Kelly Connor

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

Make Memories This Summer at the Mustang Drive-In {#Giveaway}

MUSTANG DRIVE-IN GIVEAWAY

If you’re like me, the term drive-in evokes a rush of fond memories; there was something magical about watching a movie in your car and getting to fall asleep under the stars while the adults watched the next feature.

As a Londoner, I have always been fortunate to be able to recreate this experience right in my own backyard. The Mustang Drive-In is one of London’s gems located at 2551 Wilton Grove Road which is about 10 minutes outside of the city.

Mustang Drive-In

MUSTANG DRIVE-IN IS DOG FRIENDLY

Dog Friendly London Ontario

I haven’t blogged about this yet but have shared lots on social media – in case you didn’t know, we welcomed a new member to our family this spring – we are proud parents of a Goldendoodle puppy named Jazz.

If you’ve ever raised a puppy, you know that they are a ton of work! It’s worth it but it’s still work none-the-less. I kind of thought that our movie days were over (for now) until I learned that the Mustang Drive-In is dog-friendly.

What a perfect evening it was to go on a “date night” with my husband with our puppy in tow. It worked out perfectly and opened up new possibilities for us in regards to entertainment.

Take your puppy on a date at @PremierTheatres Mustang Drive-In! #LdnOnt. Click To Tweet

THE RETRO EXPERIENCE

Mustang Drive In Retro Vibes

Perhaps the best thing about the Mustang Drive-In is that they have maintained the old-school vibe which is synonymous with the drive-in experience. Not only does this provide nostalgia for us parents but it helps to make for a genuinely unique experience for the kiddos and provides a time machine-like adventure.

DRIVE-IN CONCESSION

Snack Bar

Just like the regular movie theatre experience, the Mustang Drive-In has you covered for all the must-have movie treats. From buttery popcorn to sweet treats to fountain pop, the menu is full of fun options for the entire family.

MORE THAN JUST MOVIES

Woof n Park

It is suggested that you arrive early to get the best spot, but don’t worry because the kids will not be bored while you’re waiting for the show to start. A playground featuring new equipment surrounded by a protective surface area of sand is available up until show time for the kids to play.
A large field for soccer, baseball etc. is also available for use and arcade games inside the snack bar for the older kids/teens. And of course, there is an area for the dog’s bathroom needs and refreshments (though there were no refreshments available at the time we visited).

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Mustang Drive In Sign

You can stay up-to-date on what features are playing as well as ticket prices, specials and more via the Mustang Drive-In website. You can also follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

ENTER TO WIN A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT PACKAGE

One City Mom reader will win a Family Movie Night Package that includes two adult admissions, two child admissions and concession vouchers to be used at Mustang Drive-In in London, ON.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you been to the Mustang Drive-In before or a drive-in located near you? What’s your favourite thing about going to the drive-in?

Disclaimer: we received complimentary admission in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. City Mom

Celebrate #Canada150 In The Most Unique Way #Giveaway

Canadian Originals Giveaway

I’m so excited to share this awesome giveaway from Canadian Originals with you today! Read on and enter below.

WHAT IS CANADIAN ORIGINALS?

How it Works

Canadian Originals is a  monthly subscription box program featuring artisan products selected from the best Canada has to offer. With local, handmade items that are a surprise each month, the fun never ends. You will receive a curated collection of items not widely available abroad or across the country in your box. This makes the items not only homegrown but exclusive too.

MY CANADIAN ORIGINALS UNBOXING

I was so excited when I received my Canada 150 July Debut Box in the mail even though I had to wait to open it. I wanted to open it for the very first time with you so I had to wait until the next day. I seriously woke up so excited to dive into my package and I wasn’t disappointed!

The packaging was so fitting and beautiful, the smell was delicious and the products were of very high quality and each so unique. What I loved about the whole experience was that I could tell that each item was carefully chosen to create an overall one-of-a-kind experience. I can’t say that I would necessarily have gone out and bought each item myself but I genuinely loved each piece. And we all know that this makes for the best kind of gift – whether it’s for you or someone else, you can’t go wrong and you will truly love the surprise each month.

Here is a sneak peek of the Canada 150 July Debut Box:

SUBSCRIBE TO CANADIAN ORIGINALS

You can subscribe to Canadian Originals in the following ways:
  • Monthly
  • 3 Month
  • 6 Month
  • 12 Month

Each option becomes cheaper with the 12 month subscription being the best value. Shipping is done with a flat rate within Canada and international shipping is also available! I’m already planning to send one to my friend in Australia to share some Canuck love!

GET 10% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER

When you subscribe to the Canadian Originals newsletter, you will receive a 10% off discount code that you can use towards your first purchase.

ENTER TO WIN THE JULY DEBUT BOX FROM CANADIAN ORIGINALS

The first Canadian Originals box ships out on July 5th with a special Canada 150 Debut Box. They are selling out quickly but one lucky (Canadian) City Mom reader will win their very own. Enter below using the giveaway widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

7 Cool Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Cirque Du Soleil: OVO

Cirque du Soleil: Ovo London

London, we are so lucky to have the amazing performance of Cirque Du Soleil: OVO visiting our city and they will only be here until June 18, 2017.

We were lucky to attend the London premiere last night and I must share that this show is a MUST SEE for the whole family! Get your tickets here so you don’t miss out.

In addition to attending the premiere event, we also got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cirque Du Soleil: OVO production and we learned some really cool facts that we think might surprise you.

1. The Cirque du Soleil production transports the entire OVO set from city to city via 19 transport-sized trucks.

Among the cargo? 180 suitcases for the team’s personal items.

