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Tales From A Chelsea Hotel Toronto First Timer

After hearing everyone rave about how great the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto is for families, we finally had the chance to stay there this past weekend and it definitely did not disappoint! Here is a brief recap of our stay at the Chelsea and why we will absolutely stay with them again in the future.

Right off the bat, I was excited that they had their own underground parking. I know that is a classic dad thing to be excited about but we were there for 3 days and I had no interest in driving anywhere during that span and was glad I could park the van and forget about it while we enjoyed Toronto.

The fun for the kids started right at the Check-In desk as the Chelsea Hotel has a separate check-in area for kids, where they get to sound the gong and choose a prize out of the toy chest. My daughter scored the pink fidget spinner, which made her very happy to start off the vacation! Here’s a taste of what it looked like. The dancing portion is optional…

There was a nice little surprise waiting for us when we got to our room, courtesy of the Chelsea Hotel. Luckily for dad, my son isn’t into desserts that much so I had to eat the cookie to make sure we didn’t waste it. Seriously though, it was a nice touch and the fruit platter was perfect after living on beef jerky and Gatorade on the drive in from Ottawa.

Chelsea Toronto Surprise

Now, while there is no proof of it ever happening, we did have an amazing breakfast at T Bar, where they even modified their menu a bit to make sure the kids both had something they would love. After that, we spent the day doing what we did for the majority of our stay, swimming!! The pool at the Chelsea Hotel is amazing! A lot of hotels we’ve stayed at have a water slide but the slide hours are usually limited. Not at the Chelsea! The water slide here was open no matter what time we decided to head down and on top of that, it was fast and amazing! My attempts at getting a good “kids going down the water slide” picture failed miserably but I did manage to snag this one towards the end.

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On the way out of the pool, you will also find the Teen Lounge, with a pool table and different video games, including Xbox systems! We managed to drag the kids out of there and across the hallway to the Kid Centre, where they had a chance to interact with the Chelsea’s furry rabbit friends. This was a highlight for my daughter, whose career choices currently fluctuate between professional gymnast and veterinarian…

Chelsea Toronto Kids Zone

All in all, we absolutely loved our stay at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto and can’t wait to visit again! I also really appreciated that it was basically a 10 minute ride from anywhere we wanted to go in Toronto throughout our stay. It made the decision to keep the van in the underground parking that much easier and more convenient. Thank you so much to the Chelsea Hotel for keeping the kids occupied while mom and dad took some much needed relax time after some busy days in Toronto!

Chelsea Toronto Pool

Disclosure: The Chelsea Hotel invited for a 1 night stay, although we stretched it out to a couple nights because we had so much fun!

Harlem Globetrotters

Win A Family 4 Pack To See The Harlem Globetrotters! {Ottawa}

Anyone who’s been reading this blog long enough knows that my family has built a special bond with the Harlem Globetrotters. From playing Candy Land with them to having Zeus come to our house to shoot around with the neighbourhood kids, we love everything about the Globetrotters and the live show is the best!

Well, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, who are celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, are bringing their unrivaled family show back to Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. and we hope you can join us for the show!

Special Promo Code just for you!

Click here and refer to promo code FAMFUN or visit the Canadian Tire Centre box office to save 25%^ on tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters on Sunday, April 10.

Tickets start as low as $16 for this one-of-a-kind show that continues to thrill fans of all ages. To purchase courtside or VIP seats, please visit www.CapitalTickets.ca, call 613-599-FANS (3267) or visit the Canadian Tire Centre box office.

^This offer is not valid for courtside or VIP seats.

Win Your Way To The Show!

As mentioned above, I am giving away a family 4 pack of tickets to the show, which takes place April 10th at 3pm at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below letting me know who you will bring to the show! I will draw a winner at 5pm on April 6th. Good luck!

I’ll leave you with a video of the time I challenged Buckets Blakes to a duel, and paid the price for it…

Congrats to our winner, Angelo M!

Snowman Fun

Don’t Miss Out This Winter!

It’s that time of year again where small germs seem to morph into super germs and spread through people’s homes like wildfire. For those of us lucky enough to have children in school, the flu seems to be an inevitability more than a possibility. So far this flu season I have seen friends cancel Christmas dinner with their families, watched a child get sick in the middle of his hockey game and seen my workplace decimated by people suffering from the flu.

I’m knocking on wood as I write this because to date my family has managed to escape any prolonged bouts of the flu and I’m hoping we manage to keep it that way. One of the ways I am protecting myself was by getting this year’s flu vaccine. It takes almost no time at all and if it offers any extra protection than I don’t see any reason to hesitate in getting it. In fact, you can walk into any Shoppers Drug Mart and get your flu immunization administered by an injection-certified pharmacist, no appointment necessary.

