May 2016

5 Reasons to Plan a Staycation This Summer

How to Plan a Staycation

This post is generously sponsored by IHG® Canada. The opinions expressed are 100% my own and that of my family’s.

A few weekends ago, my family and I took a weekend staycation and we had an absolute blast! We loved it so much that we want to do it again—and soon. We think that you should too and here are five reasons why:

  1. Staycations are more affordable:

    With the Canadian dollar the way it is (as of today, $1.30 Canadian is only worth $1 US) it makes so much more sense to stretch your dollar by staying local and finding hidden gems within reach of home.

    We traveled to Toronto which is a two-hour drive from London. Though not too far, it felt like we were in a whole different country because we sought out things we had never done before.

  2. Staycations encourage you to think outside the box:

    Casa Loma

    My family and I have been to Toronto many times, (in fact, my husband was born and raised there) so we had to get creative in deciding what to do. Though funny enough, he had never been to Casa Loma before. Just shows you that sometimes we take the things right outside our doorstep for granted.

    So we decided to check out Casa Loma and I am so glad that we did. I wasn’t sure what to expect for Little S because I wasn’t sure it would hold her attention, but she was intrigued the whole time. And my husband and I loved the audio tour that we could take at our own pace.

    There is so much history in Toronto and I am so glad that we learned more about Ontario’s capital (that is practically down the street from us) through our visit to Casa Loma. I think it will be a lifelong memory for Little S too. Her favourite part was climbing all the stairs to the top tower. What little girl doesn’t love a real castle?!

  3. Staycations offer an opportunity to discover hidden gems within your part of the world:

    Poetry Jazz Cafe

    With a little imagination, your staycation can take you to faraway places without actually travelling too far.

    As I mentioned, my husband grew up in Toronto and I lived there for just over a year, so you’d think we knew a lot about the city and the best places to go. But we discovered an amazing hidden gem that we hadn’t heard of before: Poetry Jazz Café.

    My sister-in-law lives in Toronto, so we decided to include a date night in our getaway and left Little S in her care. We had done our research before leaving for the weekend and learned of Poetry Jazz Café. We knew that we wanted to go to a quaint little jazz club and PJC was just it!

    The atmosphere is indescribable. On one hand you feel like you’re at a friend’s place as the environment mimics an eclectic basement room and the service makes you feel at home. On the other hand, we felt swept away in the ambiance and amazing live music by Robb Cappelletto, and we felt like we were somewhere more exotic like Cuba or New Orleans. This is a memory that we will never forget.

  4. Knowing and loving a particular hotel line within your own part of the world, ensures that ‘home away from home’ feel every time:

    For our staycation, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown Toronto Centre at 30 Carlton Street. It was the perfect location to access all the fun things we chose to do on our staycation. It is just a few blocks from the Eaton Centre, a six-dollar Uber ride to the jazz club and just five stops (with an easy transfer) to Casa Loma.

    Oh and there is a Starbucks attached – this is essential! The hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful and with our package, breakfast was included (and kids eat free) and it isn’t your average continental breakfast either. Eggs, bacon, sausages and French toast were among the delicious choices. This really saved on costs for us and helped us start our day on the right foot.

    Holiday Inn Breakfast

    Holiday Inn is an IHG hotel which means you can earn IHG Rewards Club Points with each stay that you can use for your next staycation! Learn more about IHG properties across Toronto, see a full description and find ideas here.

  5. Staycations allow you to “vacation” more often:

    London Radius

    With the affordability, shorter travel time, less vacation time from work and the comforts of home at your fingertips, taking staycations allows you to do it more often; everyone loves to get away so the more the merrier.

    My suggestion: pinpoint your home on a map and draw a two to three hundred kilometre radius around it…and don’t stop ‘staycationing’ until you’ve covered all the great spots within that circle. Life is short…have fun!

City Mom

Victoria Day Events in #LdnOnt 2016

Local Events Listing London Ontario

With this past weekend’s snow, yes snow, I am more excited than ever for the arrival of summer’s unofficial start. This year, Victoria Day lands on Monday, May 23, 2016. Here is City Mom’s  list of Victoria Day fireworks, celebrations and holiday openings. Have a great summer London!


