2017

Have The Ride Of Your Life With The Y Flyer by Y Volution!

Y Flyer Scooter Review

Is it a scooter? Is it a bike? Why do we have to choose? Let’s just have fun!

Y VOLUTION THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Balance Bike by YVolution

Why Y  Volution? Because it’s a company that is run by a bunch of “big kids” and who better to design the toys that our children want than designers who are big kids themselves?

You probably remember the balance bike that became all the rage back in 2009. Well Y Volution is the same company that brought us that cool invention and they didn’t stop there. With over 10 cool rideable toys, they have put the “weeee” in wheel.

They have actually teamed up with PhD researchers at Dublin City University and The University of California to find out how they could make rides that are both educational and fun for kids of all ages. They have turned that research into results to create a new breed of awesome rides that actively help to improve gross motor skills, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and even emotional development at a young age!

But shhh! don’t tell the kids that they’re learning while having fun…we’ll keep that between us?!

THE Y FLYER BY Y VOLUTION

Little S and I got to test the Y Flyer by Y Volution and it was so much fun. We laughed our heads off while learning to ride and then while riding. It was the most fun we both had in a long time. Check out our YouTube video below to see what I mean.

 

Y Flyer Features

  • Super grip foot plates for ultimate comfort and control
  • Fun and unique forward propelling motion
  • The Y Flyer is built with a strong steel frame that is easily foldable for quick storage and travel
  • Quick-response handbrake for increased control and security
  • Suitable for boys and girls aged 7 and over with a max weight of 154 lbs (70kgs).

Y flyer folded
Note that there is some assembly required but I was able to put the Y Flyer together by myself in about 20 minutes. There is also a moderate learning curve to get started and this will obviously vary by child. Once you get the basics of how to get going, you can practice to go at higher speeds and even pull some tricks!

PLEASE NOTE: Head protection should be worn by everyone using these toys!

WHERE TO BUY

The Y Volution products are available in Canada at Toys R Us, Walmart and Canadian Tire. Check out the full product line at yvolution.com.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

Happy holidays!

City Mom

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 Dolls & Collectibles

LOL Surprise Series 2

If you have a young child or tween, you are likely already know all about L.O.L. Surprise! toys. If you aren’t, then you’ve come to the right place.

Today we review six of the Series 2 L.O.L. Surprise toys and we highly recommend them for stocking stuffers and/or gifts under the tree this year.

L.O.L. SURPRISE SERIES 2

In our unboxing video, we open two L.O.L. Surprise Lil Tots Balls, two L.O.L. Charm Fizz Balls and two  L.O.L. Lil Sisters Balls. These cute little collectibles make for the perfect gift because they combine many surprises in one toy.

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 – Lil Tots

LOL Surprise Lil Tots Series 2

These include seven layers of fun:
  • Secret message stickers
  • Collectible stickers
  • Bottle charm
  • Shoes
  • Outfit
  • Fashion accessory
  • L.O.L. Surprise Tot Doll with water surprise

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 – Lil Sisters

LOL Surprise Lil Sisters Series 2

These include five layers of fun:
  • Secret message stickers
  • Collectible stickers
  • Small fashion accessory
  • Large fashion accessory
  • Colour-change Lil Sisters doll

L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 – Fizz Charms

LOL Surprise Fizz Charms Series 2

These include three layers of fun:

  • Ring tatoo
  • Sticker decal for charm accessory
  • Charm accessory

PRICING AND WHERE TO BUY

The L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 Lil Tots start at $13.99, the Lil Sisters start at $9.95 and the Fizz Charms start at $4.99. In Canada, they can be found at Indigo Books & Music, Toys R Us, Showcase, Mastermind Toys, Walmart and more. Visit lolsurprise.mgae.com to learn more.

And guess what?! L.O.L. Surprise! Series 3 (pets) are coming very soon! Be sure to check all the stores mentioned above as they undoubtedly will sell out fast as these collectibles are on the top of everyone’s list!

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

City Mom

Enter to #Win a Family Pack of Tickets to See Honk! At St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

HONK! Giveaway

Exciting news…today on City Mom, you can enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Drayton Entertainment’s Honk! playing at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from November 29 – December 24, 2017. Read on to learn how you can enter.

ALL ABOUT HONK!

Honk! Definitely delivers a message that is good for all, but especially for our children. It is more important than ever to share the message that bullying is not okay and that each child has resiliency and grit to rise above any naysayers. I’m so excited to see this performance and I think that you will be too!