Think about all of the things you miss out on while dealing with the flu. Children’s activities, sick days from work, your own hobbies, good food! A recent Shoppers Drug Mart survey found that 54% of people admit that they are unlikely to get the flu shot this year, while 81% of people believe that washing their hands was the best way to protect against the flu. I covered some of the common myths about flu shots last month, which leaves only a fear of needles as a reason not to get the shot.

I’ll leave you with one last bit of information. Getting the flu shot doesn’t just protect you but it also helps protect those who are more susceptible to complications from getting the flu, such as young children and those aged 65 and over. Think about this, a single sneeze can travel at about 100 miles per hour and send 100,000 germs into the air! Wouldn’t you feel better knowing you have protected yourself as much as possible?

Don’t miss out on the things that are the most important to you this winter. If you’re nervous, you can always stop in to Shoppers Drug Mart for a consultation with a pharmacist before committing to the shot. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Harlem Globetrotters Family

What Do You Do When A Harlem Globetrotter Rings Your Doorbell?

The other day we were fortunate enough to have a special visitor in our home. His name is Zeus McClurkin and he is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters! The Globetrotters will be playing at the Canadian Tire Centre at 3pm on April 12th and Zeus thought it would be fun to stop by to shoot around with my kids and to teach them some new tricks. Check out the video of our experience and then read on to find out why these guys are my new favourite show to see with the kids.

I’ve always been amazed at how long the Globetrotters have been able to sustain their show, especially considering all the distractions today’s world offers our children. After watching Zeus interact with not only my kids but also all the neighbourhood kids that gathered around, I am no longer surprised by this. He brought autographed pictures for every kid in the neighbourhood and took the time to pose for photos until everybody had one.

As Zeus was leaving, my daughter chased him down the street yelling, “Huggy, Huggy!”, with her arms outstretched. That’s the kind of impact these guys and gals have on kids and that’s why we will never miss another Globertrotters show. If you are interested in attending the show in Ottawa on April 12th, you can enter promo code DADS to get 25% off your purchase. Go, now!

Harlem Globetrotters Hug

Who Knew Apple Picking Could Be This Fun?

We packed up the kids last weekend for our annual apple picking trip to Mountain Orchards. For whatever reason, I always seem to forget how much fun this excursion is for the whole family but am quickly reminded upon arrival each year. I think it’s because the thought of picking apples off trees isn’t all that exciting, but when you add in the hay pit, park, giant mound of dirt, flea market, mini donuts, tractor rides and corn mazes, you have the makings of a perfect day!

My other favourite thing about the day trip is that it allows me to work on my photography skills and that is the underlying purpose of this post today. I don’t have a great camera but someone once told me that the photographer is far more important than the camera, so I’ll just believe that. Anyway, here are some of our adventures from our day at Mountain Orchards!

A Rare Smile While Looking At The Camera!

A Rare Smile While Looking At The Camera!

His Favourite Part!

His Favourite Part!

Warning, People With Allergies. This Is A Lot Of Hay!

Warning, People With Allergies. This Is A Lot Of Hay!

Cuteness Overload!

Cuteness Overload!

Giant Mound Of Dirt, As Promised!

Giant Mound Of Dirt, As Promised!

Stop That Apple Thief!!!

Stop That Apple Thief!!!

Obligatory Family Selfie

Obligatory Family Selfie

Bottom line is that we had a great time and can’t wait to find something to do with all the apples we picked! I’m seeing pie in my future!

Catch The Harlem Globetrotters at Scotiabank Place on April 11th

Globetrotters

It’s funny to think that I have never been to a Harlem Globetrotters game. I mean, they’ve been around almost three times longer than I have and are beloved by almost everyone who has seen them. Well, all that is about to change at 7pm on April 11th, when I will be bringing my family to a game for the first time. That’s right, the Globetrotters are bringing their 2013 “You Write The Rules” World Tour to Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place and I will be front and center for all the action. Or maybe middle and left, I guess. Who really knows where seats are anymore.

The “You Write The Rules” Tour will be the first time that the fans will have a say in how the game will be officiated. Fans can vote for which rule(s) they want the Harlem Globetrotters to implement during their game by visiting www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule and voting on rules, such as the use of two basketballs, double points, a 4-point shot (Buckets Blakes’ specialty), the dreaded penalty box and playing 6-on-5.

It sounds like a great time for the whole family and I can’t wait to get there! Tickets to see the world’s most famous basketball team start at $15 and can be purchased by visiting www.CapitalTickets.ca, by phone at 613-599-FANS (3267) or 1-877-788-FANS (3267); in person at The Sens Store at Carlingwood Mall and Place d’Orléans, any Ottawa Sports Experts location; Les Galeries de Hull and at the Scotiabank Place box office.

Also, thanks to my friends at Scotiabank Place, I will have the opportunity to interview Globetrotter Buckets Blakes in the coming days and will share that experience with you once it’s done. Hope to see you at the show! For more info on the Globetrotters, you can follow them on Twitter or on their Facebook Page.