Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life


Badlands near Belfountain: Great for all ages!

Cool parks | Fun fall

This weekend, I went back to Cheltenham Badlands with two teens, two girlfriends and one 7-year old. It was a success!

The Badlands are approximately 1-hr drive from Toronto. To go there, take Hwy 401 to Hwy 410 towards Brampton (it becomes Hwy 10). Turn left (westbound) on Olde Base Line, at the light in the little hamlet of Claude along Hwy 10. The Badlands are on the left-hand side (south) of Olde Base Line. We drove past them to first go have a bite in Belfountain (hungry teens oblige). It's less than 10 minutes away, turning right on Mississauga Road, off Olde Base Line.

Belfountain_Higher_Ground_6_torontofunplaces.comHigher Ground Coffee Co. in Belfountain, is self-described as a "hub of caffinated activity" and "a cyclist friendly espresso bar nestled in beautiful Niagara Escarpment country". Last time I was in Belfountain, there was a smaller coffee shop serving delicious soup at this location. It's been turned into a larger café and shop serving Reunion Island coffee and delicious tasty grilled paninis. They also carry coffee beans, preserves, home-made treats and more. 

It's the first time I visit a café with a helmet shelf. The place is indeed popular with cyclists... and motorcyclists as well. Every time I've been to Belfountain, there were many motorcycles nearby. (No scary Hell's Angels here, just some relaxed baby boomers equipped for leisure rides.)

Warning: The Badlands are very popular in the summer and during the fall weekends (especially during the Thanksgiving weekend, I recommend you try to go on another time). You will probably see flashing "No parking" signs going up the westbound and eastbound hills around the Badlands (there were even policemen when we visited) but don't worry. They just don't want people to park where the hill hides the view from the incoming cars. You should be able to find parking spots along the road between the two hills.

Driving back from Belfountain, we parked before the Badlands (western side), which allowed us to see the entrance to the Olde Base Rd Side Trail. The trail features blue marks and leads eventually to the Bruce Trail but turn left on the first fork you see to reach the Badlands. Walking up the hill and towards your left will take you to a very cool spot to admire the Badlands.

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On our way back, we could have continued along the side trail of the Bruce Trail. I wonder what lies ahead...



Urban Halloween at Wychwood Barns


Boo! at the Barns 2014 is taking place on Saturday October 25 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In my experience, when an annual event survives the 3-year milestone, it's proof that it's becoming a family tradition. Boo! at the Barns is in its 5th year at Wychwood Barns. I've not attended it yet but I will visit it this Saturday. They say it's their largest event of the year. Admission is free but there will be charges for some activities. (Note from October 29: At the end of this page, I've just posted a photo gallery of the event (which I attended with a little pirate and his mom, also a pirate, it runs in the family).

By the way, while you're there, you might want to do a little stroll along one of the few private streets in Toronto. It is truly lovely and part of the Wychwood Country Stroll (walk #21) in my walking guide Toronto Urban Strolls 2.

Note that Wychwood Barns Park also does a Pumpkin Parade on November 1st at dusk, an event where locals bring their carved pumpkin lit with a candle, to line paths and for everyone to enjoy.



Halloween idea that goes "Poof!"

DIY crafts | Halloween

Just fell for this fun idea!

Fill an empty egg with flour and draw some spooky eyes on it. When you toss it on the pavement, it will make a ghost-like "smoke" effect! By the way, here's a scary though for adults, if it rains when kids play with the eggs: flour + water = glue!



Clever Halloween craft for big kids

Halloween | Pinterest

Best use ever for pipe cleaners!


You take four pipe cleaners together, fold them in two, twist the middle and then add beads to make the joints. Almost makes me like spiders! (Added to my collection of fun Halloween ideas on Pinterest.)



Great Halloween decoration idea

Halloween | Pinterest

Save yourself some time!


No need to get dirty, cutting and gutting one's pumpkin when we can so easily reproduce this clever decoration with branches and pumpkins. (One of the suggestions I collected on my Pinterest board DIY fun: H for Halloween.)


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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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