Here is what Drayton Entertainment has to say about Honk!…

 Being different is good! Based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen fable, this high-energy musical comedy tells the story of Ugly, a duckling born into ridicule and loneliness simply because he is different. When he leaves the farm and embarks on an adventure of self-discovery, encountering peril while unknowingly outwitting a ravenous cat, Ugly discovers there’s much more to him than anyone thought.

Winner of multiple awards, this universal story of acceptance is sure to quack up audiences of all ages with its unique gaggle of barnyard characters, tuneful songs and clever comedy.

 

BUY YOUR TICKETS

St-Jacobs-Country-Playhouse

St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse is just 90 minutes away from London and makes for an exciting day trip! Visit draytonentertainment.com to purchase your tickets to see Honk! and hurry because some dates are already sold out. Tickets start at $27.

WIN TICKETS

One lucky City Mom reader will win four tickets (two adults, two child) to see Honk! at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse on Thursday December 7, 2017 for the 7:30 pm performance. Check out the giveaway widget below to enter. Contest is open to Canadian residents excl. Quebec and open until November 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm.

STAY TUNED

My family and I are lucky to be able to attend one of the opening performances of Honk! We will be sharing our experience via Instagram and right here on the blog so be sure to check back in December to read our review.

Good luck and happy honking!

City Mom

5 Reasons to Symbolically Adopt a Species This Holiday Season

City Mom WWF

Each holiday season I come across at least one person on my gift giving list that I really have to rack my brain to come up with a meaningful and appropriate gift for. Sometimes I buy something just because, but that never feels very good.

This year I’m excited to have found a solution to this problem and that is giving the gift the means the world by symbolically adopting a species from the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada). And here are five reasons why we should all give this unique gift to at least one person on our list this year.

5 REASON TO SYMBOLICALLY ADOPT FROM WWF-CANADA

WWF-Canada Adoptions

  1. Kids LOVE stuffies! It’s true…I don’t know one child that doesn’t love stuffed animals and with WWF-Canada adoption, you can choose from 30 different animals to adopt and each adoption kit includes the stuffed animal version of the species you choose. From the polar bear to the grey wolf to the Arctic Hare, each stuffie is absolutely adorable!
    Each adoption kit also includes:

    • A personalized adoption certificate
    • A beautiful species poster with information about the animal and conservation work the gift supports
    • A reusable tote
    • A charitable tax receipt
  2. Canada’s wildlife is in trouble! Sadly, a WWF-Canada report shares that “from 1970 to 2014, half (451 of 903) of monitored wildlife species in Canada declined in abundance”. This is a scary and upsetting fact and it doesn’t end there; there are many more startling facts about Canada’s wildlife decline.
    By gifting a symbolic adoption, you help to take action on this devastating problem by contributing much needed dollars to support the conservation work that WWF-Canada is doing.
  3. You get a tax deduction! Not that you give to get back however, come tax season (which follows closely behind the holiday season) it’s nice to save as much as you can. With each $40 purchase, you will receive a $30 tax receipt. You sure can’t say that about your average toy gift.
  4. You can give a gift that includes fun and education! By gifting a symbolic adoption to a special child in your life, you are providing education about generosity and helping the planet.
    The post-millennial generation is more environmentally conscious and concerned than generations before, so this type of gift is particularly suitable for the kids in your life.
  5. You can choose from five new adoptable species: Who doesn’t love the latest and greatest?! WWF-Canada has added five new species to symbolically adopt. The Canada lynx, red fox, three-toed sloth, Atlantic puffin and black-footed ferret are now available for adoption. Each plush representation is as cute (or even cuter) as the other species’ stuffies.
    And all plush toys from WWF-Canada are made with the highest quality and are free of harmful dyes, conform to standard fire safety regulations and do not contain PVC or other materials with chlororganics.

OUR ADOPTION

WWF-Canada Symbolic Adoption

My family and I were given the gift the means the world and we received a symbolic adoption of a three-toed sloth. These odd-looking cuties are at risk due to deforestation of their tropical rain forest habitat.

WWF-Canada is helping this species by collaborating with communities, governments and companies to encourage sustainable forestry, creating the Global Forest & Trade Network and by working with the Brazilian government on the Amazon Region Protected Areas initiative.

WWF Canada Fun Fact

Little S loves her three-toed sloth plush and the whole concept of the symbolic adoption. She also enjoyed learning about this species and more about the work that WWF-Canada does. This holiday gift idea get the thumbs up from us!

Learn more at wwf.ca/shop – Happy Holidays!

City Mom

Living the #VipLife at Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto

Bare Footin' Bay Cabanas

WET ‘N’ WILD CABANA RENTALS

There really is no better way, IMHO, to experience Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto than from a lounge chair, with a cold beverage in your hand, in your very own, private cabana.

