, to keep or to give to a loved one.


And finally, there were a few $25 options in cute tin boxes such as this one.


There's much more in store, from cute options for Christmas stuffers suc as the Miracle Melting Snowman, to more serious gifts for big girls (large jewelry section!).



DeClute Light Up the Beach 2015


Yesterday night, we got into the Christmas spirit by walking along... the beach!

DeClute Light Up the Beach has lit the place since 2007 with some 80,000 lights beautifully wrapped around the branches of many trees along the boardwalk. You can check it out until February 15, 2016.

(See the photo gallery for DeClute Light Up the Beach 2013)
















Behind-the-scene look at a family media launch at the ROM


ROM's Holiday hours: Closed December 25 but extended hours

until 8:30 p.m. (with discount admission after 4:30 p.m.) on December 27, 28, 29, 30 and January 2!

You know that feeling? It's 30 minutes before the guests start to arrive for dinner at your place. Kids are not dressed, the wine glasses need to be washed yet again. Or everything is ready except that you did not get to take a shower.

Well, the same goes for a museum when they invite the media a few days prior to the official opening of a new exhibition! So the first time the Royal Ontario Museum invited us (the media) to check out Pompeii's exhibition, everything was ready... but the special interactive activities especially created for children. I left with the impression that kids under 10 years old would not really be interested. That's why the ROM invited us again for a "family media launch".

Wondering what happens during a family media launch which we can attend with our children? Themed treats are usually offered and a hit! (We were treated with volcano cookies and lava cupcakes.)

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A few actors were dressed as gladiators. Then, we could watch the media's collective brood enjoy the family attractions. In addition to the "toga corner" where we can learn to wear one, I saw that a "gladiator corner" with costumes had been set up. They put up a little market with props.

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There was a hands-on mosaic section. And they had added a small display to explain how the body casts are made. The Pompeii exhibition was indeed more interesting for children 5 years and over. And adding to the fun of attending during the Holidays is the Family programming with a line-up a cool activities offered between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., or the advantage of extended hours (closing at 8:30 p.m.) combined with discount admission after 4:30 p.m. on December 27, 28, 29, 30 and January 2.


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Whitehern House during Christmas time


The McQuesten's Childhood Christmas goes on until January 3, 2016

A few years ago, I visited the gorgeous Whitehern House during Christmas time, when they bring the house back to its 1880's splendour. I found the guided tour very interesting! The McQuesten family story unfolded, supported by the pictures on the walls. It was good storytelling fun, mixed with the guilty pleasure of gossip. What's not to love!

Here's the photo gallery of my visit:



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How it's made: Pompeii body casts

Pompeii Exhibition is at the ROM until January 3rd!

When we hear "Pompeii" we automatically think about this! Have you ever wonderered what it is we are actually looking at? For the Pompeii Exhibition presented at the ROM until January 3rd, 2016, they've created a small display to explain it to us. 


Some 1150 people died during Mount Vesuvious' eruption over Pompeii in Year 79. Of these, 394 were found buried beneath layers of pumice, forming a porous shell around their body.


Over time, the soft tissues decayed, leaving an empty space where the bodies lied, with some bones.


Excavators found many hollow pockets in the ash. In 1864, one of them, Giuseppe Fiorelli, instructed the diggers to pour plaster into the hole, leaving it to harden.


They were then instructed to chip off the hardened ash around the plaster, which had created a perfect cast of the body at the time of death. 


The body casts are too precious to travel, so what we see at the ROM are copies of the casts, either molded out of the original plaster casts or, lately, reproduced in resine from a 3D printer!

Related posts:

9 proofs that things haven't changed much in 2,000 years!

What you will love vs what your kids will love about Pompeii's exhibition 1

What you will love vs what your kids will love about Pompeii's exhibition 2

Behind the scene of a family media launch at the ROM


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Page 3 of 23

Nathalie's tips for a smooth outing

After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.


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