Photo credit: Twitter | @PeggyChapman16
2. The Cirque du Soleil OVO team travels with their own washers and dryers for costume laundering.

Yup! They carry six washers and two dryers on the trucks so that costumes can be washed after each performance. This ensures that all 1,000 costume pieces are clean and flawless for each show.

Cirque du Soleil Washers

3. The Cirque du Soleil OVO team consists of cast and crew members from 20 different countries.

Canada, Russia, Ukraine and China are just a few of the countries represented.

Cirque du Soleil: OVO

4. The Cirque du Soleil OVO team travels with over 100 individuals that all work together to create the awe-inspiring event.

This number is made up of approximately 50 performers, 25 management members including wardrobe specialists and 25 technology specialists.
Among this number there are two physiotherapists that travel with the team to keep the artists in tiptop shape and injury-free.

Cirque du Soleil Ovo

5. The Cirque du Soleil OVO performers are responsible for their own makeup for each performance.

When cast members join the team, professional makeup artists apply the full “face” first, in Montreal, to act as an instructional lesson. Next, the makeup artist applies a “half face” and the performer mimics this on the other side.

Finally, the performers are provided with a step-by-step guide to follow in preparation for each performance.

Cirque du Soleil Makeup

6. Many of the Cirque du Soleil artists have a diploma from “Circus School”.

Students who attend a college such as Ecole nationale de cirque or National Circus School in Montreal earn a Diploma of Collegial Studies in circus arts (DEC), a three-year program that aims to produce professional circus artists.

National Circus School

Circus School

Photo credit: ecolenationaledecirque.ca
7. The elaborate Cirque du Soleil costumes are handmade in Montreal.

When artists are brought on for a particular production, their measurements are taken to create a custom made costume. The performers spend three to four weeks training in Montreal while their costume(s) are made.

A last set of measurements are taken before the final touches are applied to the costumes as the performer’s size may have changed from the intense training.

Cirque du Soleil Cricket Costumes

It is no wonder that so much goes into the production of this iconic production. These are just a few of the amazing things there are to know about the behind-the-scenes aspect of Cirque du Soleil.

Check out the OVO trailer and get your tickets before they sell out.

Which is your favourite fun fact about Cirque du Soleil: OVO? Leave us a comment to let us know!

City Mom

Murder For Hire: Take Your Party to the Next Level

Mad Men Style Party

When it comes to celebrating the big milestones and special occasions in life, you want to do it with style; something unique, exciting and something that your guests have likely never experienced before.

This was my line of thinking when I began planning my husband’s milestone surprise birthday party. After some research, I happily discovered Murder For Hire, a high quality, interactive murder mystery dinner theatre experience.

I loved the concept of providing entertainment for our guests in a home setting and providing something just a bit unusual. For the guests that preferred to sit back and watch, a live story unfolded right in front of them. For the more outgoing guests, an opportunity to become a part of the story presented itself. And to round it all off, all the guests were able to interact with the actors and take part in trying to solve the murder. It was so much fun!

THE MURDER FOR HIRE EXPERIENCE

Murder For Hire is a company based in Thorndale, Ontario (just outside of London) and is dedicated to the presentation of the highest quality interactive murder mystery dinner theatre, paying particular attention to detail. The company was established in 2006 by Kay Rogers whom writes all of the scripts for the stories as well as the creation of costumes, props and sound effects for each show.

When you visit the Murder For Hire website, you can check out the different script options. I chose the Diamonds, Death and Second Chances show because I loved the idea of the late 60’s themed basis. The script is based on an auction of fine jewels hosted by Lady Ophelia so I decided to go with a Mad Men-inspired theme. I even asked the guests to dress up in their favourite 1960’s look…it really added to the experience.

I served 60’s style foods like Swedish meatballs, deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket and a cheese ball. I also set up a Martini Bar so that guests could sip away in style.

The party starts like any other, mingling among the guests; the Murder For Hire actors blend seamlessly into the crowd and begin to tell their back stories. This shapes the characters for the upcoming events. With fun sound effects, vibrant props and costumes, the mystery unfolds until the climax takes place; the murder.

During this time, the cast will get to know you and your guests too and they will throw in some fun surprises that will seriously take your party to the next level. Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but let me just say that I never knew some of the guys in my life looked so good in leisure suits!

It is then time for the guests to gather the evidence, question the actors and submit their hypothesis on whodunit and possible motives. The truth is finally revealed and awards are given out to party guests based on various criteria (I don’t want to give anything away here) that are fun!
This all takes place over a few of hours and provides a really fun and out of the ordinary experience. We opted in to add a photo booth setup to enhance the experience and to make sure we got some great shots of all the fun costumes and actors. You receive all the images on the spot on a handy USB card.

Murder For Hire Photo Booth

The Murder For Hire team does a wonderful job of staying in character and providing laughter, entertainment and the opportunity to bring out your inner detective. This is something that I would highly recommend for your next celebration.

TAKE ANY PARTY TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Each month, there are featured Murder For Hire scripts to bring your party to the next level…check out GHOULS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN! for a unique way to celebrate Halloween, or CRIMES OF PASSION to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a whole new way. And the Holidays will never be the same with the 2017 featured script, THE CHAOS IS KILLING ME, a Christmas themed show featuring the annual CHAOS (Canadian Honorary Association of Santas) Convention. Sounds fishy huh?!

CONTACT MURDER FOR HIRE

If you want to throw a party that your guests will never forget, be sure to check out Murder For Hire online or call 519-495-1446. You can also follow on Facebook to learn more.

Thanks to Kay and the Murder For Hire Team for providing such a fun and memorable event to celebrate such a special day in our lives!

City Mom

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