Wet n Wild Toronto Cabanas

Situated in front of Bare Footin’ Bay, our cabana was in the perfect location to enjoy all the fun things that Wet ‘n’ Wild has to offer, and we felt like we were living the VIP life for sure.

First, we were welcomed with a huge tub of buttery popcorn, a cooler with unlimited drink refills, two Wet ‘n’ Wild beach towels and a bottle of good-quality sunscreen. These extras are included with all cabana rentals as well as two lounge chairs, an outdoor couch, a coffee table and two armchairs.

Wet n Wild Toronto Cabana Inclusions

Each cabana can accommodate up to eight people which makes this more affordable as two families could split the cost. Although park admission is an additional charge, this extra expense is SO worth it! Cabanas cost $175 + HST: Monday-Thursday and $225 + HST: Friday-Sunday and Holidays.

Along with the cabana and all its goodies, you also have access to a server for the day. This is pretty close to priceless in my opinion. Wet ‘n’ Wild is a very popular and busy place, so avoiding the lines for food and drink throughout the day saves a ton of time and makes your visit more enjoyable! Our server was extremely attentive and we never went without something we needed or wanted.

Wet n Wild Toronto Food

An added bonus, if you are one who enjoys a daiquiri or cold beer by the pool, you’ll love the fact that most areas of the park are licensed. We treated ourselves to a bucket (or two) of ice cold Coronas.

Perhaps one of the best conveniences was the fact that the cabana provided ample sun protection. This was important for everyone in our group but especially for my twin baby nephews. Without the cabana rental, it’s unlikely that my sister and her family would have been able to join us. And my two-year-old nephew even had his afternoon nap on one of our lawn chairs.

Wet n Wild Toronto Cabanas

A cabana rental at Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto is an extremely family friendly way to enjoy the park and it will take your experience to the next level. You’ll definitely feel like a VIP for the day.

WET ‘N’ WILD TORONTO ATTRACTIONS

My dad and brother-in-law tackling the Oh Canada!

Whether you are a thrill-seeker or a relaxation junkie, you will find plenty to do at Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto. Our absolute favourite ride was the Caribbean Chaos and Oh Canada! – Although a bit terrifying, the thrills created memories that will last a lifetime. A highlight for us was almost our entire group riding on the Caribbean Chaos that has a curved wall that leaves riders hanging in zero gravity.

Bare Footin’ Bay – a water play structure with interactive elements and a giant tipping bucket (the highlight for our younger family members) provided so much fun for the kids in our group. As did Wet ‘n’ Wild Junior.

The Muskoka Soakah (lazy river) and Coconut Cove pool provided more relaxing activities for the non-thrill-seekers and for when we wanted to just hang out and chat.

Wet n Wild Toronto Muskoka Soakah

GROWING PAINS

As you may be aware, Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto is owned by Premier Parks. The 45-acre site was once home to Wild Water Kingdom, but Premier Parks invested over 25 million dollars to create Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto. This investment shows in the new attractions and amenities and upgraded facilities and we are lucky to have such a major theme park so close to home.

We did notice some growing pains during our visit and we attributed this to the newness of the park and its staff. Like many new businesses experience at startup, there are definitely some kinks to be ironed out.

For example, The Muskoka Soakah (lazy river) is meant to be a relaxing float for some down time or for those who prefer tamer rides. However, on this day, there seemed to be a lack of tubes, organization and order which created a bit of a chaotic experience.

We also had an issue nearing park closing in that staff closed down the ride while patrons (us included) who had waited close to 45 minutes, were still in line. There were a lot of disappointed people so thankfully, they opened it up again to complete the line but they weren’t happy about that. A quick fix would be to close the line at the bottom at the appropriate time to avoid this issue.

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to share my feedback with a member from Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto marketing staff and I’d like to share their response with you:

 

“This first year and the challenges of undergoing major construction and renovations to get open for a short summer season, our number one focus was trying to provide our guests with a safe, clean, family fun experience. Going into year two, we hope people will notice a difference with improvements to the service side of things with our staff understanding the importance of customer service, providing shorter wait times for attractions where possible and more food options.” – Susan Kruizinga, Director of Sales and Marketing

 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Even with these hiccups, we would still highly recommend a visit to Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto for you and your family. To enhance your visit, we also think that a cabana rental will be an added benefit that you won’t regret!

Check out wetnwildtoronto.com to find out more about the attractions, ticket prices, directions and more.

Disclosure: We received complimentary admission in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed here are 100% our own.

City Mom

Enter to Win 4 Tickets to See Beauty and the Beast at Huron Country Playhouse

Beauty and the Beast Giveaway

Today on City Mom, one lucky reader will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Drayton Entertainment’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Read on to learn more.

