Create an Easter Egg Hunt that everyone will enjoy. Follow our tips on creating a magical experience, keeping the hunt fair play and Chocolate alternatives that will please more than your sweet tooth.
Victoria, BC–a city some call the “Barbados of Canada” due to its mild temperatures and low rainfall relative to the rest of BC and Canada–is a great city in which to raise a family. Because one of Victoria’s major industries is tourism, there are lots of great family-friendly attractions to take children to including the natural wonders of Vancouver Island which are practically at your doorstep. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist yourself, here are the top 12 Family Things To Do in Victoria (in no particular order):
As a mom of four littles, I often have to navigate the kitchen with care. While we have a nice kitchen, it’s not quite big enough to handle 4 extra bodies that don’t yet know how to control themselves. Most of the help they offer comes in the form of dumping cups of flour or stirring the contents of a bowl for me, which is nice if you can let go of the mess that inevitably occurs. My 9 year old has been asking for a bit more of a lesson in the kitchen recently. She wants to learn how to make a few of her favorite meals on her own. Who am I to turn down such an opportunity?
Halloween is my family’s favorite holiday. We go crazy decorating the outside of our house with pumpkins, screaming skeletons, witches and spiders. When we’re done. we love to curl up on the couch together and watch Halloween movies.
Here’s a list (by age group) of some of our favorite Halloween movies. (All of them can be ordered through amazon.com.)
Ages 3 and Older
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie: It’s Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood. Roo’s best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time … until Tigger warns them about the dreaded “Gobloon.” It’s a tame movie with a great message about the importance of friendship.
Tom and Jerry: Tricks and Treats : I grew up watching Tom and Jerry cartoons and after watching this DVD, I understand why these cartoons are perfect for smaller children: there is a lot of action and the scenes aren’t too scary. Even the frightening looking witch in the Flying Sorceress, who I thought would be a bit too much for younger children, didn’t cause too much commotion or hiding by the littlest ones. Disclosure: I received this DVD for review purposes only. I was not compensated to write a positive or favorable review.
Casper: Three words to describe this movie: Fun, Wholesome & Entertaining (for the whole family). The movie is based on the old “Casper” comic book series about a lonely (but friendly) ghost who lives in an old, abandoned and dilapidated house with three other, less friendly, uncles (who are also ghosts): Stretch”, “Stinky” and “Fatso”. When a ghost psychiatrist and his lonely daughter move in attempt to tame the “Uncles” a fun and great story of friendship unfolds. One word of warning: This movie is rated PG. There is some mild language and elements that could be considered questionable for young children. That said, our family loves this movie & our list won’t be complete if we did not mention it. (Yes, even the 9 year old sits still during MOST of the 1½ hours.).
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: It’s a classic and suitable for the whole family. We never get tired of watching it. Although I do feel bad for Linus, who waits with Sally in a pumpkin patch for the great, mythical creature to arrive as well as for Charlie Brown, whose receives only rocks in his bag, the overall movie is hilarious and deemed a classic for a reason.
The great Debbie Reynolds stars as Grandmother Aggie in this Disney Classic. The premise is based on the concept that witches, ghouls and other “creatures of the night” live in a place called Halloweentown, an alternate world. When Grandmother Aggie visits her grand-daughter, Marnie, she reveals that Marnie’s mother, Gwen, has been hiding a secret: the children all possess supernatural powers. Once Marnie turns thirteen, her grandmother informs her that she must begin her training as a witch or lose her powers forever. Of course, a brewing crisis between good and evil in Halloweentown causes the entire family to be pulled through a portal and into an intense battle against ghouls, goblins and a warlock. This is good Disney Halloween fun with a wholesome message about the power of family, cooperation and perseverance. The ghouls are creepy looking but aren’t likely to cause nightmares in younger family members.
