Disney Daze

We’ve just come back from several enjoyable and unforgettable days in Florida. Each time I travel with my family, I learn something new about them. Traveling, even somewhere as relatively mundane as Florida, pushes out the walls of your comfort zone — and as Oprah-ish as that might sound, I think it’s a good thing for all of us to have our boundaries pushed at a little. My own boys seem each to be a year older and six inches taller today, and I swear that’s a by-product of being somewhere other than home for eight days.

Travel also reminds you of things you already knew, but probably have forgotten. To wit:

1. No matter how obedient your children might be, there will be moments when corrective action need be taken to keep their behaviour in check:

2. Not only are my boys friends, they are also best friends. Sometimes, they even act as if they are:

3. Theme parks are loud, crowded, and boisterous. They can be incredibly fun places if one is in the right frame of mind to be jostled, well prepared for the crowds, armed with a touring plan (we really liked this website, for that) and armed with a sense of humour and a large packet of patience.

Wine helps, too. Especially when you can sip that glass of wine anywhere in the park:

4.  I’m convinced that there exists over Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park an invisible bubble, which keeps in all the fairy dust, happy, scented air and whatever else it is they spread around there that makes it virtually impossible to be angry or grumpy at anyone for the entire duration of your stay. About ten minutes after you leave, you will find yourself doubly confused, both by the sudden return of your cynicism about all things Disney, as well as by the gaping hole in your wallet where your money once was.

5.    Every now and again, it’s okay to get a little Goofy:


March Break Madness

March Break is coming. Are you ready?

I know what you’re thinking. We just got through the holidays. How can it possibly be time to start thinking of March Break? But if you’re a working parent whose daycare closes for the week, or if you’re looking for a fun or interesting activity for your children, the clock’s ticking. Some popular programs (such as the University of Toronto Junior Blues gymnastics camp for boys) are already full. While I admit I still don’t know what my kids are doing that week (Day care? Family vacation? Week at home?) here are some programs that have caught our eye:

— Evergreen Brick Works offers the Green City Adventure Camp for kids between the ages of 6 and 10. Dubbed an adventure into the heart of the green city, campers will roam the ravines around the Brick Works, learn about the local flora and fauna, cook and explore a side of the city that few kids get to see. Camp runs from March 14th to 18th, and registration forms and more information are available here.

Harbourfront Centre is known for its high-quality, exciting and diverse programing for adults and children alike. This year, Harbourfront Centre offers March Break camps for kids from ages 3 through 15 – and there’s something for every one: dancing, cooking, creative arts, comic book camp, circus camp, digital photo camp, junior authors camp, theatreKIDS…the list goes on.

Garrison Creek Art Education Centre, located near Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto’s west end, is offering a program called “Travel the World – Create, and Dream” for children between ages four and ten. Each day, children participate in a different themed activity: Monday is Harry Potter Puppet Days; on Thursday, children will explore Africa with drumming and stories with guest Njacko Backo. Camps run March 14 to 18 and March 21 to 24, and you can find more information by visiting their website.

For lower cost options, or if you’re just looking for something to do as a family, be sure to check out both the Toronto Parks and Recreation and Toronto Public Library‘s offerings, too.