5 REASONS WHY DRAYTON ENTERTAINMENT’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST IS A MUST-SEE!

I am still coming down from the high of our experience at the Huron Country Playhouse seeing Beauty and the Beast; it was hands-down the best musical production that I have ever seen! There are SO many reasons why you and your family should go to see this production, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top five!

1. The humour:

Tony Edgerton, Keith Savage, Patrick R Brown and Danielle Wade in Beauty and the Beast, 2017

As a young girl, I was a huge fan of Disney’s animated film Beauty and the Beast when it was released in 1991, so I thought I knew what to expect from this story before we attended the show at the Huron Country Playhouse.

I was so pleasantly surprised with the amount of timely, witty humour that was implemented into Drayton Entertainments’ version of this Disney classic. Some of the humour was appreciated by all, young and old and some was reserved for the adults which made it unique and appealed to the entire family.

Highlight: Lumiere and Cogsworth’s hilarious and playful banter.

2. The talent:

Danielle Wade as Belle and Tony Edgerton as the Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Drayton Entertainment, 2017

When Belle, played by Danielle Wade, appeared on stage and belted out her first few notes, my daughter excitedly and urgently asked if she was “really singing, or was it a recording from the movie?” And it wasn’t only Little S that thought Danielle and Belle from Disney’s film sounded extremely similar – we all thought the same.

The talent doesn’t stop there…every single cast member nailed their characters and captured our attention as we were glued to the stage. The writing, directing, music and acting all came together to create a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.

Highlight: Tony Edgerton, who plays the beast, was excellent at drawing us in to both fear him in the beginning and then to come to understand his story as he softens and learns the meaning of love and kindness.

3. Gaston:

Brent Thiessen as Gaston and ensemble in Beauty and the Beast

Gaston, played by Brent Thiessen, gets his own heading because as the character is written, we shouldn’t like him. Cast as the quintessential villain, Gaston is traditionally a self-absorbed, macho jerk but the combo of the writing and Brent’s talent causes us to actually crave seeing him on stage – we just couldn’t get enough. Some might even find themselves having a bad boy crush (wink, wink Mom)!

Highlight: Gaston, Lefou and the rest of the ensemble in the “The Mob Song” number and the antlers dance. And sorry ladies, but Gaston is “taken” and his wife, Jennifer Thiessen, is sharing the stage with her hubby in this production. How sweet?!

4. The Silly Girls:

Ashley Arnet, Jessica Horn, Jade Repeta

I really cannot say enough about how amazing this show was. That’s why it is hard to pick just five reasons why you should go…alas, I must narrow it down and The Silly Girls are three reasons in one.

Performed by Ashley Arnett, Jessica Horn and Jade Repeta, the Silly Girls almost steal the show! As Gaston’s fandom, they add a lot of humour, a little sass and a touch of naughtiness (don’t worry, only the adults will pick up on this) to the production. Endlessly talented, these three actors really add the icing on the cake.

Highlight: When the girls learn that Gaston is going to ask Belle to marry him – their reaction. Enough said…lmao!!

5. The costumes:

Victor A. Young, Zoe Brown, Valerie Boyle and Patrick R. Brown in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Drayton Entertainment

The costumes are perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of this production. Costume Designer, Rachel Berchtold, has added her own unique take on the costumes, especially in comparison to other Beauty and the Beast adaptations.

I imagine that it must be pretty difficult to transform inanimate objects like a candelabra, clock, dinner plate, napkin and dresser into living things. Rachel has done an amazing job with this task and the choreography created by Robin Calvert has complimented her creations perfectly.

You’ll know what I mean when Mrs. Potts, played by Valerie Boyle, offers to pour tea for Maurice and when the napkins dance like The Rockettes. And you’ll fall in love with little Chip played by London’s own Zoë Brown.

Highlight: Mrs. Potts’ and Chip’s costumes. Some very cute and clever takes on these two character’s costumes.

GET YOUR TICKETS

Drayton Entertainments Production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is playing at Huron Country Playhouse from August 10 – September 3, 2017 at and at Dunfield Theatre Cambridge from November 22 – December 31, 2017.

WIN TICKETS ON CITY MOM

I am so appreciative and excited to offer a Family 4-pack of tickets to the Beauty and the Beast production at Huron Country Playhouse on Saturday, September 2, 2017 for the 7:30 p.m. performance to one City Mom community member. Please note that this date and time cannot be changed.

Please use the giveaway widget below and good luck! You definitely don’t want to miss this show. Good luck!

City Mom

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