This is a fun, light hearted film about three witches that the whole family can enjoy. The setting and decoration is perfect and has that great Halloweeny feel. The film is a wonderful family treat that will delight and entertain the whole family. (Okay, one word of warning: Part of the premise is the witches need to find a “virgin” to sacrifice. I wasn’t too comfortable going into a complete explanation of the word with my, then, 7 year old. I was afraid it would ruin the flow of the movie if she asked and I just wasn’t up to it.)
Some other “Oldies But Goodies” that we are “dying” to watch this year include:
- The Little Vampire: Get ready to watch it over and over again
- Scary Godmother: Great for 5 to 8 year-olds
- Blackbeard’s Ghost: It’s Disney, rated “G,” made in 1968 and I still hide behind my husband
- Bell Book and Candle: Quirky romantic movie featuring James Stewart.
- And of course: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Finally, if your kids are like mine and in need of some new scares and thrills, these are a few of our stand-by Halloween favoirites:
- Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton at his best)
- Coraline (Another stop-gap animated movie)
- Beetlejuice (Another Tim Burton classic. But, strangely, my husband refuses to watch this one)
- Addams Family
- Monster House and Monster Squad
Hopefully, you found a few titles that peak your curiosity. Did I miss your favorite Halloween movie? Are there other titles that I should add to my family’s collection? We’re dying to know what we missed!
Renee Keats is the US Content Editor and a writer for UrbanMommies Media. When not checking homework or carpooling to extra-curricular activities, Renee is often found scouring the internet, specifically Pinterest, for the latest in culinary & fashion adventures.
We’re not suggesting that you stop paying full price to take your kids to the ballet, theatre or symphony, but many parents feel that artistic pursuits are inaccessible for one reason or another. Excuses for not exposing children to these media range from ‘But the hockey was on’, ‘He will get bored’, ‘My baby cries all the time and she will disrupt things’ …to ‘It is too expensive’. Here are some outside-the-box ways to give it a go and mitigate the reasons for staying home.
And we thought that black chalkboard paint was cool. Imagine being able to make a wipe-off-able rainbow… Hudson Paint has just released its fab chalkboard paint in 24 new colors. Paint the kids snack table, create a child-height border around their bedroom, or finally get organized by making a flow chart on a wall in the mudroom. You could also paint the inside of kitchen cupboard doors, or make a wipe-able calendar on your office wall. Resolution to get organized? Done.
Dairy Queen birthday parties are so 80s! A clown or magician? So last century! Bouncy castles? Well that’s just 2000-‘n-late! A birthday party at the Telus World of Science is timeless and will be a guaranteed highlight in your child’s memories. You and your child will be a hit with all your child’s friends–and their parents–as the children will not only enjoy mountains of fun but will also learn that science is a pretty darn cool thing! Science World, as most Vancouverites call it, excels in creating exciting games out of scientific principles. Just be prepared for when it’s time to leave because the kids will not be happy that it’s time to go!
Summer may be over but Halloween is just around the corner! Here are some tips for enjoying fireworks with the family – including your kids and babies:
1. Bring ear plugs or leave babies, very young ones and other easily frightened children, with a sitter. The noise of the fireworks can be very scary for little ones and you want to avoid causing them to develop an early fear of fireworks. Ear plugs or head phones should do the trick (if they keep them on).
2. Bring a blanket, water, sunscreen, snacks and activities if you’re staking out a spot early. There are often summer treats at fireworks events. It’s OK to have a treat but make sure the kids have enough nutrition too.
3. Be aware of who is around you. Some fireworks events have a history of attracting a few rowdy folks. That shouldn’t deter you from taking your family, but just keep one eye on who is around you and if you’re concerned about someone’s behaviour, don’t hesitate to find a different spot before something happens near your little ones. Alternatively, you can alert an event organizer or event security if you are concerned about someone’s behaviour.
4. Take your garbage with you. Before it gets dark, round up all of your garbage and make sure to dispose of it properly. It’s important to help keep our beaches and parks clean for other families who will visit them the next day.
5. Enjoy the fireworks! They are an awe-inspiring feat of chemistry and artistry! You can use the time to teach your kids what science can do and feel the magic of the moment at the same time.