  • Where: Fanshawe Conservation Area
  • When: Monday May 23, 2016
  • Time: Dusk (note: sun is estimated to set at 8:50 pm)
  • What: See the largest fireworks displays in the London area! Arrive early to get a good viewing spot.
  • Cost: Fanshawe Conservation Area admission
  • For more information: Visit Fanshawe Conservation Area


  • Where: Fanshawe Conservation Area, Recreation Center field area
  • When: Sunday May 22, 2016
  • Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • What: Welcome back campers: come grab some tasty pancakes and say hi to your fellow friends and campers! Hosted by the Fanshawe Campers’ Association
  • Cost: Fanshawe Conservation Area admission
  • For more information:


  • Where: Fanshawe Pioneer Village
  • When: Monday May 23, 2016
  • Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • What: Celebrate Her Majesty, Queen Victoria’s birthday with nineteenth century games and historical speeches all in reverence to our longest reigning monarch. Her majesty might even brave the sea journey to visit with her subjects in the Upper Canadian town of Fanshawe.
  • Cost: $7.00 per person – children under the age of 3 are free
  • For more information: Visit Fanshawe Pioneer Village


  • Where: Eldon House
  • When: Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • What: Meet royal guest Queen Victoria at Eldon House and enjoy Victorian games, lemonade and cookies on Eldon House grounds and gardens. Events will be held indoors in our Interpretive Centre if weather is inclement.
  • Cost: $8 (registration required)
  • For more information: Visit


  • Where: Storybook Gardens
  • When: Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Time: 10:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • What: In support of the Children’s Outdoor Charter Storybook Gardens are encouraging families to discover the wonders of nature. Storybook will be providing exploration kits for families to borrow from Ting’s Things gift shop for free that include; a microscope, binoculars, ruler, mini animal and plant identification guide, secret trail map and a scavenger hunt card.
  • Cost: Various admission costs. Visit more info link
  • For more information: Visit


  • Eastpark Golf Gardens Visit for holiday hours and pricing
  • London Splash Pads: All Splash Pads open starting May 23, 2016 from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Fleetway: Open Victoria Day from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm Rock Wall open 1:00 pm – 6:00-pm

As always with City Mom round-up posts, please feel free to share any Victoria Day Weekend events you know of in the London area by leaving a comment below.

Happy Victoria Day!

City Mom


Stock Up For Girls Summer Wardrobe & Save with the Limeapple Summer Event on Friday, May 6th


If you’ve shopped with Limeapple before, you already know about this great children’s clothing line and if you haven’t, then you’re in for a treat; regardless everyone is in for some great savings with the Limeapple Summer Event.

Limeapple is a Canadian-based premier lifestyle brand of clothing for young girls and preteens that promotes girls to lead positive, healthy and empowered lifestyles.

With age appropriate styles, bright colours and on trend designs, it’s a favourite among girls and moms alike. From active wear for a their favourite activity to casual wear for school or boutique clothing for special events, Limeapple offers something for every girl.


Limeapple Summer Event

Little S and I are going to be trying out some of the Limeapple styles and sharing our thoughts with you in the next couple of weeks, but we couldn’t wait to share the big sale coming tomorrow, Friday, May 6, 2016 with you because it’s that good.

It’s pretty simple:

  • Buy one item, save 25% on your order
  • Buy two items, save 30% on your order
  • Buy three items, save 35% on your order
  • Buy four or more items, save 40% on your entire order

And as always, shipping is free on orders over $20 to the US or Canada and prices are of course in CAD which makes this event even more affordable as there are no surprises when your credit card statement comes.

Ordering is super-easy with easy to understand size charts, high-res images of each item and easy navigation. Visit on Friday, May 6th to stock up on summer clothes and save one day only.

City Mom

Win Four Tickets to Cirque du Soleil: TORUK- The First Flight {$320 Value}

Cirque du Soleil: TORUK- The First Flight


Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR – Cirque du Soleil: TORUK- The First Flight is coming to Budweiser Gardens from May 25 – May 29, 2016.
This live experience envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. The word Toruk, in the Na’vi language, refers to the great leonopteryx, the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Central in Na’vi lore and culture, this fascinating creature is crucial to the Na’vi clans’ sense of destiny and interconnectedness – and is about to be ridden for the very first time by a Na’vi.

TORUK – The First Flight envisions a world beyond imagination thousands of years before the events depicted in the film.

Whether you are an Avatar fan or not, this performance is sure to be as spectacular as all Cirque du Soleil experiences and one you won’t want to miss!


Ticket sales open on May 8, 2016 but in the meantime, check out the available performance dates at Budweiser Gardens:

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2016 – 7:30pm
  • Thursday, May 26, 2016 – 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 27, 2016 – 4:00pm
  • Friday, May 27, 2016 – 8:00pm
  • Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 4:00pm
  • Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 8:00pm
  • Sunday, May 29, 2016 – 1:30pm
  • Sunday, May 29, 2016 – 5:30pm

Tickets prices range from $34.00 – $137.00  with child, student/senior/military pricing available – (Includes H.S.T. and Facility Fee)


Cirque Du Soleil

One City Mom reader will win four tickets to the opening performance at Budweiser Gardens on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:30pm.
Please use the giveaway widget below to enter and read full contest rules. Contest run from May 2 – May 16, 2016. Contest closes at 5:00 EST.

Good luck!

City Mom

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